Overall, in 2018 we hiked 28 times. That’s 2 per month, with the odd bank holiday thrown in. For a family that works and schools full time, I think that’s a great feat.
I’ve whittled down our favourite hikes from the year, and yes, I am that person who writes where we’ve been and who we’ve seen in my little Filofax!
The kids absolutely loved this hike. We walked up the side of a hill to enter a huge cavernous space with fantastic views over Manifold Valley. We made up stories about bears and cavemen and picnicked with sheep.
Four Falls Walk, Brecon Beacons.
This was a long day involving 4 cascading waterfalls and the magnificent Sgwyd Yr Eira which can be stood behind. This was an amazing experience for the children, and they loved interacting with nature. We loved hunting out the waterfalls and saved the best till last.
Clee Hill. Shropshire
This was a very cold winter walk, as the beast from the east reared it’s ugly head. We hopped around in waist deep snow and made snow angels. The sledge was rescued from the depths of the garage and given a few whirls down the hills. It’s never too cold to have some fun!
Kinver Edge Rock Houses.
This is a National Trust property, so as we have passes, we took advantage of a free afternoon out. We first explored the woodland then had a mooch around the quirky little homes that people lived in, even as late as the 1960’s. There were guides in the houses with whom the children took delight in talking to as quickly as they could and barraging them with many questions.
Reynard Caves – Dovedale.
Just up past the Dovedale stepping stones, there are numerous caves along the side of the river. We walked a mile or so until we found the infamous Reynard Cave, a popular site for climbers. We scrambled up the rock face in blistering heat, the children loving the challenge of this particular hike. After we had exhausted ourselves, a splash in the river was heaven for our aching feet.
Llandudno. The Great Orme.
We had taken a small camping break with ParkDeans resorts in the small town of Twyn , North Wales. Over the 5 days we were there, we undertook a Treasure Trails map activity and walked for miles around the town of Llandudno. We walked up to the Great Orme, as the cable cars were not working that day, found a trig and meandered through the cemetery. A good talking point for the kids where we spoke about respect for where we are and the things around us. The kids loved thinking about the history surrounding the graves too.
Malvern Hills. Worcestershire.
At the height of football season, we escaped the chaos and got lost on the hills of Malvern. Again, this was a hot day to hike so we took it slow and kept it short. We prefer autumn/winter hikes as we don’t cope well with heat, unless we are in the vicinity of a swimming pool!
The Roaches. Peak District.
We have explored the Roaches a few times now, but this time, we walked along Hen Cloud for a different perspective. It was quieter but the same classic views were heralded from the top. A good few miles were walked along here to blow away the boredom of the 6 week holidays.
Ordnance survey held a fantastic walking event over the country with guided walks in different areas. This was to incentivise people to Get Outside and feel the benefits of fresh air and green views. We met some lovely people, including Mel Nicholls and Ben Fogle; yes, the one and only! I took my Mom along for the walk and we completed a 3 mile circuit around Dovedale Stepping Stones.
Peak District: Ladybower to Edale and Jacobs Ladder.
Over the course of a weekend, we walked 25 miles across the Peak District for charity. We raised money for Birmingham Childrens Hospital, bonded as a family and felt the most amazing sense of pride in our children. They walked their little socks off all around Edale and practically ran up Jacobs Ladder. It was wet and cold and muddy but we had the most amazing weekend.
Mount Snowdon – Snowdonia.
This was hard work. More emotionally than physically. The kids were absolutely wonderful. They climbed and scrambled and hiked up the mountain with not a negative word between them. Unfortunately, at 15 minutes to the summit, we had to turn around due to visibility and safety as sheet ice had formed on the ground. I was unhappy with the decision but it was the best one for us, and we will certainly conquer Snowdon again, when the conditions are better. We still had a brilliant hike as a family traversing the famous cwm of Snowdonia.
Scotland. The Cairngorms
What an absolute beauty of a place to visit. The rolling hills, the large forests and amazing lochs. We stayed in Aviemore, close to Loch Morlich and Loch an Eileen for a small Christmas break. On Boxing Day we climbed towards the Cairngorm mountain and danced around in the snow that had gathered in clumps. We slid down the slopes on our bums, laughing as a family should at Christmas time. Aviemore is a beautiful little town in the heart of Scotland’s greatest mountain range and I only wish we would have had more time to explore. We will definitely be back again.
We’ve had some brilliant adventures this year, all over the U.K. Please let me know if you have any recommendations of places to stay or areas you think we may like. Thank you for reading!