It was the best sort of walk because it included lots of bleak moorland. Lots of people think that the moors are a bit boring, but I love looking across miles of undulating heather with no sign of civilisation. I think that it must have something to do with an early introduction to Dartmoor.
Nathaniel was the happiest boy alive and grinned manically at the sheep - the sort of smile where he is smiling with his eyes and his cheeks and his hair - he's all smile! He greatly enjoyed the sheep and the hay bales and the cows and the little bridges over streams and insisted on one million repetitions of the catchy song, "Cows (or sheep or cockerells) in the field".
But the best bit was getting up on the hill (Ian may disagree - he carried Nathaniel up!), and having a rest amongst the purple heather while looking across the dales and the moors.
Nathaniel decided that he wanted to walk for a bit, and we were pretty impressed at how far he managed. It's difficult to remember when you learnt to walk on uneven, bouncy ground, but Nathaniel seemed to relish the experience and had great fun walking in the ditch "just like wicked witch"! At first he was "not sure hern (ferns)", but once we had reassured him that he could just push past them and they would get out of the way, he rather enjoyed it.
Until the ferns got very tall!
There were many good sights - derelict houses and lots of heather surrounding sandy bridlepaths.
Eventually we got to the aim of the walk - Hawnby Hill - a hill that we had been admiring for several years. It looked rather steep from the bottom (the picture is from some way up it) - but it was worth it for the views at the top!
We descended into the village and decided that it was sensible to stop at the pretty pub (something else that we had been admiring for years!). Nathaniel and Ian had a drink in the garden while I walked back to retrieve the car.
It's rather nice having a ten minute walk on your own. Toddlers make you see different things than you would have ever noticed (I almost went back for Nathaniel so that he could see the barn crammed full of tractors), but they also extert a constant pressure on when you are walking. They are either talking loudly in one ear, or asking for another song, or letting you know that they are getting tired/hungry/bored/over stimulated. And if none of these things are happening for a blissful and peaceful 5 minutes, all you do is mentally plan for what your strategy is going to be when they start to happen!
I discovered that when I get a bit of walking on beautiful, quiet country roads on my own, I don't notice things or think big thoughts, I go into a trance where I see nothing, think nothing but just relax under the sun and just be. Its very nice!