The Moors - it's a marmite thing

Not everyone loves a moorland landscape. The vast, seemingly empty wilderness can feel overwhelming, and perhaps unexciting. They look beautiful in September when the heather is in full bloom, but are they a good place to explore with kids at other times of year?

The Moors - it's a marmite thing

According to our kids, it’s a resounding yes to getting out on the moors whatever the weather. Their first experience of the North Yorkshire Moors came this Easter when we decided to plan a holiday around revisiting the area where Mr P grew up. This was the first time we’d been back on the moors as a family in 6 years – little bro was just a tiny speck in my tummy back then!

On the moors overlooking the coast at Robin Hoods Bay the sun was shining, the heather was springy and the kids loved leaping about (as did the dog) over the heather and finding secret paths to follow. The open space inspired them to run further and explore more.

The 7yo, still following his passion for birds of prey, was over the moon to be on the exact same spot that his dad used to fly his birds and walk his dogs when he was a young lad. He decided to build a bird’s nest (for a Hobby apparently) amongst the heather, and his little brother followed suit.

Two days later and the fog which had settled on the moorland the day before was still refusing to move. It was bitterly cold and those glorious views were hidden. We’d made plans to meet friends for lunch at legendary pub, The Red Lion, at Blakey Ridge, but before we could eat we had our boys and dog to exercise. So, we took them for a walk. Layer upon layer was added beneath their waterproofs – the little one in his trusty Spotty Otter Forest Ranger jacket which has THE best hood – and we walked out onto the moors.

It was incredibly atmospheric walking through the fog. We kept the kids and dogs close at all times, except when we’d send an adult and kid ahead together to see how far they’d have to go before they disappeared. It really wasn’t far at all!

Suitably chilled through we started our walk back to the pub, peering through the fog looking for the sign leading to the path up to the road. A cosy pub, warm food and good friends was the perfect antidote to the April chill.

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About the Author

Deborah Patterson

Deborah Patterson

About Me & Mine

I am a writer, editor, wife and mum to two very lively boys aged seven and five - and not forgetting Oakley, our bouncy black lab. Most days with my boys are an adventure of sorts, but at weekends we love to get out and about in our local countryside of the spectacular North Wessex Downs AONB either on wheels or on foot.

Favourite place in the world:

The mountains! I was lucky enough to have grandparents living in Salzburg, Austria when I grew up and have always had a love for the mountains. In summer I love the walks and the views, and in winter the smell of snow and skiing.

Favourite things to do outdoors:

There is a favourite spot in the next village along from us - some woods which are full of possibilities. There are streams to splash through, mud to get stuck in, 'dinosaur' ferns to hide amongst and fallen trees to bug-hunt in. Every time we go up there as a family we have a magical time. It helps that there's a cafe and pub where we park the car so we can finish the walk with a hot chocolate!

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