COMBER AND DISTRICT U3A RAMBLER’S WALKING GROUP
Consideration is being given, if there is sufficient interest, in organising a midweek walking break for the Comber U3A Ramblers and any other members of Comber U3A who may be interested. It is not essential that you take part in all, or indeed any, of the walks to be arranged, although I hope you will, but the break will be organised around the walking.
The proposal is for a 3 night (possibly 2 night if there is a preference) midweek break somewhere up the North Coastin October 2018 on a bed, breakfast and evening meal basis. The preferred days are Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, returning home on the Thursday.
Likely start dates are Monday 1st October (preferred) or Monday 22nd October. Monday 8th October is an outside possibility but it coincides too closely with another U3A event planned.
I have several hotels in mind but until I have an idea of numbers interested and dates suitable to those interested it is not possible to be more specific about hotel availability or costs although I imagine the costs will be somewhere in the region of £80 – £120 per night. There may also be a single room supplement.
I plan to collect names and email addresses (preferably) or phone numbers of those interested at the U3A meeting to be held on Monday 25 June and will then liaise with hotels and those interested to arrange or abort the midweek break. You can also email me to advise of your interest.
Consideration is being given, if there is sufficient interest, to organising another trip to the Gobbins walk for members of the U3A Ramblers and any other members of the U3A who may like to go.
The date is yet to be determined and will be decided by availability of walking slots at the Gobbins, which have to be booked in advance, and availability of those interested. However, depending on numbers interested, it is likely to be mid July, at the earliest, before a suitable slot is available. The preferred day is Monday but Tuesday, Wednesday or Friday are also possibilities. Also, depending on suitable dates we may have a choice of a morning or afternoon slot.
The cost will be in the region of £12 for over 60’s, £15 for under 60’s and has to be paid in advance. The walk will take place whatever the weather unless the Guide decides the path is unsafe and refunds will be given only if this applies. The maximum number per walk is 15 so depending on numbers we may have to book more than one slot (hopefully consecutively but slots are separated by 30 mins) or share a walk with others not from Comber U3A.
The walk takes about 1.5 hours but the total trip, allowing for preparation and travel from/to the visitors centre to the start of the walk, takes about 2.5/3 hours. It is intended to share cars to the Gobbins, a trip of about 1.25 hours from Comber to Island Magee.
A reasonable degree of fitness is required for the walk but for those who can it is a walk not to be missed. It starts with a fairly steep downward gradient on a tarmac/concrete path (approx 0.6 miles long) from the bus drop-off point to the start of the Gobbins path and the walk finishes by climbing back up the gradient to the bus collection point. The Gobbins coastal path is about 1.5 miles long (0.75 miles out + 0.75 miles return).
The Gobbins coastal path is a narrow, rocky, undulating, interesting and exhilarating path that is several meters above the level of the sea. The path may be wet and slippery so care needs to be taken when walking it. There are several groups of steps on the path and a short tunnel has to be passed through. There is a guide/hand rail that runs along the path. If we are fortunate we may encounter birds nesting towards the end of the path.
Hard hats (provided by guide) will have to be worn. No back packs or walking aids are allowed on the path. Trainers are also not allowed, boots or sturdy walking shoes are required. You can, however, carry a small bumbag, camera, binoculars and a bottle of water in your pocket.
I plan to collect names and email addresses (preferably) or phone numbers of those interested at the U3A meeting to be held on Monday 25 June and will then liaise with those interested to arrange or abort the trip. You can also email me to advise of your interest.
If you want further information on the Gobbins walk to see if it is suitable for you either ring the Gobbins on 02893 372318 or check the Gobbins website www.thegobbinscliffpath.com.
Best wishes: Eddie Bell