My bookshelf is full of walking guides and adventure inspiration. Whether they be complications of walks based on geographical area, specific features such as walks up hills or by the coast, or particular long-distance trails, I find surrounding myself with books about walks and walking is an excellent way to keep me motivated to get out and explore more.
Written by fellow GetOutside Champion Jen and Sim Benson, and published by Bloomsbury, 100 Great Walks with Kids is packed full of walking-based ideas and advice to get families exploring the great outdoors. There are woodland adventures, walks with paddles, wildlife wanders, tasty treks, trails through time, and even mini mountains. Enough to keep any family interested.
While the book does appeal to me because I’m always looking for walking inspiration, and I love a short work with high satisfaction, it is clearly aimed at families with kids, and so I’m not exactly the right demographic. I handed my PR copy over to my sister so she could give you a mums-eye view of the guide. The rest of this post is therefore her thoughts on 100 Great Walks with Kids.
100 Great Walks with Kids | Fantastic Stomps Around Great Britain
First up, the book has an immediately eye catching and inviting front cover. It’s obvious it is for families with children in mind; the images are fun and suggest adventures. And while we shouldn’t judge a book by its cover, when you want your kids to pick up a book and choose a walk, having something that’s inviting and fun on the outside certainly helps encourage them to look on the inside.
The book itself provides the 100 advertised walks split up into ten geographical areas in England, Scotland and Wales. There are the same number of walks in every area, so it has potential for both local exploring and Great Britain-based holidays. There was even a walk close to home, a pleasant surprise considering we [my sister] live in Lincolnshire which is not exactly the walking capital of Great Britain (although offers some great options both in the Fens and the Wolds for anyone who fancies exploring somewhere a bit different some time).
For each walk, Jen and Sim provide easy to read descriptions and directions, along with maps, plus useful additions such as a difficulty rating and quick reference key. There is also added information about things to see and do in the area, which means this book is also useful tool if you’re heading away to a particular area, or even looking for inspiration for your next weekend away.
All of the walks are short, of course, and the terrain looks very achievable for anyone with a reasonable level of fitness. There are even shortcuts included if you want to try a route but aren’t sure if you can all manage the whole thing, or get there and the kids aren’t playing ball.
The maps also include symbols to indicate hazards, refreshments, toilets, and dog-friendliness. There is also other information to help you get prepared in general, such as basic first aid, what to wear, and the all-important countryside code.
Importantly for families with young children, there are useful tips around using buggies and carriers on each route, which you don’t get by simply looking at an Ordnance Survey Map. Having this guidebook is therefore super useful as it takes the guesswork out of planning walks with the whole family in mind.
By far the best thing about this is it’s clearly written from personal first-hand experience. This is right down to the photographs in the books being of the author’s family. This gives me confidence about doing these walks with my own young family; the walks are realistic, fun-looking, and I’m excited to get out and do some of them very soon.
I’d highly recommend 100 Great Walks with Kids by Jen and Sim Benson for both families who already love to spend lots of time outdoors, and those who are perhaps more indoors based but want some inspiration to spend more time exploring. The pages are full of suggestions and tips on where, what and how, making a great guide for all. A super useful and motivating guidebook.
With thanks to Jen and Sim for sending me a review copy of their new book, which is sat on my sister’s coffee table ready and waiting for when getting outside a little further from home is allowed.