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For as long as I can remember I have been very fortunate to be born into a family who always loved putting on strong ‘sturdy’ shoes – walking boots to you and I, and then wandering into the great out doors.
This love has stayed with me to this day and I have a number of my favourite places I’ve visited over the years that I’m going to be sharing with you and recommending. Why these specific ones are a great idea if you have the time, money (though always little needed other than for the travel, accommodation aspect if needed) to add to some of those ‘Would like to do…one day’ mental lists.
I used to be attracted to big walks in my teens and twenties that were a challenge to my fitness i.e. some of our stunning countries biggest mountains and Munro’s in Scotland. (The picture here is of me at the summit of Ben Nevis one bitterly cold New Years holiday. It is not the case anymore as I’m much kinder to my body and now choose to remain closer to sea level although some climbs are still nice, I have other motivations that find me pawing over many an OS map (I’ve a collection that could plaster the insides of Euston). I have also discovered with my obsession with maps and the places they can invite you to try out – that I even love having the chance to look at older maps, antiquated ones even, that tell us different stories about the landscapes that may still hold traces of importance today.
Today my walks vary in length from being out an hour to 4 or max 5. Depending on pace and ‘interest’ points. In terms of miles is anything from 4 to 15. Weather dependent and also for safety adequate gear and all other points considered for nothing to happen to cause problems for others to pick up. Always make sure you let someone know where you are going and what time expected back if you can. I’ve been a solo walker for many of my amazing times out, though these days I have a great walking partner who shares a similar motivation for my adventures and discoveries.
I had set up a walking club when I was stationed in the NE of England with the BBC. I rediscovered some of the walks from my childhood with my walk loving parents that now look out over different views from a changed landscape or two but haven’t lost their ancient roots and appeal, regardless. An area rich in many things including the warmth and cheer of locals its always a pleasure when I get the chance to visit my roots.
As I’ve already mentioned walking was primarily for exercise and well being, still is. For me apart from Pilates and Dance there is little else to come close to hours spent in our Green Gym which is, of course, free.
Increasingly maybe in tandem with each year that advances in my life span I am drawn to places that hold bags of history. The more ancient the better. I research, plan and then research more my routes and get giddy with anticipation to then find the day to explore and discover.
Its not just places of ancient history, some more modern history and science too.
To whet your appetites, I’m going to be doing a few of my favourites and will record some of these to see if they’re for you too. Once they’ve been logged and bagged and vlogged they will be here for you to check out. Enjoy joining the muddy booter brigade!
Weardale, NE England
Second Coast, Wester Ross, Highlands.
High and Low Force, Teesdale.