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Posts Tagged ‘walking with children’

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It’s New Year’s Eve and am in the UK with the kids. Time for a lovely stroll with our extended English family today around the headland at Clevedon, near Bristol in the UK. After the cold, icy snow of the Christmas week while we were further north, the mild seaside weather (7C) today was practically tropical. Poets Walk starts from the seawall and takes you up, around and on top of the headland, with (murky – well, it is the middle of winter, after all!) views across the Bristol Channel and wider views across the mudflats and mouth of the River Yeo, which has the highest tidal fall in the UK. The walk back through the woodlands takes you under pretty arbours with cheeky little robins hopping about. It’s a great and interesting short walk to do with kids.

Poets Walk, Clevedon, UK

Poets Walk, Clevedon, UK

The bonus about almost any short walk in the UK, is that it invariably ends up at a cosy pub, and being New Year’s mulled cider was the order of the day. Not a bad way to see in the new year!

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Old mineral springs well, Clifton Springs beach

It’s now officially autumn, and officially my favourite time of the year to walk – Victoria usually has wonderfully stable weather in March and April – cool nights, crisp mornings, warm but not too hot days and crystal blue skies. With my book due at the end of this month though, I am having to hunker down at home to write, map and organise my photos.  However, on Sunday, the weather was just too good, so I used the excuse of researching a walk variation for the Clifton Springs walk, to drag my son and his friend out.  The added incentive was hiring a boat from Mike at Clifton Springs Boat Harbour and motoring up and down the coast along the dramatic sea cliffs.  Afterwards, we walked along to The Dell, a sunken picnic ground beneath the cliffs, accessible only by steep stairs or the beach at low tide.  From there you can wander along the beach to explore the remains of what was once a popular mineral springs and spa complex.  In the late 1800’s, people traveled by ferry from Melbourne to take in the waters and purchase water from the bottling plant.  Today, you can see old wells, remnants of the curvy thick glass bottles, and most interestingly, the springs themselves, which still bubble up along the beach and seep out through rock pools and the sand. A terrific short walk for families which you could round off with a paddle in the shallow waters and a picnic and ball games at The Dell.

Mineral springs bubbling into rock pools at Clifton Springs beach

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Well, while we are in post production with Melbourne’s Best Bush, Bay & City Walks, I am getting itchy feet, so have just started out on the next Walks Guidebook, which will cover Greater Geelong, the Bellarine and Great Ocean Road area.  It’s pretty chilly here this winter, but when the days are clear it makes for really beautiful walking.  We had a wonderful wander at Edwards Point, near St Leonard’s township, last weekend, venturing out into the remote-feeling saltmarshes of Swan Bay.  Yesterday, the kids and I took in Serendip Sanctuary, at the base of the You Yangs, which is just swarming with birdlife, include huge flocks of magpie geese, and pairs of cape barren geese, making the most of the lush, full wetlands and billabongs.  There were also some impressively immobile tawny frogmouths, feathers all plumped up against the cold.  Australia’s native wildlife is making the most of the bountiful seasons after the last decade of drought and the kangaroos and wallabies were looking very well fed and content, as they literally bounced around the carpark!  The Serendip Sanctuary is a wonderfully interesting and easy day out for families and international visitors keen to acquaint themselves with Australia’s birds and animals.

Edwards Point Sanctuary saltmarshes, Swan Bay

Wetlands at Serendip Sanctuary, near Lara

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