Nothing is more natural and healthy than walking with your family. But surely the most beautiful countryside is too rugged to buggy in? Not now, thanks to author Richard Happer, whose Beautiful Buggy Walks, published by Punk Publishing, is a selection of stunning strolls you can do with even the tiniest tot. The book also points out loos and coffee shops and detours along the way, and has lots of fun ‘Dad Facts’ to entertain even the grumpiest, buggy-pushing parent. Here we detail a few tasters of its outdoor delights.
The mass of the metropolis is just 15 miles away, and yet
here you are, rolling smoothly along the Thames riverside past gaggles of geese, banks
of wildflowers, brightly painted boats and acres of wide open meadow. It’s hard
to imagine that this is the same river that will soon pitch up in London. Walk down Ferry Lane and turn right along the river,
walking for just over a mile. Turn right away from the river for 200m then take
the path on your right that heads back through the fields.
Blea Tarn, Lake District
Save this simple saunter around a high lake for a fine day
and the rolling mountain views will reward you with the most tranquil
half-mile’s walking you’re ever likely to enjoy. The path starts directly opposite the car park and
runs in a simple arc round the southern then western edge of the tarn. Most
people turn back where the path leaves the woodland, but if your buggy can
manage a rougher track you can enjoy a further half-mile of lovely views.
& Cliff, Cornwall
This invigorating walk will show you the best of Cornwall’s
beach scene without the crowds. Walk a golden mile beneath the cliffs to Chapel
Porth, a nook in the rocks with room for a few cars and a beach café. Once
you’ve had a rejuvenating ice cream, you could simply skim back over the beach, but to
get the best views (and to give yourself the best workout) you’ll want to return
along the cliff. It’s a steep and rocky push to the top, but it’s over quickly
and puts you at the start of a roller coaster run down the other side, heather and wildflowers patterning the hillside as the seabirds wheel one the beach below.
Gairlochy Canalside, Scottish Highlands
Ben Nevis with a buggy? Well not quite, but a saunter along the nearby Caledonian Canal will give you a thrilling view of its fearsome northern crags. The walk itself couldn’t be easier – a wide, level towpath with a tinkling river on one side and a placid canal on the other. Park at Gairlochy locks and walk southwest to Moy Bridge. Return the same way and continue past the locks to the pepperpot lighthouse and an unforgettable vista of Loch Lochy.