A few weeks ago my class went on a residential visit to Borwick Hall! It encourages people to start going outdoors more often.
We stayed there for a week so we had to have rooms and we had to share!! Fortunately, I was put with my best friend Niamh and we got the biggest room there was.
For the first day we all split into groups and did team exercises like getting across a “poisonous lake”, trying to balance the see-saw, getting over the six foot wall with no help whatsoever, moving a box of logs from one square to the other square whilst not being allowed to touch the grass and finally making our beds.
On the second day we were climbing and doing archery! First our group took on the Borwick Hall Tower which was 20 ft. high! Three people were only allowed on it at a time so the rest of us were making sure their harness was tight enough and that they wouldn’t fall. Next was archery and I was completely rubbish at it and finished the competition last! This meant I had to serve the winner’s dinner before I got my own. After lunch we went to The Pamper Pole which was also 20 ft. high. It was a pole going straight up and at the top a small square. The aim was to stand up on the square and jump whilst trying to hit the red ball; almost everyone managed to do it! Then we went to the indoor caves where Alfie got stuck! The instructor then switched off the lights and we all burst out laughing! Finally we were all allowed to go climbing up the trees of Borwick Hall.
On the third day our group went caving and we took the minibus to where Harry Potter was filmed fighting Voldemort on the bridge. Once we were in the caves, I realised I would never ever not be afraid of the dark. Honestly, I had never seen such a black black in all my life! Unfortunately for me, whenever I needed my headlight, it would not work, so I would always end up in the middle of a cave yelling: “My lights not working!!!”Then finally at the end of the caves, I worked out how to switch on my headlight…
On that day, I also found a dozen fossils, got my brand new, never worn socks soaking wet and filled my wellies so full of water that there was no room for water on the way back out of the caves!
On the third day we all went canoeing!!! It was so. Much. FUN!!! We tested the canoe boats by us all jumping in the boats at the same time. After that we played canoe tag, and then we all had to collect the Minions as quickly as possible. Our canoe boat won, obviously. We had a race to see who would get back first, although we had to bear another man: the instructor.
After we’d had a shower, got into some warm and dry clothes and had our lunch, we went to the low ropes course. There we just continued round and round the course. At one point we had to balance on a rope across “piranha-infested water”, (we were connected to a safety line). Unfortunately for Alfie, I was behind him and whilst he was over the pond I could be seen shaking the rope he was stood on. Unluckily for me, I also shook Jacob’s line (he was behind me) and got a taste of my own medicine.
Next up for the day was our Rocky Ramble, where we took the minibus to Barrow where we enjoyed the views by the sea and of the countryside. We were told many tales of the place whilst we were there and then we went back to Borwick, where we gladly took on the feast the cooks had put together for us.
On the very last day, we all split up into pairs and did an orienteering course around Borwick Hall. Me and Aimee managed to find 24 out of 26 markers!! Unfortunately, Chris and Phelan managed to find 25 out of 26. As boys do, they wouldn’t stop teasing us about it.
After we had had lunch, we went on a tour around Old Borwick. We went into the library; I had never seen so many books and tapestries. They had the whole set of Encyclopaedia Britannica and other extremely long books. We visited the Dining Hall where we learned about this story: an old lady knocked on the door in a blizzard one New Year’s Eve, looking for a place to stay. Sir Robert let her in and made sure she was well fed. The next day she gave him a ripe apple and said, if he kept it high up above the fireplace all year, he would have good fortune that year. If he took it down, then disaster would happen. It is still a tradition for someone to knock on the door and hand over an apple to this day. We went in the death room, where when people died, that’s where they would be stored if their families couldn’t afford a grave. We also went to the entrance of the prison and the secret escape. We all tried to get through the door that blocked us from getting in to the prison. We also went to the Priest’s secret hide-out and the instructor told us that the symbols carved into the walls were symbols that warded evil spirits away. They looked like this:
Next we visited the White Lady’s Room….!! Legend says that Elizabeth Bindloss found out that she was about to be married at the age of 16. She told her parents that she didn’t want to get married to a person much older than her. As punishment she was locked in her room. Some say she was forgotten about and was starved to death; others say she tried to escape her room by jumping out the window; whilst some say she was chased out the window by a murderer and somehow she died. Schools who stay in Old Borwick say that she wanders the corridors at night looking for vengeance. There’s a mirror in her room and when you look in the mirror ( if you believe in ghosts) you can see The White Lady!! All I could see was her wedding dress imprinted in the wall, but when I turned around to look at the wall I could see nothing!! Some people said they saw her face and I was only too glad I didn’t see that because they said she looked horrible. The instructor told us there was a secret entrance somewhere in the room. I found it first, it was in the closet and it was extremely small but had enough room to fit a toilet in!!
I had an amazing time at Borwick and I hope you go there as well. I’m sure you’d love it there too!