This is the new venue where members and potential members of the Ipswich Outdoor Group can read about recent events, share news that is relevant to group interests but not appropriate for group emails, write about group initiatives – anything from charity fund-raising to activism aimed at keeping our footpaths open – present opinion editorials on issues close to their hearts, post classified ads, cartoons, pictures or anything else that occurs. Unlike the old Newsletter, it will be updated as and when new material comes to hand and, as this is a work in progress, it will be formatted as we go along and get an idea of what is required. Feel free to offer suggestions if any occur to you.
For the moment, content is divided into three categories: reports of past doings; announcements about upcoming events or issues of note, whether IOG instigated or particularly related to IOG interests; and classifieds, where you can advertise items for sale, for rent, or wanted. Follow the links to the right to filter.
Ian Robinson led this dual distance walk in his usual fashion. Despite this a good time was had by all.*
While others stayed under their duvets, 14 of the group’s bravest prepared for foul weather and marched for hours through the beautiful countryside. The weather decided to remain dry for the duration which was nice.
At the half-way mark we had a break for food and drink at the Maybush Inn on the waterfront and gained two walkers and a dog.
At the eight-mile mark we lost four walkers and a dog. But we did it on purpose. The rest carried on for three miles through a stinging nettle guard of honour before settling into the Fox at Newbourne just as the rain started, some of us taking advantage of the buy-one-get-one-free Sunday Roast. A smaller group carried on to the Golf Pub in Ipswich until closing time.
In summary…A pub crawl with some countryside thrown in. Cheers.
*In truth this was a well prepared and well led walk with no incidents, accidents or accusations. Thank you, IOG!
30 IOGers had a fun night at David’s infamous annual barbecue in the deeply rural realms of Stonham. True, the weather was awful, but it did not spoil our fun in the slightest. The alcohol and teas and coffees certainly helped to keep us warm, while some of us were dancing away in David’s ancient barn to the tunes of ceilidh music, expertly led by our teacher Glenys.
The next day those of us who had stayed over, and some that just came for the walk, set off on a pleasant amble of around five miles around Stonham countryside and Stonham Barns. We also had a mooch round the Suffolk Surplus site where I spotted an old bike, not sure if it was meant for sale or served as decor. Don’t think of acquiring it to ride it on my forthcoming cycle ride!
For lunch we enjoyed Marie-Louise’s curry soup – it went down extremely well. It was full of amazing ingredients to add to the flavour. We ended the day having coffee in David’s garden. He showed us an interesting item hanging from the ceiling inside one of the many buildings in his garden. To me it looked like a toffee meringue. In fact it was a wasp nest!
A big thank you to David and Glenys as well as our group chef Marie-Louise and to Andy for providing great music. Not to forget all who braved the elements and contributed to make it a special evening.
A reminder that the IOG monthly social meeting will be held tonight, Monday, 8th October, from 8 pm in the upstairs rooms of The Thomas Wolsey Freehouse, 9 St Peter’s Street, Ipswich, IP1 1XF – just up the road from St Peters on the Waterfront. Parking can be found at the nearby Cromwell Square and Cardinal Park car parks and across the road from St Peters.
We will be discussing past and future events, with plenty of socialising time at the end.
A brief report on this walk, “led” by the intrepid Ian Robinson.
25 had reported keen to join this 7.5 or 8-mile walk. By 10.30, 12 had made it to the start point, the lovely Bell pub in picturesque Kersey and we set off in the direction of Hadleigh along narrow paths, briar and bramble, a ploughed field, quiet paths and roads. We were blessed with warm sunshine for the first several miles, with the peace only occasionally interrupted by the sound of a light aircraft or a startled bird and more often by laughter and chatter from the group.
Our thoughts were never far from our responsible friends who were missing out due to an IOG first aid course.
The bookies’ odds on 12 returning together were generous and as we gathered for a sit down and bite to eat half way 10 of us were there. That’s 85% so more than a pass mark.
