15th February 2014Newlands Adventure Centre: Bows and arrows, boulders and belays

You may remember that my last blog was all about relaxation and quality time at the lovely Graysonside B&B near Cockermouth. Well, it was just as well we had the chance to relax while we could, as the next day we set off for a day of 'Hunger Games' style training in rock climbing and archery. 

Newlands Adventure Centre, near Keswick

Since the beginning of the year we have been on a bit of a detox mission and so we thought a good session of activities and exercise at Newlands Adventure Centre, near Keswick, might be a good idea. 

Our first activity was archery, which we took part in under the trained eye of Sam our instructor for the day. Although I have never tried my hand with a bow and arrow before, I have seen 'Robin Hood Prince of Thieves' so it is something I feel I know a bit about. After a quick tutorial from Sam we had a few practise shots before moving onto the competitive part of the session. The nice thing about archery is that (at least with the targets as close as they were set for us) you can start getting the arrow to go roughly where you want it to quite quickly. They make a nice satisfying thud as they smack into the targets as well. Despite Sam refusing to allow Giles to balance an apple on his head so I could shoot it off, I still managed to win a round of 'killer' hands down.

Newlands Adventure Centre, near Keswick

Giles pretended he didn't care and became obsessed with trying to shoot a small plastic duck Sam had placed on top of one of the targets instead. (At least he eventually managed to hit that and saved himself a little bit of pride.)

Newlands Adventure Centre, near Keswick

Next came the climbing. The climbing, like the archery, was indoors so we were spared any interference from the weather. Although the adventure centre do offer outdoor climbing training it was good to be able to give it a try inside first. I haven't climbed for a long time and so it was the perfect opportunity to get a bit of confidence back and stretch some dormant muscles.

We began with a thorough safety talk from Sam about how to tie into the rope with the harness and use a belay to hold each other if we fell off and then we were let loose on the wall. The climbing wall is not too high and so never that scary and there was a big area for bouldering (climbing short routes close to the ground) for us to work on our technique. Once our fingers were aching too much to carry on we shook hands (gingerly) with Sam and had a quick cup of tea at the climbing wall cafe before heading home. 

Newlands Adventure Centre, near Keswick

The session has definitely reignited my enthusiasm for climbing, although Giles' wounded pride might have to heal before we do any more archery together. 

Find out more…

Newlands Adventure Centre: www.activity-centre.com

Keswick Climbing Wall: www.keswickclimbingwall.co.uk

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Brian Sherwen Photography

Many images on this website have been supplied to us by Brian Sherwen.