Friday 17th- Sunday 19th March 2018 Wirksworth, Derbys

At first glance Wirksworth may not seem to be the obvious choice for SHOT's inaugural urban weekend venue. There are scores of towns in Britain that remain unknown and seldom visited by the vast majority of people seemingly unaware of their attractions. The historic market town of Wirksworth is such a place. Situated barely two miles outside the south east boundary of the Peak District tourists drive relentlessly up the A6 through the Derwent Valley intent on reaching the delights of Matlock, Bakewell, Chatswoth House and then perhaps the rest of the National Park.

The Glenorchy Centre in the centre of Wirkswoth belongs to the local United Reformed Church. It is well equipped consisting of 4 bedrooms (1x12,1x8,1x4 and 1x2 beds) with bedding. There is a main hall (with snooker and table tennis tables, and a stage), dining room, kitchen and 2 washing blocks for ablutions. Push bikes can be easily stored in the main hall.

Limestone quarrying was the main industry during the 18th and 19th centuries so it is not surprising that the National Stone Centre is situated on the edge of town. But this is not the only thing to excite those interested in industrial archaeology. Sir Richard Arkwright's mill on the River Derwent at nearby Cromford is a Unesco World Heritage Site, as it is a fore runner of a 'manufactory' complex. The partially restored Cromford Canal has the Lea Wood Pump House. At the adjacent High Peak Junction an inclined plane was built for an early tramway up towards Middleton Top and then across the Peak District to Whaley Bridge. This route was one of the first rail routes to be converted to a pedestrian/cycle way- bikes can be hired at Middleton Top for care free cycling through the White Peak on the High Peak and Tissington Trails. The National Tramway Museum and its working street trams at nearby Crich is well worth a visit. The Ecclesbourne Valley Railway is a relatively new heritage railway operating vintage diesel services between Wirksworth and Duffield. For the corresponding weekend in 2018 it had a 'special events' day. Unfortunately the Steeple Grange Light Railway near the National Stone Centre does not have open days until Easter. There is also a good Lead Mining Museum at Matlock Bath. However, SHOTlets may be more excited by Gulliver's Kingdom and the cable car at the Height's of Abraham just down the road.

Just a short drive from Wirksworh takes you into the White Peak and pleasant walking. A circuit including Carsington Water and a detour to the excellent Olde Gates Inn, Brassington is an idea. Alternatively a foray south to the Barley Mow at Kirk Ireton is a possibility. However, the Holly Bush Inn, Makeney is an absolute gem not to be missed by anyone who appreciates a classic boozer with excellent beer.. Alternatively, the Ecclesborne Way is a 11 mile waymarked route (see the website) linking Duffield with Wirksworth thus enabling a train ride with a walk.

The Glenorchy Centre, Chapel Lane, DE4 4FF is in the centre of Wirksworth. Drive to the Market Place with its pubs. Alongside the Red Lion is Coldwell Lane (B5035) which leads downhill to the Ecclesbourne Valley Railway Station. The second street on the left is Chapel Lane. The three storey red brick building which looks like a sort of chapel/school is the Glenorchy Centre. There is no good on-street parking so the most convenient place is a small car park in the street behind the Centre ie the first street on the left coming down from the Red Lion. Overnight parking is available here for the princely sum of £ 2.

NO spare places are available- we are now fully booked.

Friday 14th- Sunday 16th June 2018 Velindre, Brecon Beacons

Mountain ponies and horses are an alternative income source for many farms in the Black Mountains with its open moorland and connecting bridleways ideal for organised pony trekking. The Black Mountains rise to over 2000ft and consist of 4 ridges divided by 3 valleys. These join a long escarpment on the north-west side overlooking the Wye Valey and Mid-Wales with the interesting top of Lord Hereford's Knob as a feature.

Tregoyd Mountain Riders is based at Lower Cwmcadarn Farm just outside the village of Felindre (aka Velindre) within sight of Lord Hereford's Knob. Cadarn Bunkhouse is on the farm and consists of the Old Stables and the Tack Room. SHOT has booked the Old Stables. This has all the usual facilities with 4 bedrooms of 8 beds each. The Tack Room will be available for our use if numbers reach or excede 32 people.

Footpaths lead direct from the farm to Lord Hereford's Knob and the escarpment whereby circuits can be made left or right to include going up and down one or two of the ridges. Alternatively explore the Wye Valley by canoe, bike or even horseback if you so wish.

Lower Cwmcadarn Farm (GR 191356) is situated less than one mile from the village of Velindre and The Three Horseshoes. There are several approaches available. However, for those arriving from the north, they must first of all get to Hay-on-Wye and take the B4350 towards Glasbury and the A438. Just beyond the last houses take the first narrow lane on the left which, in order, goes past the hamlets of Llanigon, Ffordd-las and Tregoyd to reach the Three Horseshoes on the village green after about 3 miles. Turn left here through the first part of Velindre, ignore the minor road on the right after 200m and continue into the second main part of this very small village on a dead end road. This rises steeply for 400m to reach a track junction just as the road finishes. Turn left down the gravel drive to Lower Cwmcadarn Farm. For those coming from the South they must get to Abergavenny and continue beyond Crickhowell on the A40 to reach the A479 going to Talgarth. Then take the A4078 for one mile towards Three Cocks, Glasbury and Hay-on-Wye, and turn right on a minor road signposted Velindre and Hay-on-Wye to reach The Three Horseshoes from the opposite direction - so turn right here instead for the bunknbarn.

Please send Gustav a deposit of £ 5 to book a bed.