The return leg was a little chillier and there was even talk of rain so the pace quickened, possibly also due to the thought of a drink back at the Bell. Guided by the church landmark the complete dozen actually arrived back together, safe and sound and enjoyed the refreshments on offer at the pub.
A very nice walk with very nice people who politely tolerated me photographing everything and everyone.
Thank you to Ian for organising the day and taking our constant ribbing with good humour.
Lakes Trip Day 1 – Keswick to Black Sail Hut – 15 miles
Report by Rachael, pics Torben.
It was looking a little bit dull and drizzly as we took our first look out of the window. After breakfast it was significantly better, even a couple of patches of blue had appeared. We gathered at 9.30 with full waterproofs ready for our start photo. Surprisingly everyone was ready on time.
We headed out of Keswick along the Cumbria Way. By the time we reached the northern end of Derwent Water we were stripping off the waterproofs one by one. It was easy going, good weather and everyone was enjoying it. As we across the Newlands Valley we got our glimpse of our first peak to climb. Pete was filled with trepidation.
It was a relentlessly steep climb up Rowling End but great views over the Newlands Valley and over to Skiddaw and Derwent Water. And then onto Causey Pike (637m). We stopped for lunch early on the ridge above Scar Crags as some people were getting tired and hungry. As we reached the col before climbing up to Sail (773m) Kearton and Maria decided to take the lower route straight to Buttermere. The rest of us headed on and up to Sail and Crag Hill (839m).
Highest point done, and it was downhill along Whiteless Edge to Whiteless Pike (660m). We enjoyed some lovely views as we headed down towards Buttermere. It was a tough descent, there were a few tumbles. At Buttermere village we met up with Kearton and Maria and took a short break at one of the tea rooms. We couldn’t linger as we still had at least 3 miles to go and it was now 5pm.
The route took us along the southern edge of Buttermere through Burtness Wood. We had a nice flat walk along the edge of Buttermere with great views of the surrounding peaks. At the end of the lake we began our final climb of the day up Scarth Gap Pass. This was a tough ascent mainly due to its being the last of the day. People were tired, but we followed the path and the water up the rocky trail. The climb towards the top is in the process of being improved by the volunteers of the worthy charity Fix the Fells and it was pleasing to think that our group’s charity donation last year was funding the real improvements we could see in front of us.
Once we began to reach the summit of the path, one by one, we all took stock and began the weary descent to our hostel for the night, the legendary and hard to book Black Sail, where we were welcomed in by the delightfully cheery hosts, Chloe and Mike for an eagerly anticipated hot meal.
Top of Crag Hill, high point of the day.
The stress of putting up with each other is starting to show.
Day 2 – Black Sail YHA to Boot Bunkhouse – 14 miles
Report and pics mostly Torben.
The route left Ennnerdale Valley via Black Sail Pass, turning right at the top and continuing along the ridge and up to reach the summit of Pillar (892m). On a good day there are great views down Ennerdale Valley and beyond.
The novelty of starting out from the most remote hostel in England was slightly tempered by the practical implications of the name Black Sail. Sail comes from the Norse word for bog and we were well and truly in it!
Having yet to find their mountain legs, Kearton and Maria took a direct route via Black Sail Pass, Wasdale Head and on to Boot. For the rest, the route took us up and over Pillar, skirting Scoat Fell and on to Red Pike before descending behind Yewbarrow towards the moody, lurking depths of Wast Water where the wind was whipping up white horses.
Our soggy, weary band wound our way to the other side of the lake and across the fells past Burnmoor Tarn before descending into Eskdale to find the retro offerings of Boot Bunkhouse with its communal dorms, cold showers and an abundance of large beetles.
Fortunately the proprietors also own a minibus and the Hardknott Cafe, a mile and a half down the road! A lively evening of good food, local beers and exotic rums ensued, ably assisted by the overworked but ever cheerful Tatiana.
Back there for breakfast in the morning!
