Last week we had a situation which meant me swapping my party-in-a-car-commute for public transport and a countryside brisk walk to get into work for a few days. The first day, in true Manchester style it absolutely chucked it down. I was soaked, but not deterred. As the days went on the weather got better and by Friday it was absolutely glorious! I watched the sun rise from the comfort of my train window seat and literally skipped all the way to work once I hit Cheshire. Walking along the grass overgrown embankment, not a sound or person in sight. The sun was peeping out the air was chilled but fresh – perfect for walking. I felt completely uplifted. Liberated even, I was in the BEST mood.
It reminded me how much I adore being outdoors. A lot of my most recent posts have been about local experiences and North West adventures rather than far away distant travel, but that’s because we actually have quite a lot going on for ourselves here in the UK.
Back in 2007, my dad dragged a couple of friends and me out for a very chilly February walk in the Yorkshire Dales. Our first rambling adventure, the first of many. I had never done anything like it in the past, had no idea what to expect but it started a trend that has carried on up until this day. We climbed Pen y ghent that day. We got lost, some of us fell over, waded through mud, made new wildlife friends and generally had a wonderfully memorable day.
Ever since then, whenever dad and I have needed a bonding session, to the hills we go! My dad, ever the acronym creator started labelling the trip as FD day (father + daughter) a trip that has grown into FDsquared (father + 2xdaughters), FDS (father + daughter + son-in-law) and so on…
No two walks are ever the same, and each one comes with its own challenges and misfortunes – both of which make great stories. Couple of years ago we attempted Ben Nevis, but alas the weather conditions weren’t great so dad didn’t make it up with the rest of us (it still kills him now that he didn’t do it, sorry dad!). The tough conditions also put me and Mo off wanting to go on a walk for some time.
However earlier this summer I felt that it had been far too long since dad and I had ventured out into the great British countryside and we scheduled in a fairly easy walk to get us back into it. Mam Tor was to be the next FDS day out.
Not quite the easy walk we had planned, as per usual we managed to a) get ourselves lost and b) in the process found ourselves scaling some tricky route with no clue whatsoever what we were aiming for, or what Mam Tor even looked like!?!?!
Trekking Britain states the following route for reaching the top:
- Take the route out of the back of the car park up the steep and rather large steps. The path turns right and ascends towards Mam Tor.
- After around two hundred metres of ascent the path reaches the minor road that passes over the col between Rushup Edge and Mam Tor.
- As the path meets the road you will see a gate on the right hand (eastern) side of the road, walk through the gate and ascend the steps of the well laid path that takes you to the summit of Mam Tor.
Sounds simple right?
Well we didn’t do that. We started at another car park, climbed some crazy mini hill, which nearly gave us all heart palpitations because we underestimated its steepness.
We then struggled to agree on what path to take as none of the ones we saw corresponded with our map and no-one wanted to take responsibility for getting it wrong. And basically, instead of gradually ascending the well laid path to the summit, well we decided to climb up the ditch on the other side.
All in all it turned out how every FDS day should, we had hours of laughter, lots of bi-polar Mo behaviour (he can never decide whether he loves or hates walking), plenty of confusion and the most important part of all… quality time with my old man.
Every single walk we have taken together has been momentous. Everyone we have taken with us, even with the ups and downs, they’ve always enjoyed it enough to want to join in on the next.
Being outdoors is a special kind of feeling. I know like many of us these days, I can easily get carried away with the digital world, so when I do get the opportunity to venture out into the open air, it really helps me focus.
If you’ve not given rambling a go, well I urge you to try it at least once. Get out, take the right kit and enjoy! you won’t regret it!
oh but if you do regret it, feel free to blame my dad 🙂
Maybe not today though – Happy Birthday dad! thank you for being my number one fan and always forcing me to take time out LOL x
Have you spent a day out in the Great British countryside? Is rambling your thing? What’s been your favourite walk?