Updated: Jan 28
For the past few years we've made it a priority to get outside into the countryside once per month. We've used it as a way to push ourselves, we've climbed mountains, one of the scariest and most fulfilling being Blencathra in the Lake District.
We've tried new things, we've camped in Winter. Waking up to frost on our tent.
Explored new places, even in the county we live. We've also used it as a way to slow down the year, to make the most of all the months. I realised a long time ago that routine was a killer, and that its so easy to get stuck in a rut and before you know it the year has disappeared. I love this quote by Paul Coehlo.
Seeing new places, learning new things, and being outside in nature are what makes our childhoods (I'm a kid of the 70's and 80's) seem so long, so why do we give that up as adults?
This year we decided we needed a plan/challenge and to have the dates firmly placed on the calendar. As our family gets older, the calendar get busier. A set challenge is also a good way of cutting down the choice, having a focus, and a goal at the end.
We wanted to carry on exploring the county of Yorkshire where we live. The Yorkshire Dales is an area we have lots still to explore, it has lots of Dales/valleys. So this year we're planning on walking a different Dale every month, #12dalesin12months. We bought some new guide books and we're trying out Harvey Maps (we haven't used them before).
My youngest daughter has made a chart for us to fill in each month to log where we've been, and we have a big map on the wall to make it easy to plan.
It will be a challenge with the shorter Winter days, and travelling to some of the more remote Dales. We plan to camp on a few weekends as the days get warmer and longer, and keep some of the nearer, shorter routes for later on in the year.
You can follow our journey on Instagram, and I'll be posting monthly updates on our walks on here.
If you have any routes in the Yorkshire Dales you'd like to share, please get in touch, we're welcome to recommendations.