“It’s the perfect gift”, I though to myself as I leafed through 52 Country Walks Near London. I was frantically trying to come up with gift ideas for my girlfriend on our inaugural Christmas together and this would surely fit the bill. 52 walks within easy reach of London’s transport network. 1 walk for each weekend of the year. Each one varying in length and difficulty. This was an excellent way for our relationship to blossom as we could spend our weekends in the South Eastern countryside exploring all it has to offer.
We went on our first walk. I think it was number 18, Sunningdale to Windsor and I’ll be honest, I cannot really remember it. I presume it must have been pleasant enough but I remember there being a problem with the trains and having to get a replacement bus service somewhere. Not ideal really and the number of times we have used the book since then is 0.
A pretty spectacular fail if you ask me as it really is a great book. Just from reading the index I can see it spans the entire south eastern corner from Cambridge to Southampton and everything in between! It even has walks in my home town area that I must have done as a youngster which would be great to revisit as a fully fledged adult (nearly).
I’m not going to go crazy and say that in 2016 I will do every single walk in the book… That would be too much. There are not enough weekends for me to do that! Unless I really put my heart in to it. No way, it’s not happening. What I will do is make a concerted effort, a new years resolution if you will, to try and go on as many of these walks as possible. I will at least go on more than I have done since this book came in to our lives a few years ago. One day I will complete them all. It may not be this year and it may not be for another 20 years but one day they will all be crossed off. It’s only fair seeing as someone went to the effort of putting them all in a book.
What with the continued focus on walking and the need/desire to get as much experience as possible these are great little gems for me to improve my skills. When I have a quiet day on the weekend and I am unable to go further afield to the more mountainous areas of the UK these will provide me with a great opportunity to get out there with ease. Their location means I have no excuse and it’s time this little gift got put to some use! Now I just need to find a free weekend…