Despite more relaxation of the lock down rules in recent weeks, I won’t be heading for the hills. Probably not until it’s ‘safe’. Whilst I’m glad that there are more easing of the rules regarding getting outside, I’m not sure that visiting smaller communities in the Dales or Peak District is the right thing to do. Especially when toilet facilities and cafes/ pubs are closed. Where do these people ‘go’ having spent all day out when there’s nothing open? With my love of drinking copious amounts of water, I’m always looking for a loo stop! Sadly, I’ve read quite a few reports over the bank holiday weekend of peoples gardens being defecated in. Eugh! Not to mention litter being discarded and people breaking into car parks. It makes me so sad. I realise people are desperate to get out but that isn’t the how we should be treating our countryside. Sadly, Mountain Rescue have also seen a surge in call outs. After every one, they must then spend hours decontaminating their kit before being able to help anyone else.
Places are slowly beginning to open though, such as the National Trust who are opening a few sites. Bolton Abbey who have implemented a booking system for the car park, and the Yorkshire Dales National Park have a traffic light system so you can check how full car parks are before you set off. You can also check if car parks in the Peak District are also full.
I’m lucky that my college work has kept me so busy during lock down. I’ve not found myself looking for something to do, until last week when I handed in my last assignments for my diploma. With no deadlines or assignment to think about I am feeling a little lost. Fingers crossed I’ll get into University, but being a hands on health care course that is also up in the air.
The positives are that more people are appreciating their local areas and discovering they have footpaths they didn’t know about. Hopefully a few will have found a love of walking. I asked on my Facebook page how the lock down had changed people’s walking and outdoor activities. Katie and Katie commented that they had discovered new paths closer to home and were walking more and further. Simon said he was now walking everyday but the walks were shorter. Whilst Bella also commented the end of the walks have changed with no coffee and cake stops! I’m with them there. Coffee and cake, a cold beer for the adults or ice cream for the kids is always a great incentive to get my lot walking a little further. We’ve kept to our local area but there’s always something new to see. At the local duck pond, the Canada geese have been proudly showing off their new brood.
The glorious weather has helped too and we’re lucky to have a garden the kids can play in. We’ve started a near nightly game of catch and our youngest has been creating ballet and tap shows.
I can’t wait to go exploring the hills and footpaths but for now I’m going to be patient, they’ll be waiting to welcome me soon.
How has lock down changed your walking habits? Are you heading for the hills? Found some great local walks? Let me know in the comments. I love hearing from you. Stay safe! Hip2trek xx