Marle Hall 2019



Day 1

Unsurprisingly, calls of, “Are we nearly there yet?” echoed throughout the coach and bags of sweets had been emptied before we had even left the village, but after a quick pit stop at the service station in Shrewsbury and a lot of “singing”/shouting, the comments about journey time were replaced with shouts of joy at the sight of the sea. Dad’s Camp was meant to wear the children out, but clearly didn’t!

After a picnic on the veranda, children were suited and booted ready for their first challenge – a hike through the woods and up the hill to admire the views of the ocean.

Day 2

Dinner last night consisted of jacket potato or pizza and chips, followed by sticky toffee pudding.

With a new burst of energy, we headed out into the grounds to test our communication, collaboration and perseverance skills. Blindfolded, (and protected by helmets) we followed a rope around trees, under logs, through tunnels and over tyres, whilst theoretically warning those behind us of the obstacles faced. Some were given warnings, others were not. Thank goodness for the helmets.

Some more team games (passing through the net without touching the ropes) were followed by a quick game of pool and then bed. Unfortunately, sleep did not follow until quite some time later!

This morning we were woken not by a beautiful, tuneful chorus of birds, but instead by a chorus of “Happy Birthday” at 6am!  

Noisiest room: 16 (boys)

Tidiest room: 16 (boys)

Messiest room: 13 (girls)

Quietest room: 12 (girls)

Groups one and two went canoeing across the beautiful two mile long Lake Padarn in Snowdonia, whilst group three scurried up trees like squirrels and scrambled enthusiastically through the gorge. Campfires were lit, marshmallows were toasted and apples were roasted. We left a bit of water in the lake and the gorge but brought a substantial amount back with us to Marle Hall; wellies were full to the brim!

Dinner this evening was pie, followed by birthday cake, which gave us the energy (not that the children needed any more energy) for a low ropes course and climbing wall.


The tuck shop was out of postcards, which will hopefully be replenished in the morning, but if they are not, please know that the intention was there and remember it is the thought that counts.

Marle Hall – Day 3

Unfortunately, we have had huge difficulties accessing the Wi-fi here in the Welsh hills. It appears that none of the photographs are reaching you, however, photos will be put onto the memory sticks that you have provided before the end of the year.

All the children have been full of energy and enthusiasm and have risen to every challenge set. Whether they have climbed a mountain, picked up a crab on the beach or lept off a tree branch, they have been so supportive of each other and have been a delight.

After another cooked breakfast and copious amounts of porridge toppings (beneath the sprinkles and chocolate there should be some actual porridge) we set off for the day. 

After a few issues with shoe laces, some of us climbed trees and went to the gorge, where we squeezed through the infamous elephant’s bottom, some of us walked up Conwy Mountain and then went rockpooling at the beach, and the final group canoed across the lake. 

Despite the exhausting day of activities, they were all still gossiping until very late at night!

Marle Hall – Day 4

Today we had the pleasure of waking the children, rather than the other way around! It took several attempts to wake them from their deep slumber, so hopefully they will sleep well tonight.

Noisiest room: 16 (again)

Messiest room: 15 and 12

Quietest room: 12

Postcard update: 

This task was another opportunity for children to challenge themselves.

Problem 1:

No postcards in Marle Hall, so, despite being dressed like the Michelin Man in a helmet, bouancy aid and the entire contents of our suitcases (ready to face the freezing temperature the gorge)we faced the general public (dressed in their shorts and T-shirts) stopped at a local gift shop and purchased cards.

Problem 2: 

Many children didn’t know their postcodes. Using the patchy wi-fi we solved that. Unfortunately, some were unsure of their street names though.

Problem 3:

Layout – There were comments in the address box, stamps in the middle of the cards, postcodes before house numbers and every other possible scenario you could imagine. Next week’s literacy lessons are now planned.

Problem 4: Content. One lucky recipient will receive a card that reads: “Miss Solomon forced us to write a letter. Here it is!”

Thank you Mrs C for the stamps, which eliminated a fifth problem.

Anyway, remember it is the thought that counts and we apologise if we make it home before the postcards reach you. 

Wild horses, bilberries, sheep and stunning views were seen on the mountains; crabs, starfish, jellyfish and shells were seen in the beach and frogs, rabbits, waterfalls and birds were seen at the gorge.

Tonight’s team challenge will be the hardest of all: matching every sock, T-shirt, pair of leggings and shoe with their rightful owner before squeezing everything back into our cases!

Another birthday and more cake today! It’s a good job we are getting so much exercise.

Tomorrow we will go litter picking at the RSPB before heading home for 5ish. Updates of our eta will be sent by text.