BookMyTrail

Customer Case Study – Walking the Pembrokeshire Coast Path

I had the pleasure of receiving an email from Susanne back in January 2018 – an excited email which clearly detailed her plans, dates, and budget (the perfect starting point!). I emailed within a few days, as I always try to do with a proposed itinerary, and some information on BookMyTrails booking service to ensure Susanne had the full picture. It only took a few emails of back and forth, clarifying details and asking some questions before together we had an itinerary in place.

Sometimes it takes 10 emails to get things just right, sometimes it takes two. Either way, I am always happy to work with clients until we have things just right, after all it’s your walking holiday.

After payment of the deposit, I passed the booking information onto Kimberley, who handles the actual important task of making the reservations. I’ve been fortunate enough to work with Kimberley for over a year now, and she books everything perfectly every time – communicating details to me with precision and honestly, I have never had an issue with anything she has booked.

Susanne’s booking was in good hands.

A few weeks after payment we were finished with bookings. Sometimes it takes a few weeks and for some bookings only days to arrange everything. Either way, we aim to have all bookings completed within 1-2 weeks.

When the booking was finished, I emailed Susanne her itinerary.

We booked with some of our favorite accommodations including Glendower Guest House, the quirky Hybernia Pub and recently established Brynteg Bed and Breakfast.

Once Susanne had approved the itinerary, I fired off my accommodation confirmations, sent an invoice for collection of final payment and and sent Susannes money safely on its way to each of her B&Bs.

All that needed to happen now was the walk 🙂

Fun Facts

If this walk was booked through a normal walking holiday company, including the solo supplement, the total would have been about: £1710.00

We managed to book this walk for approximately £1160.00. However that does not include a luggage transfer which probably would have been an extra £200.00, bringing the total to £1360.00, that’s a saving of £350.00! Although we don’t work in a conventional way, and your walk is not covered under the package travel regulations, we do offer an honest, professional and reliable service.

It was a pleasure to bring yet another clients walk to life, and Susanne kindly sent me some photos of her walk!

Enjoy!

 

For those wishing to use the itinerary for 15 nights, 14 days please feel free:

FromToDistance (miles)Distance (km)
HomeSt Dogmaels00
St DogmaelsNewport2415
NewportGoodwick/Fishguard22.514
Goodwick/FishguardAber Mawr2012.5
Aber MawrAbereiddy1610
AbereiddySt David’s2515.5
St David’sNewgale17.511
NewgaleMarloes22.514
MarloesDale13.58.5
DaleMilford Haven1610
Milford HavenPembroke17.511
PembrokeAngle1610
AngleBosherston2415
BosherstonManorbier17.511
ManorbierAmroth2415
AmrothHome00

 

 

Walking Hadrian’s Wall in 4 days

You have completed the 3 Peaks and perhaps you’re looking for a new challenge. Maybe you only have a little bit of time to spare, and 4 days is all you can dedicate to your goal of walking the Wall. Either way, it is possible to walk Hadrian’s Wall Path in 4 days, but be prepared for a challenge: Make sure you are fit enough for the miles required. Here is an overview of the itinerary:

Arrive in Newcastle/Wallsend for your first night

Day 1.

Walk from Newcastle to Heddon-on-the-Wall, starting at Segedunum Fort – 15 miles

Day 2.

Walk from Heddon-on-the-Wall to Steel Rigg – 27 Miles

Day 3.

Walk from Steel Rigg to Crosby on Eden – 24 Miles

Day 5.

Walk from Crosby on Eden to Bowness-on-Solway – 19 Miles

The Hardest sections are between Heddon-on-the-Wall and Crosby on Eden, and the easiest sections are before and after the bits which skirt through the bottom of the Northumberland National Park.

If you do want to tackle this route, make sure you are fit enough and have the adequate kit for the challenge.

Good luck!

Hadrian’s Wall Walk Suggested Itinerary – 6 Days and 7 Nights.

By far the most popular way to walk a long distance trail is by camping, or lodging the night prior to your first days walking, and also the night at the end.

