Big Weekend 2022 – Grange over Sands

The Big Weekend 2021 was a fantastic success and a great opportunity for members to meet up again after so long!

2022’s Big Weekend will be held in Grange-over-Sands, from Oct 7-10 2022

The Big Weekend is the OWPG’s annual gathering.

The Big Weekend provides a great opportunity for members to meet friends old and new, to share experiences, learn new things and participate in the running of our Guild. In short, we can – fingers duly crossed – continue the process of re-establishing our participation in a more normal world*.

* Obviously with the proviso that local or wider lockdowns don’t cause further mayhem and under the COVID-secure guidelines in operation at the time.

Details below relate to the 2021 gathering – further details will appear for 2022’s BW in due course, but the format is unikely to change drastically.


The Field Studies Centre at Malham Tarn

Malham Cove


Friday 8 October to Monday 11 October 2021

The cost:

Rates are inclusive of all meals and are expected to be £47 per person per night for three nights, £50 per night for two nights and £60 for one night only.

Dress Code:

There is no dress code!

AGM and Awards Ceremony.

As usual the Guild’s AGM will take place at 4pm on the Saturday and the annual Awards ceremony/dinner will take place on the Saturday evening.

Further Information

Booking is now open for members wishing to attend the Guild’s Big Weekend and AGM at Malham, in the Yorkshire Dales, from Friday October 8 to Monday October 11 2021.

Our venue is the Field Studies Council’s Malham Tarn centre, which is superbly positioned overlooking Malham Tarn nature reserve, in the heart of the Yorkshire Dales limestone country and close to the dramatic faultline features of Malham Cove and Gordale Scar.

For those wishing to arrive by train, it’s seven miles from Settle station on the celebrated Leeds-Settle-Carlisle route and we hope to offer collection and drop-off from either there, or nearby Giggleswick (on the Lancaster line).

Accommodation is in twin to seven-bed (same sex) rooms, with some sole occupancy available for a small surcharge. Rates are inclusive of all meals and are expected to be £47 per person per night for three nights, £50 per night for two nights and £60 for one night only.

Planned activities include an all-day walk, taking in limestone pavement, Malham Cove and the Buck Inn, at Malham village. See below for further info.

Stan Abbott will draw from research for his new book, Walking the Line, to lead a walk from the Settle-Carlisle Railway, in nearby Dentdale.

Other activities will include the chance to try caving and a narrative non-fiction workshop.

Planned Activities

The Activities form (downloadable below) presents all the different options for members and guests attending our Big Weekend at Malham Tarn.

Please do not complete this form unless you have already sent in a booking form.

As of September 20, we are unable to accdept further bookings. You may, however, attend the AGM, which is at 4.30pm on Saturday October 9, and you may put your name on the waiting list for accommodation.

Please ensure that you complete all sections of the Activities Form for yourself and for any guest or partner you are bringing. Also, be sure to complete the section at the end on eating requirements. Note that the caving trip is currently fully subscribed, but if you would really like to go, select this anyway, plus an alternative. If we can add you to the trip we shall do. There will be a charge not exceeding £25 for equipment hire and guiding.

Saturday, additional information

Karen Lloyd’s Narrative Non-Fiction session will comprise:

  • what kinds of ways are there to write about nature in the Anthropocene (our current geological era)?
  • in what kinds of ways can humans more usefully situate ourselves within the sphere of the natural world
  • using the immediate surroundings of the centre we will spend time outdoors encountering autumn, weather and natural history. If you have them, bring binoculars.
  • We will also make use of additional resources so there will be plenty of stimulus for writing
  • participants will be able to take the ideas begun in this workshop forward to develop in their own time

Potholers have already received special instructions. If you are already accepted for the potholing please still select this option on the form so as to avoid any queries.

Colin Speakman’s DalesBus walk begins by catching the bus at Malham Tarn car park (2km from Centre – say 40 minutes’ walk) at 1040.

Catch the 75 down to where it meets Gorbeck Road (track) above Langcliffe, about a 10-minute ride.

 From there a 9k back to the Field Centre.   A moderate level of fitness needed. 

 Interest for OWG people is:   

  1. DalesBus in action.  One of our most scenic routes
  2. Super views of Three Peaks, Ribblesdale, Malham Tarn, Bowland Fells etc.
  3. Gorbeck Road. This was a highly contested Green Lane now part of the Pennine Bridleway now closed to 4x4s and trail bikes but the odd one sneaks through.  Fairly sharp initial climb, levels off and descends a little and then a sharpish climb  over the ridge on a connecting bridleway which can mean a boggy stream to cross if we have a wet October. 
  4. Last bit is a lane and (nice ending) to reach the amazing Board Walk through the Malham Tarn National Nature Reserve, raised peat bog/Ramsar site etc to Tarn House.

About 3 hours’ walking plus lunch stop say 3 – 4 hours tops, so if we started the walk at 1055 we’d be comfortably back at the Centre by 1500.

Sunday additional information

Stan Abbott’s Settle & Carlisle railway walk involves one steep uphill stretch, which is not difficult. Sturdy shoes or boots.

John Sutcliffe’s geological walk through limestone country is mostly on tracks, so stout footwear though not necessarily boots will be needed. The walk will begin at Malham sinks, short drive in shared cars. (See PDF map – make sure you are logged in as an OWPG member, then click the download forms link to access).





Once downloaded, save the Accommodation file so it has your name in the title, complete it, and then return your form to the BW organiser, Stan Abbott, at

You will also need to send a deposit of £60 to Ronald our Treasurer (bank details on accomodation form) unless your total comes to less than £60.