Do we really know our hometown until we have walked around it?
I saw no-one the entire morning. What shocked me as I walked was how little I knew of the area around my home village. Always staying within a mile or two of my home, the overall walk took four hours and I recognised little. I felt guilty at my ignorance. I’d grown up here, lived within minutes of it, driven past these footpaths in my car hundreds of times and yet I had never walked them I jet off to far-flung locations such as the Pacific Crest Trail or Appalachian Trail in America and, as amazing as they are, I’ve never taken the time to get to know my immediate local area. People from overseas come to England, my country, to experience what it offers as I go to theirs for the same reason. Often the best stuff is right on your doorstep.
Mt Lemmon Hiking Trails Map Photo Gallery
West Sussex is a wonderfully undulating mix of fields, meadows and woods. These undiscovered routes offered a way of becoming intimately connected to where I live. There were paths everywhere I was shocked at the roaming options. Huge expanses of meadows alive with flowers joined up the dots between secluded woods. Streams gurgled past swathes of wild garlic, and rabbits ran for cover as I startled them, white tails alerting their friends. I dipped in and out of the shade, sometimes taking a break under impressive oaks soaring skywards from the meadows.
Occasionally I crossed roads, and although I was only minutes from where I lived by car, I couldn’t recognise them. Looking around, gradually the house over the other side, the railway bridge to my left or the country lane joining just up the way jolted my memory.