Giving yourself permission to settle, check your maps, talk with your host and if required have somewhere to leave your bags is really helpful. And then on your final day, a warm welcome and a relaxed evening spent in the company of other finishers is a great way to end your hike.

BookMyTrail’s itinerary guides, such as this one will always suggest this type of itinerary.

The following itinerary is for the Hadrian’s Wall Path, 6 days and 7 nights. Various alternatives exist, but this is one I have repeatedly booked for clients and found to be the best:

Overview

Travel to Wallsend for your first night, prior to your walk

Walking Day 1.

Walk from Wallsend to Heddon-on-the-Wall – 15 miles | 24km

Try staying in the Dorset Arms Hotel, Wallsend. It’s close to the trail and a reasonable price, with high-quality accommodation.

https://www.dorsetarmshotel.co.uk/

Walking Day 2.

Walk fromHeddon-on-the-Wall to Chollerford – 15 miles | 24km

Stay in the Dovecote, a quirky B&B set into a stunning location and a short walk from the trail. We have used this since we started BookMyTrail and many happy walkers have enjoyed their stay here.

http://www.dovecotehadrianswall.co.uk/

Walking Day 3.

Walk from Chollerford to Once Brewed – 12 miles | 19km

Check out the Twice Brewed Inn – Good food, great local ales and on point accommodation plus easy access to the trail.

http://www.twicebrewedinn.co.uk/

Walking Day 4.

Walk from Once Brewed to Lanercost – 14.5 miles | 23km

Quarry side is pretty close to the wall, and offers cozy accommodation, or camping all for a reasonable cost and with breakfast included in the B&B option.

http://www.quarryside.co.uk/bedrooms/

Walking Day 5.

Walk from Lanercost to Carlisle – 13 miles | 21km

Carlisle has loads of places to stay. Check out air B&B or booking.com for a number of good quality options at fair prices.

Walking Day 6.

Walk from Carlisle to Bowness-on-Solway – 14.5 miles | 23km

For wigwams, camping or a B&B check out this great place to stay in Bowness-on-Solway

http://www.wallsend.net/

You have finished you walk.

It’s easy to get back to the start. Simply get the 93 back to Carlisle, and hop on the trail to Newcastle.

Need your bags moving? Look no further than Hadrian’s Haul.

I hope you found this itinerary helpful. Get in touch if you have any questions.

 

 

 

Customer Review – The Thames Path

The review below was very kindly written for me by Thea, who recently walked the Thames Path, booked by BookMyTrail. Thea actually contacted me last year and walked the South Down’s Way in glorious weather in April. She was one of my first 10 bookings! I was delighted to receive another email from Thea this year asking if I book the Thames Path. My answer was no, not as standard, but I am always happy to give routes a go. That being said I have booked it a few times but always found it a little tricky to put together so I tend to avoid it as a standard offering. 

Fortunately, everything went well, and Thea kindly sent me this wonderful write up after her walk. 

Thank you for your business Thea! I hope you book with us again for your next walking break.

 

I was very lucky with the weather. It was mostly dry and sunny during the two weeks, I walked – only a few hours with light rain.

This route following the river Thames is very easy walking. There are only a few short ascends, where it is necessary to divert from the river. Walking 20-25 km per day was no problem for me (woman, 57 years, experienced long-distance walker). My biggest challenge was during the first few days: The winter 2017/18 had been very wet, and the walking route was flooded in some parts – never dangerous – but in some places, I had to walk through ankle-high water for some miles – or divert from the route either by following another trail or by trespassing into the next field. From the Round House near Lechlade, the route mostly follows old towpaths and flooding is not a problem.

In planning, I had expected a route walking from town to town. But in fact, it is surprisingly rural. And in late April not very busy. Apart from the morning dog walkers, I had hours and days walking alone until I reached Richmond. It is only the last two days you walk on hard surface. But if you seek wild nature, mountains or dramatic views, this is not a route for you.

