National Walking Month: South West coastal walks kids will love
May is National Walking Month which aims to get everyone outside and walking for at least 20 minutes a day.
We all know that walking with children can be a challenge, but if you sell it in the right way it is a great family day out that doesn't cost a thing.
My first tip is to choose your location wisely. Challenging hills can be great for tweens and teens but if you have a toddler in tow, it may be better to choose somewhere with a more even terrain, unless you are willing to carry them up and back down again.
Somewhere with a landmark to visit is very appealing to children. One of our favourite walks is around Durlston Country Park in Swanage which starts with a fascinating insight into the Jurassic period and then takes you safely along the top of the cliffs where you can spot wildlife which includes Dolphins, Puffins, Kittiwakes and many more exciting creatures.
In the middle of the trail, at Anvil Point, is a Lighthouse which the kids are all fascinated by and then you can head back through the fields to see which minibeasts you can spot along the way.
Beach walks are another favourite with us and living on the Jurassic coast, we are very spoiled with beautiful locations to choose from, some which offer fossil hunting, others are better for rock pooling and the sandy ones are great for sandcastle building.
Our favourite beach walk is from Burton Bradstock along to West Bay, famed for being the home of Broadchurch. The beaches are filled with huge rocks that the kids love to stack, great stones for skimming and once you reach West Bay, there is the best ice cream shop in Dorset – Baboo Gelato (the Salted Caramel and honeycomb is delicious).
Don't expect a brisk walk, especially with young children. If the kids want to dawdle and explore their surroundings then let them, it is the best way to learn about the environment around them and will give them a love of nature that they will take with them into adulthood.
Finally, don't let our British weather put you off. Walking in the rain is lots of fun and a great excuse for jumping in some muddy puddles – just make sure you are dressed for the occasion!
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