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Summer in the countryside is made for being sociable....
Perhaps it’s also the cacaophony of birds singing, the sight of vivid green hills and trees, or savouring a post-walk pint in a beer garden but all these ingredients seem to make mixing with other like-minded people a whole lot easier.
So with that in mind here are a few ways that you can have a summer mini adventure while forging new friendships:
Friendships over food
From years’ of experience we know just how important food and drink figures in our guests’ thoughts during a weekend away and how much conversation revolves around eating!
Therefore for some weekends we’ve allowed extra time for the pleasures of eating and drinking either during or post walk; and researched some of the gems, whether it’s a tearoom or pub, to satisfy those cravings.
Take for instance, our weekend in the Yorkshire Dales. Our base is the village of Kettlewell where virtually every other building seems to be a café or pub, all looking out across the glorious surroundings and with very hospitable folk who will readily serve you with an extra large slice of carrot cake!
Alternatively our North Pennines walking weekend is based in the market town of Alston, a place that definitely knows how to cater for ravenous walkers.
Ambling and chatting
The beauty of walking in a group is that you can easily join the conversations that strike up or you can stroll along in silence for a time if you simply want to appreciate the views.
However those walks where there’s added interest – whether it’s an ancient landmark, a dramatic waterfall or an element of challenge – all provoke a fine amount of banter that bonds the group together.
Take the weekend where we strike out from the pretty village of Dufton to walk up High Cup Nick. As we stride along the perfect U-shaped valley the views open up and conversation naturally turns to the startling panorama before people’s eyes.
Alternatively there’s our Hadrian’s Wall weekend where the heritage provides talking points aplenty while just the very name of the village called Once Brewed and the nearby Twice Brewed Inn is enough to set people off!
We like to choose accommodation which is right for people to mingle but some are made for summer mornings and evenings where you can relax in the surroundings.
Take Clun Mill YHA, our base for the Shropshire Hills walking weekend. This restored water mill smacks of a rural retreat as soon as you pitch up with extensive grounds and picnic tables that are made for having a cheeky sundowner or two.
Or how about Ilam Bunkhouse, our home for the Dovedale walking weekend where you can promenade through the Italian gardens of the neighbouring Ilam House or hang out at the adjacent tearoom before coming back for an evening meal.
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