Going for a walk. It’s something we Brits love to do. For some it’s their regular exercise, for others it’s the Sunday stroll with the family after a big meal, or a New Years Day amble to ward off that hangover. Some choose to walk to work and others travel the world finding the best walking spots.
There are so many reasons we step out of the door and put one foot in front of the other. We all know it is good for our physical health but it’s also great headspace.
A Walk, Not A Run
On Wednesday I had planned on going for a run. I arrived home to find a meal cooked for me and the run went out of the window. Having a dog now means there are no truly lazy days. Brew still needed a walk but I’m fed up of the limited options near our house, so we headed out into the countryside.
Radcliffe on Trent is only a few miles down the road from us. A rolling footpath leads from the River Trent, up onto a river cliff and down into pretty Shelford.
The Beauty Of It
This walk really pulled out the stops. Having climbed up out of Radcliffe we spot a path leading back down to the river and the tell tale roar of a weir. The power of water is mesmerising. Perhaps it’s the movement or maybe the white noise of the flow. It’s easy to stop, watch and stay stopped.
A small path, not shown on the OS map, leads off along the river bank. We follow the narrow clay trail, picking our way over roots and under low branches. A steep track leads us back up to the main footpath. We climb and then steadily descend towards the Trent and Shelford.
Shelford is a peaceful village. We wind in to it and then out on another path. There are few people about. I breathe deeply in the scent of freshly ploughed fields. Even the farmer waves to us from his tractor. I feel as if I have walked into a postcard.
The Sun Sets
As we rise, once more, towards Radcliffe, the sun starts to set. We may mourn the loss of summer but there is such beauty in the change of seasons. The grass is still lush and green but there is an edge of chill in the air. The sun may rise later and set earlier but it means we get to see the colourful skies more often.
Now she steadily falls, until nothing is left but her glow.
Brew bounds ahead, desperately chasing squirrels. They scoot easily out of his reach, throwing devilish taunts down from the trees. We hate to tell him that his life ambition of getting within an acorns width of one will never be realised.
I feel happy but tinged with sadness.
Only You Can Make A Change
I love the countryside. I want to be there. Not just to visit and then head back to the noise of town. It has been a novelty, living close to the city centre of late. But, it is noisy and crowded. Sitting in our front room means listening to the revving of boy racer cars and their thudding music. People row, loudly in the street. We cannot have our window open at night, for the yells and engines keep me awake.
Out here, in the countryside, I feel relaxed. The dog does too. Away from roads, he can run freely. Investigating and exploring every grass blade and fallen leaf.
Something needs to change in my life. I whisper a promise to Brew that we will be out of town soon. Only I can make that happen.
The next day…
Brew and I went back the next day and ran the route.