runmaggiecooper

The life of a runner, mother, radiopharmacist and vicar's wife – that's me!

Ashdown Forest

It would have been easier if Daniel hadn’t fallen asleep in the car on the way there since the route wasn’t ideally suited to pushing a sleeping child in a buggy. We would have left home earlier, before small children got too tired, but for an administrative error with sending the certificate confirming that Peter had read the Banns of Marriage for a couple due to get married on Saturday to the vicar of the neighbouring parish. No certificate – no wedding, so I guess it was a bit more important that Peter sorted that out than that we got out of the house for our walk at a decent time. 

 

A solitary tree in Ashdown Forest. There weren’t as many trees as you would expect for a forest


At least I had time to get a run in this morning. I did the road route to Lingfield (avoiding the doggy path). This was fine apart from the fact that mad dog owners were replaced by mad car drivers who were seemingly intent on running me over! I do have a right to cross the road you know and you did see me!!

I was quite pleased with the run (7:33 per mile on a very undulating course) and it was more than half a minute faster than when I ran it at Christmas. Although that Christmas run had been first thing in the morning, I was also a lot fitter then than I am now.

 

Dominic running down the hill in Ashdown Forest. At least the hills that I ran up and down today weren’t quite this steep.


We actually found the Ashdown Forest Centre without having to do any U-turns. Success. There was an information barn with route maps and also a little shop. They also, strangely, had some odd dressing up items.

  
So, pushing the buggy, we made our way along Route 6, the Broadstone Amble, a 1.8 mile circular route “with heath, wood, stream and slope” as described in the guide “this is a varied walk that serves as a good introduction to the magic of Ashdown Forest!” They could have added that it isn’t really suitable for a cheap pushchair but we probably knew that.

This was an ideal opportunity to cross a few more things of Dominic list of “50 things to do before you’re 11 3/4” from the National Trust. No. 4 was ‘build a den’ so we set about gathering sticks.

 
Peter seemed to find half a tree that he dragged over, only for Dominic to announce that it was unsuitable. I thought the den could have done with a few more sticks but Dominic was happy with it as it was.

 
As we were gathering sticks, we came across a pair of specs. If they’re yours then they are in the forest office.

  

Dominic had no trouble crossing the stream at the bottom of the hill but other members of the family required a little help.

  

While we were down there we thought that it was an ideal opportunity to cross of No. 14, ‘dam a stream’.

  

It was pretty effective although some water still managed to squeeze underneath. I was the lucky one who got to un-dam it afterwards.

By then Daniel had woken up and Naomi was asking for ‘fruit pistols’. We didn’t have any of them or ‘fruit guns’ but we did have some fruit pastilles so we all had one before setting off up the hill. This proved easier for some than for others.

  

We managed to follow the route without getting lost. Success. Daniel actually asked to do a ‘wee wee’ and managed to do it without the potty or getting wet. Success. We had just enough fruit pastilles to last the entire walk. Success.

We did see a family walking barefoot but failed to ask them if they were doing No. 24 ‘go for a walk barefoot’. 

I’m wondering if we will be able to cross any more things off the list tomorrow but I’m hoping that it won’t have to be No. 6 ‘run around in the rain’ because, as you know, I don’t like getting wet when I’m running.

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This entry was posted on May 28, 2015 by and tagged , , , , , , .
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