It’s half term and, of course, the challenge is to get the kids outdoors and into the fresh air and what better way than to get involved with the Countryfile Ramble for Children In Need. Living in the Vale of Glamorgan means we are blessed not only by close proximity to Cardiff and Cardiff Bay but also to open countryside, nature reserves and parks.
We are truly blessed to have so much choice right on our doorstep in Dinas Powys, including the stretch of woodland known as Cwm George. Dinas Powys even has its own ruined castle.
There’s a collective national goal of 18,505 miles to cover but there’s still 16,026 miles to go before the Children In Need appeal night on Friday 16 November.
You can get involved with rambles near you or just do your own thing. Start a fundraising page, rally support and off you go.
And don’t forget your official Pudsey Children In Need hat to keep your ears warm. The hats are priced at £7, £3.50 of which goes straight to charity.
If you want to get outdoors, though, you really need the right gear – not only because the weather is so darn changeable but also for protection against the elements, particularly if you are venturing farther afield to rockier and more mountainous climbs.
We’ve been rambling with the support of Blacks Outdoors who kindly kitted Mat and me out for a country walk with the kids.
You’ll need a good waterproof coat and stout boots as well as warm layers, such as a fleece and, of course, hats, scarves and gloves.
Blacks has a great range of men’s waterproof jackets with brands such as The North Face, Peter Storm, Jack Wolfskin and the one Mat is wearing, the Men’s RG Alpha Waterproof Jacket from the men’s Berghaus waterproof jackets range.
There’s plenty of choice in men’s walking boots too, both walking boots and walking shoes. Mat is wearing Brasher Men’s Country Master Walking Boots.
I hate being cold and my Peter Storm Women’s Lakeside 3 in 1 Jacket has a detachable fleece and deep button-through pockets for hiding gloves, phones and keys.
Blacks range of women’s winter jackets has plenty of choice up to a size 22 with brands such as Technicals, Didriksons and Regatta.
My boots are Women’s Litewave Fastpack GORE-TEX® Boots from the women’s North Face walking boots range and they are the lightest, most comfortable boots I’ve worn. Being a shoe size 8 often means I have to compromise comfort and fit for style, but not in this case.
Duly kitted out we meandered around the leafy autumn woodland without one mention of an iPad. It’s a great reminder that good old-fashioned family conversation and time spent together can be far more enjoyable than sitting like bookends on a sofa grumping about the cost of Fortnite skins.
If you are planning a ramble make sure you follow these safety tips from Ramblers.org.uk where you’ll find everything from how to stay hydrated, how to treat blisters and personal safety tips if you’re walking alone.
We loved our time together and let’s hope this gorgeous autumn weather lasts a little longer so we can all put our best foot forward and be ramble ready for Children In Need.
*Disclosure: The brands included in this post asked for our opinion on the products featured from their range. All thoughts and opinions are our own.