The prospect of a sunny weekend fills me with hope and the love of life; I just have to get out in some form and enjoy that fresh air. This was one of those days. We have had such a long stretch of wet winter weather it was wonderful to see snowdrops appearing and a properly sunny day and we all agreed to leave our various chores for a stomp up Rough Tor.
Pronounced " Rou Tor" is a collection of rocky granite outcrops high up on Bodmin Moor. At only a fifteen minute drive from Coombe Mill it is perfect for a Sunday afternoon walk. I hadn't realised until we parked up in the free car park that it is part of the Forestry Commission. We weren't the only ones with this idea; the car park was full to overflowing with everyone wanting to enjoy the sunshine.
My children are growing tweens and teens, yet still they have a young child's approach to clothing. If it is warm when they step out of Coombe Mill they can't imagine that fifteen minutes up the road it might be very different. In reality we are tucked away in a lush warm valley and Rough Tor is high up and exposed to all of natures finest weather. Guy had seriously under dressed and it wasn't long before he had persuaded Clio to lend him her coat while I lent Clio my gillet; just as well Mum had layers to spare! Anyway the explanation is necessary for Guy to agree to photos in a purple coat! He had at least worn his wellies, Clio her trusted Muck boots & me my Rockfish Wellies in anticipation of a few puddles along the way.
Felix, Theo and Jed set off at breakneck speed on some sort of race to the top and I had no chance of catching them. The rest of us took it at a more leisurely pace, chatting, admiring the magnificent views and debating our route.
Clio, Guy and I were last to the top after taking the hardest route up the face of the rocks. At times I felt I was back at Go Ape in France but without the safety harness!
We made it safely to the top and joined the others who were hopping from stone to stone and suggesting I could do the same. I think I am relatively fit but there is no way I am as agile as my children or have their head for heights. It was more of a careful climb for me just to say I stood on each summit!
I love this photo with them all looking so carefree.
There is an impressive cast iron memorial plaque on one of the highest rock faces in memory of the 42nd Wessex Division who lost their lives serving in the war between 1944 and 1945. A little Google research suggests these men were ground troops in Germany creating a route out for paratroopers who had evaded capture along the river Rhine and heavily involved in missions to capture German crossing points. Reading these accounts make me very glad we live in the modern day.
I remembered there were some fun caves and tunnels between the rock formations; of course the children had already discovered these and lead me down to see. As they clambered through the tunnels I realised how much they had grown since I last watched them scamper through these tunnels three years ago!
By the time we had finished our hilltop play and wound our way back to the car we had whiled away the whole of the afternoon sun. It was an afternoon I was so pleased to have encouraged everyone out, all bar farmer Nick who we left sorting out the problems of waterlogged drains back on the farm, well that wouldn't have made for nearly such a fun post now would it?
Joining in with Country Kids
I hope the January blues haven't kept you indoors. Take those opportunities for some natural outdoor fun when you can, grab a camera and enjoy the fresh air. The forestry Commission has some real gems with plenty to stimulate young minds. If you want to find your nearest site there is a map on their website. Otherwise, parks, beaches and even the garden can be perfect for a little outdoor fun. Please grab the badge, link up and check out some of the other lovely ideas here for outdoor fun and learning.
A few of my favourite posts from last week:
Stick Man rules at the Forestry Commission sites this season as enjoyed by Lakes Singles Mum and Over 40 & Mum to One
I love the adventure in this walk from Over There to Here which reminds me of our trip this week making the most of the natural beauty around us.
The Project Lab combines castles and beaches in a winter weekend away.