Dear Mummy, in an effort to stay fit and healthy we’re kicking off 2019 with lots more outdoor adventures. For us walking is a great stress buster, especially at this time of year when my folks have returned to work and are feeling gloomy. My mummy is usually one for hibernating through to Spring, but brisk walking boosts endorphins (feel-good hormones) so Daddy and I have dragged her out! We’ve found a new place to hang out called Blackwood Forest which is managed by the Forestry Commission and has some great public trails and woods.
The site is also shared by Forest Holidays which provides holiday cabins for families and couples with picturesque views of the countryside. We’re lucky that Blackwood Forest is just a stones throw from where we live.
This forest is a great place to escape from the hustle and bustle of city life at short notice. Perfect for those days when I’m bouncing off the walls and need to run around in a space that’s bigger than our living room!
In the winter when we’re fighting off the short daylight hours it’s great to drive 15 minutes down the road and find ourselves in the heart of the forest with not another person in sight. The nice thing about Blackwood Forest is that it has great facilities, plenty of parking and is free to access for day trippers.
We love popping down for a hot chocolate in the Forest Retreat cafe and they also provide fantastic food for non-residents too. It’s a combined shop, reception and restaurant, with indoor and outdoor seating. The shop has essentials for people staying and it is also the hub for the resident activities. Even on rainy days there is colouring in for the children and clay painting.
Within sitting distance from the cafe is a great little wooden play area, which allows adults to chill while watching kids play. We visited twice in one week recently and enjoyed our time spent walking the trails and building dens. We even did a treasure hunt in the woods which I enjoyed immensely. (check out our video below)
We were really lucky with the weather and even though it was cold we managed to dodge the heavy rain. We were totally prepared for it though. My mummy was wearing her super cozy and comfortable women’s walking trousers by Brasher. She was pretty impressed that she managed to get the stretchy water-resistant trousers over her skinny jeans too, which gave her another layer of protection and warmth as she rolled around in the leaves with me. They have been a real wardrobe staple recently and helped her get mucky without having to worry about dragging mud into the car, as she slipped them off and kept them in the boot. They are great for all the bending she does, picking me up and reaching down to help me over the terrain.
Along with my mummy’s new Berghaus boots she was fully ready for our outdoor adventure. Her boots were warm, comfortable with no breaking-in required straight out of the box. They looked pretty smart too with their Pittards® split suede upper leather with mesh fabric panels. You can read more about our outdoor clothing on our last ramble here.
Daddy was ready for our outdoor adventure too, wearing his men’s Craghoppers waterproof trousers which are made with an active stretch fabric that allowed him to climb trees easily while keeping him dry and warm. With the breathable waterproof AquaDry membrane he didn’t have to worry about getting wet either. Of course my daddy always has his phones with him and car keys so the 3 zipped pockets allowed him to securely store his essentials. And after all the Christmas indulgence, the elasticated waist and fully lined trousers allowed a comfortable and snug fit. Our outdoor clothing picks are currently on sale and there’s lots men’s waterproof trousers online.
My daddy loves his new Brasher boots and throughout our trip kept raving about them and showing them off. Daddy has recently climbed the national 3 peaks in his Berghaus walking boots and whilst they were great for the job, he kept saying how comfortable the new Brasher boots were. I don’t really understand why he got so excited over a pair of boots but he seemed very happy. He also said that they provided a bit more ankle and achilles were supported better than the others. He would have taken these for the 3 Peaks instead. I think he’ll be wearing these a lot now! The Brasher boots are heritage-inspired, fully waterproof and look great.
Even though we’ve yet to stay at Forest Holidays in one of their luxurious cabins we’re very intrigued and have overheard residents rave about them. Most of them have got hot tubs which give you great views of the forest and they even do in-spa treatments in the comfort of your own cabin. We could have certainly done with some warmth and relaxation after our brisk walk and climbing.
After we warmed up with a hot chocolate at the cafe we returned home to snuggle up in front of the telly and watch some films while the roast dinner was cooking. Walking definitely lifted our spirits and we felt great for it, very invigorated for the week ahead.
Have you been out exploring recently?
Love Bella x
Disclosure: The brands included in this post asked for our opinion on the products featured from their range. All thoughts, photos and opinions are our own.