Day 3 – Boot Bunkhouse to Coppermines YHA -13.5 miles
Pics Torben & Rachael, text Toby.
We left our bunk house nice and early (ish), and set of in the drizzle for a short walk along a river back to where we ate the night before. Our long-suffering waitress Tatiana sorted out our breakfasts, lunches, teas and coffees, then we were off and up into the fells.
It has been raining on and off for three days now, so there was a lot of water in the streams and underfoot. The ascent involved several dangerous crossings on underwater stepping stones, and at one point we were surrounded by two streams that were running higher than the path! There were a lot of squelchy boots here – definitely a walk where high boots worked better.
Eventually we made it down to the level of Dunnerdale Valley, crossed raging torrents by bridges large and small, and took a brief lunch stop in the pub in Seathwaite.
After lunch we headed towards the byway to Coniston. A long straight climb took us to a crossroads where some went straight on, and some tried for the path to the old man of Coniston. Sadly, as we reached the first peak, the wind got so strong that Rachael was knocked over, and many of us struggled to stay upright. We quickly decided to head back down and follow the others.
We took a diverse set of routes to our YHA destination of Coniston Coppermines: high, low and in my case via the village where I sampled some Kendal Mint liqueur. On arrival the chairman and I decided to test the team’s responses to the fire alarm, and everyone scattered. Much like our standard response to an approaching car.
Tomorrow we are off to Ambleside!
Day 4. Coppermines to Grasmere Thorney How Hostel – 13.5miles
Pics torben etc., text wainright.
First point. Writing this report was forced on me as punishment for taking the only beer in the hostel without offering it to Rachael.
Second point. Rachael cut off the peaks in consideration of hurricane Helene and after intense lobbying from the weakling in the group.
To keep it brief I’ll stick to the main points.
Started at Coppermines hostel near Coniston.
Finished at bunkhouse in Grasmere.
First incident. There are a lot of sheep in these hills. As a natural consequence there’s much sheep shit so if you’re going to tumble you must be take care to organise your landing. Ian got around this by falling in the breck. He may have floundered on his back with his pack like an upside-down tortoise. But he came up as clean as he went down. Sadly no photos of this incident.
Second notable item. Rachael’s carrot to get us moving was promise of cake or similar from a stand outside a house with a trust box. She’d seen such a thing sometime before so assumed it was still around. It wasn’t. Gutted, Heather knocked on a random door and asked if it was a tea shop. “No but I can put the kettle on.” A wonderful hour was spent drinking tea in the warm.
Third item of note. Idyllic spot for lunch. The sun appeared for a relaxing hour. You can see Toby and Torben enjoying Pooh Sticks.
Next item to note. Hurricane Helene hit hard on the way back down to the valley and we had to crouch in a gully to avoid a more rapid descent. We made it to the wood where we accelerated apace when we heard branches and trunks crack. Interesting that those most struggling on the walk were the first through the gate. These two cool (stupid) dudes couldn’t be bothered.
Next. Pub at Langdale. You all know how we would have enjoyed that. There was a power cut but pumps and till on emergency supply. And not enough light for photo so here is something for the record.
Thereafter the walk became difficult. Steep climbs and descents and fast flowing rivers to cross.
Until near the end.
Four days done. Three to go.
Day 5. Grasmere to Windermere Backpackers – 15 miles
Pics various, text contributed by Paul.
Leaving Grasmere, we met Heather’s partner, Damon, who joined us for much of the day. Commencing with a steep climb up Great Rig (766m), we made our way to Fairfield, the day’s highest point at 873m, where we took refuge from the cold wind.
After a brief respite, we found the wind had gathered pace and the temperature had dropped accordingly. Wrapping up, we followed the horseshoe over Hart Crag (822m) and Dove Crag (792m).
The lunch stop afforded us views of Ambleside, and the long descent was rewarded with a welcome visit to Daisy’s Tea Rooms. Cream teas abounded for the ensuing 30 minutes!
