We have lived in this town for around 7 years now and we really don’t know much about our local area. Being non-drivers means that we’re a bit stuck with where we can go without the help of public transport. However, being at home for the last 9 weeks has meant that we needed to explore a bit more so that we didn’t go stir crazy. With the help of some Facebook groups, we realised that there are two sets of woods within walking distance and also a canal. We didn’t know how far it was or how long we’d be out though so we made sure to take a good water bottle with us.
It’s quite bad really that we’ve lived here for this long and we didn’t know where any of this was. I think we mostly thought that everything was too far away to walk or it wasn’t suitable to take Erin in her pushchair. A couple of weeks ago we took a chance and ventured off to the woods and it’s now one of Erin’s favourite places. A neighbour told us how we could get to the canal recently though so we made a point of exploring a bit. John went off on his own first for a test run, then I went with him on a different route.
This particular part of the canal is about a 20 minute walk from home and there are 3 different ways to get to it. Two of these routes are mostly down country roads so not completely safe for Erin but one route is more residential but we didn’t find this out until we took Erin for a walk too.
Once there, it’s a straight walk right down to the lock and the mill at the other end. For me and John it’s such a nice, peaceful walk and the view is stunning. There are cows there with their calves at the minute and we sometimes see the occasional deer too. I’m sure if we looked more closely there would be lots of other kinds of wildlife to see as well.
Erin really loved the walk here, although she spent more time on her Dad’s shoulders than she did walking. Once we got to the lock she asked loads of questions about why the water stopped, what the gates were for and where the water went. It was so good to hear her being so excited about something new and to listen to all of the things she had thought about.
There is also another way to go along the canal, with a different way to get there. This walk includes a small stroll through the woods (leading to bigger woods) and a whole different part of the canal. This walk isn’t really suitable for Erin as the walk there isn’t smooth, involves steps and is not suitable at all for the pushchair. I’ve only been there once so far with John but hopefully we can go again another night on another walk.
While lockdown isn’t easy, or really much fun, being able to discover new places that have been here the whole time is really great. It’s nice to get to know our local area better and to make the most of the places right on our doorstep.
If, like me, you’re trying to hit your 10,000 steps a day it is worth looking into different ways this can be achieved.
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