I found the walk beautiful in springtime. Passing through meadows, fields, small woods, attractive villages and small towns, weirs and locks – farmland and nature formed by people and the water way. The few longer diversions away from the river were very attractive. And most of the accommodations located in villages or small towns giving you the possibility of more choices for your evening meal. Be aware that in the smaller villages especially in the Cotswolds, it is necessary to book a table at the pub, if you want to eat there in a weekend or bank holiday.

Walking along a big river was very interesting for me: Once the river was big enough for sailing, it was always busy with barges and boats and in many places rowing teams would train. And plenty of wildlife – primarily birds – all along the way.

The route only skirts around the edge of the Oxford, so if you want to visit, you have to book at least one extra overnight stay. The first stop after Oxford was Abingdon – my favorite along the route and a place not to pass by.

I would recommend finish walking either in Richmond or around Battersea. Until then the walking is attractive, through green corridors, but from Battersea and on it is through the city. If you want to reach the Thames Barrier and the other sights on the last walking day, I would recommend taking a boat or a bus, or if you are very determined walk as far as Greenwich. The last hours around the Millennium Dome is not worth the effort.

The route is very well marked, even through the towns. This is one route, where maps are not needed to follow the route. And if you have a smartphone, you won’t need it to find your accommodations. But it is nice to have a guidebook to read about all the historic sites along the way. And a map to tell you how far you are en route.

I used the National Trail Guide Books. The first volume “Thames Path in the Country” has chapters with information and maps, and each chapter ends with a small section with helpful information i.e. where to find public toilets along the route. This book takes you as far as Hampton Court.
“Thames Path in London” was more a city guide with a lot of alternative routes and circular walks. If you are following the Thames Path, you do not need this book.

 

Top hiking packs for female backpackers and long distance walkers

The participation of women in hiking is growing by the day. I can vouch for that from a professional point of view, where over 70% of my customers are female, and when a couple books the lead booker is usually female. European solo travel is mostly safe when traveling alone as a female and I’m proud to admit that the UK is exceptionally safe for female solo hikers. Outdoor brands are slowly catching up too, however many offer a reduced range for ladies which can be frustrating when you want to purchase a new release, only to find its available for male customers.
Rucksacks are no exception, with many being available as ‘unisex’ versions which really means they are made it for men.

Fortunately for there are some exceptional backpacks on the marketplace. Many of which are a women’s equivalent to the men’s version. But what exactly does it mean to have a women’s equivalent? Well, it’s pretty simple. Firstly the color will be different and more ‘feminine’. Although honestly, I feel that a lot of ladies who hike don’t want pinks and purples.
The other difference is about the fit. Many women’s packs have a shorter back length, better padding on the hips, shoulder straps closer together and slightly inturned hip belts. Basically, all things to help the pack fit the female form better.
So onto the packs. I’ve gone on the hunt for 5 of my favorite women’s hiking packs. Here they are!

Gregory Women’s Deva 60 Rucksack

Buy at Simply Hike
Weight: 2.05 kg
Dimensions: 23 x 59 x 40 cm
Volume: 60L

Whats the perfect pack size for most ladies? Honestly, I believe 60 – 70 liters is perfect. This capacity still allows you to carry your tent, sleeping bag, cooking setup, food, water clothes etc and with the kit being so lightweight there is no need to get much more than this (guys this applies to you too!). For long-distance hikes, this pack is perfect, especially in the summer months when you’re not carrying so much warm kit. This feature-rich pack features lightweight aluminum structure on the pack system, with Multi-Density – Lifespan EVA foam on the hip and shoulder pad. The back panel is constructed with Matrix Ventilation for breathability and airflow. The pack is fully adjustable and made from 210 denier fabric. That means its seriously tough.
Other cool features include – weatherproof hip pockets for secure phone or GPS storage. Full body U zip storage. Ideal for quick and easy access, especially if your walking hut to hut. And my favorite feature – top solar panel attachments. IDeal for the summer months when you want to charge your kit on the go. Vlogging about your walk? This is the perfect addition.
Overall the Gregory Deva pack is an ideal companion for your walking adventure.