The route to Windermere through Skelghyll Wood and along various tracks and paths was wet but simple and a roaring log fire awaited the happy band at Lamplighters restaurant – a great end to a great day.
Day 6. Windermere to Helvellyn YHA – 16.5 miles
Walk 1: The Hard Road
Pics contributed by Rachael; text based on her original route outline.
The route heads out of Windermere up and over the small knoll of Orrest Head which gives great views back across Windermere to the central fells.
View from Orriss Head
Our route ahead to Yoke, Ill Bell, Froswick, High Street
Rainbow over Red Screes
There’s a gradual .constant climb upwards along Dubbs Road track and then Garburn Road track.
At the top (447m) the route turns northwards towards the summit of Yoke (706m) and on to Ill Bell (757m) then over the summit of Frostwick (720m).
Heather and Pete and III Bell summit
Misty view from Froswick
Lunch stop at High St.
The route continues north along the ridge on the High Street Roman Road to reach the summit High Street (828m). On a good day here you can see Haweswater and Kidsty Pike over to the east.
View towards Patterdale from High St.
Haweswater from High St
Kidsty Pike and Haweswater
On our way down
The route continues on down the ridge, past The Knott and Rest Dodd to Angle Tarn.
Approaching Patterdale and Ullswater
Admiring the view
It is a gradual descent down towards Patterdale with views of Ullswater.
The route then follows the road around to Glenridding before continuing up the Glenridding valley to the Helvellyn hostel.
Walk 2: The Thinking Person’s Way 😉
This is just in case you think that these trips away are ALWAYS gruesome, wet, painful, beyond exhausting (you get which category I fall into). There are mostly alternatives and what follows – titled The Lightweight’s Report by its intrepid, anonymous author – provides an insight and guide. (Ed.)
Text by LW. Pictures by the Film Crew.
SW: We need a newsletter report from you lightweights for Friday and Saturday.
LW: We’re not inspired by the same challenge, that’s all. Perhaps our routes are less severe, otherwise equally demanding.
SW: More bollocks.
LW:You find a route from A to B, crossing as many contours as practical in a day. You’re spoilt for choice. Then all you do is walk it (and survive, which is instinct). One foot in front of the other. I learnt to do that when I was one. We, on the other hand, seek that elusive way that crosses the minimum number of contours. It’s not easy in this landscape. I prefer to describe us as the fleet and elite. Without us as the vanguard preparing the way you’d have eaten at Fred’s Diner and not enjoyed that superb meal at The Lamplighter. So while you lot whinge under your breath slogging from one wet, slippery, boggy, sheep-doings-covered peak to the next with the same view you saw on day one – the backside and backpack of the person in front – we’re enjoying ourselves in the varied and beautiful jewel that the Lake District is.
SW: Still bollocks. How is this demanding?
LW: Sheltering from a downpour.
SW: And this?
LW: Flattest and most sensible route from Windermere to Ambleside without crossing a single contour while you lot were hauling your gear up Badgers Bonk, or wherever, in rain and misery.
SW: Whatever. Just give me the route and I’ll write it up.
LW: OK. Friday – Windermere to Helvellyn. A pleasant stroll past the Windermere villas to the pier at Bowness. We took the steamer Teal for a 30-minute cruise to the Ambleside Waterhead pier (brilliant idea – thanks Rachael).
LW: Re-supplied in Ambleside.
LW: The difficult bit was a long slow climb into Scandale Bottom and a slippery descent to Brothers Water.
LW: We picked up your route at Rooking where you followed about two hours later.
LW: It was a cold and wet walk but at a pleasant pace and a delight with the terrain and scenery changing frequently. We admired the fells to the east where you would have spent your day.
LW: At this point we wondered about re-joining your lot for the final day tomorrow. But after pondering on your colder, wetter, windier, dismal trek today along the higher ridges we decided against it. Nevertheless we admire your fortitude.
