For the final meet up of 2019 we went back to where it all started. For us as a family, and for the first ever Hikerkidz walk. On the 29th of December, 9 families comprising of 22 children and 37 people in total descended on the car park of Mam Tor. And one small dog too!
The Youngest HikerKid Ever!
The childrens’ ages ranged from 6 months to 13 years, some of them we had met before, but we had a lot of new faces too.
Before we had even set off, the kids were running around like they’d known each other for years. Hopping over the stones and rolling down the small hill, they were comfortable with each others’ company, without judging or scrutinising each other.
We started our walk at 11.30, as we were waiting for 2 other families to show. They didn’t, so we carried on and hoped they would join us afterwards.
The route up to Mam Tor is fairly straight forward. Just a slightly steep path running straight from the car park to the trig point. There were lots of people around; groups of runners, other families who decided to burn off the Christmas chocolate, and general photographers and walkers.
The older boys strode on and reached the top several minutes before everybody else, and we waited for people to catch up. We went as slow as we needed to, to accommodate everybody’s needs. There was a baby in a carrier fighting against the wind, little 3 year old legs and bigger legs that weren’t quite oiled up yet!
The weather had blessed us on this day. The sun shone brightly in the sky and views could be seen for miles. We were very lucky.
Once everybody had a picture at the trig, we carried on over towards Hollins Cross on the ridge line and as far as we could manage. I felt uneasy about going too far, just in case some weren’t quite as comfortable as others, but everybody seemed to be doing OK.
We stopped for a bit of lunch and so the baby could feed, then carried on straight on the path, and up a steeper section on the ridge. Views spread out before us and a lovely vantage point allowed some nice family photos to be taken. It was here that I grew more uneasy about pushing some children further, especially as the sun was starting to get lower. We had walked about 2 hours by this point so I made the decision to head back before we lost the light.
One family went ahead to touch the Losehilll point, while we went back down to fetch one of the members who had stayed at the bottom of the steeper section.
A few of the children certainly could have made it further, but I wanted them to go home happy, and not overworked for their first experience of a meet up!
Conversations carried on between adults and children. Harry Potter, raising children, past adventures; we talked about it all. Adults mingled and the kids just loved being in someone else’s company for a while.
Back at the car park, I handed out the goody bags as a thank you to all the children for coming out with us. I think they were a hit as we chatted away some more over Celebrations and Haribo.
Everybody seemed happy, and I consider it to be the most successful HikerKidz meet to date.
Thank you everybody for joining us on a little adventure. I think there’s something special about being outside and allowing children to become more sociable, air out their feelings and to allow themselves to be free in the countryside for a little while. And to share that with friends is the best feeling in the world.
As a massive plus to the day, we drove home under the most beautiful colour sky I have ever seen!
If you would like to be part of the community, then please head over to the Hikerkidz Facebook group. There you can find inspiration, new friends to walk with and to share your future adventurers! There will also be event information for future meet ups.