Closer to Home

In advance of a ‘significant’ birthday i have been reading lots of books and articles on ‘great treks’ overseas and ‘bucket-list trails’ … and i always come back to the utterly amazing variety and scenery we have in these small islands of ours.

There is (sadly) even more reason to focus on walking ‘closer to home’ now as the environmental impact of flying is very high, and for a huge percentage of the population the cost of living crisis means less expensive travel.

In amongst all of my reading (and i am admittedly going back through the writings of AW, and of those that he inspired) i found A Pennine Journey

Not entirely removed from ‘the maddening crowd’ but a remarkable loop of the uplands of Northern England

“Oh, how can I put into words the joys of a walk over country such as this; the scenes that delight the eyes, the blessed peace of mind, the sheer exuberance which fills your soul as you tread the firm turf? This is something to be lived, not read about. On these breezy heights, a transformation is wondrously wrought within you. Your thoughts are simple, in tune with your surroundings; the complicated problems you brought with you from the town are smoothed away. Up here, you are near to your Creator; you are conscious of the infinite; you gain new perspectives; thoughts run in new strange channels; there are stirrings in your soul which are quite beyond the power of my pen to describe. Something happens to you in the silent places which never could in the towns, and it is a good thing to sit awhile in a quiet spot and meditate. The hills have a power to soothe and heal which is their very own. No man ever sat alone on the top of a hill and planned a murder or a robbery, and no man ever came down from the hills without feeling in some way refreshed, and the better for his experience.” – Alfred Wainwright

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