Malvern Hills walks

Having the Malvern Hills on our doorstep is a privilege. Growing up in the area, I never appreciated how beautiful it was. Even as an adult, I’d walk and run on the Malvern Hills without really understanding how lucky I was. I think the turning point for me was when I started to notice the Malverns topping lists of walks with the wow factor and best places in the UK to see the sunrise. So with the advantage of years of exploring, here are my favourite Malvern Hills walks. Grab a map before you start and make use of your…

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National Trust membership to combat Winter blues

What is it about Winter that makes it so miserable? Is it the dark nights and cold days, or is it the way we deal with it? This is only the second time in my memory when I haven’t found Winter completely joyless. The first was when I spent the start of the season in New Zealand and Australia, coming back in Mid-December. This year though, we’ve stayed put and still managed to enjoy the colder months. I’ve been wondering why that was, and I think it might be down to our National Trust membership. Getting outdoors with National Trust…

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Murmuration of starlings UK

For the past few months, there have been some incredible photos on social media of the murmuration of starlings around the UK. So last weekend, I did some research to find out what the murmuration is all about and when and where to see it. What is the murmuration? Every day at sunset, the murmuration takes place as starlings come in to roost. Flocking together in their thousands, the birds perform a breathtaking aerial display.  At first glance, a few starlings swoop around the sky. Then moment by moment, they are joined by more birds. Gathering momentum, they form a…

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Cycling at Sutton Bank National Park Centre

A few weeks ago, we spent a couple of nights camping in Yorkshire. We enjoy cycling together as a family but sadly, it’s quite rare to find somewhere off road where the girls can ride safely. Locally, we cycle in the Forest of Dean but we were keen to try somewhere new, and Sutton Bank National Park Centre in Yorkshire looked ideal. About Sutton Bank National Park Centre Cycling is actively encouraged in Sutton Bank National Park. You can hire or even buy a bike there, or bring your own. We brought ours, but realised when we were there that Lia’s…

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7 tips for family mountain bike adventures

This is a collaborative post.  We’ve had a bit of a breakthrough over the past fortnight. After eight months of riding a bike, Lia has finally mastered starting and stopping. Being unable to do so didn’t stop her cycling, but it stopped me. I tended to run alongside her bike to help her rather than cycling myself. But now, we’re ready for proper cycling. So, here are my top tips for family mountain bike adventures. 1. Get the right bikes A good bike makes all the difference for a child who is learning to cycle. I personally swear by light…

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12 things you need to know about cycling in the Forest of Dean

Two seasoned mountain bikers stopped beside the trail for a drink. Covered in mud and exhausted from pushing themselves, they watched as a tiny tot pedalled past. The beauty of the Forest of Dean cycle tracks is that they really do cater for everyone. Here’s what you need to know before you pump up the tyres and head for the hills. 1. Where to start There are various locations in the Forest of Dean to pick up the cycle trails. Head to the tourist information website for links to the different routes. Alternatively, you can pick up a cycling guide…

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Attracting wild birds to the garden with boxwild

One of my favourite things about where we live is that we back onto a nature reserve. It’s only small, but it’s full of trees, birds and wildlife. It’s a quiet estate and we rarely get disturbed by neighbours or passers by. But occasionally, the owls make a bit of a racket. They are definitely the sort of noisy neighbours I can cope with, it’s a lovely place to be. The children’s big bird gift box from Boxwild With the nature reserve so close by, I’ve always thought it would be lovely to put some food out for the birds. And when Libby…

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