Already, the first month of 2019 lies behind us. With the arrival of February, much of the UK hasn’t been blanketed with snow, if it wasn’t covered already. Mercury has plummeted and hopefully, it won’t be long before it begins to rise again.
My January was a good one and I was able to maintain a healthy habit of walking every weekend through the month. It’s almost impossible for me to consider post-work evening walks at this time of year, due to the lack of (but slowly increasing) daylight hours.
01/01 – 9.5 miles – Axbridge to Crook Peak
06/01 – 14 miles – Exmoor from Tarr Steps
12/01 – 15 miles – West Somerset Coast Path
19/01 – 5.5 miles – Wrington, North Somerset
20/01 – 11 miles – Shute Shelve Circular (Brunel 20s & 30s)
26/01 – 7.75 miles – Quantock Hills
27/01 – 4.25 miles – Wrington, North Somerset
Total for January 2019: 67 miles
I’m pleased to be able to say that two of the walks I completed were in the company of friends, while on another walk, I unexpectedly bumped in to two other friends at around the halfway point. On top of this, I attended my first Ramblers group walk of the year (with its own healthy turnout) although, at the time of reading, I’ve yet to lead my first group walk of the year.
As far as travelling goes, I’ve only driven (or been driven) as far as the southern half of Exmoor. It’s almost equal in distance to a drive across South Wales to the nearest mountains. But at this time of year, with the temperature being low, it can be wise to choose the high places over those that loom very high above sea level.
I’m pleased to have been able to revisit Exmoor for the first time since… Last summer, probably. Footpaths and hills that we’d not previously explored. An adventurous river crossing. I even found my way back to the West Somerset Coast Path for the first time since 2016.
To have walked almost seventy-miles in this past month is a good achievement to me. A couple of those walks turned out to be slightly longer than intended, while one or two were slightly below target. If I can maintain a record of walking more than fifty-miles in a winter month, I’ll be in good stead for the spring and summer, when things really begin to take off.
Every year, I think about cutting back and finding ‘something else’ to occupy my spare time with… I do miss woodworking. But to own or rent my own workshop right now, it continues to seem unachievable. I know that, as the weather and temperatures improve, I’ll be back out again.
This year, I have at least one National Trail to look forward to, along with a trip to Scotland and at least one long camping trip. I also hope to throw in a wild camp. Somewhere, somewhen.