Thetford Forest YHA Weekender

Sunday 1 October 2017 – Thetford, Norfolk, England.

Our local group of friends, AKA ‘The Walthamstow Lot’ have been holding an annual weekend away since the children were very young. The YHA Weekend. El used to go along, though she stopped going before we met. Last October we went along for my first YHA Weekend experience, this weekend we returned for our second. Last year we stayed in Brancaster Staithe on the north Norfolk coast, this year we stayed in a hostel in Thetford Forest, also in Norfolk. There were 26 of us, split fairly evenly between parents and youth. Ranging from 17-24 years old, it seems unfair to call them the kids.

We drove up after work on Friday, it was not a bad journey, mostly driving in the dark, not something I have done a lot of lately and it was quite strange. A small amount of drizzle did not help much either, but the traffic was light! The hostel is really nice, big and airy, clean and new looking. Friday night was quiet, sitting around talking rubbish over a few drinks. I was really tired so went to bed well before everyone else. Not that it meant I was first up on Saturday.

Saturday is activity day on the YHA Weekender, the group were off to ride bikes in a different part of the forest to where we are staying; about 15 minutes away by car. One of our friends invited me to take the wheel of his Maserati sports car, I think it is the Levanti. I wasn’t going to say no…

I have never driven such a powerful and solid car, there was so much power under my foot, it was almost scary. Though a bit nervous about getting nicked for speeding, or even worse, damaging the car in some way, I did enjoy driving it, and it does sound very cool!

There were four of us not riding, with such a nice day we were not going to turn down the opportunity to go for a walk in the trees, and I wanted to take a few photos while we were there, and I had lugged the big camera along for the ride. After farewelling the cyclists we sat down for coffee 🙂

I took a lot of photos of trees. It is a working pine forest, but I love the clean straight lines and order to a pine forest, a counter to the rambling, meandering wildness of Epping Forest.

It was a great walk and the cyclists were finished before us, much to our surprise. 

Back at the hostel I went for an early evening explore of the immediate area. I am very much enjoying the photography of Al Brydon, and wanted to experiment with his underexposed, deeper, darker images. I set the camera phone to manual mode and had a bit of a play.

I snapped the front of the lodge on the way back for dinner.

After dinner there was a bonfire and a bit of a sing-song. Normally I do not go in for the sing-song thing; though sitting around a fire in a forest, drinking wine with friends it just seemed to be the right thing to do. I actually enjoyed it as well!

Another good weekend away, they just keep on coming!