30 November 2021


Today Group 1 started by getting their kit ready for a paddle on the lake, complete with wellies, buoyancy aids and waterproofs. After a short walk to the marina, they collected their paddles and went to get the boats to put into the water at the slipway. Out on Derwent Water they played pirates in the boat on the way to One Tree Island or Duck Poo Island as it is also known, racing the other boat on the way. Then we made way for group two and got back into our boats, where we paddled to the beach at Crow Park where they had hot chocolate. On their way back to return our boats, they sang Christmas songs. After lunch back at the house, it was out into the ground for bush craft skills, where we built fires, toasted marshmallows and made bread on the campfire.

For their final full day, Group 2 got together to do a little bit of canoeing. After, working together to get the canoes and equipment to the slipway they  jumped aboard. Making their way to have a look at the garden which inspired Beatrix Potter’s Mr McGregor’s garden and then across to “One Tree Island”.

After a refuel, this afternoon they suited up in some fashion-inspiring wet suits and tomato suits ready for gorge walking in Honister. Some excellent team-work for this activity saw them through safely

Group 3’s day started off with an adventurous trip to Comb Gill for a spot of gorge walking. After a short walk through Whinlatter Forest, the children were able to climb into the gill and begin the fun. They all worked incredibly hard to get themselves up the river to enjoy the slides at the top before heading back to the centre for some lunch.

In the

Finally, group 4 began their day challenging themselves on the big swing. Once we had all helped each other to get safety harnesses on, the fun began as one by one the children challenged their fears. Everyone in the group pushed themselves and they can all feel proud of how far they got.

Lunch was quickly taken, before also heading up to Honister Pass for some gorge walking. Despite some challenging conditions, the children made it all the way up the gorge, with some braving the crawl through the tunnel under the road. A quick drive back allowed the children time to dry off and warm up before dinner.

Dinner itself was a very Christmassy affair, with crackers, roast dinners and Christmas songs. Dinner over, a quick spot of packing was done before settling down for a well earned movie night before bed.

Tomorrow, will bring our last activity as well as the unpleasant task of packing and saying goodbye to our home for the week. There won’t be a blog tomorrow as your children will be able to fill you in on their activities. We look forward to seeing you at approximately 4pm, although the office will text you when we are approximately 30 minutes away.


The middle day of our week at Derwent Hill began with, predictably, an enormous breakfast before going our separate ways to see what our group leaders had in our store for us.

Group 1 we’re ready for a challenge this morning when they started their orienteering challenge in the house grounds. A little bit of rain wasn’t going to stop them! After lunch they kitted up and jumped into the minibus up to Whinlatter Forrest. After a short walk, we arrived at the gorge where we promptly jumped in and with the help of group leaders we climbed up the gorge. The year six children were great, helping the younger children when things got tricky. At the top, the children had the opportunity to slide through the tunnels into the gorge below. The kids were freezing but jubilant at all the fun they had during the adventure. To round it all off we had hot chocolate to warm up before our walk back to the bus.

Group 2 started the day kitting up and heading down to the “Big Swing”. After working together we had our harnesses safely on and were ready to go! All of us overcame fears today and everyone worked together to support one another. We had great fun swinging through the trees, even with a few screams! This afternoon, we headed up Hindscarth Mountain towards Goldscope Mine for our adventurous activity. After encouraging and motivating each other, we found the entrance of the mine and went to explore. We even turned our torches off to experience how it would be with a candle and then if the candle blew out! Finally, this evening, we focused on team building activities in the Derwent Hill Challenge. Another busy day, but so many fun learning opportunities in the outdoors!

Group 3 kitted themselves out, packed their lunches and headed off in the minibus for their day on the mountain. Having being deposited nearby, the children made their way to the summit of Walla Crag before the daunting challenge of walking all of the way back to Derwent Hill. After making good time in the cold weather, bodies were warmed up with a quick hot chocolate before venturing back out into the grounds for a spot of orienteering.

