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Arnside Knott and the lure of Geocaches

Arnside Knott and the lure of Geocaches

It was the most stunning of winter weather the Sunday before last! Clear blue skies and sunshine. We hadn’t really planned for a walk out, as the weather forecast had predicted the exact opposite the day before, however it would be a shame to let such a beautiful day pass by without a trip out in the great outdoors surrounding us. So after Elliot’s morning nap we headed out. we had a quick stop at our local watering hole for some pre-walk lunch, before heading to Arnside, where we hoped to hunt some Geocaches and enjoy some lovely views of Morecambe Bay.

Arnside knott geocaching Geocaches
A cheeky monkey keeping tabs!

Our walk started at Far Arnside, there are parking options opposite the Forrest (free of charge). I wrapped up Elliot and we started walking north to join the Coast, you have to walk along the road for about 0,5 km until you reach a caravan park from where the actual path begins (it is signposted if you, like me, are not gifted with great map reading/navigational skills). However before Starting the circular route we had a detour down to the beach as there was a Geocache to be found!

Arnside Knott circular geocaching Geocaches
The Beautiful Morecambe Bay

We searched high and low, but we just couldn’t find it! Any other Geocachers will know just how annoying that is! At least there was a lovely view across the bay. We rejoined the road feeling a bit deflated with our finding skills or lack there of, but the walk had barely begun so on we went. Walking through the Caravan park, you pass onto an obvious footpath leading into the Forest. For about 1,5km you’re walking in the Forest, and it is lovely. I do love Forest walking (in the daylight that is! Find them super scary as soon as darkness descend) in the Forest we came by two cave openings! J had a little explore whilst Elliot and I stayed safely above ground!

Arnside Knott geocaching Geocaches
Elliot enjoying a nap whilst we trekked through the Forest

Shortly after we had yet another Geocache to hunt down. Do you know what’s even more frustrating than not finding a Geocache? Not finding two Geocaches!! Seriously we’re usually not that awful at finding them. Good thing we joined the coast shortly after, and once again the beautiful views made up for our disappointing treasure hunting skills.

Continuing around the Coast we reached a lovely playground and cafe called the “Bob’in” a perfect place to take a break and let the little ones roam free. Before continuing the journey, Elliot had a little play, albeit he’s still at an age where that is very much assisted, so it was only mummy who got to enjoy a sit down!

Arnside Knott Geocaches geocaching

As we set off again we followed the Tarmac road next to the playground, you go around a tight corner and a footpath headed up Arnside Knott appears on the right, through a field initially then into the forest. From here on it’s a little trek upwards until you reach the top of Arnside Knott itself, with lovely views out over the bay and surrounding area.

Arnside Knott Geocaching Geocaches
Viewpoint atop Arnside Knott

We reached the top just in time, as shortly after the sun set on us. But by then we had followed the path around the top of Arnside Knott and down, rejoining the road where we parked the car. A great circuit about 6km in total with both Forest, coastline and hills to enjoy!

Arnside Knott Geocaches geocaching

Now if only we’d found those caches! we will have to go back and search for them another day.

Two Tiny Hands

Country Kids

The Lake District – Walking around Jenkins Crag

The Lake District – Walking around Jenkins Crag

Sundays are almost always family days in our home, and on family days we like to get out of the house and enjoy the fresh air. Last Sunday I suggested that we went up to the Lake District, as it had been far too long since our last Lake District outing! Last time was before Christmas, where we went Forest walking and foraging for Christmas Decorations.
Now this Sunday the weather wasn’t ideal, but when you live in the northern parts of England, sometimes you have to settle for a dry day! J had been looking at his many maps to decide on a nice walk. Unfortunately as it often happens with a little one in the house, things never go to plan, Elliot had a super long morning nap and we didn’t set off until 11am. So a longer walk was scrapped, instead we went for a walk up to Jenkins Crag, a short easy accessible walk.

