After the first week of term was over and we had all made it through at least one, if not two tutorials and the assorted lectures that went along with them, it was time for all the Butler Visiting Students in Oxford to board a bus and head up to the Lake District where we would meet up with other Visiting Students from across England and Wales for the fall term Adventure Weekend. We were set up to enjoy a couple days of fun and merriment in the Lake District, but first we had to get there, and that meant several hours on a bus!
To be honest, this is probably one of the best ways to meet other students from your area. Trap a bunch of people on a bus and you will either make friends or be miserable. I am quite thankful for this long bus ride because it allowed me to meet and get to know a couple other students in Oxford that I hadn’t met during our orientation in London, and I think it was the start of some life long friendships.
Upon arrival, we unpacked at the Youth Hostel we were staying at (all the Butler students in attendance were split across three sleeping facilities). I was housed at Derwent Water Youth Hostel, which was absolutely beautiful since it had been a manor house prior to its conversion to a hostel and had an amazing view over Derwent Water—one of the many Lakes in the Lake District—and a waterfall behind it. We ate dinner then headed over to the Glaramara activity center (who was the organizers of all the adventures of adventure weekend) for a pub quiz with all the other Butler students.
Saturday morning saw us back at Glaramara so that we could set out for our assorted adventures (which we had signed up for prior to our arrival). There were people setting out on an all day hike, a tour of the Lake District, tours of Dove Cottage and Hilltop Farm (home of William Wordsworh and Beatrix Potter, respectively), half day hike, canoeing, coracle building and archery, dragon boating and raft building, climbing, gorge scrambling, mountain biking, via feratta, and tour of the Honister Slate Mine. Most of the activities were half day, meaning that you were able to do two different ones, while a couple were full day activities. I opted for the Morning half-day hike, which afforded me some lovely views of the lake district, then after lunch I suited up and prepared to get soaked as I went gorge scrambling. That was probably the most fun activity of the day. It involved following a guide as you climbed up rapids, slid down waterfalls, swam through water, jumped off of rocks into deep water, and crawled through tunnels. You were soaked to the skin despite the extra layers the guides had you put on (which consisted of a wool one piece and waterproof pants and jacket), but it was so much fun and I would do it again in a heartbeat. I was sad that I couldn’t take my camera with me, but it wouldn’t have survived the adventure.
That evening was a disco for all those who wanted to participate at the Glaramara activity center. There was dancing, and socializing and drinking for those who wanted to, and overall it was an enjoyable event, though I know I was a bit tuckered out after all the adventures of the day.
Sunday morning saw time for one more activity before heading back to our respective universities. You could either go on a hike, do some team building activities, or head into Keswick, a nearby town. I opted to stroll through Keswick, and did a bit of souvenir shopping and had some delicious English tea (complete with scones and clotted cream) with a friend. We then boarded a bus and headed back to Oxford. The bus ride was much more subdued than the one headed to the Lake District, probably because we were all tuckered out from all the adventuring and partying that we had participated in. I highly recommend attendance to all future Adventure Weekends, and look forward to going to the one in the spring, this time held in Wales!