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A Day in The Day Service: Map Reading and Hill Walking

Updated: 9 hours ago

We spend most of our time out and about in the Peak District. The majority of the activities that we offer in the day service (and on our short breaks) happen somewhere within the of the national park.

This session was no exception, as April headed out with a group from Top Valley, along the High Peak Trail to develop the groups map reading and hill walking capabilities.

Wrapped up warm and with the help of Christina, the group were able to navigate their way successfully around the trail whilst taking in some of the historical sights along on the way.

You can watch exactly what the group got up to here:

How Does The Day Run?

As we have mentioned before, when Harry headed out for an axe throwing and fire lighting session, the timings for each session run slightly differently. Due to the nature of the outdoor environment, there are a lot of factors that impact what time things happen.

However, because we captured the full day on video, we can give you a full run down of what, where and when it all happened.

It is all noted in the video above, but if you feel like reading along too, here’s a breakdown of the day:

9:00am - Adventurers Arrive

Regardless of centre, day of the week or time of year, the Adventurers always arrive at 9:00am. This ensures that there is enough time to get to the location of choice, have time to do the activity that is planned and then head back to the centre.

Given how cold it was on this particular day, it was important that all the Adventurers came appropriately clothed to keep them warm, whilst they’re on the trail.

A room with one lady in int, kneeling down at her laptop. Subtitles across the bottom of the screen are "ayup Josh bud" just as two other people are about to enter the room
Greeting the Adventurers

9:20am - Tea, Toast and Support Plans

Once everyone had arrived, it was time to get a warm drink, grab some toast and go through each Adventurers support plan.

As you can see if you watch the video above (from 0:51 to 2:30) April spends time with each Adventurer talking about what they want to achieve from the day and how they’re going to achieve it.

If you’ve read any of our previous blogs, you know that we don’t just head out into the Peaks for a jolly. Though we are here to have fun, the main purpose behind all we do, is to develop Adventurers into independent adults, who are on their way to achieving their full potential.

So setting targets inline with the Adventurer’s support plan, and then reviewing them at the end of the day, is the most important part of the day.

Two people sit either side of the table from one another. Both are looking at the same document on the table in front of them and the lady on the right, who is kneeling down instead of sitting, is pointing out different things on the map
Setting targets for the day

9:35am - Heading Out

Due to the travel time needed for April’s activity, the group were prepped and ready in double quick time, to make sure they were heading out the door for 9:35am. This is usually the time that groups start to head out, but groups that are doing a local session (bushcraft, archery, axe throwing) may take a little longer to enjoy their breakfast.

Nevertheless, the groups are always heading out the door by 10:00am, ready for the day’s adventure.

9:40am - Packing The Bus

As we promote independence where possible, the Adventurers are tasked with carrying equipment out to the bus and then assist the instructor (in this case April) to pack up the bus for the day ahead.

There is emphasis on making sure that the Adventurers are encouraged to be as independent as possible, at every point during the day. Whether that be packing the bus or making themselves a hot drink to assisting setting up session and packing their own day sacks.

9:50am - On The Way

By 9:50am the group were on the way to the High Peak Trail and ready to put their map reading skills to the test.

As you can see from the sat nav in the video, we don’t travel outside of a 1 hour radius from each centre. We want to maximise our time in the outdoors and if we travel further than an hour, it means over 2 hours in a bus during the day. That’s simply too long. We’re here for adventure, not sitting in buses (find out more about our one hour bus policy here).

10:30am - Arriving at Minginglow Hill

When we arrive at any location, it’s time to unpack the bus and get set up and ready for the day. When we arrived at Minginglow Hill, it was time to put on coats and hats as well as getting out the maps and compass so we knew where we were headed.

The Adventurers also needed sturdy walking boots, a rucksack with their lunch and a sense of adventure (and direction…).

The back of a transit custom is open (tailgate) and a group is getting their walking equipment out of the back of it
Ready to explore the wintery Peak District

10:45am - Where Are We Going?

Once the Adventurers were off the bus, it was time to find out where they were heading. Using their map reading skills and a compass, the Adventurers were able to navigate their way, along the high peak trail.

To ensure that to the Adventurers were heading the right way, April would frequently check in with them, to test their map reading skills but also to check they were going where they wanted to.

11:50am - Lunchtime

It seems to be an unwritten rule at The Adventure Service that lunch has to be taken at exactly 12:00pm. Whether the group is down a cave, up a climbing wall or doing leather work, when midday roles around, lunch is to be eaten.

However, sometimes the only available benches on the route appear at 11:50am, so there is no choice but to dine. Of course, no one actually started eating until 12:00pm though…

Given how cold it was, lunch was pretty swift, to ensure that the Adventurers didn’t sit around for too long and get cold.

A young man is sitting at a table, outside, with two walking poles lent up against the table whilst holding onto a bag. The young man  is wearing a wooly hat and smiling
An early lunch

12:30pm - Back on The Trail

Once lunch was finished, it was time to head back out onto the trail. Following the next set of instructions the Adventurers made their way across lofty fields and over stiles before checking back in with the map.

A group of walkers, walking across a slightly snowy field in the Peak District
Back along the trail, across a snowy field

1:10pm - Are We Going The Right Way?

The last thing you want to do when heading out into the Peaks is get lost. So it was super important that the Adventurers kept checking in with their map, to ensure that they were heading the right way.

Two walkers, dressed in winter clothing, checking in with their map to make sure they are heading in the right direction
Checking back in with the map

2:00pm - Roystone Grange

Whilst we’re out and about on our adventures, we like to stop off and read up about historical places along the way. Roystone Grange was on the route that April had planned for the day and the group stopped off, to read about it’s history and what it was used for.

Roystone was one of several buildings used along the high peak trial (formerly the High Peak Railway) as a cattle and sheep farm, dating all the way back to the 12th century. In the 19th Century it was then used as a pump house to accommodate a substantial water-cooled engine. Its primary purpose was to supply compressed air through cast iron pipelines, powering the rock drills utilized in the quarries established along the Cromford and High Peak Railway line.

A young lady is pointing out a sign on an old building to a young man
Reading all about Roystone Grange

2:10pm - Time To Find Our Way Back

After finding out a little bit more about the history of Roystone Grange, we started to make our way back to the bus, ready to go back to Top Valley.

Though we spend most of our time in the hills and on the trails, some sections of our walks take us on roads. Usually these are quiet roads in and around the Peak District, but it still gives the Adventurers chance to learn some vital road safety.

A group of 5 people are in the foreground, walking back down a single track, tarmac road in single file. One member is half turning towards the camera, sticking out from the group slightly
Walking down the road

2::30pm - Back At The Bus

After a short walk back down the road, it was time to pop all the maps and rucksacks in the back of the bus and make the trip back to Top Valley.

A white car infront of the traffic light with a green sign pointing left and right. Then two brown signs underneath pointing left and right
Heading back to Top Valley

3:30pm - Support Plans & Targets

Once the Adventurers had made it back to Top Valley, it was time to unload the bus and sit down, to go through their targets for the day and support plans.

4:00pm - Another day of Adventure Wrapped Up

Once all the support plans had been finished and the centre was tidy, it was time to head home and rest after another day, full of adventure.

Ready to become an Adventurer?

We are dedicated to helping our Adventurers achieve their potential through adventure and we’re always looking for new Adventurers to join us on our journey.

Follow the link to fill out our referral form, email or call 01623 232102 and one of our staff team will be on hand, to help you get you started on your adventure.

See you out there!


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