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Hill Walking Adventures: A Sunshine-Filled Short Break at Champion House

The weekend before last, we headed out on our 7th Short break of the year, venturing to Champion House for the second time.


Our first visit saw us scale their indoor climbing wall and don our waterproofs to tackle a similar route up Kinder Scout. But this time around when we headed out into the hills, we were basking in glorious sunshine.


Located in the beautiful village of Edale, Champion House provides great access to some of the most well know walking routes in The Peak District. Not only is Edale the start of the famous Pennie Way, it’s also a great place to start from, to summit Kinder Scout.

A wide landscape view shows a verdant valley surrounded by rolling green hills under a partly cloudy blue sky. The foreground has dense green shrubbery and hills with open grassland, leading to a distant widened valley.
A Beautiful View Over Derwent Valley

The location also gives us access to areas of the Peak District that during the day service, we wouldn’t be able to get to (that's due to our one hour travel time - you can read about that here).


Along side a group heading straight out from the centre and up Kinder Scout, via the tricky Grindsbrook Clough, we also had a group head to Win Hill from Ladybower Reservoir and a third group that visited the Dovedale stepping stones.


Friday Evening


To kick off the weekend, a group will always prepare the evening meal whilst they are attending the day service. This group usually consist of those going on the short break and they head to the shop to buy the ingredients and then head back to the centre to cook it.


Unlike most other short breaks, it was the turn of the Top Valley Adventurers to pick up the ingredients needed and put together the meal for the evening.


Come 4:30pm and once the Adventurers had arrived (who weren’t attending the day service) it was time to hop onto the buses and starting making the journey to Champion House.


The weather was forecast to be wall to wall sunshine all weekend and many of the Adventurers were excited by the prospect of being in the hills without the need for their waterproofs!


Once all the buses had arrived at Champion House, it was time for the Adventurers to unpack the buses, put their bedding on, and fire up the oven for their evening meal.


After polishing off their meal, tidying up and washing the dishes, it was time to get settled into the evenings entertainment.


As with every short break, there is much debate as to what film should go on each night. This time around, it was Shrek that won out and the Adventurers settled to rest and get ready for their jaunt in the hills the following day.


Saturday


As day broke on Saturday, it was time to get up and get ready to head out. For the purpose of safety, the groups are always split into three. Then, these three groups all head off to their days adventure.

A group of six people stands on a rocky outcrop. They are wearing casual outdoor attire and carrying backpacks. One person is giving a thumbs-up. The sky is mostly clear with scattered clouds. The landscape in the background appears hilly.
One Of The Groups At The Top Of Kinder Scout

Sometimes, on occasions like our caving short break back in March, the groups will stay at the centre to prep for lunch and dinner whilst one of the groups is out on the activity. This is not only due to the session only being able to accommodate 7 Adventurers, but also to cater for everybody's desires.


Given the broad scope of abilities we support at The Adventure Service, ensuring that groups are correctly managed and matched is vital. What we don’t want to happen, is a group to be overly pushy for someone who may not want to do it as fast, high or intense as the rest. Thus making that Adventurer feel uncomfortable.


Therefore, we always make sure that we match out groups based on desire to do the activity. This means that no one is then being pushed too far outside their comfort zone.


However, this short break was a little different to the caving one, back in March. Because of the activity, we did not need to wait for the space to be free (there are lots of hills in the Peak District) and nor did we have to take the groups up the same routes (there’s lots of varying difficulty level of routes in the Peaks too).


This meant that all three groups were able to head into the hills at the same time. Some taking more leisurely routes, whilst others attempted harder scrambles.


The group that headed up Kinder Scout via the famous Grinsdbrook Clough certainly had their fill at the breakfast table, as they marched up the route in good time.


The group that head up Win Hill had beautiful scenery to marvel in whilst on their hill walk. A not so technical route compared to the group that headed up Kinder, this group had much more chance to take in the surroundings and look out over Ladybower Reservoir and down Derwent Valley.


A group of six people in casual hiking attire is sitting and standing around a large carved wooden bench outside. Behind them is a small stone building with a wooden roof. Trees and greenery are visible in the background.
The Group Getting Ready To Tackle Win Hill

The third and final group visited the famous Dovedale stepping stones and then went on to visit Ilam Park which is situated in-between the steep sided hills on the banks of the River Manifold.


This route was the easiest of all three and allowed the group to find out a little bit about the history of the stepping stones and the surrounding area of the Peak District.

A series of Dovedale stepping stones cross a shallow river, leading to a grassy area with a tree and several people sitting nearby. There is a dirt pathway that winds through the green, hilly landscape under a partly cloudy sky.
The Famous Dovedale Stepping Stones

After a long day in the sunshine and exploring the hill side, it was time to head back towards the centre, picking up a cold drink or ice cream en route.


Once dinner, showers and the washing up were all sorted, it was time to turn up the music and have a boogie.


It just wouldn’t be a short break without a good old disco on the Saturday evening.


Often unsure as to how the Adventurers still have any energy left to dance the night away, the Instructors and Support Workers watch on and are on hand to help if needed.


Given the layout of Champion House, it encourages people to spend time chatting with one another and being in the community rooms together.


It always seems to foster a lovely atmosphere.


Sunday


Sunday morning was much more relaxed, just like every other short break. Again, it consisted of a cooked breakfast with all the trimmings and there is always something for every dietary requirement.


However, unlike most other Sunday’s, the slow start was not an indicator as to how the rest of the day would pan out.


There were games of rounders (using a bat that one of the groups had made in the day service), egg and spoon races, some of the Adventurers doing gentle yoga and some music and dancing.



It was brilliant to see all the Adventurers interacting with one another independently, and the amount of fun they seemed to be having in the sunshine. It was a brilliant afternoon all round.


Unfortunately, all good things must come to an end and that was of course the case for this short break too.


Heading home on Sunday evening it was evident that most (if not all) the Adventurers had had an awesome weekend. Filled with adventure, food and friendship.


Our next weekend away is just around the corner, where we will be returning to Champion House again for our first paddle sports short break of the year. Here’s to hoping the weather will be as good as this one!


Want To Join Us On A Short Break?


We’re pretty much fully booked for this year’s short breaks. To find out if there are any spaces left, please email shortbreak@theadventureservice.com.


We have also just released the dates for next year’s short breaks, but only an exclusive mailing list.


If you want to know about 2025 short breaks before anyone else, follow the link and sign up now.


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 welcome@theadventureservice.com 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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