Hucklow 9th - 13th May 2022
What a fantastic time we had when we took 21 children to stay at The Nightingale Centre in Great Hucklow, Derbyshire.
On Monday we set off from school and stopped at Chatsworth House on the way down. We had a tour of the farm and were able to feed the goats and sheep. After a very bumpy tractor ride around the grounds where we saw deer and some interesting sculptures we had great fun on the Adventure Playground. Mr Naisbitt was brilliant at pushing us along on the zip wire, Mrs Askew and Mrs Ogden pushed us on the spinning climbing frame and Miss Goldsmith showed us how badly she can climb and how scared of heights she is. Even Mrs Ogden had to help her!
When we arrived at The Nightingale Centre we were all so excited - our rooms were brilliant and we didn't even have to make our bed! After a yummy tea of Pizza and wedges we played out in the garden till hot chocolate and bedtime.
Tuesday was another busy day and it was lovely that the sun came out for our visit to the Heights of Abraham. We all boarded the cable cars and travelled 169 metres (or 554ft) upwards. Some of us, including a tall teacher, were very scared but we were all very brave and what a view when we got to the top! After a short play on a park we ventured down into the Masson Cave and had a grand tour. We learnt how it was built in Victorian times and spotted lots of different types of rocks. After a lovely picnic on the hillside overlooking the views of Matlock below we had time to play on an adventure playground and some amazing slides! Then it was time to venture down into another smaller cave and learn about what was mined there. Our ride back down on the cable cars we preferred and Mrs Askew's group could be heard singing loudly as they descended! Another tasty tea of Hunter's chicken and chocolate sponge was eaten before a play in the garden and a game of bingo and we watched a video about the village of Eyam and the Plague .
Wednesday started off rainy. After a tasty breakfast of cereals, toast and full English for some we prepared for our day. We were very lucky that the Nightingale Centre allowed us to borrow the brand new waterproofs they had received - and oh did we look smart! Today was our walk and picnic to the village of Eyam, which has links back to the Bubonic Plague of 1665. It was an interesting walk and we met some very nosey groups of cows who tried to follow and say hello. Luckily we had Mrs Askew with us who shooed them away. We had a look around the village and it was interesting to see all the houses with plaques telling us about where the Plague was first discovered and other houses which were effected. The musuem was interesting and we liked seeing the strange costume that was worn by the Doctors to protect him from the plague. We had a lovely walk back in the sun and stopped half way to eat our Haribo for extra energy - it turned out to be an 8 mile walk! As we were all tired we had early showers and had a movie night.
For our last day we all boarded the bus to go to Mayfield Animal Park. We had lots of fun learning about a range of animals. We got to feed a group of Alpacas, and then had talks to learn about other smaller creatures. We all loved Timon the Meerkat - who fell asleep on two of our children! The Armadillo was very lively and loved a tummy tickle, we couldn't believe how heavy the tortoise was and we all loved Doug the mini hedgehog. Some of us weren't so sure about the HUGE albino snake, but the brave ones of the group all helped hold him - he really was heavy! After a picnic we set off to Bakewell. Mrs Ogden showed us the bridge with all the locks on and Miss Goldsmith went off to find us an ice lolly. We had a lovely walk along the river and checked out another playground to play on. There were lots of things that made us dizzy.
When we got back to the Centre we had time to pack and we were all quite organised at this - only a few bits of unclaimed items! We all enjoyed our sausage and mash and some of us tried apple crumble and custard. After a play in the garden it was shower time and hot chocolate with cream and marshmallows before a film night and relax.
Friday was an exciting day as we had a birthday to celebrate! We gave a special cake and card and then it was time for final packing and our trip home.
It was an absolute pleasure to take the children. They were praised for their manners, behaviour, how tidy they were (yes that's right!!) and how organised. The centre staff said they were the best group of pupils they'd had stay in such a long time. So we would like to say a HUGE thank you and we hope you have lots of memories to keep and new learning about yourselves.
A big thank you to Mrs Askew, Mrs Ogden, Mr Naisbitt and Miss Goldsmith for giving up their time and leaving their families to take the children away. We hope you had a good rest over the weekend!
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