Thursday 5pm and 1st Hinckley Scouts and Explorers left Hinckley for a few days in the Peak District. Prior trips had seen trips cut short through poor weather so with the forecast for sunny weather expectations were high for warm weather.
After a very good run through little traffic we arrived at Pindale Farm Campsite in the Hope Valley. Tents were pitched and preparations for the next days activities were made. Early nights followed as we had a very early start; 6am!
A beautiful sunrise met us on Friday morning. Following a quick breakfast, we left for the Derwent Valley with bikes, walking boots and lunches. We split into two groups. One with the more experienced cyclists and walkers and another with the less confident cyclists.
One group walked up and over the nine miles of the Derwent Ridge taking in Lost Lad at a height of 518 metres, Back Tor at 538 metres and then dropped back into the Derwent Valley along Grainfoot Clough to meet for lunch at the base of the Derwent Dam. Sefton Winslade was invested on Dovestone Tor surrounded by Scouts and Explorers. The other group cycled around the top two reservoirs; Upper Derwent and Howden which was ten miles and then met for lunch.
In the afternoon temperatures soared to 22 degrees. The more experienced cyclists rode the top two reservoirs and the remaining group walked around the lower five-mile Ladybower Reservoir.
During the day three personal challenges had been set for Scouts who were completing their Chief Scouts Gold awards. Ben had to complete the harder Derwent Ridge walk and navigate sections of the walk. Will and Sam, who are very nervous cyclists, were set the challenge of cycling.
After some relaxing in the sun, ice creams and lots of re-hydration we returned to the campsite for dinner.
Saturday was another day of clear skies and sunshine. Temperatures were recorded as the highest on record and walking was exhausting.
The groups split again with regular meet ups en route to ensure everyone was coping with the heat.
We walked seven miles of Monsal Dale taking in High Dale, Litton Mill, Cressbrook, the Monsal Trail, Monsal Head and the Viaduct and Brushfield Hough. We managed to spend a couple of hours cooling down in the river Wye which was much appreciated by all. Again, we had a Scout, Kai, completing his personal challenge, and this challenge was very personal. Kai ‘s challenge was to walk a stretch of the walk without his wheelchair for assistance. This he completed without assistance or complaint. He really did extremely well.
Again, a return to the campsite to cook dinner, shower and relax in tents.
The final day saw a more relaxed walk to Treak Cliffe Cavern which was around 3 miles. A guided tour down the caverns was enjoyed by all and the cool air was appreciated on another hot day. Following lunch at the caverns we walked the three miles back to the campsite and traveled back to Hinckley along an almost empty M1!
The trip is one of the most enjoyable I have attended for a long time. The weather was fantastic, and the youth members were extremely well behaved. Everyone worked together and all tried their best during the whole weekend. Some amazing walking and scenery. No wet kit to dry out and no traffic jams to sit in.
A really “Great Weekend”