You’ll more than likely be seeing a lot of posts about resolutions for 2017. But this one is not a New Years resolution post!
I am a firm believer that we can do the things we want to when we want to do them and make changes then they need to be made. So resolutions for me are pretty arbitrary. Yes, I believe in planning stuff, but in no way would I wait until January to get them planned in. Anyway, for a ‘not a New Years resolution post’, that is more than enough about resolutions! Let’s catch up a bit, it has been a while!
What did you get up to over the festive period? Where did your adventures take you?
Away from the city
For us, we spent Christmas on the Wirral with my family, exploring the area and getting out and about in the cool brisk weather and catching up with as many people as possible. Unfortunately there is never enough time to see everyone. Then New Year was a gloriously quiet affair in a little cottage; totally signal free near the Land’s End of North Wales in Aberdaron. Just Jit, me and loads of walks. All tech and contact free. Absolute bliss! (Oh yeah and the owner of the cottage has six cats too, so I got my holiday fill of kitties as well!)
On the Wirral
Despite having grown up on the Wirral, there is still a huge amount that I am yet to explore so every time we are down that way, we like to get some local adventures in while we are there. This visit we left the car at my parents’ house as much as possible and made it our mission to find different places to go.
On arrival to the Wirral we took a swift 5 mile walk around our regular route – just to keep up our activity levels. It is a route along part of the Wirral Way around Willaston village that I used to cycle and explore when I was younger. The Mill Lane route was my cycle training place where I could build up speed and work on my hills while chatting to my Dad who was walking with me.
Boxing Day village style
Christmas Eve and Day were spent locally walking the Wirral Circular walks and enjoying some down time (we still managed an average of 6 miles per day though) and then Boxing Day began with the tradition of walking to the Village Green to watch the Morris Dancers. It was so much busier this year over previous ones and was pretty cold. We stayed for the dance then headed home to pack out lunch, flask and goodies for another walking adventure.
An Eastham Wander
We took one of the Wirral Way routes from Willaston to Eastham Country Park which was fun as we got to walk underneath the M53 – something we did again later in the week on another walk too. (small things and all that!)
The walk gave us the opportunity to see some of the other parts of the route that we have driven past (and missed!) numerous times. It is amazing how much can still remain unknown after living in and visiting an areas for 34 years. It just goes to show that exploring where you live will always throw up new things, places and routes. Something I think we all need to remember as we trek further and further afield looking for adventure.
One of the things that we thoroughly enjoyed about being back in the countryside was waking in the dark – something that is pretty rare when you live near the city in built up suburbs. We finally got to use our lights to keep us safe on the dark country roads too. (Saying that, I do use mine on the walk home from town as some people still manage to miss us even when I am wearing a bright pink coat!) You would be seriously surprised how many people wander around country roads in all black clothing with no lights or high vis!
The Shropshire Union Canal
One of my fondest memories from my childhood is from visiting the Boat Museum in Ellesmere Port (perhaps this could explain my love of the canals so much!) so I decided that we would go and explore the Shropshire Union Canal. Unfortunately the Boat Museum (or National Waterways Museum as it is now known) wasn’t open, but that gave us more chance to wander the quiet and still canal ways instead.
Onward to Wales
Since we have decided that New Year is best spent away and exploring (while the cats are safe and settled at my parents’ house) we have made it a tradition to take a break at that time of year. Last year we were in Glasgow and this year, following a lot of city breaks we decided to head to the peace and quiet of the countryside of the Wales coast.
Rather than heading straight to our holiday cottage we planned a stop half way to have a look around Betws-y-Coed in the Conwy Valley. We only had a short stop of a few hours but it gave us enough time to check out the abundance of outdoor shops, see some of the sights with enough time to decide that we will visit again for a longer time – maybe this year.
Being brought up in the North West meant that we took lots of holidays in Wales so being able to revisit them as an adult (when I can finally appreciate the splendor) is fantastic! It is amazing how much I remember as well, even though I was only young when I came to many of the places we now visit.
To the cottage
We finally headed to the cottage in the depths of Aberdaron. Arriving in the dark we could see that it was going to be a stunning place to stay as there were no street lights, few houses and a vast amount of sky to be enjoyed. After setting up and getting the log burner going we were settled and already planning our walks on the OS maps kindly left for us by the owners.
Our first walk took us along the Wales Coastal Path to Aberdaron. I know this is not a New Years resolution post, but one of the things that I need to add to my bucket list is to walk the whole of the Wales Coastal Path, something we have wanted to do for years and are now building into our holiday planning.
The beach in Winter
The beauty of visiting a place like Aberdaron in the winter is how quiet and calm it is. We were in Abersoch before the August bank holiday in 2015 and although pretty calm for the most part, the explosion of people for the bank holiday changed the place immensely. Jammed beaches, traffic everywhere and walks filled with litter and bustle. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t mind a bit of busy, but things can get crazy around the peninsular in the summer!
Land’s End and Bardsey
After a heavy battering of rain and the winds up in the high numbers, we decided to stick near to home. Less than a mile away was the Land’s End of North Wales with uninterrupted views of the sea and Bardsey Island. Wrapped up in all our layers and waterproofs we headed to the hills to explore. And to battle the strong winds!
Luckily the winds died down a bit by the afternoon and we were able to stay out until dusk to enjoy the sun setting behind Bardsey Island before heading back for the gorgeous warmth of the log burner and cuddles from one of the kitties.
After our few days away in Wales it was time to head back to reality. Of course, no journey back to the Wirral from Wales would be complete without a trip to our favourite chippy in Llandudno. So of course that was our mi-point stop off.
After our hearty lunch in Barnacles we browsed a few shops (the antiques places are great!) we wandered the pier and the promenade before heading back to the Wirral for our final night in the countryside before returning to Manchester.
Back to Manchester
We are now back in Manchester and in full swing of getting back to our morning walk. It was lovely wishing a happy New Year to our morning walking friends this morning and getting some kind of regular walking back into our lives (boy have I missed doing a good mileage everyday!)
As I said at the beginning of this post, this is certainly not a New Years resolution post, it is more of a let’s keep on exploring, adventuring, playing and discovering new things. Don’t wait to get started on something, do it now! If you want to take that adventure, don’t wait for the perfect time, get planning right now and make that time perfect.
We so often put things off because we think the things that we want to do are out of our reach, that we have to travel the distance to find them or need certain things in place before we even start.
Resolutions are known to die off before February (once the hype fades) so why not choose to do something now that you really want to. I know that from my past year I made my big change in July (walking more and taking more adventures excuse free) and have never looked back.
My advice to you
So my advice to you in this ‘not a New Years resolution post’ is to take more adventures, explore as often as you can and to stop making excuses for putting things off. There will never be the perfect moment to do something, so make the moment right now!
Here’s to a year of more adventures, inspiration and fun! Get outside and enjoy where you are, wherever you are! There is so much more to be discovered!
The one thing that I will be doing (this is not a resolution though) is to update my Bucket List to include more of the things that I need to fit into my life! Check it out and if you can help me out with any, please give me a shout! 😀
Remember, life is for living, not wishing!
Happy New Year!
As this is not a New Years resolution post, why not share your top bucket list items with me in the comments below – I’d love to know where your adventure are going to take you in 2017!