Tuesday, 8 February 2011

The carefree car-free school run

I have often wondered about our school run. It's just over two miles from home to the school gates and it crossed my mind that possibly, one day, we could walk it.

Then I read Keris's post on Ready for Ten about her family's 1.3 mile walk to school and got inspired to actually do it rather than just think about it.

I consulted H9 and R7. They were up for it too, so today, being cold but sunny, was decreed a Good Day for a trial run. I must bring flapjacks for energy, they said, and drinks too.

Of course I had to walk there first, so I took the dog as an alibi and to keep me company. There are few houses on that stretch of road and I only saw one vehicle until I got to the village. The dog was enthusiastic and we reached the village in 35 minutes, taking into consideration the number of times he had to stop to do his business.

I worried much of the way that a) I would be late; b) the girls would have changed their minds; c) it would rain; d) I would have to carry the dog or one of the children or both and e) I was going to arrive at the school gates looking hot, sweaty and slightly mad.

I needn't have worried (except about e but that's quite normal). H and R were delighted and changed happily into their trainers.

Leaving the village.
Foel Cwmcerwyn in the distance.
Wonderful house, wonderful name.
We normally whiz past this without noticing it.
The first snowdrops.
No cars to be seen.
Round the last of the hair pin bends.
The second footbridge.
It took us nearly 50 minutes on the way back. Just after this footbridge the road has a last laugh, ascending at 25% or 1:4 for a good half mile. Then there's a slight dip and the final, equally steep driveway up to the farm.

Afterwards we were tired, cold, smug and the girls both say want to do it again. The dog accepted his payment - one Bonio per mile - and is now avoiding me lest I drag him off on such a crazy expedition again today.


  1. Everybody - but everybody - used to walk to school...and it was a great time for wandering slowly both there and back, having mini-adventures; making slides on ice in the winter and dipping our fingers in sticky road-tar on hot summer days. I don't remember it ever raining or our mum ever being bothered to come and collect us either. As youngsters we walked on our own (and were probably repsonsible for some of the 'infants' too - I imagine there wasn't much traffic.

    Different days and times change of course. glad your girls enjoyed it.

  2. Oh just imagine doing it on a summer's afternoon!!!!!

  3. An excellent idea, and one that I imagine the girls will come to enjoy as a regular occurrence. Like Mountainear, I walked long distances to school when very young, and never thought twice about it, come rain or shine. Maybe you'll start a school craze!

  4. I'm with Mountainear about everybody walking to school. I could tell you sob stories, but I'll restrain myself.

    Brilliant for the four of you to trek on. Healthy exercise at the beginning of the day. Don't let the girls know that you and the dog slept the rest of the day, after your invigorating activity! (That's what I would do, especially after the biscuits.)

  5. I'm also a graduate of the Old Skool walk-to-school way of doing business and, like Mountainear, remember those mini-adventures and all the sights you miss in a car. It's not always practical or possible these days whenever everyone is much busier and cars race even through country lanes, but it's lovely to see your girls (and the big dog) out and about.

    Your blog's looking fab - wonderful photos, especially in the banner.

  6. What a great way to get to school. Here if you lived 2 miles or less no buses were provided, and in the olden days when I was a child only Dad had a car, so no Mom to drive us. We always walked, complained about it, but walked.

  7. Well done you, it looks a lovely walk too! I used to always walk to school, but often drop my youngest at school these days...


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