20133023_Duke of Edinburgh – Bronze Training Walk.

20133023_Duke of Edinburgh – Bronze Training Walk.

When : 23rd March 2013

Who : Me my wife and a group of Year-10 school pupils

Where : Circular walk starting and fishing at Kenilworth Castle, Warwickshire

Map : 1:25000 OS Explorer Map No. 221, Coventry & Warwick

Start and End Point : SP 280,721

Planned Distance : Approx 3 miles or so

Click on a pic’ and it should launch as a larger image on my flickr photostream.

A few weeks ago my wife came home from the secondary school she does voluntary work at and asked if I was up to doing a short walk (on a Saturday morning) with her and a small group of students who were about to do some practical training towards their D of E bronze expedition. Our 11 year-old son was to come with us as well, who is quite happy to come out walking with us and has done, virtually since he could first walk. I think he was only 3 or 4 when he raced us to the top of Wansfell Pike near Troutbeck and he almost got to the summit of Cat Bells in the Lake District too.

Well, I agreed, I’d pretty much been volunteered anyway! What else could I say !

20120909-01_Kenilworth Castle by gary.haddenWe were to meet at the main (top) car park that services Kenilworth Castle and there were to be several groups who would have different routes to take. There are 5 or 6 different paths fanning out from the castle area into the farmland west of Kenilworth. Our role would be to supervise about 6 or 7 of the students, ensure they stayed on legal rights of way and use correct road-craft if and when walking on country roads. We didn’t know for sure what route 20120909-04_Kenilworth Castle - Outerwalls - Tower by gary.haddenwas planned for “our” group but I think the intended route was west from the car park on a path heading out towards Beausale and Haseley Knob. A little way along this path, they’d turn off to the south, join Rouncil Lane and then head back to the car park, passing close to Fernhill Farm on the way.

It wouldn’t be far, only about 3 miles! about an hour and a half, which I guess would be enough for the students to get a first feel of map reading and navigation actually out in the countryside,  most of whom probably would never have previously tried to do anything quite like it before. On my behalf, map reading/navigation is something I 20130323-GTete-a-tete narcissus (daffodil) in the snow by gary.haddenjust love doing and I feel quite odd if I go on a walk and just “follow-the-leader” without having a map where I can at least keep track of where I am.

Anyway, my wife, son and I were all looking forward to the stroll on the Friday evening, despite there being some snow on the ground and it was still falling out of the sky as we retired to bed. We awoke to a very good covering of the cold white stuff on the ground (and cars), and when I came downstairs I found Craig already dressed absolutely perfectly for the conditions … 3 or 4 layers of clothes on legs and body, a superb way to keep warm in the below-freezing conditions.

My wife and I were about to dress nice and warm too, when an email came in saying (to paraphrase) “SORRY- EVENT CANCELLED” due to health and safety concerns. All three of us were, well, completely deflated and disappointed. I guess we could have headed out on our own, but somehow the reason for the day had just been removed, so we didn’t feel like heading out for a walk for just the three of us.

20130323-01_Cheddar Cheese Scones by gary.hadden   20130323-02_Cheddar Cheese Scones by gary.hadden

20130323-10_Making Candyfloss by gary.hadden   20130323-08b_Making Candyfloss by gary.hadden

20130323-11_Making Candyfloss by gary.hadden

Instead, I headed for the kitchen where I baked a load of sweet scones, and then a bunch of cheddar cheese scones, and then Craig broke out the candy floss maker and we all made mini-candy flosses! … and, as it was still pretty miserable during the afternoon, I spent a while taking photo’s of our Guinea Pigs who live with us (their home is in the utility room).

20130323-05_Patch + Tufty - Guinea Pigs or Cavies by gary.hadden   20130323-07_Patch + Tufty - Guinea Pigs or Cavies by gary.hadden

20130323-13_Patch - Guinea Pig or Cavy by gary.hadden   20130323-19_Tufty - Guinea Pig or Cavy by gary.hadden

And that was that, now all we need is to hear when the rearranged dates are for the D of E training. Hopefully with some nice warm spring weather and a drop of sunshine, now long over-due after what seems to have been a very long winter.

So in the end this Walk-Diary has turned out to be a No-Walk-Diary.

I hope you enjoyed my scribblings …. If you’d like to comment on my diary or any of my pic’s please feel welcome. I’d love to hear from you.

T.T.F.N. Gary.

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