Friday 11th January
At last, the day had arrived; after weeks of planning, Kington weekend away was indeed underway.
I arrived in Herefordshire at the exclusively hired Kington youth hostel mid-afternoon, before dark to locate the room keys, check the documentation and make sure the heating was on.
That done, I strolled out to the main drive way to see if anyone was waiting and almost immediately I was hailed from afar by Colin and Helen who had been exploring Kington that afternoon - Party on!
Most of our party arrived within the next two hours and the kitchen soon became the hub of the hostel, the kettle was being worked hard and several delicious cakes appeared, as if by magic.
By 7pm we were making our meal arrangements for the evening. Barbara stayed in the hostel to prepare a sociable meal for a small group, Veronica and Jackie shared out the lasagne and salad they'd brought from home whilst others visited local pubs for a meal out.
One or two of us were happy to have take away fish and chips after a beer at one of the nearby pubs.
Friday night was a typically lively affair with people looking forward to the weekend to come and enjoying others company in the hostel lounge or in what was on offer in the games room. Some people retired early but we were all tucked in soon after 12am.
Saturday 12th January
I had travelled down to Kington several times to recce today’s walk and was confident that our party of 18 would enjoy it, if it didn’t rain. Thankfully the weather was dry and there was little mud.
Our 13 mile trek, including Bradnor Hill, part of Offas Dyke, Brampton Scar and Titley junction - a preserved railway halt.
It was a full day’s event with all of us returning to the hostel late afternoon in fading light. Some members called at a local pub for refreshments while others were happy to return directly to the hostel for a nice cup of tea and another piece of cake – yummy!
The evening’s meal was booked at the Burton Hotel, a short walk from the hostel. We were wholly satisfied with the service and quality of food at this restaurant. Based on our experience tonight I would recommend this restaurant, especially for group bookings. [Ed - It was Andy's birthday celebration that night]
The latter half of the evening was spent back at the hostel lounge or, for those with a competitive edge, in the games room. A great day in all.
Sunday 13th January
After breakfast and a tidy-up, we vacated the hostel to set off on our final day’s walk which was toward and around Hergest Ridge. It also being a club Sunday walk, we welcomed other members of the group who had joined us today. The weather started off fine but gradually got quite windy and wet, with Intermittent sunshine and showers, creating rainbows seen from the top of the ridge.
This ridge route, offered little shelter from the weather I’m afraid, but it was only eight miles and we were back into Kington by mid-afternoon. We finished the weekend back at the Burton Hotel for a drink and farewell chat, after a thoroughly good weekend - cheers!