Despite the freezing temperatures today we decided to layer up and go to the nearby mere for a thorough exploration as a way of getting us back into the hiking habit.
When we got there, it was largely frozen over and particularly atmospheric looking. We'd walked the short walk around it before, admiring the swans, geese and moorhens and unmoving reflections of the surrounding trees
|Such beautiful surroundings|
This time though we took the longer walk around, and discovered another path leading away from the lake. In the spirit of exploration, we took it, and it lead us over some dirt tracks and into stark wintery woods. To one side lay train tracks, steep hills to the other.
We opted to scramble the muddy hillside, regretting not having brought our sticks for stability.
More than once I was grateful of having found fallen branches that I could use to lever me further up the muddy incline.
We reached the top, our lungs full of the cold January air, our cheeks rosy and hearts pounding and marvelled at the view across fields. I was thankful at having packed a can of cherry coke for a spot of refreshment before walking along a track around fields until we found a more trodden path to return down the hill.
Back at the lake the dogs were pleased to sip from the sides of the bank as we made our way home. It was so refreshing to get out and exert ourselves, to explore where we live and to enjoy the surroundings that nature has to offer. It's what the weekends are made for.