Holly @ HollyMadeLife
🏕 Outdoors lover, Photographer, Exploring the UK one campsite at a time
Mum to Pickle
Lover of fresh air, muddy walks and, occasionally climbing a mountain or two 🏔️🏔️
It feels like we’ve been stuck indoors for months. Between horrendous stormy weather and the pass-the-parcel illnesses that seem to have ensured at least one of us had a temperature at any given time throughout February, I’m welcoming Spring with open arms. Bring on the sunshine, bring on the warmer weather and bring on lots of weekends spent outside.
I can’t wait to get my backpack filled with snacks, changes of clothes and my camera (always!) and make the most of the gorgeous Spring weather. Here are a few of my top tips for heading out over the coming months:
Make a list of places you can walk to
When we’re having a tough day, and Pickle is being less than cooperative, the idea of battling to get him into his car seat would have prevented us from venturing outside if it weren’t for the places I knew we could easily walk to. Sometimes, I just need fresh air and a change of scenery and I need them NOW.
From our house, I know we can walk to the local convenience shop, a little playground, and an area of woodland. If I pop Pickle in the carrier, there’s a pub within walking distance with a play area or the swimming pool. If I get our bike out, we can cycle further afield to the Arrow Valley Lake, my favourite haunt when Pickle was a baby. You don’t have to even be going anywhere particularly exciting – the journey can often be the most memorable bit!
Wellies are always a good idea (and a tea-towel)
I can’t think of an occasion where I’ve worn my wellies and regretted it, but I can think of countless where I’ve regretted not wearing them! The weather may be getting warmer, but that doesn’t mean it’s getting drier. Grab those wellies, pack that puddlesuit and go in search of muddy puddles and little streams.
I always pack a tea towel too – perfect for wiping away raindrops from slides and dusting off the seats on the swing.
Look out for the magic
My favourite thing about being outside is that you really don’t have to spend a fortune. Nature is a wonderful gift and it has no financial barriers to entry. There’s so much magic to be found, especially at this time of year. From spotting daffodils, to crocuses, and then bluebells. From seeing new springy lambs and fluffy ducklings. Even a dewy spiderweb becomes a work of art first thing in the morning. There’s always something to spot. The landscape changes so much during Spring that even the same walk can feel so different week by week and offers up lots of sensory experiences for babies, toddlers and young children alike.
Looking for somewhere new?
If I want to venture out somewhere a bit different, my favourite way to find new walks or area of natural beauty is to seek out a Geocaching series. If you’ve never tried it: it’s great for families! It’s
essentially a worldwide treasure hunt, where people hide little (or big) containers and you track them down using GPS coordinates. It’s great fun, often really creative and through following trails of caches, we’ve found some lovely local walks and explored some gorgeous areas.
Does it all sound a bit too exhausting?
If you’re reading this thinking: that’s all very well and good, but I just don’t have the energy. I hear you. I’ve been there. I’ve felt like my nights of broken sleep would never end (I still feel that way! Pickle’s nearly four years old and I still think children ‘sleeping through’ is a myth). Even getting up to make a cup of tea sometimes feels like too much effort. But I know that if, at the end of the day, I haven’t left the house I’ll be hard on myself. I’ll feel like I’ve been trapped. I’ll be more exhausted. Frustrated. And during my maternity leave, even though I had a baby attached to me all day long, I’d feel totally alone. A quick text message to my Mum friends asking if anyone was free to go for a walk was an absolute lifeline to me, and it was all that was needed to turn the day around.