Coniston Weekend - October 9th/10th/11th 2015
An excellent weekend was enjoyed by SOC members with a variety of interests including wild- water swimming! The hostel, owned by Wigan Education Authority, had a wonderful setting looking down on Coniston Water and across to the Old Man (not you Graham, the mountain!). It provided a high standard of facilities and comfort apart from a couple of small 2 bedded rooms.
People arrived at various times on Friday night depending on how many hostels they had visited before finding the right one! Some people cooked for themselves, others visited the local pub. On Saturday night we all tucked into a delicious meal cooked by the hostel staff and served up in the main house.
Three parties of walkers set off on Saturday morning to ascend The Old Man of Coniston at various speeds while the cyclists went in search of Cartmel Sticky Toffee Pudding in its home town, with the famous Grange-Over-Sands vanilla slices offered as an alternative treat. James made them cycle up and down numerous hills to justify such indulgence. The autumn colours were starting to show themselves and the calm weather allowed for beautiful reflections in the lakes. Both days were still and dry, a first I think for SOC Lake District weekends.
On a cold but calm Sunday morning, Johnny and Melanie completed their swim across Coniston Water before breakfast, supported by Ann Luxmoore who watched from the jetty ready to dive in and rescue them if required. The walkers set off for Wray Castle on Lake Windermere while most of the cyclists went in search of a café in Broughton-in-Furness along quiet country lanes. Liz and Paul cycled round Coniston Water in search of breakfast. Three family groups headed for a thrilling mountain bike ride in nearby Grizedale Forest. The trick we missed was not to bring any canoes. The Centre has its own launch jetty a field away from the hostel and boats can be picked up from the car park on the other side of the lake.
I think everyone enjoyed the sociable weekend. Thanks to James for organising the event and to those people who offered to lead expeditions. A special thank you to those SOC members who sacrificed the end of Strictly so that we could watch England thrash Uruguay-some sort of compensation!