By Lottie Watkin.

In January, our Housing Team went on a team-building trip to our idyllic Patterdale Hall Estate in the Lake District. On the first day, we were greeted by Brook, Cat and Jess (our Estate team) and were shown around the 15 different holiday properties they offer. The team were so impressed by the chalets and lake view lodges that we started checking our diaries for when they could book one themselves.

On the first day, after making ourselves at home in our cabins, the team enjoyed exploring the grounds and doing a beginner’s walk to warm up. The team loved being surrounded by nature and were blessed with sunshine as we walked along the river in Waterfall Woods before walking up the hillside to Lanty’s Tarn. The surroundings were breathtaking and had such a calming effect on the team after the hustle and bustle of town life back in North Shields.

On the first night, the team enjoyed a walk along to The Inn on the Lake in Glennridding where we had some really nice food and a warm welcome from the bar staff. On our walk, we passed a new pub and hotel, The Ullswater Inn which was in the final stages of renovation and some lovely little local shops. 

After a great night’s sleep in the toasty cabins, we had a filling breakfast ready for a day of volunteering. We started the drizzly day picking up litter from around the grounds then were taken to the river embankments with Jess and Cat to clear some logs for firewood and to chop down weeds that endangered the lifespan of the forest trees. The team had a great time and worked hard to earn the lovely flapjacks made by the local chef and volunteer at Patterdale Hall Estate. 

After a well-earned rest, we returned to the Bothies, where we scrubbed the cobbles that had become slippy with moss. After a long day of earning our food, we had another little walk along to what we now felt was our local for another hearty meal and a few drinks to wash it down. 

On our final day after sleeping like babies and dreaming of forests all night, we had a calm and peaceful final walk to say goodbye to the lovely surroundings and thanked the team for their warm welcome and all of their hospitality.

All of the team agreed that not only had this been an amazing team bonding experience but that it had been the best place to spend it and every single one of us was dying to go back in the near future. Thank you to Cat, Jess and Brook for the amazing work you do on a daily basis to make this such a wonderful place to visit. We will be back!

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