Each year, Biggleswade AC organises a weekend away to another part of the country. In previous years we have been to two locations in Derbyshire, the Cotswolds and, this year, the venue was in the heart of rural England … Sherwood Forest.
Our group of twenty humans, and two dogs, inhabited three of the Forest Holidays log cabins, with each log cabin boasting a large open-plan living space, a wood burning stove and a hot tub – which proved to be very popular for relaxing in after a run.
On Saturday, after a leisurely breakfast, fourteen of us headed to the National Trust’s Clumber Park for what is billed as ‘one of the most picturesque 10K trail races in the country’. And it certainly lived up to expectations. A slightly undulating course along cycleways, footpaths and quiet access roads, among trees that were starting to look very autumnal. At the finish we each received a welcome glass of non-alcoholic beer (even the beer drinkers amongst us enjoyed it).
Saturday evening Cabin 65 hosted the ‘bring and share’ buffet comprising of some excellent dishes freshly prepared by the group. The buffet was followed by a rather interesting card game, which is advertised as “a party game for horrible people”, and was surprisingly won by Chris Addams (we’ll say no more).
On Sunday morning Rob Morgan led a group on a 7 mile, club tour edition, of a ‘Coffee & Cake’ run through Sherwood Forest, with a brief pit-stop at the Major Oak; the large oak tree where, according to local folklore, Robin Hood and his merry men took shelter. After a few renditions of ‘Robin Hood, Robin Hood, riding through the glen …’ we were soon back in Sherwood Pines.
The traditional post-run coffee, and cake (or, on this occasion, bacon cob), was consumed at the Forest Retreat cafe, back at base, with some opting for a long soak in the hot tub, afterwards. However, three of the ladies decided they needed a bit of adventure and headed over to Go Ape for an afternoon of hanging around and much squealing.
Sadly, we said farewell to Fi, Robin, Andy and Pete who all had to head home on Sunday afternoon.
At 6.00pm those remaining gathered at Cabin 65 in readiness for the 45 minute walk to the Forest Lodge Hotel in Edwinstowe for dinner – with Jo and Jules dazzling the on-coming traffic with their new, totally reflective running jackets. It was a superb evening of delicious food, locally brewed real ale and lots of laughter, followed by a very welcome, 60 minute off-road yomp, back to the cabins.
After a day of activity everyone retired, exhausted, to their respective cabins. All agreed that it had been a brilliant club tour and we hope we will be allowed back next year!
Many thanks to the club tour committee for all their hard work in finding this gem of a venue.