Anchorage Hiking Trails Map

Walking in Circles – A Route around your Town

A few years back I remember reading an article in an outdoors magazine which centred on Snowdon, the highest mountain in Wales. It caught my eye because it was different. Pick up any of the outdoor publications and you’ll be spoilt for choice on how to hike up a mountain. But, this article focused not on the routes up to the summit, but ignored the top completely, advocating a route around Snowdon.

The subtitle read – You don’t truly know a mountain until you have circumnavigated it.

What a refreshing change, I thought.

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That article stuck with me because it bucked the trend, and it has stayed with me. So much so that I now walk around in circles. For once, this has nothing to do with poor navigation, and I’m not going crazy. It’s down to the countryside around my hometown in West Sussex and finally, after living here most of my life, we have only just become acquainted.

I have a regular five-mile walk I do most mornings. It’s on tarmac through quiet country lanes with little traffic, especially that early in the morning. I walk on roads because it toughens my feet to prepare for future hikes and it’s predominantly around the west side of the village. However, I tire of it sometimes because it is the same route.

Two weeks ago, eager for new scenery, I walked through the village and up a narrow footpath I hadn’t used since I attended infants school. It was different to how I remember, denser and more overgrown – unsurprising as I hadn’t seen it for forty years.

I recalled the winding path and found the stile which emerged into a field, left to grow wild with grasses and flowers. Grand oak trees dotted the low hedge and the hum of traffic in the village disappeared.

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