Dad of three and keen walker (even in his children are take some persuading), Ian Waller, is already planning for those post-lockdown family days out…
Yes, you’re right, there is something kind of strange about a new book on walks with kids when we’re still at the back end of lockdown which means that anything beyond a visit to the local park is deemed outside of the rules. But stick with me, there is a logic here…
You see, once you’ve run out of Netflix series to binge on and Joe Wicks is getting a bit tiring, the extravagantly titled Fantastic Stomps Around Great Britain – 100 Great Walks With Kids by Jen and Sim Benson makes a refreshing fireside read, with its recommendations for great places to visit and family friendly walks to enjoy once you’ve got there.
Suddenly you’re planning for post lockdown excursions, dreams of seeing somewhere beyond the end of the street and maybe, just perhaps, even bumping in to friends along the way.
The walks are geographically split into areas such as South West England, North England, Wales and Scotland, with each one accompanied by an introduction, directions, map, photos and a list of things to see and do nearby. The walks range from 1-5.5 miles, which means that they should be well within the capabilities of most school aged children, while there are symbols included to point out the routes that are buggy and wheelchair friendly, suitable for dogs and with refreshments and toilets along the way.
Among those 100 walks are plenty in the South West, including around Somerset, Wiltshire, Devon and Dorset, meaning that they don’t require you to go away for the weekend or longer to enjoy.
So far so good, expect, well, once the inspiration has weaved its magic, I don’t see the book as particularly practical. Our family walks these days generally either follow well-practiced routes or use directions via a mobile phone. This book is just a little too big to carry around and follow the on-page directions, while you’re also making sure you haven’t lost any children along the way.
One solution would be to take a photo of the pages with the instructions and map, allowing you to leave the book as a reference at home, but then you probably find the routes online anyway.
For me, the appeal of this book is as that fireside read, a reminder that there is life beyond five lockdown miles of home and once the restrictions are relaxed, there are so many great places for families to explore. For me, the trails in North Wales look particularly tempting, while Hadrian’s Wall has also been on my wish list…
To find out more about 100 Great Walks With Kids and to order a copy, go to www.bloomsbury.com
To claim a 25% discount on 100 Great Walks With Kids, simply go to www.bloomsbury.com/100greatwalkswithkids and use the code BRISTOLPARENT25 (Expires 4 April 2021, UK only).