Hikes, Raising Kids

What I Learned Hiking Mam Tor with 2 kids

I had known this for a while, but hiking was a totally centering activity.

  • I think next time we take a trip like this we need to plan to put hiking on Day 1 or 2 instead of at the end of the trip.
  • I packed snacks from home. The bars held up. The coconut flakes in the reusable baggies did not (they got all soggy.) Should have left them in their container until the day of trip.
  • I was justified in carrying our hiking stuff all the way with us. Considering we took 4 people’s stuff in 2 suitcases and the equivalent of 1 carryon, the size of our gear was acutally pretty considerable. The hiking gear including carriers all got used.

Mam Tor was honestly, one of my favorite parts of our whole trip. This was the day for me that made the most sense with my kids. We were just doing what we always do. There wasn’t any fussing. We just explored. There were only our normal trail rules. We just walked up. Snacks were required at regular intervals.

Our circuit was about 5 miles. Though the route looked like you could easily shorten or lengthen it. There were steeper ascents and gentler descents, but we ended up on a “medium” route. More or Less. Note to Self: Always pack the wind breaker. It was a brutal 50MPH winds at the summit and Graham needed to ensconse himself in my coat. My friend was our companion on this hike. It felt great to share something that has made me so happy with her. I’m pretty sure that blurryness is the wind.

Graham made it all the way up the mountain, but insisted on being carried down. Warren “hiked” the very last parts. He was not interested in hiking today, just snuggling daddy. But once we were off the mountain he was much more interested in the flatter paths. He’s selective about terrain.

I have a picture of my late grandma making this same face, she would have loved this.

It was worth the drive to be here. I’m so glad we opted for the Peak District. We have so much left to see of the United Kingdom. I’m sure we’ll be back. The whole National Park Trust area was just amazingly beautiful and a lot of films have been shot there. Which is completely unsurprising. We drove right by the location of Westley being shoved down the hill by Buttercup in the Princess Bride. You could easily spend multiple days hiking those “paths.” It was more like the paths were friendly guidelines than actual paths. Only the ridgeline was paved. Still, beautiful and untamed.


Travel Notes from Our Trip to England

I’ve been MIA due to an amazing opportunity to take my family to England. It was a really special trip for me. I was born in England and to be able to show some places to my family and to experience new things together was just…wow.

We had a brief day in London. We hit up the Princess Diana Memorial Playground. If you have children and are in London, don’t miss this. It’s free to get in and the kids had a great time. It was the perfect way for them to acclimate to the new time and place. I’ve been to a lot o playgrounds, but none of them were this cool. We were lucky enough to see both Kensington and Buckingham Palaces as well as the changing of the guard. Additionally, we rode both the underground and a double decker city bus. And capped it off with a high speed train ride to Cambridge.

Travel Notes from our Trip to England
Changing of the Guard led by Canadian Troops in honor of Canada’s 150th anniversary. Also, led for the first time ever by a woman,

We were able to stay with a friend in Cambridge and spent the first day wandering around. It poured (which was unusual for the season) and we went to the Fitzwilliam Museum. True to my sons’ styles, their favorite part was the puddles outside. I won cool mom by having remembered their “puddle stompers.”

Travel notes from our Trip to EnglandWe also drove out to Ispwich and Woodbridge which is where I was born. I did the driving on this one because I really wanted Elliot to be able to see the place and because he tends to navigate better than I do.

Travel notes from our trip to England
My first house

We had a punt! Highly recommended. Super touristy. But also, very fun.

Then it was up into the Peak District for Chatsworth and Castle Ashby de la Zusch. The kids loved both these places. I started calling them all hikes. “We’re going hiking at a castle,” I’d say. They got totally into it. The castle especially, they could easily run around and climb up stairs and touch everything and no one was bothered because it was a ruin. I love when history is touchable.

My favorite part was hiking Mam Tor, which will have to be it’s own post.

Mam Tor

Somethings about this trip were so very close to the heart. I’ve been finding it difficult to put words to the swirling vortex of emotions that I experienced. For me, England has always had a calming sort of effect. It makes me feel grounded in a way that few other places do. The speed of travel, the diction, the tea, the wobbly sidwalks. Each achors me and calls me, home. I’ve spent so little time in this place that my body and mind yearn to return to.

Usually when coming home from a trip I’m a bit relieved to be home. When I came home from England I felt like I’d left somethings behind.