Circular walk around Jenkins Crag

You start in Ambleside (there is a long stay car park entering Ambleside from Windermere, just past the Hayes garden centre) from there, you walk along the old lake road (behind the car park) then look out for the bridleway turning up Skelghyll Lane, this steep bit of tarmac eventually runs out and you start on a nice wide path up through the forest, then you keep following this and soon you’ll be able to pass through the wall to the viewpoint atop Jenkins Crag. Now I could paint a pretty picture of how idyllic it all was, but truth be told, I was a bit of whinger for the first quarter of our walk! J gets annoyed when I whinge and honestly so do I! It was just such a steep start to the walk and it was a terrible reminder of just how unfit I’ve become. But I’m tired of letting it drag me down and turn me into a whiny cow! I’ve  decided to actually be happy instead, after all I could have been home lazy on the sofa, instead we were out walking. Hopefully the huffing and puffing will start becoming less again. Anyway let’s get back on track! We made it up to Jenkins Crag and it was a beautiful, albeit foggy, view out over lake Windermere.

After a short break, we continued on the path to make a nice circular walk. Now when you get past High Skelghyll farm, you have a choice of either turning right to head down to Lake Windermere (you rejoin the road close to the water sports centre) or, if you are after a long walk, continue straight ahead to do a circular walk around Wansfell.

We decided to turn right down to lake Windermere, there wasn’t really time for a longer route, hopefully next time! When Rejoining the road we turned right to head back to Ambleside, we took the scenic route walking along the small area of national trust land on the left leading back to Waterhead.

Lake District
Lake Windermere

Hunting Geocaches

There is a nice little Geocache to be found along the way back to Ambleside, so whilst Elliot was napping on my back, J and I went searching high and low for the little treasures.

Lake District
Nap on the go!

Geocaching is an excellent way to explore your surroundings and I can’t wait for Elliot to be old enough to join in the hunt.

Lake District Windemere
Hunting for Geocaches!

As Elliot woke from his nap, we swapped so that J could walk with the little guy and as we made the final stretch back to town, I got some lovely snaps of  my two favourite people. To finish it all off we had lunch at our favourite cafe “The Apple Pie”, take one guess at what their specialty is 😉

Lake District Babywearing daddy
Handsome Baby wearing daddy!

All in all it was a lovely day out, being able to take Elliot up in the hills and fells of the lake is absolutely wonderful and wouldn’t be possible if it wasn’t for the wrap! (I love babywearing in case you were wondering) next time though we will have to think of a way to let Elliot burn off a little steam too, as the car ride back was 1 hour of constant nursery rhyme singing to try and keep the little guy from screaming the car down, by the time we got home I nearly had no voice left!

Lake District Lake Windermere

Any good advise on how to let a “not yet walking” baby loose in the hills?

Country Kids

10 Reasons why I love Baby wearing

10 Reasons why I love Baby wearing

Today I decided to get Elliot in the snow suit and place him in the Buggy to go to play group – That was a mistake. You see normally when we go out I put Elliot in the sling, as baby wearing has been our preferred method of getting out and about for a while, but for some reason, I thought I’d just give the (way too expensive ‘had-to-have’!) Buggy a chance. It started out okay, we had to nip to the local shop and pick up a parcel before group and he was happily staring at the world from his little kingdom of snug (read Buggy).

Baby and his buggy
Snug as a bug – or so I thought!

15 minutes! That’s how long it took to walk to the shop, and that’s how long it took for the little guy to decide that he was utterly unhappy! First I tried distracting with a toy (read my keys) that worked for rougly 30 seconds, then I started singing his favourite nursery rhymes (as you do) whilst upping the pace to hopefully make it to group before complete meltdown…we didn’t!

Thankfully I had had the foresight of taking one of the woven wraps with us before we left, que the sloppy emergency wrap-job! Right in the middle of the street – fields to one side, befuddled dog walkers to the other. It wasn’t pretty, but it did the job!

woven wrap magic
Worlds sloppiest wrap job!

And low and behold less than 5 minutes later I had a sleeping baby on me, happy as can be. It got me thinking of how much baby wearing has been a life saver for me! So on the final stretch to group, Elliot had a little snooze whilst I thought of some of the many reasons why I love baby wearing!