Day 7. Helvellyn YHA to Keswick YHA – 16.5miles
Walk 1: The Hard Road
The route leaves the hostel and heads up the Glenridding Valley following the beck up to Red Tarn.
A relaxed morning assembly
Helvellyn looming like a giant crab with Striding Edge its right claw and Swirral Edge its left claw
Looking back down Swirral Edge
From there it follows Swirral Edge up to the summit of Helvellyn (949m) the highest point of the whole walk.
Looking back down Swirral Edge
Helvellyn summit looking east towards Ullswater.
Taking shelter from -3 wind chill.
It then then turns northwards and follows the ridge over Lower Man (925m), Whiteside (863m) and Raise (883m). At Sticks Pass it turns west and heads down towards the northern tip of Thirlmere reservoir. The route then follows along St Johns Beck around the edge of High Rigg and across the valley to Castlerigg.
A relaxed lunch on the way down
Descending into the Thirlmere Valley
Skimming around Great Rigg in the sun
It then contours around the base of Bleaberry Fell above Great Wood with great views down over Derwent Water to the fells beyond. The path joins the road at the famous Ashness Bridge.
Looking south towards Helvellyn
Falcon Crag with Derwent Water and Bassenthwaite in the background
The final stretch of the route drops down to Derwent Water and follows the lakeside path back into Keswick.
Walk 2: The Thinking Person’s Way 😉
Text by LW. Pictures by the Film Crew.
LW: No waterproofs today. Once you lot were off and out the way we trotted back to Ullswater and followed a lakeside path to find a cycle track along the base of Threlkeld Knotts to where we picked up your route between the High and Low Riggs. Some tricky bits though; not getting lost for example. And fast flowing rivers to ford.
SW: Kearton said there was a bridge.
LW: Yes he chose the easy option.
LW: OK we all chose the easy option but we had a plan B.
Did you see this happy pony? Not exactly sure what he was doing against the stone wall but he definitely had a smile.
LW: Joining up with Rachael’s route was a cruel surprise. I hadn’t spotted the concentration of contours. A tough ascent to Lady’s Rake made more difficult because now we’re at tourist level accessible by car. Swarms of them getting in the way. D T-F would have had a field day with his love of such people and armoury of caustic commentary.
Lady’s Rake is an amazing viewpoint for Derwentwater and Keswick.
LW: Then the battle downhill through various named obstacles, Nadgers Buttock and Willy’s Crack or such-like until on the lakeside path where we had a forty-minute wait for you lot – just chilling.
LW: The rest you know. We weren’t expecting the race to the hostel to get showered and dressed in time for dinner (because you were late as usual).
LW: Don’t write this down. I admit it. We took full advantage of all Rachael’s planning and organising, then cheated on the walks. Hers were so tough. The weak and the lame needed a map reader. But I missed the comradeship that arises from shared adversity and more opportunities to be annoying.
Text supplied by organiser Glen, pics by Christina.
The western start of the Angles Way long-distance footpath at Knettishall Heath Nature Reserve was the meeting point for 13 of us for a wander that turned out to be around the 13-miles mark. We headed off eastwards along unspoilt tracks, through rural solitude and pleasing scenery, past Riddlesworth Hall School, through the hamlet of Gasthorpe and skirted by Hopton Fen before passing through Hopton village en route to Thelnetham, going close to the attractive windmill there.
There was no knight on a white charger at the White Horse pub at Thelnetham for the planned drink stop, but more disappointingly there was no publican or bar staff either as the dismayed IOG throng faced the unthinkable of a usually open pub amazingly being closed, at peak Sunday lunchtime too! Other passers-by would have witnessed the spectacle of all the tables outside the pub being occupied by apparently contented customers who were in fact merely IOGers having their packed lunches there in protest! Fortunately, the possibility of a minor group mutiny was averted by a subsequent visit to The Vine at Hopton on the way back.
