We’ve started a new tradition. Every Sunday, if we don’t have plans, we head out for a family hike. We pack a picnic and waterproofs and drive off for an adventure together. With three children aged six and under, this is an ambitious move. But so far the kids have impressed us with their enthusiasm and endurance, and we’ve made plenty of lovely new memories.
I’m going to document our hikes on this blog. Partly for our own benefit, so we can look back on our adventures. And I hope other families wanting to get out and hike with their children will find my posts helpful. I’ll include the information we look for when we’re planning our walks, and of course lots of photos from our trips!
Why we are hiking with our kids
During our road trip over the summer, we remembered how much we enjoy spending quality time together. As our children grow older, and their activities become innumerate, we want to ensure we make time for each other. We feel that family rituals and traditions are a great way to do this!
I have wonderful memories of hiking with my own parents when I was a child. We lived in and then just south of Northumberland, which has some incredible landscapes: forests, coastline, and hills. We also spent time in the Lake District and North Yorkshire, where we often explored on foot.
Finally, we want to enjoy being active together. We are not a sporty family, but both Guy and I enjoy outdoor pursuits (is that what they are called?). As a child, I liked horseriding and hiking; Guy surfing and rollerblading. In the past few years, I’ve started running, which has given me a renewed appreciation for being active outdoors. We like spending time in nature and sharing this with our children, as well as enjoying the health benefits.
What we look for when hiking with kids
So far, we have stayed quite local. We live in an area of outstanding natural beauty, with the Peak District and the Pennines on our doorstep. There are so many potential hikes within an hour’s drive, and that’s what we will be focusing on over the autumn and winter (although a trip to the Lake District is high on my wishlist!)
We want to allow the children’s endurance and stamina to build naturally. We will be looking at hikes of around 2-5 miles, with a mix of terrain. We prefer natural spots to cultivated estates/gardens, but we look for points of interest like stepping stones, locks, dams, small structures, and all sorts of things!
Sharing our hikes
In the hope that other parents will find our experiences useful, I will be rating the hikes we take with our kids. I will list the distance, difficulty, terrain, and interest value. Each post in this series will include an account of each hike, with useful information, related links, and plenty of photos of our adventure.
My hope is to encourage families to get out and hike with their children and to share how easy and fulfilling it can be.
Our hiking with kids to-do list
We are using the book Kiddiwalks in Cheshire(which we bought in 2012!) for inspiration, as well as retreading walks we did as children.
- White Nancy, Cheshire
- Dove Dale and Thorp Cloud, Derbyshire
- Tegg’s Nose, Cheshire
- Mam Tor, Derbyshire
- Kinder Scout, Derbyshire
- Delamere Forest, Cheshire
- Gawsworth, Cheshire
- The Cloud, Cheshire
- Raw Head, Cheshire
This list should keep us busy for a while! Follow along with our adventures here, and let us know if you have any recommendations!