Monday, 6 January 2014

The downs and ups of walking with kids

There weren't that many chances to get out for a good family walk over the holidays with the weather being the way it has, and to be honest, that probably suited the kids fine - they're not always the most enthusiastic walkers. No problem with a gentle stroll down to the river near us and prodding stuff with sticks, but anything more, and the whinging usually starts. I now hold back on key details; like where we're heading, and how long it's going to take…but really that just delays the inevitable, relentless moaning.

Doesn't stop us trying though.

There's only a certain amount of time I can do couped up inside, so we grabbed the first decent weather window after Christmas and shepherded the kids out of the house before they had time to think about it.

We set off from the house on loop around the lanes: quite a long loop as it happens…



I brought a ball with us for a bit of a distraction which worked for a while, until someone had to carry it…


It wasn't long before the usual chorus of, '…are we nearly there yet?' kicked off. The 8 year old grumped most of the way, walking about 10 paces behind in protest.


No interest in the views across the rolling countryside to the Sugar Loaf (or the Sugar Lump as the youngest calls it), and the peaks of the Skirrid.


Not a relaxing walk at all - more of a laboured, stop/start one, with plenty of coaxing and pleading.

It was getting dark by the time we finally made it home.

Down but not out, we set out again a few days later, and this time went somewhere we hadn't been before - to Ystradfellte in the Brecon Beacons which is about an hour's drive from us. And it was an altogether better kind of day - maybe because my expectations were really low, but mainly I think, because it was a bit of an adventure: walking through the ancient forest; the ice covered puddles, the squidgy mud; the sticks (obviously), and the first thundering waterfall.




We didn't make it to the most spectacular waterfall, because the path was slippy from all the rain and a little close to the edge for comfort…but we'll be back when the weather's better - and I mean a lot better, because apparently you can stand behind this one. Sounds like something worth trying...on a warm, dry summer's day.

On the way back the 8 year old came hurtling down the path to give me this lovely heart shaped stone he'd found

...out of breath; pink cheeks; covered in mud; happy as you like - 'I love walking mummy!' - and I smiled and knew he absolutely did, at that moment - just as I knew he probably absolutely wouldn't the next time we ventured out.

Still, we walked for 2 and a half hours with minimal moaning, so, got to be hopeful about that!



Linking up a little late with Country Kids from Coombe Mill


18 comments:

  1. At least your children were not crying like I son used to do when we went on family walks. Happy New Year from Linda@Wetcreek Blog

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    1. we've had tears and tantrums too, but kind of hoping they've grown out of that! Mainly moaning to contend with now. Happy New Year Linda!

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  2. This sounds so familiar! At the very mention of a walk, Pink is sulking, how long will it be? where will we go? and yet usually once she's out there, she's like a mountain goat. Blues less vociferous in his objections but hiffs and puffs most of the way, and it's exhausting trying to think of imaginatove ways to ge them out without the chorus of moans that precedes it. I long to be able to say "We're taking the dog for a walk" and for everone to just jump to it, instead of having to think of some new and exciting way of presenting it. The Husband has taken to going out with a trangia stove and a tin of beans and tells them we;re going wild cooking. The prospect of that seems to mean they ignore 90 minutes of walking, but it's tiring having to do that every time - and sometimes we do just need to walk the dog. Hoping for lots of mountain walking in Wales though. I am anticipating/hoping that secretly they are storing up all this though, and will eventually genuinely love walking as much as we do - sure yours will be the same.

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    1. love that your husband takes a stove! Wild cooking is inspired - may have to steal that idea. Not convinced kids ever really properly enjoy a good long walk the way we do - I know I used to hate them, nearly as passionately as I love them now, but feel sure if it's something you do regularly enough they get used to a decent walk, and moan less? Wishful thinking? An element of adventure definitely makes a difference though, and there's going to be plenty of that where you're going! Many adventures ahead x

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  3. Great photos. Also hadn't realised I had subscribed to follow a quilter who lives fairly near to me. I only discovered Bloglovin recently when I went on a beginners patchwork course in Newport and love the quilting community worldwide

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    1. you're not far away at all! Feel I've only scratched the surface of places to visit around here - so much to see and do. Thank you Catherine

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  4. I love this, not every outdoor trip goes to plan, we have those where everyone moans and it becomes a chore, but as you found, a new location, a spot of adventure and the whole trip is transformed, often you don't know ehich are the trips they are going to love until you are there. Good for you for not being put off with your earlier walk. I love the photo of the grumpy eight year old! Thank you for joining me for Country Kids

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    1. you're right, it is trial and error really…and perseverance. The simplest things can make a difference, like cracking ice on puddles. Don't think the 8 year old was that pleased about having his photo taken! A different child on the next walk, and I love my stone. Thank you Fiona :)

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  5. Mr VTT and two of our daughters and assorted little 'uns went up the Skirrid one day last week. I wimped out as I was really tired, but regretted it later, as their photos looked good. Lunch at the Hen and Chicks in Abergavenny afterwards too :). X

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    1. I've been up a few times but not with the kids - the steep, winding path to the top is quite a workout! But really worth it. Like the sound of lunch :) x

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  6. Know the feeling only too well ! Sometimes we get a positive result if we suggest going on an `adventure` rather than a walk, but it does mean finding some `adventurous` things on the walk, or dreaming up some competitive challenges : first one to the gate, first one to find a feather etc. Or when desperate for some peace we just fall back on bribery "if you don't moan again until we get to the stile, then you can ....". Naughty, but sometimes needs must!

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    1. if all else fails, bribery is fine by me! Always handy to have a tempting bribe up your sleeve. Sometimes it's the only thing that does the trick! :)

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  7. What beautiful photos, and what a beautiful country you live in ;) I think that heart stone has to be payment for your efforts doesn't it??

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    1. wasn't it a great find - I've got another heart stone found on one of the first walks I went on with my husband. Long time ago now! Thanks Emma :)

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  8. wasn't it a great find - I have another heart stone found on one of the first walks I went on with my husband. Very special. Thanks Emma :)

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  9. What a lovely post... you live in such a beautiful part of the world. And well done getting out for your walks. We went on a lovely walk on the Sunday after Christmas to our local park - it was sunny, and we finished it off with a warming hot chocolate at our local cafe.. X

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  10. Love this post! Brilliant!

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