Keeping it local

It’s a beautiful spring morning here in North West England. There’s a cool breeze, clear blue skies and the birds are singing its praises.

I’m sat outside, enjoying the peace and sunshine with a coffee. I’m still feeling a little overwhelmed by my house guests and have decided to go out again today. Destination unknown as yet, but I want somewhere quiet and peaceful and beautiful again.When Dad was alive, Easter Sunday was always a chance for a big family dinner. Not today. My children will be having dinner with my in-laws. One of my sisters is with her in laws and I expect my youngest sister will stay here for the day. I feel a little guilty that I’m not staying here with her, but the countryside is calling me – I’m back in work in two short days and I want to make the most of it.*******It’s now the evening and a glowing golden sun is beginning to set.I did indeed go out but not for as long as usual. The best of both situations perhaps.You may have guessed that I particularly like castles and so I used the following website’s interactive map to find a castle to visit.I chose a castle I hadn’t heard of, and one that I figured could be quiet today. Unfortunately, I chose a little too well – we couldn’t actually find it! From what I read, we would have found low stoney walls and signs of earth works. Never mind. What we did find though was a beautiful valley with rocky crags, a babbling stream, trees and bluebells. Pretty heavenly to me.The forest and valley were beautiful and tucked away right near the motorway. The car park had disappeared and the picnic bench were a little worse for wear but we had brought a large picnic blanket anyway. The paths were well worn though so I figure that this place must be loved. It is so important to visit these places, those quiet secluded little spots that only the local know. I’ve always loved the stunning Lake District or Snowdonia National Park and rightly so, but I am also realising that these smaller places are even more important to treasure and look after.Why not explore your local area? I’ve found that the Woodland Trust and Forestry Commission are a great place to start, as are your local council website and local historic societies pages.

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