Since 15th April 2010, I have not been higher than 1150ft – and that was on a solitary trip to the Cotswolds. Where I live, in Northamptonshire, is flat – not flat like The Broads, but other than a handful of larger hills (the highest point is 738ft), the countryside mainly consists of gentle undulating farmland, with an occasional wood – and I am bored of it!
Don’t get me wrong – this quiet part of England has it’s charms – it is surprisingly peaceful (as fellow hikers are few and far between), you get to see a wide selection of wildlife, and in amongst the fields you often come across magical places – small overgrown woods, quiet hillside views, and forgotten buildings.
It is just I can hear the hills calling to me….
My favourite place currently is Snowdonia, it never ceases to make my heart pound seeing the mountains start to loom in the distance. It is no coincidence that, despite the beautiful places we visited during the trip, my favourite view from Offa’s Dyke was of Snowdon in the far distance, and that my favourite picture of my dog is from Y Garn looking towards the snow topped peak. Walking back from the pub in Rhyd Ddu at night is an awesome experience, not because of a belly filled with good food and real ale (although this arguably helps), but because of the dark shapes of Snowdon and her sibblings blotting out the night sky (it upset me immensely when the restaurant at the top reopened and I discovered they leave the lights on at night!)
I have not really even had much experience of big hills. As a kid I vaguely remember trips to the Lake District and Yorkshire, but since I got back into hiking (after I moved back to Northamptonshire incidentally), I have only managed a handful of peaks in Snowdonia (5/6 I think – not even Snowdon!), a few in Brecon Beacons, part of Offa’s Dyke, a tiny bit of South / North Downs and brief foray onto Bodmin Moor.
I can hear the hills calling to me….
I largely blame fellow outdoor bloggers for this manifestation of rock in my head – all this talk (and worse photos) of the Peak District, the Lake District and Scotland…. Scotland especially, every photo of epic mountainous landscapes posted seems to increase the intensity of the call.
I can hear the hills calling to me….. and I may just have to listen!