Outdoor Discoveries

What originally was a news section for the rest of the website soon became a place for me to write about human-powered wanderings in the countryside. Photography inspires me to get out there, mostly on foot these days, though cycling got me started. Musings on the wider context of outdoor activity complete the picture, so I hope that there is something of interest in all that you find here. Thank you for coming!

Why go elsewhere when there are good things nearby?

9th October 2012

The past few weekends have seen me enjoy walks through local countryside. For instance Sunday saw me drop from the Cat and Fiddle Inn into the Goyt Valley before walking along its length as far as Whaley Bridge. Skies may have filled with cloud as I went and much mud may have been encountered but that reminder from last January while on another walk from the same starting point that landed me in Buxton at its end was set to prove its worth and I wouldn’t mind having another hike around there either.

The Saturday of the previous weekend came up sunny too and I used the afternoon for a walk from Bollington back to my house that took in the Saddle of Kerridge and Tegg’s Nose Country Park as I revisited parts that I should frequent more often than I do. In fact, that was a thought that occupied my thoughts as I took in my surroundings. With so much on my doorstep, I have been wondering why do I not get out there more often.

That may get corrected on the evidence of the Saturday before that again when I followed part of Macclesfield Canal while en route to Lyme Green Retail Park on a shopping errand. A short snippet like that neatly fits into a life with other things that need doing. Little outings often have their uses in getting out of doors to build up to bigger ones and that certainly has been happening over the last few weeks.

During that time, thoughts of wandering around Teesdale from Middleton-in-Teesdale has surfaced more than once only for working week fatigue to put paid to the scheme. The same thing has defeated a trip to Abergavenny to go up and down Sgyrryd Fawr. Another is playing more of a part now as well: local attractions. That’s quite a change given how delights that were further away once blinded me to what lay nearby.

For instance, Sunday offered choices that I struggled to decide between them. One possibility was a walk that took me from the Cat and Fiddle Inn, over Shutlingsloe and then onto home. It was one that would have been my choice but for the sight of cloud advancing from the south. Reprising the Gritstone Trail between Bollington and Disley was another and there’s walking along the Macclesfield Canal between Macclesfield and Congleton in mind too. Then sun shone and decision needed overcoming to get out the door. The Goyt Valley may have got my vote on the day but the others remain tempting though and would make ideal walks for shorter days too.

However, that isn’t to say that walks have been discounted because the list of trip reports that need writing include a range of destinations: Loch Ericht and Glen Tilt in Scotland, Cumbria’s Howgill Fells, the Gower in south Wales and Pembrokeshire in west Wales. Of these, I scarcely have made any mention of those August visits to Wales. The Gower saw me walk from Rhossili to Prot Eynon and its a hike that I can recommend. On a long deserved return to Pembrokeshire, I sampled part of the coastal path between Strumble Head and Fishguard. Cloud may have filled skies on both of these – is that becoming something of a feature for me, I wonder? – but the walking was good and that’s all that I ever ask.

So, I have some sharing to do and more ideas on places to be exploring and revisiting. The shortness of some of my designs should mean that the shorter days of winter should not be an excuse for hibernation. Getting in (at least) one longer walk every month has become my target and it seems to happening so far. It’s a habit that I wish to continue.

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