WAYers together in the Lake District

October 2019

A group of 40-plus WAYfarers recently spent a few days walking in the Lake District  with other people who understand what it feels like to be widowed at a young age.

Essex WAY member Tessa Hougham, who was widowed in 2016, told us: “The weather was on our side for the weekend and we set off each day with a cooked breakfast as fuel for the day. Ullswater was looking stunning as we took the steamer boat over to Howtown and did a beautiful walk from there. Yes, there were hills involved but with the camaraderie of the group, there was always that feeling that you could achieve the challenge!

The second day we did the climb up to the base of Helvellyn and where Claire (our Leader for the weekend) achieved her final ‘Wainwright’ – a special occasion that was marked with a guard of honour of walking poles and celebratory beers and even champagne!* 

It was certainly a lot colder and windier at the top of the mountain but it did not stop one of our fellow walkers from taking a swim, wearing her woolly had at the same time. Barbara even had an audience of WAYers watching her as they looked down on the lake from Striding Edge. 

The walking weekend provided many options for all walking abilities. There was a small group who walked a shorter distance closer to the hotel. There were some who took on the challenge of Striding Edge and Helvellyn, some who climbed up to Catstycam and some who made their way back down the mountain back to the hotel. No one felt pressurised to do anything they did not feel comfortable doing and there were always options.

Each evening we had a delicious three-course meal in the hotel and the chatting and laughter continued as well as talking about the day’s adventure. I really enjoyed the weekend. I was made to feel very welcome and I made some new friends along the way. None of it would have been possible without the fantastic organising skills of Claire Lloyd who makes these weekends one to remember for a long time and hopefully repeat!”

* Wainwrights are the 214 English peaks described in Alfred Wainwright’s seven-volume Pictorial Guide to the Lakeland Fells.