Personal story

Why walking is important to me…

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Sally Atkins

I love walking. We’ve done it as a family since I was small. I remember us all wandering The Lakes in every season - sunshine or snow, and it being so much fun. I remember blackberry picking enroute so we could make jam and fruit pies when we got home. I remember getting my foot stuck in a cattle grid and getting lost in a storm and having to shelter in a leaking abandoned barn in my wet socks with my cousins, waiting for my uncles to go off and find our route back - which thankfully they did!

As I’ve grown up, I still love walking because you can do it with friends, family, kids, dogs, or on your own and, wherever the walk, it always lifts my mood.

I walked up Snowdon for charity a few years ago and we experienced the snow and sleet, crazy winds knocking us back with numb legs and hands, and finally making it to the top with a gang of ace friends, is a memory that will stay with me forever.

I’ve done a cross bay walk which was awesome too, as a huge group of us crossed the Bay of Morecambe when the tide was out. We walked through the quicksand was an adrenaline rush at first and wading through pools up to your waist was exhilarating. Crossing the bay when the sea was out felt surreal, loads of people said it was like Moses had parted the sea for us all to cross. The views were amazing too.

Over the years my children have loved walking too. Give them the map and instructions and it’s like a treasure hunt as they lead the way - exploring and climbing on many an adventure: finding ourselves in a field full of sheep, cows or bulls and trying to find our path with an out-of-date map has happened more than once and always been a giggle.

Anyone of any age can do it too so the best thing is that everyone can be together. I love that. The other great thing is when you get to absorb the beautiful scenery and countryside and coastal areas that are breath-taking and it’s like time stands still as you finally take time to appreciate the beauty and nature that’s around you – and this is so needed in such a fast-paced world.

Walking for me is fun, adventure, friends and family coming together, making memories that will last forever and taking time to appreciate what we have and what surrounds us. It is actually an amazing way to spend time.

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