On Friday the 13th December, seven cadets from 2504 (Archbishop Grimshaw) Squadron, alongside four members of accompanying staff, arrived at squadron in the early evening, all in high spirits for a weekend away. Although the weather forecast stated that our destination would be dry throughout our time there, whilst leaving Birmingham the weather seemed to be rather gloomy. However, this did not affect the cadets’ spirits. This was evident with the outburst of singing throughout the Journey.
After a three hour fruitful journey, we finally arrived at our destination, Castleton. Despite firstly arriving at the wrong destination, the cadets remained rather excited to explore the weekend’s itinerary.
Before room keys were issued, all cadets were briefed on sleeping arrangements as well as preparations and planning for the day of walking ahead.
Waking up at 07:00 managed to be a challenge for few cadets, although everyone managed to be present for breakfast at the given time. Having a full breakfast was rather important as cadets prepared for a 9 mile walk through the town of Castleton.
Leaving the Youth Hostel at 09:00, meant that cadets were energetic and rather excited to set off on a walking journey full of wonderful and unique scenery.
At the very starting point of the walk, the cadets faced challenges with the planned route being entirely uphill. Although some aspects of the walk were steeper than others all cadets and staff managed to overcome any issues which arised.
Having reached a fairly level ground, the cadets were back on track walking at a steady pace. However, this did not last very long as the next obstacle which we faced was in the form of a team of horses. As the horses seemed to be blocking both gates which lead out of the fields, Mr Miller and various cadets took it upon themselves to try to distract the horses in order for everyone to pass through safely. Although this proved to be unnecessary as Mr Straun and Mr Aftab managed to find a gate which did not have any horses blocking it.
By 10:00, the highest point on the walking route had been reached and everyone was relieved, to say the least. After only an hours walk, the hardest segment of the route was complete and all cadets were rewarded with a breath taking landscape view.
Following the bumpy footpaths ensured that all cadets and staff had quite an eventful day filled with laughter. After considering to take a different route, alongside a river, the majority of the cadets separated from officers taking a longer, though more scenic route. Agreeing to walk alongside the river, no one thought that finding a way to cross a river would ever be as entertaining as it turned out. Making a bridge which enabled all cadets to cross safely meant that all cadets remained in high spirits, despite the tiredness as a sense of satisfaction was reached.
After finally reaching the Youth Hostel at 15:30, meant that all cadets were able to enjoy a shower and leisure time before exploring Castleton at 18:00. After walking round the town for roughly an hour, all recruits found their way back to the transport in order to enjoy a nice evening meal.
Following the same protocol the following day, cadets packed all their luggage and arrived at breakfast for 08:15 ready for the days walk ahead. Walking around a reservoir meant that the scenery which surrounded us was incredible and gave everyone the opportunity to take in their surroundings. Although this was a shorter walk which lasted for a time period of Three hours, cadets were relieved to be finished and made way to the mini bus in order to travel back to the city of Birmingham. Home sweet home.
Many thanks to all staff and cadets who attended the weekend as it was an enjoyable experience which all of the cadets said they would happily do again.
- Flight Lieutenant M Aftab
- Warrant Officer K Straun
- Mr Richards
- Mr Miller
- Sergeant Parkinson
- Sergeant Shelton
- Sergeant McCann
- Corporal Delaney
- Corporal Pugh
- Staff Cadet Hussain
- Cadet Glover