Osprey Women’s Ariel AG 65 Rucksack

Buy at Simply Hike
Weight: 2.21 kg
Dimensions: 39 x 85 x 32 cm
Volume: 65L

Osprey is one of the better-known hiking pack brands and naturally have a good choice of pack specific for women. This pack, like the Gregory Deva, is designed for multi-day backpacking. It uses Ospreys AG AntiGravity back system, combined with the IsoForm Hipbelt. In normal words that means the back system is made up of a mesh, with a minimal amount of material against your skin, almost like a suspension back system. The IsoForm hipbelt simply bends and moves to the shape of your hips. As you would expect the pack is loaded with features from multiple access points, a standard sleeping compartment, and a removable lid. The pack also features trekking pole attachments as standard.
Overall the Osprey Ariel AG is an ideal pack for long distance hiking which carry the Osprey reputation for making good quality durable and functional packs. 

Fjallraven Women’s ABISKO 65W Rucksack

Buy at Fjallraven
Weight: 2.20 kg
Dimensions: 33 x 75 x 35 cm
Volume: 65L

Everyone’s favorite Swedish outdoor brand produces an excellent choice of rucksack. It’s also the most expensive, but probably the best made out of the lot. Naturally with Fjallraven functionality and durability have been placed above the weight of the product, however, despite this, the product still weighs the same as the other two. This minimalist pack looks like packs of old, but still featured both top and middle access points. However, it does not have bottom access, which for some may be a deal breaker. The pack features a stable yet simple carrying system with a back panel designed for air ventilation and a supportive hip belt designed to contour to a woman’s body shape.

For the no-nonsense yet maximum wow factor pack
Simple, light, trekking backpack with comfortable, adjustable carrying system adapted for women. Slim silhouette, spacious main compartment, and several pockets.Simplified, light backpack for trekkers, backcountry skiers, and travelers who like to move about without too much weight. Now with a new, more stable carrying system and new, even stronger polyamide fabric. The back panel has been updated for better air circulation and the hip belt has a new design that gives even better support. As in earlier models, the length of the back is adjustable and the shoulder straps and hip belt are designed for a woman’s body shape. The hip belt has double adjustment straps

 

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Wanders for Women: A Day in The Lake District

“The woman who follows the crowd will usually go no further than the crowd. The woman who walks alone is likely to find herself in places no one has ever been before.”

As a solo female traveller, I’ve wandered and walked in some truly amazing places. From the stunning pathways that meander around Lake Como, Italy, to the breathtaking views from the summit of the Montserrat mountains, Catalunya, Europe has a lot to offer. I never thought I would find beauty to match mainland Europe in the UK, until I reached the Lake District.

Growing up in Newcastle upon Tyne, I was always relatively close to this countryside utopia, but it took 28 years for me to reach it! It’s the ideal place for a solo female traveller, no matter what age you are, which country you’re from or how much experience you have in walking and hiking. There are friendly faces waiting in each of its towns who are happy to help. Speaking of which…

FIRST STOP, WINDERMERE!

The easiest way to get to Windermere is through the local line that runs from Oxenholme train station, which is accessible from most of the UK. If you’re travelling from abroad, the nearest airport is located in Manchester.

Windermere is England’s largest lake and should be the first stop on your journey. Head to Bowness-on-Windermere and be greeted by true northern hospitality. There’s a Tourist Information Centre which is a great first port of call when you’re travelling solo. A friendly Scouser helped me prepare for my chosen walk. I asked him what equipment I would need and he told me he used to run up Scafell Pike (the highest mountain in England) in his trainers when he was a kid, but he advised against this! He recommended proper hiking shoes, outdoor clothing and a trekking pole. I didn’t invest in these but, in hindsight, I should have. YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED.

