One of my favourite things ever is going out for a walk without a plan – just a map and the intention of finding out where I am. While camping with the outdoor bloggers, I took the opportunity for an early morning Croston circular wander.
I’m an early bird at the best of times and very used to getting up around 6am. Mainly because we like to get a good walk in to start the day. So on the camping weekend, I was up bright and early as usual. Having never been to Croston before (I’ve explored nearby Parbold and The Head on the side of the motorway) I decided to grab a shower, brew up some tea for my travel mug and head out for a wander while everyone else seemed to be resting. I think the early morning is one of my favourite times actually, when the world is still and slowly comes back into life – kind of like Spring, but every day.
While I considered the starting direction of my walk (obviously back through the entrance of the park!) I wandered around the campsite to see the surroundings and also to take in the view of our setup. It looked so cosy, yet different, which I think perfectly describes the amazing people that were at the camp.
Although I became good friends with the cockerels and hens, I know a lot of people found their morning calls rather annoying. Perhaps being an early bird is a great benefit when you have shouty feathered neighbours. Nevertheless, I did have fun chatting to them on my way through the campsite. There seemed to be more and more of them every time I passed through!
The other reason for early birding
Even having been to the Caravan and Camping show at the NEC, I had sill never seen some of the huge caravans in real life. So getting up early meant that I could have a cheeky snoop around the campsite and take some pictures without being caught! These caravans are seriously impressive and to be honest, they probably have a larger footprint than our house. They certainly look like luxury – especially in comparison to my Vango Banshee 300.
I just can’t even begin to imagine how you get these caravans to their destination either. I have never seen one on the motorway, have you? (answers in the comments, please)
Onto the real wander
After shaking off the awe of the caravans (and of course sending as many pictures as possible to Jit) I headed out through the entrance to the campsite towards the main road. Without any plans or expectations I took the right turn and decided to head towards Martin Mere. Even though I knew I wouldn’t be visiting I might have been able to catch a glimpse from afar.
The plan turned that I would walk into Croston village as it was nearby and I wondered what it was like – being that Parbold was beautiful.
The road was one of the country-style ones that keeps ending and sending you to the other side. Being a quiet time early on a Saturday morning the only thing I really needed to keep an eye out for was the odd tractor and they do a good job of alerting you to their presence with their characteristic chugging. So no problems there.
Spring is on the way
Although the ground was sodden and the sky a little grey, I definitely got the feeling that Spring was on the way. The grass looked luscious, the tilled fields had seedlings popping through and true to spring style, there were an abundance of daffodils! (Of which I did consider buying for the outdoor bloggers only to remember we wouldn’t have vases)
Of course no walk with me would be complete without a bit of cat spotting! I came across a lovely farm cottage with an obvious love of cats too. I only managed to snap a picture of the cat on the sign, but if you’re around there be sure to check out the chubby stone one near the house. Cute! Unfortunately, Croston didn’t seem to be a hugely catty area, so I had to make do with the statues rather than the furry, purry kind.
Round the houses
My wander wasn’t so much about getting out into the fields and paths – mainly because of all the rain that we had and also because I wanted to stay a little bit clean and dry for the activities back at camp. But in true form, I do love to do (sub)urban wandering and exploring all the places where people live. Croston was quite familiar with a feel of Failsworth and Parbold with the mix of old and new blending together nicely.
As always I spotted some curious sights too. I love the size difference between the doors of the old and the new homes. I like to imagine the people who live there…
Oh and how can I forget the alligator that was having a little swim in the stone pond in the front garden of one of the houses! That swan is making sure he doesn’t get out, I reckon!
One thing that I have certainly noticed from my urban wanders and explorations is that every area is pretty much the same in terms of houses. There are big houses, small houses, flats and estates. Posh houses, old house and everything in between. There is no area that is exempt from all the varieties no matter what people think of a place. Take it from me, I live in an area that many call ‘run down’, but I still see it with love and wonder for the heritage, history and community that remain there. Don’t over look somewhere or something because it doesn’t meet some made up expectations, I say! Plus, no matter where you are there is something glorious waiting to be found!
Anyway, my wander took me through some housing areas on my way to the footpath tucked behind the back gardens. I really enjoy places like these because you get a feel for what an area is like.
A bubbling brook
As I neared the end of my footpath adventures I passed by a lovely bubbling brook, trickling away over the roots and branches of the trees. A perfect end to the walk before I headed back to the campsite on the main road.
Later on that day when I was taking some of the other outdoor bloggers out to enjoy my route, this lovely low brook had taken over the entire path making it impassable! Would you believe that in the space of seven hours it disappeared! It was good though as it meant that we got to explore another route and take in the views of a field instead.
I was back at the campsite with lots of time to spare and ready for my real breakfast provided by the Varta team!
Overall it was a lovely stroll through a pretty village and a perfect way to start the day. Even with the overcast skies, the sunshine came through the spring flowers and luscious green grass. And even the rainy version later on in the day was fun – for me anyway!
What is your favourite thing about exploring somewhere new? Do you like to get lost or are you a planner?
Let me know in the comments below 🙂
To grab my Croston circular route, pop over to View Ranger and find me here