Hasn’t January been long?! It seems as though Christmas was so long ago and we are back into the swing of school and work. A new year brings many new plans of adventure, and they are certainly in full swing at the moment! Have a read of our adventure goals if you want a nosy!
So, on to our January 2020 round up to see how the year started for us.
January 2020 Round Up
Our traditional New years Day walk was cancelled this year, due to me being poorly. It’s not very often I take a sick day, but I needed one then! Therefore, our first outing was the weekend after New Years. I had received a book of ‘100 Outstanding Walks’ for Christmas so obviously we had to choose one from there to experience. It’s not often that we head down the map, so I chose the Goodrich Castle walk, in Herefordshire. My mom came along and we happily explored the castle ruins in blue skies and sunshine weather. We weren’t too far away from Symonds Yat, and, being curious as to what the Yat actually is, we drove down to explore there too.
Symonds Yat is beautiful. A Forestry Commission area, it is well stocked for visitors, without distracting too much from the beauty that surrounds the area. I’m glad we went in January though, as I imagine that the summer months can get quite busy. The views over the River Wye are spectacular, and there are many walks to be undertaken around the area. We covered 4 miles in all and were happy to have discovered a new area on our map.
A rare Saturday off for myself (due to Oliver taking a senior school exam) resulted in a microadventure! We got a fantastic deal for a room at YHA Coniston Holly How in the Lake District so headed up there on Saturday afternoon. We arrived in Keswick first to an absolute downpour. Latrigg beckoned us and we hopped out into the rain to find the bench overlooking Keswick town. We were out of the car for only half an hour and were drenched to our knickers! The kids were in fantastic spirits and ran all the way back to the car!
The YHA we stayed in is about half an hour from Keswick so off we went and settled in there for the night. The kids love stopping somewhere other than home and arranged their teddies and books in their nooks. You can read the full review of the accommodation here.
We woke to better weather and decided to go hunting for waterfalls. Skelwith Force was our first visit. We parked the car and walked the half mile along the river to the waterfall. I find them so therapeutic and the kids love to stand and watch the water over the rocks. We got quite close to the water via a metal bridge suspended above the falls, so that was an experience for the day.
We then drove 10 minutes to Ambleside and found Stock Ghyll falls. Located behind the Ambleside Salutation Hotel, it is surprising to find so much nature hidden in a small town. Again, a half mile walk brought us to the larger waterfall but I decided this wasn’t enough and so we walked on to Wansfell Pike. The views from the summit are amazing. And it’s only when you get to the absolute top that you really drink it all in. Full views of the Lake District and beyond. Another Wainwright ticked off our list and a lovely break away in the Lake District has hopefully set us up for a nice year ahead.
I introduced my mother into the wonderful world of Walk 1000 Miles. As promoted by Country Walking magazine, the aim is to walk 1000 miles in the year. I am hoping this will spur her on to be more active and also to train us all for Hadrians Wall later on in the year. We arranged to try out an urban walk in her home town of Telford. We walked from Madeley through to Blists Hill and along part of the Silkin Way. It was a pleasant, if not a muddy walk and we opened up new avenues for my mom to explore on her own.
Following on with the Walk 1000 miles challenge, my mother and I had another day of exploring. This time, we gained a bit of height on the Wrekin. There were no views due to a heavy mist all day, but we had lots of laughs and a chance to bond as mother and daughter. I thoroughly recommend getting your loved ones out for one-on-one time outdoors. It’s a fantastic opportunity to just chat away, while keeping active and healthy too.
For the last weekend of the month, we kept it local again and headed over to Ironbridge for another few miles in the bag. Unfortunately the section of the Severn Way that I wanted to access, was closed for sewage works. We ended up walking a 4 mile circular route around Ironbridge, crossing the famed bridge a few times, climbing trees and spying on ducks. The weather wasn’t brilliant, but again, any fresh air is good air! And that is all for the January 2020 round up!
All in all, January ended up being a good month for exploration. I’m glad we got a few miles in to start the year, and I’ve also returned to the gym to try and increase my fitness. I shall update the blog with how that is going as I am worried for our Hadrian Wall journey, and would like to be in better shape than I am now!
How was your start to 2020?