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Ullswater, Derbyshire

This was the second of my Secret Hills holidays this year and I wondered whether it would match up to the brilliant couple of days  I had recently experienced in Derbyshire. I wasn’t disappointed!

I arrived at the hydro on the Friday afternoon to be met by Jill and Paul and the rest of the group. Jill and Paul, both experienced mountaineers were excellent guides and had the knack of creating a fun atmosphere getting everyone to gel.

The hotel where we stayed, the Hydro was a lovely old building. Currently being refurbished, the reception and dining rooms were of a high standard  furnished with contemporary bright coloured upholstery. The rooms we were allocated although more basic were warm with comfy beds.  The more traditional style TV’s were a delight  as I could actually work out how to turn them on!

The food was excellent , particularly the amazing puddings (one of the group had sticky toffee puddings every night they were so good).

That first afternoon we all set off led by Jill, walking directly from the hotel. As Jill lives in this area she knew exactly where to take us to quickly achieve amazing views. We walked around 6 miles but it was the perfect introduction to the weekend as it wasn’t too strenuous after a fairly long drive to get here.

The following two days we walked the Ulswater way, a lovely undulating walk around the entire lake. To get to the start points we travelled by taxi but this in itself was a treat travelling over the Kirkstone pass and seeing more of the Lake District.

The Ulswater Way is lovely and varies greatly, sometimes hugging the lake and at other times moving away from the lake through forests and gaining height taking in wonderful views. I am of average fitness and generally used to walking at higher levels but this seemed a good compromise to me and I felt suitably tired at the end of each day (walking on average 12 miles ) and deserving of a big dinner!

After the first day and lovely warm weather we all headed to the Patterdale hotel for a welcome drink before being picked up to take us back to the hotel.

On the second day, we stopped by Aira force. There was an option to visit the waterfall but as this was a bank holiday and fairly busy we decided to have the most amazing full cream tea at the cafe instead!  Then on to the end of the walk and a ride on the steamboat back to Glenridding, a perfect end to the day. Jill and Paul even presented us with badges  to commemorate the walk and our efforts which was a lovely thought.

Forget  the stereotypes, The great thing about Secret Hills holidays is that after the first day you feel like you are on holiday with a great bunch of friends. It is geared to solo travellers and you never feel left out. If you are like me and you like to walk at a fairly leisurely pace and not march along, this is the holiday for you. I love the fact that the guides tell you about the local area and stop regularly to point out views etc.

I would say for this walk you need to be of average fitness, 12 miles is quite a long day but it’s not rushed and at the end of the holiday you really feel like you have achieved something.

All in all I had a lovely three days, finishing off with a bit of shopping on the last day in Ambleside.  I came back refreshed, feeling like I had actually had a holiday and met 10 inspiring interesting individuals.

What’s not to like, can’t wait for the next break!

ClientSuzanne Rushton

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Guided Walking for Single and Solo TravellersDerbyshire Dales - the White Peak District

Derbyshire Dales - the White Peak District

3 tours