Head down to the lake and you will be met with awe-inspiring views. The lake itself is majestic, swans lie peacefully on the lakeside and green hills roll up on each side of its shores, making for one of the most picturesque images I’ve ever witnessed. If you have time to take a stroll through the town, there are plenty of cafes and bars to relax with a book or have a chat with the locals. I met some true characters. And dogs. There are so many dogs.

ADVENTURE TIME!

I chose my walk from Lake District: Low Level and Lake Walks by Vivienne Crow. I would recommend using a guidebook if you’re travelling solo as there were times I found myself wandering alone for a long time. I took a few wrong turns along the way and Vivienne’s book became my bible.

Orrest Head

Orrest Head was my first stop-off after a relatively easy climb. There are benches here for you to sit and admire the view over the lake and its surrounding fells. Alfred Wainwright, a famous British fell-walker and author, is known for his writings about Orrest Head. He wrote,

“Quite suddenly, we emerged from the trees and were on a bare headland, and, as though a curtain had dramatically been torn aside, beheld a truly magnificent view.”

In my opinion, it’s a really inspiring panorama and one of the most intimate of the Lakes. As you head higher, the views are spectacular but can be a little bit daunting at times. There’s a high chance you’ll be met with other walkers at Orrest Head. Photo opportunity time!

Troutbeck

Before you reach Troutbeck, you’ll pass by Dubbs reservoir and through the Limefitt Holiday Park. As you ascend towards Wansfell Pike, you start to become aware of the height. I did this walk in May and the winds were high which was a new experience for me. Also, at this point, I lost my way with the guide, so I headed to Troutbeck for a quick stop-off. I found a cosy local cafe owned by a Londoner – it appears that everyone in the Lakes is running away from city life! He helped me back onto the route. There’s also a pub in Troutbeck called the Mortal Man. I didn’t stop as it sounded like a dangerous move for a Geordie, but I’ve heard they do great food and (obviously) drink.

Wansfell Pike

Okay, now the book says that this is a low level walk, but I found Wansfell Pike to be quite a challenging one. The winds were really strong by this point and, when you reach the summit, the paths are not as clear as you would like. It really is quite a steep and arduous ascent so, like I said earlier, bring equipment. Saying that, I seen an elderly couple and even a man with a baby attached to him attempting the climb, so you should be fine!

Oh, and the views are phenomenal. Really phenomenal.

Ambleside

The path back down towards Ambleside is long and winding, but there are a few fantastic features to keep you motivated. As you head into the woodland, you’ll come across the Stockghyll Force waterfalls. Surrounded by ravines in the heart of the forest, they are a dramatic ending to the walk and the perfect finale.

SHOULD YOU STAY OR SHOULD YOU GO?

Once you get down to Ambleside, there are plenty of options. You can take the 555 Lakeslink bus back to Windermere or, if you want to stay over in Ambleside, there are some hostels that cater perfectly to solo female travellers. Try the YHA Ambleside or Ambleside Backpackers Hostel. Of course, there are also hotels and, if you want to splash the cash, plenty of lodges to stay in close to the lakes.

THE END IS NEAR…

When it was time to leave the Lake District, I felt very inspired by what I’d seen. It’s such an incredible spot for walkers, hikers and climbers, and I never felt unsafe or uncomfortable as a woman travelling solo. There is an abundance of books available for you to plan your walk, and the amiable locals will make sure you enjoy your adventure every step of the way. Happy hiking!

Taken at Orrest Head, Windermere.

 

Kayleigh Crispin is a travel writer currently residing in Barcelona. She has completed many walks and hikes around Europe as a solo female traveller, and she is looking to other continents to plan her next adventure! You can find her freelance writing profile here and see some of her travel snapshots on Instagram – @kayleighcrispin.

 

Walking the South West Coastal Path with kids

Spectacular scenery, and some challenging climbs, walking South West Coast can be tough but is well worth the effort.

It’s a crisp clear morning in March. I’m standing with my wife Charlie on the sea front at Minehead beneath the starting point of one of the most challenging and beautiful coastal walks in the UK – the South West Coastal path.

