Friday 16th- Sunday 18th March 2018 Llangennith, Gower Peninsula, South Wales

You wouldn't expect to find Mills and Boon or even Barbara Cartland novels in the Hesketh household, but many years ago something inspired them to book accommodation at a National Trust property in an isolated cottage at Rhossil Bay. Located between the curving beach and rising ground of Rhossil Down this idyllic cottage is arguably in one of the most romantic spots of the whole of Wales. Suffice to say SHOT will be staying somewhere a bit more prosaic.

Llangennith is a compact, working village in the north-west corner of the Gower Peninsula. From the high ground just outside the village there are far ranging views northwards across the marshland and sands bordering the Loughor Estuary towards the Pembrey Sands (once famous for British World Land Speed Record attempts) and the industrial town of Llanelli. Just outside the village is our base below Hardings Down.

Lower Hardingsdown Farm has two accommodations. The well appointed bunkhouse has 14 beds with duvets and pillows but no linen (NB Bring your own sheets or a sleeping bag). These are in 4 rooms (1x5, 1x3 and 2x2 beds) and 2 sofa beds in the lounge. In 2016 the owners converted The Chaffhouse to the same high standard. This has 12 beds like the Bunkhouse in 3 rooms (3x2 and 1x4 beds) and 2 sofa beds in the lounge. Families with children will get priority for the rooms. The rest are grabbed by those who come first- none will be saved for other people who turn up later. We are already full up and over subscribed with a couple of young Shotlets. GKD will volunteer for a sofa bed with three more to be filled by others. The Bakers and Heskeths have booked themselves in to the rather plush Kings Head in Llangennith for the weekend. The Bunkhousegower website has good photographs and a virtual tour of our accommodation.

Directions to the bunkhouse is not overly straightforward. The simplest approach would be from Junc 47 on the M4 west of Swansea, then using the A483 and A484 to reach Gowerton. From here take the B4295 through Pen-clawdd and Crofty to Llanrhidian.Turn off in the centre of the village on a minor road signposted for Llangennith and Llanmadoc and quickly reach Oldwalls where you bear left for Llangennith.After two miles reach Burry Green and approx half mile later look out for a bus shelter and post box. Turn Left. Follow the lane to where the tarmac changes into a rough track. Turn right into Lower Hardingsdown Farm and drive down the farmyard. The bunkhouse is on the left.

Coastal walking will be the prime objective. The glorious Rhossii Bay sweeps around in a curve between Worms Head and Burry Holms -two rocky headlands which are both cut off at high tide. Worms Head is the much more dramatic feature, and a careful perusal of the tide tables will determine if it can be reached at a convenient time. North of Burry Holms, Whiteford Sands extends for almost four miles before it turns into extensive marshland on the south side of the Loughor Estuary. The best clifftop walking is reserved for Gower's south coast between Rhossili village and the outskirts of The Mumbles, only interrupted by the bays at Port Eynon, Oxwich and Three Cliffs Bay. Gower's Interior offers more solitude on the tops of Rhossili Down and Cefn Bryn.

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

Friday 22nd- Sunday 24th June 2018 Llanbedr-y-Cennin, Conway Valley, Snowdonia

Brooke Bond Tea picture cards, chalk hill figures, funicular railways and dragon flies are just some of the many eclectic interests of Mark Hows. It is not known what attracted him to the Blackburn and District Outdoor Pursuits Centre Trust, but we have to thank him for finding their base. Perhaps it was an idle hour at work on Google when he misspelt 'bronze age hut settlements' and discovered Bron-y-Gader instead!

Bron-y-Gader was originally a derelict farm building with a tree growing out of its roof. It was acquired by the Trust who have turned it into a simple,acceptable and convenient bunkhouse sleeping 41 people. SHOT have reserved 35 beds.(NB Bring sleeping bags). Further information from the website or the Trust themselves is rather scant. Suffice to say that it is somehere near the village of Llanbedr-y-Cennin. Details of its exact location and facilities will be only be revealed when final payment is made to the Trust. However, it is marked on the Snowdon 1:25,000 OS Map (GR SH745696) at 1000ft above sea level as Bron-y-Gadair (Outdoor Pursuits Centre).

From the front door you can strike out uphill onto the eastern flank of the Carneddau and quickly reach Foel-fras and the main mountain ridge extending southwards to Carnedd Llewellyn and Carnedd Dafydd, both over 3000 feet. Depending on the length of day you want, there are three obvious horseshoe circuits which can be achieved requiring just a small amount of jiggery-pokery to join the ends together lower down. Apart from the walking the alternative touristy delights of Conway and Betws-y-Coed are just a short drive away. Or spend a day with Howsy looking for cromlechs, incised stones, house platforms etc.

Many years ago a much smaller sized SHOT group spent a weekend at the Trekkers Barn bunkhouse at Tal-y-Bont in the Conway Valley where an evening or two was spent at the Y Bedol Pub. Just a few hundred yards away up the hill is the hamlet of Llanbedr-y-Cennin and the Olde Bull Inn. Somewhere above that, just a short distance or a long mile away along twisty mountain lanes is Bron-y-Gader itself. Slightly further afield to the north is the village of Rowen and the Ty Gwyn Hotel which will be our venue for a 50th Birthday Bash on Saturday evening.

Chris Hesketh will be completing his half century the following weekend and he has kindly arranged a night out for the group to help celebrate this event.Two small rooms have been reserved at the Ty Gwyn where adults and children alike can enjoy the evening meal. Chris has also offered to provide everybody with transport to and from the event. This doesn't mean that he will be drinking and driving, (memories of being a SUHC minibus driver and the effects of Enoch's Hammer at Slaithwaite still linger). Instead there will be a locally provided service which will allow Chris to partake of a beverage or two. News of this event has already circulated and some names have been collected. There are still plenty of beds and meal places left so please contact Chris or Gustav to put your name down.

Please send the usual £ 5 deposit to Gustav to secure a bed or two.

Friday 19th- Sunday 21st October 2018 St.John's in the Vale, Threlkeld, Lake District

Details to follow

Friday 30th November - Monday 3rd December 2018 Warsaw, Poland

Once described as the Paris of the East, Warsaw was believed to be one of the most beautiful cities in the world until World War II. Fortunatly Polands capital centre has been rebuilt and with Christmas markets and the cold weather it will have the feel of Christmas.

Contact Mark or Tim for more info.