It was time for 5A to enjoy the beauty of the lakes and once again, the experience did not disappoint! Again, the children were an absolute credit to Parklands – showing fantastic manners and courage, but also being able to adapt to changing weather and experiences. We had planned to copy the itinerary that 5G enjoyed, but we had a whole new experience of our own!
We arrived in Bowness at the coach stop, ready for our adventure. We swiftly had our lunch and enjoyed ice creams on the shore. All aboard the Windermere ferry, we headed 40 minutes south to Lakeside where we were met by our fantastic instructors from Mountain Magic and Real Adventure (who have both been absolutely incredible the last few days!) Even though the sun was shining, the wind made the ride a little choppy, which was embraced be all the children!
We headed up a windy ‘Gummers How’ where we enjoyed a 360-degree panorama of our location – we could even see the sea and our home county of Yorkshire! As the wind was at its height, we lifted up our jackets to make parachutes – we were able to lean forward so the wind held us up. The children ran, explored and also spent time by themselves contemplating the awesomeness of where we were. Winding our way back to the minibuses, we climbed trees and identified all the sights we could see.
Despite the attacking seagulls and geese, we enjoyed our fish and chips back in Bowness, and we then headed up Scout Scar. The sunset was even more beautiful as the clouds began to break. Scout Scar is a historic, limestone ridge with views back across the Lakes. The children used the rocks to carry on building the wall that 5G had made and the instructors pointed out the fossils in many of the rocks.
Onwards to the school. We set up our beds, packed our rucksacks for the following day and enjoyed a film before bed.
We rose to the sun beaming through the windows. Whilst sunny, the wind was blowing which meant a necessary change of activity from canoeing (the wind would have continually blown us back to shore.) Whilst some children were disappointed, we had no idea how amazing the day was going to become.
Whilst the teachers consulted with the instructors, the children ate a fantastic full English breakfast to build up energy for the day. We are so thankful to the chefs at Crosthwaite Primary for serving us a wonderful breakfast each and every day this week!
A plan was hatched and off we went. The whole class headed in the minibuses to ‘Cathedral Quarry’ near Coniston. Once a slate mine, it is now filled with water and has many caving tunnels to explore. It was an awesome sight and the children were enamoured by the sheer size of the caverns. Many children conquered a fear of heights as the instructors taught them how to stand safely at the edge of drops and how to support and encourage each other.
Into the caverns, we wore helmets and waterproofs, exploring pitch black tunnels and huge openings in the rocks. Even the teachers were overwhelmed by how incredible a place it is! You must look at the photos to grasp a little of the beauty!
We made our exit through a 100m long tunnel in the pitch black. On group were given candles, and the other had to rely on the person in front to guide them out. It was not for the faint hearted!
We had our lunch and walked a number of miles to the ghyll we would scramble up. One of our instructors, Clive (a really good climber!), shared many fascinating facts along the way. He stopped us to attempt cracking hazelnuts, shared stories of mythology and tested our children’s scientific knowledge of temperature along the way. A huge thank you again to every single instructor who made our experience so memorable
When we got the ghyll, the children climbed down a natural drain tunnel to the start. Once wet, they loved the experience of walking up the waterfalls and jumping into plunge pools – we were so impressed with how brave they all were! All the children were fantastic sports and enjoyed the experience.
In the evening, we headed to the restaurant where the children enjoyed a wonderful dining experience, but also some fantastic food to replenish their energy supplies – a huge thank you to all the staff for making our children so welcome.
Back to the school for another film with popcorn, sweets and drinks! Lights out. Kind of….
Having enjoyed a sublime continental breakfast, we ventured out into driving rain. We decided that despite the weather, the children would enjoy an adventure course nearby. This was much better than trying to light fires in the rain. We headed to Sizergh Castle, owned by the National Trust. Here they were able to walk along logs, and descent by ropes searching for clues to the next stage. The rain did not deter and they all complete the course with smiles and laughter. Having had lunch, we headed back to the school to get on the coach back home.
As I have mentioned in my write up from the other class, all the children have been an absolute delight, and we are so thankful for the privilege of spending time with each and every one of them. Again, a huge thank you to you, also, for allowing us to have them in our care. The reason we become teachers is to help you, as parents, give children life changing experiences. Many of these are in school, but times like this away are what form independent, strong and determined children for the future. I’m going to sleep now.