Between here and the path’s terminus in Poole lies 630 miles of undulating pathways, steep climbs, rapid descents and jaw dropping scenery. It can be a tough ask at the best of times, but now we have an added complication – in the form of the one year old Tabitha. We’re about to see how easy it is to complete this path with the added burden of a baby.

Getting ready

As with anything walking the path is all about preparation and breaking those 630 miles into manageable chunks. To get us started we’re spending the next couple of days walking the first and arguably most challenging section, across Exmoor. From here we’ll travel roughly nine miles to Porlock Weir where, all being well, we’ll stop at the Ship inn.

From there, it’s a 13-mile hike to our campsite at Caffyns Farm just outside Lynton and Lynmouth before we tackle the path’s highest point at the summit of the Great Hangman.

Walking the path with a baby, it turns out, is perfectly possible as long as you come prepared. Slung on my back is a baby backpack carrier which has enough room for the baby and most of our kit.

Add a tall sun shade to cover the baby, a hat and, a good helping of sunscreen, together with some toys to keep her occupied and you’re ready to go.

Aside from that you’ll need all the usual things to guide you on your way. Most of the path has pretty good mobile reception so we’re able to find our way using the OS app. The distances on here tend to be somewhat more reliable than the sign posts which seem to pick a figure more or less at random. For back up, though, we have also come with a guidebook and map.

On our feet, we’ve both got a sturdy pair of walking boots. It’s been raining recently, and the path is likely to be a little slippery, so it helps to have as much grip as possible. However, due to the strenuous nature of the walking it can also pay to bring a pair of trainers as back up.

Half way through our walk Charlie’s feet start to wear in the boots, so the chance to change into a softer pair of trainers is a life saver. Most of the pathway can indeed be walked in any kind of footwear.

Getting the right clothing is also essential. As we start the day is just beginning to warm up, so it’s important to dress light. However, the weather can be unpredictable on the path so you’ll need waterproofs and warmer clothing on standby.

And of course – no matter what the weather, a little sunscreen is important. The cool breeze coming off the sea at Minehead, disguises the strength of the sun. It’s easy to get burnt without noticing it.

Walking the route

So, with everything prepared, it’s time to get started walking the South West Coast Path. The pathway starts innocuously enough at first before entering the first of several steep climbs through the woods. From there you can choose an easier path along the cliff top or a slightly more arduous route up and down the undulating coves leading into Porlock. The latter can be tough but is by far the more attractive and exciting option.

Once the paths converge you’ll enjoy an incredibly steep descent down into Porlock Bay. You’ll only appreciate the scale of what you’re coming down once you look back up it as you arrive in the village.

From Porlock Weir you’re quickly climbing again and the path begins to take on a similar pattern. Again, you can choose between the high road featuring stunning cliff top views or a lower undulating pathway through the woods.

Either way the walk becomes more spectacular the further you go in. The landscape becomes more rugged, the path a little narrower and the drop off to the right somewhat more disconcerting. If you don’t have a head for heights, this might not be the most enjoyable segment. If you have a baby strapped to your back it really concentrates the mind.

Once in Lynmouth we head up to a beautiful little campsite at Caffyns farm which is perfectly set up for walkers. As well as access to a beach it also offers some pony trekking and cycle hire for those who are tired of the path. Best of all there’s a great breakfast which steadies us nicely for the third and most demanding stint.

The walk from Lynmouth to Combe Martin clocks in at almost 14 miles and is possibly the most strenuous of the entire route. The highlight is the Summit of the Great Hangman which, at 318 metres, is the highest point on the entire path. The locals warn us it will be tough, but it’s well worth the effort.

As we arrive, exhausted, at Combe Martin, we can take time to reflect on how tough this path can be and, but if we’re in danger of feeling smug about our achievement, the couple who pass us at a quick jog put us firmly in our place. Tabitha, meanwhile, has survived the ordeal in tact and has taken the opportunity to have a little kip.

