Postcards from Barton Hills

Barton Hills
Paragliding at Sharpenhoe Clappers
Barton Hills
Barton Hills
Barton Hills
Barton Hills

After visiting Pegdon Hills and Hoo Bit, I had another look online for more places to explore and found Barton Hills; another pretty spot only a further ten minutes or so down the road. Before setting off on our journey this time, I did a little more searching around for a nearby car park. As, let's just say, Luke and I thoroughly enjoyed experiencing my wonderful attempt to find parking on the last trip, and it's been a popular topic for conversation ever since... Having passed through the area only a day earlier on our mini road trip to Ikea, I would say we're pretty familiar with the area now, but it helped to know whereabouts we could go without restrictions. It also meant that we got to watch a bunch of the

Dunstable Hang Gliding and Paragliding Club

members take to the skies in their paragliders as we made our way to the hills! It looked like so much fun. I would love to go paragliding and skydive...

Soon, Sian.

Soon.

We walked down the winding roads, passed through the sweet little village of Barton Le Clay, up past the church and then onto the heavily trodden path to the entrance of the forest. We didn't wander through the forest for very long before deciding to emerge from the cover of the trees, to start climbing the hills, but we did stop to marvel at the stream. The water was

so

clear. So clear in fact, that the photographs I took of it didn't do it justice; it simply looked like I had taken pictures of the ground! I thoroughly enjoyed standing watching and walking alongside it though. There is something so soothing about being outside in the quietness, and for it to only be broken by the sound of footsteps and running water.

Then it was trekking time. After we passed through the gate, we stood at the bottom of the hill and carefully chose our route to the top.

I.e. We picked the trail we came across first that simultaneously happened to be the steepest.

Thankfully for Luke, this was no mean-feat, and he was up the hill like Roadrunner. I looked down momentarily and that was it, he was gone. For me the hill required a little more manoeuvring, but once I had earned the trust and cooperation of my baby chicken-wing-legs, I swiftly joined him.

Breathtaking.

I mentioned in my Pegsdon Hills and Hoo Bit post how much I love the big reveal of a view. That precise moment where something I've been waiting to see comes into sight. Climbing the hills here were no different. I could feel my anticipation building as we tackled the sheerest part of the hill, and found myself fighting off all urges to turn around for a sneak peek.

I'm so glad I did!

 The view was insane. I couldn't quite believe the clarity of what I was looking at. Particularly the vibrance of the grass and trees as well as the depth of how far we could see before it became a little hazy. I could have easily stood soaking up this scene for hours - and whenever I return to this spot, I'm planning on packing a picnic, a book, as well as a pad and some pens to do just that.

The views were really quite spectacular. It's hard to believe this isn't so far away from where I live. Its really got me thinking about moving and where I would like to move to. I'm currently daydreaming of owning a little cottage in a quiet village. Going for strolls as the sun sets. Getting home and changing into my pjs immediately. Listening to the odd car pass outside and something bubbling on the stove. Curling up in front of the fire with a book and snoozing pup at my feet... I'm seeing everyday just how much of a positive effect going for a walk or run daily has on my wellbeing and mental health. It clears my mind, stops it wandering too far and keeps me focused on the present. So whilst these are all lovely cosy thoughts for the future, I am finally noticing myself concentrating on where I am now for increasing amounts of time, and am enjoying being able to do so.

With this in mind, and the knowledge that my walking boots are most certainly on their way to being worn in now, I'm on the look out for the next place to go walking...