HF Weekend at Abingworth Hall.
After we had all managed to crawl round the M25 we met up at Abingworth Hall on Friday for a weekend of walking and socialising. The first evening we enjoyed a good dinner and then sat talking until we all retired to bed. The rooms were various and some of us had many stairs to climb; Eric and I were up in the gods (just under the chimneys). Unfortunately, several of us had no real shower, just a hand-held shower head which produced a weak flow. Doubly unfortunately for us, Eric couldn’t even stand up in the bath – that’s what happens when you are so close to Heaven.
The next day we were all bussed to the start point of three different walks, at Amberley station. At this point it was raining but by the time that Catherine had put on her poncho it had stopped, and it didn’t start again all day. Most of our group opted for the medium walk, but a few hardy souls opted for the hard hike and a couple went for the easy ramble which on this occasion was a flat walk with a tea room and pub included. Those of us who chose the medium walk had, believe it or not, a hill to climb (well, we were in the South Downs). We then rambled up and down along the ridge and then, of course, what goes up must come down. The descent was quite steep and slippery in parts. Andrew T decided that he had had enough and so sat down – fancy having to fill in an accident form for having a rest!
After the walk a couple enjoyed the pleasure of the beautifully heated outdoor pool at the Hall. Dinner was followed by a game of Call My Bluff – some of us could even remember watching it or listening to it on the TV and radio. It was a light-hearted game and therefore good fun.
The next day dawned grey and damp but once again we avoided any rain. This time a few more of our group joined the hardy set on the hard walk, while a lot of us still opted for the medium and Susan stayed with the easy as it is some time since she did any serious walking. Unfortunately for her this walk involved a few hills – yes, real hills not undulations. Jenny had a rest day, following the seven mile walk the previous day, which she completed with encouragement (she called it bullying) from the walk leader. The medium walk started off from Midhurst with a lovely flat walk beside the River Rother to Cowdray Park. This was to give us a false sense of security. We then had a long climb, but not as steep as the previous day. The descent was also easier and nobody sat down. The walk ended in Petworth having passed through the park. All groups ended at Petworth and the easy and medium groups had time for a drink in the local hostelry. The hard group had a tough time of it and had to get straight on the coach back to base. On both occasions the hard group did the same walk as the other two groups with extra added on the end or beginning.
After dinner this day there were a couple of quizzes, which most of our group attended.
The next day after breakfast we said our goodbyes and returned home – again crawling around the M25. It was good to see Jenny, Susan, Catherine, and Andrew Russell, who we haven’t seen for some time, , at Amberley and socially it was a great weekend with some good walking thrown in.
Thanks to Ajay for organising the weekend, which was enjoyed by all 15 of us.