 

How to keep kids entertained while hiking

Walking is a fantastic way to enjoy the beautiful outdoors and here at BookMyTrail we believe it’s something the whole family can enjoy together. It’s free, it can be completely spontaneous and it’s a fantastic opportunity to get your children outside, enjoying the beauty of nature. What’s not to love? Below we have compiled some of the best ways to keep younger ones entertained whilst hiking, to help inspire you and contribute to a relaxing and stress-free day. From sleeping outdoors, to eating S’mores, our list below has you completely covered.

Create a scavenger hunt.

Kids love collecting things and what better way to keep them entertained on a daytime hike through the countryside than a scavenger hunt. Research the area you will be walking through ahead of time and create a list of fun and exciting items for them to find. They will relish the opportunity to get excited about it and be raring to go when the day comes.

Capture your memories.

Make sure you take a camera with you to capture the beautiful scenery you will be hiking through, as well as any funny moments that might occur. Once you are home you can spend time as a family sorting through your pictures and creating scrapbooks of the best ones. Why not invest in an inexpensive camera for older children and allow them to do this themselves?

Teach them the local history.

Many walking trails will have elements of local history that you can research and relay to your kids as you discover it together. This is especially good for slightly older children who may take more of an interest, and if this is something that really appeals to them why not plan a day out to a specific area of interest. Hadrian’s Wall is a prime example, but there are sites all across the UK that possess a rich heritage just waiting to be discovered.

Follow the leader.

For each hike you take pick a ‘leader’ and have them lead the way at different points of your walk. Give them decisions to make, such as which path to take at a fork and where to stop for lunch, to give them a sense of importance and excitement.

Let them choose.

Involve your kids from the beginning and let them choose your hiking route (within reason!). The National Trust website is a fantastic source of inspiration for days out all over the country and very user friendly. Sitting down as a family and picking your day out together will ensure you are all looking forward to it and letting your kids take the lead is a fantastic way to support their decision making and boost their confidence, as well as making sure you are all getting as much enjoyment out of your hikes as possible.

Create interest in the outdoors from a young age.

If you keep your kids in contact with the outdoors on a day-to-day basis they are far more likely to develop a healthy attitude towards, and interest in, nature, as they grow older. Outdoor nurseries, such as The Enchanted Garden Day Nursery are becoming more popular in the UK and are an ideal way of creating healthy attitudes towards the outdoors through their focus on fresh air and outdoor learning. They create a healthy environment where children can experience the freedom and simple joy of spending time outside, adventuring in ‘the wild’.

Take a camping trip.

Kids LOVE camping. No matter where it is, what the weather is like, or how long it takes to get there, there’s always something intrinsically exciting about a camping trip when you’re a kid. Bedding down in a sleeping bag outside never gets boring and pretty much anything that has been toasted over a fire tastes amazing. (If you’ve never tried them put S’mores at the top of your list straight away – you can thank us later.) Although family camping trips require a little more planning than your standard day out, they are a great way of getting away relatively inexpensively and enjoying some quality family time together. Websites like Get Out With The Kids have some fantastic tips on how to plan your perfect camping trip, as well as handy tips for keeping the kids entertained and fantastic recipe ideas for your campfire.

Make it fun.

The best way to interest your kids in hiking is to make it fun for them! However you do this is ultimately up to you, but think about what your children enjoy and try to create a trip that will provide fun for all of you. If they are having fun, then it goes without saying that you are too.

Pembrokeshire Coast Path Certificate

The Pembrokeshire Coast National Park Authority distributes a leaflet, which includes a chart for walkers to record, and sign their stops.You can then visit one of the pubs at either end of the walk, to claim your free Pembrokeshire Coast Path certificate. Embroidered badges are also available to attach to the collection on your rucksack. You will need to send a cheque into the address below to the value of £5.00.
If this is not possible, simply post it to Tenby National Park Centre, Ruabon House, South Parade, Tenby, SA70 7DL. produces a ‘Coast Path Challenge’ leaflet, which includes a table to record your progress.

Once you’ve completed all 186 miles and filled in your form, visit one of the pubs at either end of the Coast Path – Amroth in the south or St Dogmaels in the north – hand in your form and claim your free certificate.

