Category Archives: Walking & Hiking

A Wonderful Summer

Before the summer is a long distant memory, I just want to record what an incredible six weeks I had with Lil’ L.  He’s growing up fast and I’m sure he’ll soon want to spend the holidays with his mates rather than good ole’ mum, so I really did savour every moment I had with him.

As I didn’t have an income for these six weeks, we thought of lots of fun, free (or low cost) activities to do.  Here’s a quick run down of our top five favourite summer holiday activities (in no particular order; they were all great 🙂 )

1. Cycling
We devised our own version of the ‘Tour de France’, which included stages both here in the South West of England and in France. Each stage normally finished with a sprint to a cafe. 😉  In total, we cycled 150 miles. One of Lil’ L’s favourite rides was the Verderer’s Trail in the Forest of Dean. It’s graded Blue but has a Red downhill section at the end. Lil’ L loved it so much that, as soon as he’d finished it, he wanted another go! I need to brush up my mountain bike skills because I fell off 3 TIMES (I’ve got an issue about sharp right hand turns 😦 ).  Here’s a clip of someone else riding the trail. I’m glad I’m not the only one that keeps falling off. 😉

 

Here’s a short clip of Lil’ L and M riding the Intermediate Skills loop.

 

Lil’ L loves the technical rides much more than road cycling. You should hear him woop while he’s hurtling down those dirt tracks!

2. Hiking / Walking
We did some amazing hikes and walks around our locality, such as the one up Little Solsbury Hill. We even found different ways to walk into Bath. One in particular, which we termed the ‘Wild Walk’, was really fun. We took our cameras and photographed the creatures and wild flowers we spotted along the way. It certainly made walking into Bath more fun (and saved us a small fortune in bus fares!)

Here’s Lil’ L at the start of our wild walk into Bath.

And here’s some of the beautiful wild flowers we spotted on our walk.

40 minutes later, we arrived in the centre of Bath. 🙂

3. Visiting friends and family
We had some wonderful trips on the train to visit friends and family, including 2 trips to Brockenhurst and Dorset, and 1 trip to Bracknell. I managed to trade in my Tesco vouchers for a Family & Friends Railcard (which lasts a year) and gift vouchers for Redspottedhanky.com, which meant that all our train trips were FREE! What a bargain! 🙂

4. Photography
We had lots of fun taking photos of beautiful flowers and views, as well as attempting to photograph food for this blog.  Needless to say, Lil’ L took the best shots every time. 😉

Here’s his shot of a poppy in the garden. Isn’t it beautiful?

And here’s a shot he took of my favourite house on the canal.

5. Cooking
We had lots of fun baking cakes and making chocolates (all healthy of course 😉 ). Our favourite cake creation this summer was a super healthy, super delicious upside pineapple cake (I’ll post the recipe tomorrow).

All in all, it was a wonderful summer; one I certainly won’t forget. 

I’d love to hear what your favourite activity was this summer.

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Filed under Baking & Desserts, Biking, Walking & Hiking

A hike up Little Solsbury Hill

Apologies for the lack of posts this last week, but I’ve been spending all my time with Lil’ L, packing lots of activities into each day and having great fun!  As a bonus, all the activities have been free! 

One of his current favourite activities is devising local nature walks.  He draws a map, I pack a bag with some snacks and the camera, and off we go.  He’s the guide, and I follow.  Last Wednesday, he decided that we were going for a hike up Little Solsbury Hill.

Here's my tour guide

Along the way, we saw lots of beautiful wild flowers…

and insects, including butterflies, bees…

and crickets.

We also came across this giant mushroom… or is it a toadstool? 

As with any great nature walk, this one involved lots of beautiful views…

and the odd challenge…

Cows and calves sitting on the footpath. They were soooo cute!

or two…

You can guess what came next…

Yes, I slipped and Lil’ L found this hysterically funny.  I’m glad I’m such a source of amusement. 🙂  I’ll try washing the pumps but I’m not holding out much hope for them. 😦

If Lil’ L and I are out on our own, we always get a bit lost… but that’s all part of the adventure.  We were glad to finally find the sign that showed that we were actually on the right path.

All in all, we had a wonderful hike round this beautiful hill.  When we got home, we treated ourselves to a piece of ‘almond butter rice crisp treat’ which we’d made in the morning.  Angela from Oh She Glows posted this gorgeous recipe, which is basically a healthy, nutritious version of rice crispie cake.  It uses wholegrain rice puffs, almond butter and brown rice syrup.  I was having trouble getting hold of brown rice syrup in our local shops, but I finally found some online at The Healthbay.  We love to keep the crispie treat in the freezer, which gives it a nice, cool bite.

Angela, I hope you don’t mind us borrowing your pic… but our treats got eaten way before I had time to get the camera out!

Almond Butter Rice Crisp Treats from Oh She Glows

 After treat-making and a 3-hour walk, it was time to have a sit down.  Lil’ L decided he would like us to snuggle on the sofa and watch his current favourite TV show…  Jo Frost’s Extreme Parental Guidance!!!  Bet you didn’t expect that!  Is it normal for a 7 year old to love this programme so much???

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Filed under Baking & Desserts, Walking & Hiking