Having fallen in love with walking again over the last few weeks (which I haven’t done a huge amount of since my teens), I decided to bite the bullet on Friday and invest in some new walking boots. My trainers were troubled by our trip through the tunnel last week, they usually only go to the gym! I got a pair of waterproof boots for the bargain price of £23, remembered to buy hiking socks to go with them, and got excited about being able to go walking all through the long weekend.

At which point the heavens promptly opened.

Now, I have no issue with walking in the rain. I’d prefer it to not rain, but I don’t mind it too much. HOWEVER, I don’t actually own a coat, let alone a waterproof (I refused to buy new ones for one winter’s use, since I plan not to be the same size next winter.) The weather forecast predicted an improvement throughout the weekend. So on Saturday we waited. And waited. And waited. Eventually the rain stopped and we set off for a walk. Unfortunately by this point it was 11pm, so we didn’t walk very far – about 1.5 miles – but we made sure to get some decent hills in! Coming in at 35 minutes, that was day 24/31 complete.

Sunday was much better, so we went for a walk through the local nature reserve, which is much bigger than I had realised! There are hills, grassland, woods and a marsh; it really is beautiful there. It is also a site for wild grazing for 4 Exmoor ponies from May to July. Little known fact: I’m afraid of horses. I kind of like them from a distance or in photographic form, but up close they are quite frightening! But I got past my fear (and the horse on the path) and up to the top of a hill, where we got some beautiful views, then we explored the woods before looping back home along the canal (via the pub!) The whole walk was about 4.5 miles and took us about 1.5 hours (excluding breaks!) which I was happy with since the going was a little tougher than I’m used to! That was day 25/31 complete.

This doesn't exactly show them at their most scary...
This doesn’t exactly show them at their most scary…
The church is the highest point in the area
The church is the highest point in the area
Buttercups!  The view from the top of the hill.
Buttercups! The view from the top of the hill.
Reed marsh
Reed marsh
































Bank holiday Monday happened, and there was sun! When we’d got over the shock, we got our boots on and went out for another walk, this time along the canals (after a bit of nature reserve to get there!) We walked to the Nine Locks in Brierley Hill. The official name for them is the Delph Locks, but they are known locally as the nine locks, even though there are only eight (and have been for quite a long time.) I didn’t have anything with me to take photos (so I need to go back obviously!) but there are some good ones here if you’re interested. We walked there, stopped at the Tenth Lock pub for lunch (nice food, decent service, dodgy loos) and walked home, making a round trip of about 6 miles, over a few hours. I also got excited to see the locks being used, which I’d never actually seen before, and braved crossing a couple to get better views. The walking itself took about 2 hours, so I can safely say that’s day 26/31 done!