A look back to last year’s NationalWalkingMonth and wishing we were back out there charging around!
Walking or as I like to call it Hiking (sounds more impressive), used to be a staple part of my social calendar as well as the corner stone to my weight losee last year and the year before. It’s also been the bedrock of some of my greatest memories like the time Beth and I scaled Snowdon in the Snow, Dorothy climbed a 6ft rock pile when she was 1 1/2, or when Mrs P and the family met me after doing the Coast to Coast.
But there’s never enough time to do a proper walk. You have to make time, and for the first time in 2 years of asking, we agree to join David and his adorable family, for a Potty Adventures Hike with Millets and Ordnance Survey for #NationalWalkingMonth.
Who is PottyAdventures
If you don’t know David, PottyAdventures is the most amazing blog/group/ethos for parenting and creating adventures with your family. He’s a proper Four Seasons Dad in the way he’ll make memories and with his children be it up a mountain, walking along a river or climbing through the forest. A proper dad.
Let’s not forget the stars of the show though, his two children are a bundle of energy, exploring everything, being inquisitive and most of all, getting involved.
David’s an Ordnance Survey #GetOutdoors champion, and he’s taking us on a beautiful route around Beddgelert.
Our Adventure In Beddgelert
Sunday Morning Start
If you didn’t know, Beddgelert is approximately 3 hours from our house in Wigan if you include a few stops for snacks/drinks and fuel. It’s right in Snowdonia National Park and just knowing this was enough to convince us to set our alarms really early and get on our way.
After arriving at the National Trust car park in Nantmoor, L554YH, we all got our kit together ready for the day.
Now as a novice walker, I’ve always got to check and double check what to take. My normal kit include a waterproof bag, enough water for walking (approx 500ml per hour), hiking poles if needed, boots, base layer, thermal layer and waterproof if required. Snacks are always good and then we have group kit to take.
But all the preperation in the walk for Three, including a toddler, doesn’t prepare you for a poorly little girl and this was no exception.
Waking up first thing, Dorothy wasn’t at her normal best with the sniffles after a poor night’s sleep. We took some oral paracetamol with us and there was an option of the carrier, but Dorothy refused and we started the walk, with it!
Our Route – Aberglasyn Woods
I’d never been to this area of Snowdonia before so it was a complete surprise and David was great to ensure we knew the route ahead, what we needed to be prepared for with Dorothy not being 100% and some of the features to look out for on route.
The walk comprised of a start at Nantmoor through Aberglasyn Woods up to the summit and then down into Beddgelert where there’s the best ice cream ever.
This was the section that was going to cause us some discomfort as Dorothy found the walking a little hard work and as she was poorly, Mrs P was the only one that she’d be carried by. It was hard going for me as I’ve not walked in a long while and didn’t stretch properly before hand. Mrs P was a real hero and worked her way up the trail step by step to the top. But it was so worth it!
The Mental Clarity Walking Gives You
It’s been a long time since I put the boots on and did a proper walk. From training and completing the Coast to Coast in 2017, and Fulham to Birmingham in 2018, there’s only been the odd walk. I forgot how clear my mind becomes when I’m walking and how much it allows me to think about things. It’s almost like the increase in oxygen and adrennaline, coupled with the sense of achievement, flows through your body and revitalises you ready for the week ahead. I really should do this more.
Next Stop Ice Cream!
After a stop at the top for a brew (thanks David) and a picnic for the little ones, I was intrigued with the route as it’s normally me that plans the walks, and David and I went through the map. As an ex Senior Patrol Leader at Scouts, I had some orienteering knowledge around using the landscape to guide you, but I took the opportunity to get a free lesson on how to read maps using a compass (if the battery dies on my GPS haha).
Little did I know that the lines on the compass line up with the OS Maps to ensure you’re facing in the right direction and know what’s ahead (hopefully the destination.)
I also got a look at the amazing OS Trail GPS. I’ve never seen an OS Map on a GPD device before, one where you can create routes on the fly and also follow way markers. One of the massive shortfalls of my GPS watch. You follow the route but if things change, routes blocked etc, you’re kind of stuck! So after a quick lesson, we pack up and get ready to walk down into Beddgelert. Thankfully, Dorothy’s now picked up a little bit and enjoying walking down the steps and trails into the Village. And what a walk it was!
What Children They Have!
Natalie and David should be so pleased to have such wonderful children. Their constant attempts to cheer Dorothy up, bring her little finds from the trail, engaging her in the world around and finally taking her hand to make sure she’s safe walking down into Beddgelert.
Such innocence and empathy to help another little one, who’s clearly a little grizzly to navigate her way down to the Icecream Shop 🙂
We were also told about the tale of Gelert the Dog, and how he was killed after saving a child from the Wolf. We also saw his grave and as Dorothy was amazed, a statue made in it’s honour!
Rewards for Half Way
After a really tough but beautiful walk so far, after having to walk slowly and carry Dorothy the majority of the way, Mrs P and I were ready for our own rewards as well as the children!. There’s always room for an ice cream of course and Glaslyn in Beddgelert was just what the Doctor ordered!
The next part of the route was going to be fun, I could see David’s eyes light up when describing the walk along fast moving water. We were told in advance about the sections of narrow paths and to be extra vigilent with the children. The heads up was well appreciated and we headed out to one of the most glorious river walks ever!
Creating Wonder and the Freedom to Explore
I read an amazing post by David around hiking with Children and some of the things that we need to know. – http://pottyadventures.com/tips-and-guides/the-great-outdoors/top-5-things-weve-learned-about-hiking-with-toddlers/
It’s so true that a lot of society consider taking children up a mountain, climbing rocks, in the wind, rain or cold. As long as you take precautions to ensure safety, spend as much time on their preperation as your own, get the right kit (no chinese knock offs here), and plan routes etc, then I say why not!
Just look at her face. She’s climbed that herself with just me around her in case she slips. Which of course she didn’t because she had the confidence that I was there and an adventurous side.
Go And Explore
Yes,it’s National Walking Month, but it isn’t an excuse not to go walking any other month. Time doesn’t stop because you don’t have any, and children don’t stop growing up because you don’t have time for them. Make time, schedule time out in your diary because that 6-hour return trip, will be worth its weight in gold when you’re no longer able to go this or they become teenagers, get jobs and become adults before your very eyes.
You also get to impart curiosity to their lives (safely of course. Teach yourself about birds, trees or nature and share the knowledge with them and then get them to share to their friends. Dorothy took sheep wool and pine cones into Nursery, telling her school friends all about her Potty Adventure.
We teamed up with Potty Adventures, Millets and Ordnance Survey for this adventure on a completely non-paid for hike.
We got some amazing walking poles from Millets to assist with the walk along with these books to give ourselves a tick list for our two favourite districts, Peak and Lake. If that doesn’t inspire me, there’s always the Free OS Maps App to find another route.