Click here to download the leaflet if you wish to print it prior to your walk.

 

Elephant Box – The ideal plastic free lunch solution

Elephant Box – The ideal plastic free lunch solution

4 minute read

Going plastic free is tough. It really is, especially when your busy with either your career, family, or whatever it is which keeps you consumed throughout the day. Convenient foods, wrapped in plastic are just too easy to grap from the shelf – the contents are quickly consumed, and the plastic thrown away to lie somewhere on this earth to never really decompose. 

Plastic is perhaps mankinds most important invention. It paved the way to cheap manufactring of almost everything we use today. It’s durable (if made well), keeps food fresh, can be formed intothe most complex of shapes, with the tiniest of detail. However its vast use has come at an immense cost. Microplastics are found in almost all bodies of water throught the globe, and even in our freshly filtered bottled water, which is also served in  plastic. 

I want you to wrap your head around something.

 

You buy a bottle of Buxton Mineral Water. It’s a hot day, you consume your bottle of water in a few minutes and throw it into the nearest bin. You feel refreshed and revitalised. Great! 

Your bottle however, at the expense of your 2 minute drink will now take the next 1000 years to break down. IF your lcky it will be in direct sunlight an will break down sooner, but it will probably be buried in a landfill and forgotten until its disapeared. However the run off from that decomposing bottle will continue to enter the waterways, and leach into the soil.

ANd the scariest part is this. We have no idea what the long term exposure to Microlpastic and plastic related toxins is going to do to us. 

 

So that 99p bottle of water, which gave you a quick fix wasn’t really worth it. ANd should you be lucky enogh to find a public recycling bin, your bottle will be turned into something else, which will only be thrown away again. 

Awful shame, but this is the reality we live in. The problem is massive, and it needs us all to work extremely hard to do our bit to eradicate plastic, put pressure on retailers and manufacturers to make and lead the change. Meanwhile we need to simply act in order to be a part of the change on he ground. 

 

So how can you help?

Although I am not into replacing all of my plastic tupperwear with metal, simply because I see little point in chucking plastic which I could just use for a long time. However I have been curious about metal lunch boxes. 

I remember the Tiffin boxes while traveling in India. They were wonderful re-usable steel containers designed for delivering amazing currys to workplaces. To my delight Elephant Box, a UK based company, who manufactuers their boxes in India, had brought the idea of a tiffin box to the UK. 

I reached out to see if i could trial one, with my main interest being in the idea of using one while on the hill to hold sandwiches and the rest of my lunch. I wanted a durable, solution which could keep my food fresh which doesn;t weigh too much. 

A few days later I received my Elephant Box and large twist canister in the post. The product was beautifully branded, and looked amazing, with the clean polished steel also serving as a great portable mirror – Seriously, if ever you are traveling and need a shave, take this as your food container, and use it as a mirror too!

Now I must admid, and also apologize to the team at Elephant Box. I moved house since receiving the box and have not been able to get around to enjoying a walk on the hill, where I intended to test this product out. But finally, today I managed to escape to the Peak District. 

I packed up a sandwich in the main box, some fruit in the canister, and put it together in my bag. 

The product fit well in my 27 rucksack, and eventually, around lunch time i took it out. 

Now honestly, there was something really special about eating your lunch out of a proper lunch box while on the hill. Usually my sandwiches are chucked in to the top zip compartmet of my bag with keys and phone, wrapped in clingfilm. By the time I get to them, the clingfilm has caused the food inside to soak out, and you end up with a miserable sandwich. Instead I had a wonderful feast, well presented in a beautiful box to endulge in. 

The verdict? If your out for a new lunchbox and want to avoid the cheap plastic options available in most supermarkets, which only last a year or two, visit Elephant Box. 

https://elephantbox.co.uk/

They offer a range of boxes and canisters, but also metal water bottles, and even bees wax wraps (a great alternative to foil or clingfilm). 

 

 

 

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