Two of our throng succumbed to the seemingly hypnotic beckoning of uncollected onions lying on a field (most of those reading this who weren’t on the walk can probably guess correctly who they were!), but almost all of us were more than happy to yield to the lure of a perfectly positioned ice cream van on our return to the car park start point.
A good day enjoyed by all, excellent walking conditions, and the NW Suffolk corner probably gained a few more enthusiasts as a consequence.
It was a dull morning that greeted the nine people who had chosen to join me on my annual visit to Chappel Beer Festival. The weather forecast looked grim to say the least. However the rain held off for the entire day. Walkers (and beer tasters) included Andrew (a friend of mine from Ely) and three prospective members (from Poland, Portugal and Kenya) along with Tony, Michelle & Mike and Anne & Lou.
We set off from Colchester main line train station just after 11am and were soon walking across fields and countryside, alongside rivers and around golf courses on this beautiful eight-mile walk. Arriving at the 32nd Chappel Beer Festival just after 2:30pm (held at the East Anglian Railway Museum) we were soon sampling some of the many beers and ciders on offer. It was a well-deserved end to a great walk. Amongst my drinks I tried the aptly named Thirsty Walker brewed by our very own Dove Street Brewery (photo attached). A familiar face joined us at the beer festival in the form of Robin.
There was entertainment as always too: some official entertainment like the Morris dancing which started just after we arrived but I gave that a miss and likewise the ferret racing which attracted a large audience. Some not so official entertainment included the group of guys we met dressed up as Jesters – when asked why, they weren’t sure.
The festival gets busier every year and we were so fortunate to enjoy it seated outside. Thanks to everyone who came along to my event. Raising a glass to you all.
Rucksack – Brand new (still with labels and in original bag) Women’s Osprey Wayfarer 70 travel pack. Colour red.
o Product information
A great travel pack should carry like a backcountry rucksack while protecting your travelling possessions and allowing you to easily organise the essentials. The peripheral frame, along with the adjustable female-specific harness and hip-belt, gives you comfort and support on treks between destinations, and the foam padded sidewalls with Straight Jacket compression secure and protect the load. The Zip and Clip detachable daypack gives you the convenience of a smaller pack for day trips and its Port window means you can use your tablet for navigating or fact-finding without removing it from the pack.
o Product features:
• Fabric: Nylon, 330D; nylon, 420D
• Women-specific fit
• Port window for instant tablet use
• Padded 15.4in laptop sleeve
• Internal organisation pocket
• Internal tablet sleeve
• Internal key attachment clip
• Front panel organiser pocket
• Sternum strap with emergency whistle
• Stretch mesh side pockets
• Zipped scratch-free electronics pocket
• Front grab handle
• Lightweight peripheral frame
• StraightJacket Compression
• Adjustable torso length
• Zip and Clip daypack attachment
• Easy access liquids and valuables pocket
• Internal compression strap system
• Internal mesh side pocket
• Lockable panel zip access to main compartment with
• Grab handles
• Capacity: 70L (including daypack)
• Weight: 2.46g
Women’s leather walking boots (bought last summer and worn twice). Italian Grisport purchased from Action Outdoors. Very light weight. Size 38 (would suit someone with shoe size 4, 4½ or small 5). [Bought because I wanted a lightweight pair but have ended up wearing (and preferring) my old heavy boots.] Also have 4 pairs of socks to go with them.
Craghoppers Women’s shorts (almost new). Brown with pockets (including a zip pocket). Size 8.
**Reasonable offers accepted on all three items. Please contact Tamara directly at: firstname.lastname@example.org
A reminder that the IOG monthly social meeting will be held tonight, Monday, 10th September, from 8 pm in the upstairs rooms of The Thomas Wolsey Freehouse, 9 St Peter’s Street, Ipswich, IP1 1XF – just up the road from St Peters on the Waterfront. Parking can be found at the nearby Cromwell Square and Cardinal Park car parks and across the road from St Peters.
We will be discussing past and future events, with plenty of socialising time at the end.