Tuesday 27 December 2016 – Tuesday 3 January 2017

Name of event: Wasdale at New Year
Places available: 30
Where: YHA Wasdale Hall, Wasdale, Seascale, Cumbria CA20 1ET
Arrival date and time: Tuesday 27 December, 2016  4pm – 6pm
Departure date and time: Tuesday 3 January, 2017 by 11am

The event

The beautiful winter landscape at one of the most stunning locations in Britain, an idyllic venue, delicious vegetarian food… and most importantly the company of lovely men. It all adds up to an amazing way to see out 2016 and welcome in the New Year. So whether you are looking for a fantastic and different way to spend your New Year, or are returning for another dose of Wasdale magic – come and join us in the Lake District for a wonderful week of ECC sparkle!

The organisers

Edwin,-John,-BrianEdwin Henshaw, John Jameson-Davis and Brian Harrington

Edwin (left) fell in love with the Lake District when he attended his first Wasdale New Year ECC event in 2006, and has been back every year since – so he knows the area pretty well by now. He loves fell-walking, baking, playing games, and eating well. He has extensive experience of organising ECC events, and has been on the team at Wasdale New Year five times.

John (centre) has been on four ECC events since 2013 after waiting ten years to pluck up courage. This is his first time organising. He attended Wasdale last winter and was captivated. John likes analysing handwriting, meditating, open-hearted conversation and border collies. His sense of humour is never far away.

Brian (right) has attended many ECC events since 1994 and although this is his first time helping to organise an event, he has a lot of experience in working with groups and facilitates a sense of belonging, warmth and safety.

We are always well-looked after by Bob, the hostel manager and his team, not forgetting Jeff the dog, recently joined by a puppy!

What to expect

The stunning Wasdale landscape attracts keen walkers and ramblers, and there are spectacular walks for all abilities. Short walks for those seeking exercise or maybe just a little stroll (to the local or the tea rooms); more intrepid and challenging mountainous hikes suitable for the more weathered, experienced walkers and also those who want to try it out. You’ll definitely need suitable boots and warm waterproof clothing if you’re planning to go out on the high fells. More on this in the joining instructions we’ll be sending to everyone attending.

Though most people take advantage of the local scenery, Wasdale isn’t just for walkers. It may be you want to spend time relaxing indoors, be cosy with a book, play games, sit up late chatting, make new friends, talk seriously, share hugs and laughter – and have fun with other gay men. There will be scope both to facilitate and participate in activities and workshops – it all depends what those attending decide to bring and contribute. In recent years it’s included dancing, singing, quizzes, meditation, massage, touch, yoga and Pilates, story-reading, graphology, drawing and knitting, a cabaret soirée… and of course a New Year celebration. We’ll have equipment for playing music, and a keyboard.

Essential information

Access The building can present some physical challenges for people with mobility difficulties. There have been issues in the past with access, and we would advise that if you have concerns or queries about this please contact Edwin
edwinhenshaw@talktalk.net | 020 7609 8725.

Alcohol Wasdale Youth Hostel has a licensed bar selling local ales as well as a selection of wines and spirits. Licensing laws state that visitors are not allowed to bring or consume alcohol that has been bought elsewhere, so please respect this.

Nearest shops In Gosforth village about 10 minutes’ drive away. Please be aware that the Youth Hostel is in a beautiful but isolated spot.

How to book

Bookings Organiser John Jameson-Davis, c/o 15 Rankine House,  Bath Terrace,  London SE1 6PL
Phone 01380 828457 | Email john@jamesond.com

30 places will be available on the week, and we’ll reserve a proportion for first-time attenders until 1 October. Places can fill up very quickly, so book soon!

You can book your place online here, or download a paper form to send to the bookings organiser (John) at the above address. You’ll be asked to state how much you’re going to pay for your place, and how much you’ll pay now as a deposit.  You can make your payment by cheque or bank transfer.

To secure your place you’ll need to pay a deposit of at least 25% at the time of booking, and the remainder by 1st October. If booking after this date you’ll need to pay the full cost when booking.

Note: ECC offers a limited number of bursaries to help people on very low incomes. If you don’t feel you can afford the concessionary rate, we may be able to help. Please contact the bookings organiser first to see if a bursary place is available.

Accommodation and facilities
Sleeping accommodation is in shared rooms with bunk beds and shared shower/toilet facilities. All the bedrooms are on the first floor and access is by means of a staircase, which can present problems especially for those with mobility issues. Please check with Edwin before booking if you feel this may be the case.

Food and dietary requirements
A varied vegetarian menu is on offer, with a choice of dishes at all meals.  There will be a cooked English vegetarian breakfast, and a special meal on New Year’s Eve. It is possible to provide for special diets if we know your requirements in advance.  Please let us know when you book.

Living with and getting to know a group of up to 30 others can seem daunting, so you will be invited to join a base group of four to six men, which meets for an hour each day.  This allows everyone to get to know a small group better, share thoughts and feelings about the week, and support each other when needed. There will also be a heart circle running each day for those who wish to use that facility, and possibly a reflective heart circle on New Year’s Eve open to all. The organisers are also there to answer any queries you may have during the week.

Travel to Wasdale

The nearest rail station is Seascale, seven miles away. We are usually able to collect you from the station on arrival, but it may be necessary to share a taxi if lifts cannot be provided. Because Tuesday 27 December is a Bank Holiday, there is likely to be a reduced rail service. We’ll monitor the situation and if it necessary it may be possible to organise a minibus from Lancaster / Barrow / Carlisle with the cost shared by everyone travelling. We will notify you of this once rail bookings have started for these dates.

NB: If using Google Maps or a satnav, the CA20 1ET  postcode brings you to Nether Wasdale, about 2 miles from the youth hostel. Please contact Edwin for detailed travel instructions and a map.