Geoffrey Winthrop Young, founder of the BMC, thought there was no nobler country than that of Northumberland, so it’s fitting that in the BMC’s 70th anniversary year, we held a festival to celebrate the climbing and walking opportunities of England’s most tranquil place.
Over 50 climbers and walkers gathered in Wooler during the weekend of 11-13 July for the 2014 BMC North East Climbing & Walking Festival, a team from North Wales picking up the prize for furthest travelled.
Accommodation centred on the Highburn House Country Holiday Park, which offered free camping to BMC and MCofS members, and was conveniently located on the edge of Wooler village, where the Angel Inn provided a great location for evening entertainment.
The festival began on Friday night with a get-together in the pub and an entertaining and informative talk by Dave Blakemore from the North of Tyne Mountain Rescue Team.
A good day of climbing and walking followed on Saturday. In the evening, festivalgoers enjoyed a free buffet in the pub, followed by a fun quiz that challenged both mountaineering and general knowledge, a talk by BMC CEO Dave Turnbull entitled “From Bowden to Patagonia” and additional entertainment provided by local folk singer Mike Orchard.
Rain stopped play for a while on Sunday morning, but teams did eventually head to Kyloe In and the Cheviot range for some more climbing and walking.
Thanks to all involved – see you next year!
Photos by Paul Mitchinson.
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