Next year’s Annual Outdoor Gathering will take place over the weekend beginning Friday 4 August at Lancaster University, not at Dalesbridge Activity Centre as previously announced. Dalesbridge informed us two weeks ago that for commercial and logistical reasons they were unable to accept our booking.
We have therefore spent the past two weeks looking for a suitable alternative. After considering various options, such as hiring a youth hostel on a sole use basis, we have decided to move the venue 25 miles up the road to Lancaster University. This has some major advantages:
- Being on the West Coast main line and close to the M6, it is much easier to get to, especially for those dependent on public transport, for whom there is a frequent bus service from the railway station to the university.
- For most people it will be less expensive. Bed and Breakfast accommodation in the Dales at the beginning of August does not come cheap!
- We will have a range of accommodation available, including double rooms, proper twin rooms and two types of single room.
- We will be able to put on the same range of social activities that took place at Bath and Penryn.
In addition, I am delighted to confirm that Kevin Nuttall, who organised the 2007 AOG held at the same venue, is staying on the organising team, and with the Lancashire coast and the Forest of Bowland close at hand, he will be putting together an attractive programme of walks and cycle rides.
While some of the walks that were done in 2007 may be offered again, there will be a selection of new routes for people to try. Nor will the Dales connection be wholly lost. Kevin had planned to start some walks at Ingleton, which is just 21 miles from the university, around a 45-minute drive. So there will be opportunities for those who want to walk in the Dales to do so.
This change of plan also means that it will no longer be necessary for us to open bookings at the beginning of November. Bookings for next year’s AOG will open on 1 February 2017, in line with recent practice.
So I apologise that we are not able to stage the AOG at Dalesbridge, but Lancaster is a fantastic venue. As always we are committed to putting on the best event we possibly can, and hope that you will give AOG 2017 the same enthusiastic support that was so much in evidence at Bath and Penryn.