Although I’m writing this on a particularly rainy day, May really has been pretty glorious so far, giving us some perfect weather for adventures. The good weather, #NationalWalkingMonth and new shoes from Little Trekkers (Meindl Responds for the 7yo) inspired us to plan an epic walk. Most often we head out from the house on foot and walk around our local area, but for this walk we decided to try something new. We even had to pick up a new OS Map as we were heading over the border to Wiltshire (sounds more dramatic than it was, we only drove for 30 minutes to the starting point!).
Articles in Category: South West
Something we’ve wanted to do for a long time is to take the children canoe-camping. This would open up lots of tantalising possibilities: a descent of the Thames, the Wye, or the Spey; a journey through the Great Glen, across Rannoch Moor; or an adventure into Knoydart or to Suilven.
To be honest, getting the kids out for a dog walk can be brutally tough at times. We know that once they're out they have the best time, enjoying the freedom of the open countryside, the excitement of playing in the woods, and simply getting as muddy as possible. They, however, don't seem to remember that and can put up an almighty battle.
James and I have a long-distance walk coming up soon and, to be ready for it, we have been ‘getting some miles in’. The other day, I was pondering what we might do, and thought of walking to Avebury.
“But what happens when it’s raining? How do you get them to walk then?” Once I’ve described how, with a bit of determination and imagination, it’s perfectly possible to get the children to go for that walk, there’s usually an immediate follow-on question about how to achieve this in wet weather. The answer is ‘More of the same!’
Going out in our canoes is always fun, but a journey brings the bonus of a real sense of achievement. We had lots of great days on the Helford River last summer, but the one I most enjoyed was the descent of the tidal part of the river from Gweek to the sea.
Another place we really like to visit during ‘Snowdrop Season’ is Colesbourne Park in the Gloucestershire Cotswolds. It opens for just ten days each year to allow people to admire the snowdrops. We didn’t manage to go last year, and so we were determined to make up for it this year.
Hurrah! Our Bog Boots arrived, and super smart they are too (or should I say were, for reasons which will become clear). The 7yo chose the black ones and was happy to have Darth Vader boots again (his previous wellies were black too).
“But how do you get them to walk?” This is something I am frequently asked by other parents when we exchange stories about weekends and holidays and I tell them about our walks. “I’d love to do a walk like that with my children, but it’s just not possible!” they say. My standard answer is that it’s almost certainly possible with a bit of determination and imagination.
Back in the summer – which now seems impossibly long ago – we were trying to get used to going out in two canoes. One particular day, we thought we would again trolley the canoes the mile to the creek on the Helford River, and explore downstream. We calculated that, although it would be a neap tide, we should still have enough water to launch as long as we didn’t faff too much.
A few of the places we really like to visit are open only during ‘Snowdrop Season’. One of these is Welford Park, near Newbury. News that the cold weather had produced perfect conditions for the snowdrops there was enough to make us hotfoot it over to see them.
I was recently inspired by an article I read about how we are now raising our children in captivity - this notion really struck a chord with me - perhaps because of my own upbringing in the sprawling concrete jungle of Hong Kong, or perhaps because sometimes it just is 'easier' to turn on the TV and let your kids while away their childhood.