- Environmental Education and Wildlife
- Sled Dog Racing
- Community Farms and Small Holdings
- Camper Van Adventures
- Sailing Adventures
- Shetland Islands
- Cumbria and the Lake District
- Republic of Ireland
- Northern Ireland
- South West
- South East
- Channel Islands
- East Anglia
- North West
- North East
- South Wales
- Mid Wales
- North Wales and Anglesey
- Scottish Highlands and Islands
- Mainland Scotland
About Me & Mine
James' family is James' (aged 7 months), daddy - Dominic, mummy - Helena and Jarvis the dog. We currently live in Norwich but head to the mountains of Snowdonia and the Lake District as often as we can.
Before James was born we were a very active family doing lots of canoeing, hill walking, camping and snowboarding. Since having James we are determined that having a family and enjoying the outdoors are both possible. We are keen to make sure James can not only join in with our adventures, but that he will be happy and comfortable at the same time.
Favourite place in the world:
It's a tough choice but Arisaig on the West coast of Scotland gets our vote. With the whitest sand and bluest sea we've seen, you have to keep reminding yourself you're in Scotland rather than a tropical paradise. The views out towards the Small Isles and the Cuillins on Skye are stunning; it really is a magical place. With sea kayaks it's easy to find your own private beach - well apart from the odd otter (real ones rather than Spotty ones) and seal to share it with. It's definitely somewhere we plan to take James to as soon as possible.
Favourite things to do outdoors:
We are keen canoeists and love to get out on the water as much as possible - whitewater, flat water touring or sea kayaking; we're not fussed as long as it's wet. We are both qualified instructors and enjoy passing on our love of paddle sports to others at our local canoe club. We have already has our own little bow paddler in the making, James, out in the canoe and are looking forward to many more trips.
We also do a lot of walking. We get out everyday to visit our local woods and parks to walk our coker spaniel, Jarvis. When we get the chance though, we prefer something a bit more challenging and regularly visit the mountains of Snowdonia and the Lake District. James' dad Dom, is a qualified mountain leader and is keen to pass on these skils as soon as possible.
The other day when we were heading off to walk Jarvis on our way back from the supermarket, I accidently got in the wrong lane at the roundabout and took a wrong turning. Before we’d had time to turn round, we caught sight of a brown sign for a country park. We couldn’t resist following them and a few minutes later we’d reached Eastham Country Park.
My favourite walk on the Wirral has to be Thurstaston Common. So when we had visitors last week this is exactly where we headed. As we left the car park and started the climb to the top of the common, our guests said “you’ve not chosen a very child friendly walk”. To be honest I’d not really given it much thought, but it got me thinking.
We love a good challenge and are at our happiest when we’ve got a good project to prepare for. For us half the fun is in the planning and we love spending hours researching trips, whether its reading the guide books, pouring over maps and charts, checking tide tables and weather reports its all part of the fun.
Last Wednesday we woke up to a lovely and unexpected surprise – SNOW! Unlike last time James was fully aware of all the glorious white stuff in the garden. I knew from the rather unsubtle and incessant banging on the patio doors that we would have to cancel our plans for the morning and make the most of it.
On our recent trip to Scotland we were treated to some typical west coast weather - rain, rain and a bit more rain for good measure. Some folks might have been disappointed with the forecast; we on the overhand donned our waterproofs and made the most of having the sights to ourselves whilst everyone else cowered indoors.
Since our first bike trip the other week, we have vowed to get out on our bike at least once a week. So far we have just been doing short local trips whilst we get used to the trailer. James doesn’t usually “do” sitting down so we try and go somewhere where we can do something exciting when we get there.
The other weekend was so glorious and sunny down in Liverpool, it was easy to think summer had returned – that was until you stepped outside where the frost and the cold convinced you otherwise. It really was the perfect day for wrapping up warm and heading for the beach. As it was the weekend we decided to head a bit further afield to Crosby, just north of Liverpool, which hosts Antony Gormley’s Another Place.
The good thing about all the recent rain we’ve been having is all the mud! We had a gloriously squelchy walk at the weekend along the coastal path to the beach. Just before he locked up the car Dom asked me “are you sure you don’t want your wellies”. I decided it was far too much effort to take off my walking boots, a decision I later regretted!
Well yesterday was certainly a day for special birthdays, not only did Little Trekkers turn 10 but it was James’ 1st birthday too. I really can’t believe how quickly the year has gone, it seems like only yesterday we were bringing him home from hospital. So while he was napping I got a bit teary eyed and took a trip down memory lane, looking through all his baby photos.
We have always loved walking but since having James it has become one of our activities of choice. Unlike a lot of our other hobbies, which although still possible with a baby, require a lot more planning and are difficult to do at the same level, walking has been relatively easy to carry on as normal.
I don’t know about any of the other Little Trekkers but here in Norwich we have been rather uncharacteristically glued to the television since the Olympics began. To say we were excited to be heading there ourselves was a bit of an understatement. Not only were we lucky enough to have got tickets but we were off to see the canoe sprint – one of our favourite sports.
We have a selection of fruit bushes at the end of the garden and every morning when we let Jarvis out we go and pick some raspberries. Most mornings we have eaten what we have collected by the time we reach the back door but if we’re lucky we sometimes have enough to have with our weetabix. With Daddy away with work a strange phenomenon had occurred, even after gorging ourselves over breakfast we still had some to spare.
Having got a few short local trips under our belt, we decided to be brave and head a bit further afield. So a plan was hatched for a trip to the River Waveney on the Norfolk Suffolk border for our first full days paddle. James must have over heard us discussing our plans the previous evening and got us all up nice and early so we had no worries about in finishing in time.