  1. Convenience – Before I really embraced baby wearing I would get Elliot in the pram when we went out. The Pram is handy for storage underneath, but quite inconvenient in terms of size. With my baby on me I never have to worry if there will be room for us on the bus, I can happily go shop browsing without having to fit in the pram and when we go for holidays it takes up a lot less space to bring a wrap than a Buggy! To add to it it’s a lot less stressful for me, seeing as Before I always felt like I was walking with a ticking bomb, how long would it take before the little guy was no longer happy (read asleep) in the Pram.

    Baby wearing
    Not even rain will keep us from wrapping up!
  2. Comfort – When he is teething, poorly, tired or just overwhelmed with the world the wrap offers him comfort. I can’t count how many times he has seemed utterly inconsolable, but once wrapped he has been asleep in no time. There is magic sleepy dust in those wraps I tell you!

    Baby wearing
    Mei Tai to the rescue!
  3. Freedom – Elliot is mostly a happy baby, but he has never been much for sleeping on his own, he needs a lot of closeness and with baby wearing I can give him just that, whilst still being able to get on with various chores. So even though I spend 24/7 with my baby I still feel I have freedom to do a lot.
  4. I can feed on the go! I don’t do this often, but there has been times where it has been an absolute God send to be able to Feed on the go, it takes a little trial and error, but breastfeeding while baby is wrapped is quite doable. It once saved us from what would have been a sure meltdown, as Elliot was getting very hungry whilst we where stuck in the security que at the airport, I felt like Super mom and nobody even noticed it was going on, as it can be done quite discreetly, double win.

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    Train travelling made easy no need for buggy fitting
  5. The community – For me baby wearing has meant that I’ve connected with a community of likeminded mums! It has meant the world to me, as prior to meeting them I was feeling quite lonely as a first time mum far away from family and close friends (sadly they didn’t join the move to UK)
  6. The sky is the limit! Admittedly this relates to the previous points of freedom and convenience. But using a baby carrier has meant that we as a family can enjoy the beautiful nature of the Lake District in a way that would be inaccessible if we had Elliot in a Pram/Buggy.

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    Little man and I on the top of Carron Crag
  7. Daddy Cuddles! Now I know J found it hard in the beginning, to find ways of bonding with the little guy. Baby wearing offers plenty of bonding time whilst J can still get on with other bits, as lets face it when they are completely newborn it can be difficult to find bonding activities beside nappy changes and bath time, especially when mum is breastfeeding. J has embraced baby wearing! So much so that I got him his own Baby carrier, with awesome spaceships on. This way whenever J is off, he and Elliot can have adventures together.

    Baby wearing
    Adventure time with Daddy – buckle carrier
  8. So much choice! Now wether you like buckle carriers, Mei Tais, Ring slings, woven wraps or stretchy wraps there is so much choice in design, colours and cool patterns! If it wasn’t for the fact that my banker would probably have a word or two, I’d have a wrap to go with each of my outfits! Warning baby wearing can become quite the (expensive) hobby!
  9. Closeness – who doesn’t like cuddles! I love the extra cuddles I get from Elliot through carrying him in the sling. Before I know it he’ll have grown out of wanting cuddles, so I’m savouring every one of them!

    Baby wearing
    Cuddles from back when Elliot was teeny tiny
  10. It gets me fit! Or it would if I didn’t love cake so much! Did you know Baby wearing is good for the core strength! I get walks and weightlifting in one, now if that isn’t an added bonus I don’t know what is.

So there you go: 10 reasons why I love baby wearing! and just to clarify, this is not me postulating that baby wearing is better than using Prams and Buggies, believe me I’d love it if Elliot liked the Buggy more sometimes! I started my baby wearing journey out of necessity. Unlike Karen, from twotinyhands.co.uk, who had been so organised and researched the options for farrying ones offspring around, prior to her little Robots arrival, you can read her Baby wearing journey here. Anyway if I’ve inspired anyone to give it a try there are lots of ‘Sling libraries’ around UK where you can get help and support with learning how to wrap or try out different types of carriers before you buy.

Have you also used baby carriers/slings/wraps? What was your favourite thing about it?

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