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  • V Earp

A Walk On the Wild Side

Updated: Jun 15, 2023

The Duke of Edinburgh expeditions are legendary at KTS Towers and here's V Earp's account of her Silver experience

Day 1

The first day was taken up travelling up to the Peak District. The sights on the journey were amazing and I think the long journey really united our team together. When we got to the campsite we stepped out of the mini bus and got obliterated by a wave of freezing cold air. After extra layers had been applied we started setting up the tents. The tents were very easy to set up and we all grouped together in the three different teams. We then went on a small walk to refresh our skills from the practise expedition. This walk had outstanding views and since we didn't have to carry out bags for this walk it was considerably easier.

Once back to camp we set up the trangia and began attempting to cook a hearty meal. Some meals took longer than others but we all sat and ate together and played some card games. The sunset was gorgeous but brought the freezing night. Soon after the sunset I filled my small hot water bottle and got nice and cosy in my sleeping bag.

Under The Stars

Personally I think this was the hardest night. It was difficult to get to sleep and once I did I continuously woke up to owls and waking up shivering. However the sleeping mat and bag were comfortable and I got a good amount of sleep altogether.

Day 2

I was rudely woken up by my partner panicking because she forgot where she was… after she calmed down, we started to pack up as much as we could inside the tent. We put on lots of layers to keep warm - it was literally freezing. We opened the tent and we were yet again hit by another wave of really cold air.

Half asleep we shivered our way to where we set up our trangia (a camping cooker) and started cooking porridge and heating hot chocolate to thaw us out. My partner was upset to see that her boots were frozen to the floor - that was the last time she’d leave them outside.

“My partner’s boots were frozen solid to the ground”

After packing up we got walking. The best part of the walks were the views we got the privilege to see. After around four hours of walking through hills, valleys and caves we stopped for lunch. We hastily ate our lunch and we got back on the trail. One memory I have from day one was missing a gate and being on the complete wrong side of a fence… we had to climb over by throwing our bags over and using a tree to climb over. When we finally got to camp we set about re-constructing the tents and cooking the food.

Night 2

This night was a lot warmer after we wrapped ourselves with loads of warm layers. Again the sunset was beautiful but brought the cold.

Day 3

This day was my personal favourite as we both woke up and got packed up efficiently - so we had less stress to contend with. The start of the walk was harder but concluded with yet again another breathtaking view. Most of this day's walk was done along very muddy paths because we had had some overnight rain. I think this caused some very funny moments and really helped us enjoy the walk.

That day we had our lunch at a rather gorgeous place. The Chatsworth house! I loved walking through the grounds and making our way past the house. This is something that I think the Duke of Edinburgh does extraordinarily well, it shows you the best places and gives you an opportunity to see the countryside and some genuinely amazing and historic places. Just over the hill beside the house was our campsite. There was a long walk up a hill to where we were camping but this was still my favourite campsite. The whole expedition group hung out together and we sat around playing games and chatting. Eventually it got too cold so we all turned in for the night.

Night 3

This was the warmest night and I got a lot of sleep. I wasn’t worried about the sound of wild critters doing their nocturnal things.

Day 4

This was our final day so there was an air of excitement around the camp in the morning as everyone hurriedly packed up. The start of this walk was across some slightly boggy areas as there wasn't a direct path. The walk seems so short looking back. I loved following the path by the river and walking down a huge hill. The walk quickly came to an end as we got to the minibus. I couldn’t help but feel sorrowful that it was over but happy because I will get to see my family soon. We all piled onto the minibus and made our way back home. I loved the experience and would do it all again.

Credits Mrs Watts


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