The Helpful Hiker's Review of 2016
So, 2016. It’s been emotional.
This post is only looking at my 2016, I don’t have the time nor the energy to look at the wider world. There’s been quite enough upheaval in my own little corner.
If 2015 and becoming a parent was momentous, January 2016 and my return to full time work was a whole new ball game. I’m in retail management and so I work long hours, weekends and bank holidays (and don’t even talk about Christmas). This is hard enough at the best of times, but factor in a toddler and this blog, and it has been tough.
We have had less outings than usual and covered less miles, yet we’ve still managed a few adventures along the way.
Here’s our best bits!
January & February
After the shock of returning to work, the beginning of the year was devoted to small local adventures. We headed to old favourites Sywell Country Park and Harlestone Heath, while I also had a lovely morning exploring Hunsbury Hill, a park I’d never been to.
March marked our first walking trip to Wales, with a few days in Brecon. Although Finn was struck down by a sickness bug, we still managed a couple of lovely walks, including a breezy trip up Pen y Fan and a waterfall trail. I really enjoyed it and am itching to head back next year.
April was the month of my hen do and marked a reacquaintance with my favourite animal as I headed out for an adventure on horseback. Wedding planning meant that my very limited free time was virtually non existent, so once again we made do with more local mini adventures!
May & June
On 27th May 2016 Luke and I got married in a small, intimate wedding in Northamptonshire. The day turned out exactly how I imagined.
We didn’t manage a fully blown honeymoon, but did escape to the Peak District for a few days. We visited the lovely National Trust properties Hardwick Hall and the Longshaw Estate, which persuaded us to renew our membership.
We were kindly gifted some money for the wedding, and in true outdoor blogger style, we spent it on a tent. Not just any tent, an Outwell Montana 6AC. It is the sort of tent that we never thought we’d be able to afford, yes it was extravagant, but it really is a great tent. We had a brilliant first trip with it to Norfolk, which turned out to be a real highlight of the year.
We had an enjoyable day out at Countryfile Live at Blenheim Palace and, eager to make the most of our National Trust membership, I headed out with Finn to Charlecote Park. At the very end of the month, we headed to the Lake District for a few days camping. While there, we met up with our friends from Viewranger and made a little video about our family friendly walks.
September was a quiet month, which gave me the chance to reflect on our camping experiences with a toddler. Let’s just say, it brings a whole new load of challenges (but thankfully most can be solved with a plentiful supply of snacks)
October & November
We found ourselves with a child free day in October, so what did we do? We went for a walk of course! October was also the month that I wrote about mine and Finn’s first experience of Forest School. I’m hoping that this is a topic we can revisit again and again as Finn gets older. At the very end of October/beginning of November me and Luke snuck off for a couple of nights in the Lakes. This time, with Finn safely stowed at his grandparents, we opted for a four star spa hotel. Extravagant maybe, but the pool was a godsend after our 10 mile hike up Helvellyn. I also ticked off the final country park in Northamptonshire, not quite as momentous as say completing the Wainwrights, but it was a small personal triumph.
I haven’t included December in this round up, as quite simply, it’s going to be all about work this month.
So what’s ahead for 2017? I’m hoping for a few more camping trips and I’m determined to get some more miles under my boots. Plus, I’m also currently planning what should be an amazing trip to Poland. I’ll keep you posted on that one.
How was your 2016? Let’s focus on the positives, I’d love to hear your highlights.