Following the same idea, group 4 also packed some warm clothes and lunches but we were headed for Whinlatter Forest, along with a very popular new member of the group – Ted the dog. From the visitor centre, we used the children’s route planning to make the way through the forest, aiming for the summit of Barf (no that is not a typo), fording a stream on the way. Once at the summit, the sun finally appeared so we could enjoy the 360° views, being able to see all the way to Scotland, the Irish Sea and back to Derwent Hill itself. After making the return journey, a brief stop in the café brought some hard earnt ice cream before enjoying the delights of the gift shop!

After reconvening for dinner, the evening activity was the Derwent Hill challenge, with different team building activities in the grounds before heading to a secluded part so we could turn the torches off and appreciate a little spot of star-gazing. Back in the warm, it was time for juice and biscuits before a well earned bedtime, ready for our last full day tomorrow.


After a good night’s sleep, our first full day at Derwent Hill began with an enormous breakfast before the groups split up to discover our day’s activities. Groups 1 and 2 were to spend the entire day on the mountain walk, travelling in opposite directions and meeting briefly in middle, so the first job was to pack up some lunch and put on some warm clothes. Group 1 drove to the village of Grange and began the trek towards Rothswaite. Group 2 started their journey in the village of Rothswaite, with Grange their final destination. After trekking for some time, with a few slips and tumbles, both groups arrived at Milican Dalton’s Cave, where they built some campfires and enjoyed their lunch. Batteries recharged,  both groups set off back to the opposite buses.

Group 3’s morning activity involved donning some very fetching buoyancy aids and heading down to Derwent Water for a spot of canoeing. After lashing two canoes together and making a few practice turns, they set off towards the imaginatively named One Tree Island. Once the island was fully explored, it was back in the canoes and a final paddle back for lunch. Refreshed, it was back onto the minibus before heading off for a bit of exploring in the mines, hunting for lead and seeing just how dark it was down there.

Staying in the grounds, group 4 started the day with a spot of orienteering, putting their map reading to the test to find different hidden locations. Showing some great team working skills, they rattled through the challenges quickly before heading indoors for some map reading and route plotting practice in preparation for tomorrow’s hill walk. A quick lunch break followed before it was our turn to head down to the marina for some canoeing. Some amazing rowing skills were shown, some fears overcome and some skimming practice on the island before turning around and heading for home.

Another enormous meal was waiting for all the groups back at the house. Faces well and truly stuffed, it was time for the evening activity, which was the opposite of yesterday’s. Groups 1 and 2 stayed in the building for a spot of team building challenges whilst groups 3 and 4 headed out in the pouring rain for the night walk, passing each other on route as well as spotting Beatrix Potter’s house and the garden which was to prove the inspiration for Peter Rabbit.

Some very worn out children shuffled off to bed to gather some energy for whatever tomorrow may bring.


With a broken-down bus and storm Arwen knocking Mr Millett’s power out, it seemed as if the gods were against our visit to Derwent Hill. However, these things are sent to test us and the children arrived safely at around 1:30, with Mr Millett arriving half an hour after. The first task of the week involved the children making their own beds (yes parents/carers, you can now insist they do it at home) and unpacking their clothes into the dormitories. A quick lunch followed before the children were split into their activity groups and met their leaders for the first time.

Group 1 with Mrs Newall went to challenge themselves on the low ropes course before investigating the grounds and collecting their fetching waterproof tomato suits ready for the weeks activities. Group 2, along with Mrs Henderson and Mr Daly’s group 3 did the same activities, just in a different order. Group 4, with Mr Millett, collected their kits before going down into the forest to test their bushcraft skills lighting fires and toasting marshmallows.

After reconvening for an enormous dinner, the groups were out again for the evening activities. Groups 1 and 2 set out on the night walk for some meditating at the riverside and llama experiences. Groups 3 and 4 stayed in the building to complete the Derwent Hill team challenge.

Finally, we chilled in the living room with some juice and biscuits and a chat about our afternoons before heading off for our first night in the dormitories.

Posted by Philip Arthur

Category: Whole School Events

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