Last week was National Park week all over the country and for us it was happening at the Walltown country park in Northumberland, I have to admit that until last week I'd never ever heard of Walltown but as you might guess it's right on the edge of part of Hadrian's Wall.
The girls and I were invited up to try out a range of activities arranged by various providers all celebrating just how amazing our national parks really are and Abigail and Looby being the sporty outdoorsy girls that they are, couldn't wait to try out some of the pursuits on offer.
Families from all over Northumberland seemed to be having a ball with everything from Pizza making to archery and story telling for the younger ones plus some genuinely fascinating displays like solar gazing, if I'm honest I didn't even know that was a thing but there was a definite geeky thrill in being able to look through a specially modified telescope at our nearest star, the sun, it's a jaw dropping moment when you see the surface of that bright orange orb which we don't see enough of in the UK, it's only when you observe such wonders that you become so completely aware of your own fragile mortality knowing you are merely a tiny being amidst an endless universe.
Looby and Abigail though were more about the physical pursuits of rock climbing, archery and zip wiring which was also available for adults but I'm way too much of a coward to try such things.
Even though there was a myriad of things to do we chose to walk into nearby Greenhead for lunch, vegetarian Abigail didn't much fancy her chances at the Northumbrian meats van, maybe something to consider if they plan to offer this special week of activities again next year. We had a lovely walk though, all down hill on the way there, rather more a different matter on the way back! We went to the local coffee house and greedily hogged their internet for a whole 5 minutes before they had to unplug it to plug the coffee machine back in (yes, really!).
Back at the country park and we managed to squeeze in another round of archery and meeting some birds of prey before grabbing a coffee and heading back to civilisation on the arranged transportation, we'd had a great day, a muddy day, a tiring day but we'd escaped our iDevices for just a wee while and we'd felt at one with nature and it may just be that we'd spent time just enjoying each others company in the most beautiful splendid countryside setting and as a family, that is never a bad thing.
We were invited guests of the Northumberland National Park and received vouchers to take part in the activities and a little towards the cost of lunch in return for a blog article, all thoughts, feelings, photographs and muddy shoes are that of my own!