Back in the summer, Evan and I made a plan to hike from the ferry terminal at Lymington, through the New Forest and on to Salisbury Cathedral. We hiked 7 miles on Friday evening before setting up the tarp and wildcamping. The next morning we awoke, surrounded by ponies, and set off by 6.30 am. We covered 21 miles that day, but fatigue hit us hard mid afternoon. We had been using the GPS device which had our proposed route loaded on but the remaining mileage never really matched up with our position on the map. Based on the figure the GPS was giving us we should have reached Salisbury that evening, however on closer inspection the technology only show 3/4s of our route. This news lowered Evans spirits somewhat, and coupled with a lack of water sources, we decided to call a halt to what had been a really enjoyable hike. I always say its better to have a good time than a push on and not enjoy it so we jumped on a bus and headed home.
We managed to make a little film about our adventure, although the camera equipment needs upgrading from a 10 year old digital compact camera and an iPhone4, so I hope you enjoy it.
The term hiking usually conjures up images of rough tracks, high mountains and wilderness. Unfortunately we’re not all lucky enough to have that on our doorstep so shouldn’t we make use of the resources we have just outside our front door. Pavements. We could spend days walking the streets of London or York, New York for that matter, and not see everything on offer. We all know that. But what about the little market towns and former industrial hubs that most of us call home. I’m sure we can find something of interest if we look hard enough.
It’s said that all high streets look the same nowadays and at ground level that’s probably true but look above the facades of the chain stores and express supermarkets and that’s where you see it. It might be a name of long since vanished retailer painted onto the side of the building or maybe an interesting chimney pot or some remarkable stone work created by a master of an almost forgotten skill. Now when I visit new towns and cities I’m usually looking upwards for remnants of the history of the place. Most people miss it, some don’t even know it’s there. Just here, in Newport Isle of Wight there’s stacks of history so imagine what you might find in your hometown. Just remember to look up.
We tricked Gramps into hiking with us. He may not realise but yes, that wander around the narrow alleyways, riverbanks and dockyards that he used to frequent was indeed hiking. an urban hike. We had a great afternoon and our very own personal guide and I think the kids got a little insight to where there Grandad grew up.
If you’ve been on a great Urban Hike, have any ideas for towns and cities to hike through or think urban hiking is the worst idea ever, leave us a comment below. Cheers.