2020, the year we got locked down for what felt like forever. Gyms were closed but we were allowed to exercise outdoors (for limited times).
I live alone and as much as I am happy in my own company, I think it would have worn thin after a while so for the first part of lockdown I ran away up north to my GBF’s and we locked down together. He lives right next to the beach so I was blessed with beautiful cliff top coast paths to run on. I’ve never been a keen runner but the scenery and the salty sea air made it worth while.
I was away for a month and then the rules changed and we were allowed to form bubbles with other households so on my return to London, in order to meet up with the girls we started hiking and haven’t looked back.
For years I’d been saying that the UK has so many beautiful places to see but somehow, work and life always got in the way of visiting them but whilst the film industry was on hold, we made the most of our free time.
Horsey to Winterton. Fields, forest and beach with seals.
More Surrey Hills
We discovered a sheep pig…
The Jurassic Coast
17 miles along some very steep coastal paths. Views were breath-taking though.
We almost cut this walk a little short and would have missed out on being able to go inside an excavated burial mound so we’re glad we didn’t!
The heavens opened right after this picture was taken and we got soaked making our way back down but the sun came out and we dried off quickly and the rest of the walk was beautiful.
I’d just lost Dolly and the girls whisked me away on a girls retreat to cheer me up. Dolly made a special appearance in the waterfall.
In the past year and a half, we’ve hiked through fields, forests, mountains, coastal paths and a discovered a newfound love of quirky air b&b stays.
A 70’s bus in Wales converted into a cosy glamping option. It slept 3 comfortably and had a log burning stove, cooker and small dining table as well as a fire pit outside and it’s own yoga studio which was perfect for stretching in the mornings.
Being out in nature is amazing for your wellbeing so as well as getting exercise, hiking is great for the mind.
My Top 10 Hiking Tips
1 Download the OS Maps App, it’s only £2.99 a month and it makes fining a route and sticking to your route so easy!
2 Check the weather and wear appropriate clothing. Layering is a good idea as you can always remove them and it does get warm if you’re tackling steep inclines.
3 Make sure your hiking boots/shoes are well broken in and comfortable before wearing them for any long distance hikes. Even still, always carry Compeed and don’t scrimp by buying a cheaper brand. You’ll thank me.
4 Walking trails often lead you through fields of grazing cattle, keep your distance and enjoy watching the animals from afar.
5 Carry water and make sure you pack snacks.
6 Set off early, if you finish early then great, you can go and get a nice pub dinner and a drink, you’ve earned it but if you set of late and experience any obstacles on the way, you could end up finishing your hike in the dark or not at all.
7 Carry a torch in your bag, there are lot’s of things to trip over in the forest if it gets dark.
8 Carry a spare battery pack for your phone, you need it for your map and taking selfies!
9 Make sure somebody knows where you are especially if you’re on your own. I send my live location to one of my groups of friends so they know where to send the search party if I get lost (which I tend not to due to OS Maps).
10 Be mindful, listen to the birds, feel the breeze on your face, smell the fresh (or not so fresh if you find yourself in a field of cows) air, enjoy yourself. Nature is good for the soul.
The lockdowns weren’t great for everybody but I genuinely enjoyed myself and after so many amazing hikes, I now feel cooped up if I haven’t been out for a walk in nature for a few days.
Hikes make exercise fun.
TAKE NOTHING BUT PICTURES
LEAVE NOTHING BUT FOOTPRINTS
KILL NOTHING BUT TIME