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For men who love men

Wasdale New Year

Wasdale Hall Cumbria

Thu 27th December 2018 to Thu 3rd January 2019

This event has already happened
Photo for Wasdale New Year Photo for Wasdale New Year Photo for Wasdale New Year Photo for Wasdale New Year
Places: 30
Where: YHA Wasdale Hall, Wasdale, Seascale, Cumbria CA20 1ET
Arrival: Thursday 27th December 2018 from 4pm to 6pm
Departure: Thursday 3rd January 2019 by 11am

The Event

The beautiful winter landscape at one of the most stunning, tucked-away locations in Britain, roaring fires, an idyllic venue, delicious vegetarian food, and most importantly the company of lovely men ... it all adds up to an amazing experience of seeing out 2018 and welcoming in the New Year. So whether you are looking for a magical and different way to spend your New Year, or are returning for more Wasdale wonders - come and join us in the Lake District for a week of ECC sparkle!

The Organisers

Edwin Henshaw
Ian Brown
John Jameson-Davis

Your organisers for the week are Edwin Henshaw, Ian Brown and John Jameson-Davis.  We've all been involved with quite a few ECC events over the years and look forward to spending time with you! We are always well-looked after by Bob, the hostel manager and his team, not forgetting his two collie dogs.

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. You may want to spend time relaxing indoors in front of the fire, 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 men who love men. There will be plenty of 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, a cabaret soirée (we have a decent music system and an excellent keyboard - so if you play, please bring along some music) … and of course a New Year celebration.

Bonfire and Sparklers

There’s a special feeling of Midwinter at the Wasdale events - with the reflection of the moon in the lake or views of the moon through quick-moving clouds and the silhouette of the crags opposite. Inside, we usually gather round the fire and it’s cosy. Then as the New Year approaches we can go out to the fire on the lake shore to mark the changing of the year.

We often mark the winter changes in other ways too with a time together to reflect on and leave the past year and share aspects of what it’s meant to each of us and with hopes for the new. It is one of the things that brings a sense of togetherness within our temporary community. 

This year people may like to bring ideas or objects to help honour that change.  We can talk in more detail about what we’d like to do to mark the New Year when we’re there. 

Essential information

Access:  The building can present some physical challenges for people with mobility difficulties. If you have concerns or queries please contact Edwin before booking.
email: edwinhenshaw [at] or phone on 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 don't allow visitors to bring or consume alcohol that has been bought elsewhere, and we ask that you respect this.

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

Accommodation and Facilities

Wasdale Hall
Wasdale Hall

Sleeping accommodation is in shared rooms with bunk beds and shared shower/toilet facilities.  The largest bedroom will have been refurbished and divided into two smaller rooms (4 beds and 6 beds) by the time of our week, so all bedrooms will have between 4 and 8 beds.  All the bedrooms are on the first floor and access is by means of a wide staircase, but it may present problems 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 usually possible to provide for special diets if we know your requirements in advance.  Please let us know when you book.


Meeting and living with 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 usually before the evening meal 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 prefer it to a base group, 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.  There is often a somewhat reduced rail service to Seascale during the Christmas/ New Year period. 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 update 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. Full joining instructions will be sent out a few weeks before the event.


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