Monday is walking day, when I treat myself to a short period of time off in a week otherwise taken up by entertaining a busy toddler. Having previous been a keen walker, the past 18 months have seen an almost completely curtailment of my walking activities due to the demands of parenthood. I’m thrilled to have time for walks again as part of my new stay-at-home dad schedule.

Each week (circumstances allowing) I’ll be sharing the highlights from my Monday walk. It’s an opportunity for some quiet thought, appreciation of nature and with a bit of luck I might get some exercise to boot.

This Monday’s walk was a local amble on account of a long list of domestic tasks waiting at home. Most of these result from a week’s worth of toddler devastation being wrought upon the house.
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As well as an opportunity to stretch my legs, the local walk doubled up as a reconnaissance effort. With my SAHD cap firmly on, I am ever vigilant for scenic paths that might be buggy friendly.

This isn’t as easy as it sounds. While on foot you seldom notice the terrain you pass across unless it’s particularly challenging, navigating a path with wheels pits you against every modest stone, tree root or other obstacle.

This week’s outing began well, chancing upon another local parent who was picking berries from hedgerow laden with ripening goodies, while a sling-carried baby looked on. We haven’t had chance to take Tilly fruit picking this year so a late summer browse of local blackberry bushes could be just the ticket to provide a outside activity one afternoon soon.

I then tried out a footpath that I must have walked past a dozen times but not once noticed. Nevertheless it was promised by the Ordnance Survey map (courtesy of their smartphone app) and lo and behold there was the green footpath sign.

Pleasingly, it was a largely broad path, unencumbered by footpath turnstiles that can so often block pram access. The path passed through some allotments and into fields. Suddenly I was in the countryside. The fields are in a rather more autumnal state now, having recently been harvested, giving them the appearance of having had a rather severe haircut. Nevertheless it was good to know that this piece of nature is in easy reach of home when I’m out with the pram.

From there I took a meandering route, down the small valley through fields, paths skirting the edge of town, over the diminutive chalk stream and finally looping back around. Overhead red kites, impressive birds synonymous with the area, circled lazily in the afternoon sun.
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Typically the walk took rather longer than expected, eating into the time set aside for a hundred and one jobs back at home. However for clearing the head and feeling refreshed for the busy week ahead I find little beats a good country walk.

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