During the second lockdown, with my four young children, I soon realised our ‘daily exercise’ was the only thing that would help keep me sane. The rules at the time were very clear – ‘Stay Local’, and this is exactly what we did!
If you had told me five years ago that I would find just as much pleasure walking the streets of Carlisle than I would from hiking in the Lake District, I would never have believed you! However, the time that lockdown gave my family and I to explore our ‘doorstep walks’ allowed us to fall in love with where we live all over again. In fact you might even find yourself pleasantly surprised with the hidden gems that you have right on your doorstep.
The first Lockdown of March 2020 forced us all to explore what was right outside our front doors, and what fun my family had! There are plenty of days where we didn’t feel like venturing outside, when the weather wasn’t great, or the children were not in great moods. However, I can quite honestly say that there has never been a time where I have returned from one of our walks and I have felt worse for it. Without the opportunity to get some fresh air I find my mental well being can quickly deteriorate.
I hope the list below helps to motivate you to give a new local route a try, or maybe even revisit an old route. I know walking through some of my old Lockdown routes has stirred up a lot of mixed emotions!
North and South Kingmoor Nature Reserve – great for rainy days, mostly sheltered by trees. North Kingmoor route is particularly good for bikes, scooters and prams!
The Sheepmount, Rickerby Park Loop – flat, green, close to the river to throw stones in and can include a trip to Bitts Park if you felt it was quiet and safe to do. Perfect for prams, bikes and scooters!
The Sheepmount, Train Loop – again, perfect for bikes, scooters and prams. Brilliant to break the day up and show your little ones the trains that go by.
Cummersdale to Dalston Cycle Path – perfect for older children on their bikes, this is a slightly longer walk which is sometimes needed to burn off any excess energy!
Wetheral to Great Corby – a brilliant pram walk for those local to these villages. Plenty to explore, pram accessible.
Chances Park – short, easy, pram accessible walk with a park if you felt comfortable using it. A great place for a quick half an hour outside if you weren’t feeling a long walk.
Hammonds Pond – a short, easy walk that, again, includes a park dependant on how you felt and how busy it seemed. Pram accessible and a small bmx track for little ones to use.
Engine Lonning – this is a brilliant walk for those who are situated close by, especially if you didn’t have a pram as you could then explore much further and head down towards the River Eden.
Hadrian’s Wood – such a great circular route close to the centre of Carlisle. There is plenty to see on this walk and it would be a great one to do if the weather was a little wet as the trees provide good shelter.
Petteril Valley – a lovely green space south of the City of Carlisle. Pram, bike and scooter accessible. This is a brilliant walk if you were this side of town and provides multiple walking routes.
I really do hope that by reminding you of what you have on your doorstep it can help you, and your family, to get outside a little more and allow you to enjoy your local surroundings! It really is amazing what you can find right on your doorstep – and you will honestly be surprised at how much better you all feel after spending a little time in the fresh air!
* Each of the walks mentioned above can be found on my website www.thehikinghousehold.com. Here you will find a full map of the route you can take and further explanation, and pictures.