Day 1 – Circular Walk along Cromford Canal (30 Days Wild)

The day dawned wet and grey. It’s the first time I’ve had to turn the lights on at 5.30 a.m. for a while. The clouds hung heavy in the sky, cushioning the edges of the day with an insipid, bleak ambience. Irrespective of the weather, the boys were lively, full of unspent energy and voices too loud to handle so early in the morning after another night of too little sleep.

We went for a 2 mile walk along the Cromford Canal. For my birthday I was given a box of child-friendly maps and we decided to take a leisurely 2 mile stroll along the canal and then circling back around to the carpark. We left early, up and dressed by 7a.m. and early enough to miss the traffic that builds up across the town centre. We arrived at quarter to eight, the carpark blissfully empty and the sound of silence was uplifting.

The boys followed the map and I allowed them to lead, only correcting them when I knew they had misread the map and were about to lead us on a wild goose chase in the wrong direction.

We walked parallel with the train line, the boys waving frantically when a train passed us by. We crossed the bridge at  High Peak Junction Workshop and the boys clambered into the old train that sits behind the buildings.

Passing through a long tunnel we walked back on ourselves to the catch pit, where a runaway carriage still remains today. Further along is a tiny house built into the wall and the boys shouted with delight, racing each other to investigate inside first.

We meandered down the paths and under bridges admiring the views as we climbed the High Peak Trail. Upon arriving back at the carpark, we sat next to the canal and ate our sandwiches and fruit. We watched the ducks, ducklings trailing after mother duck on the water. The moorhens slipped quietly through the water, seamless in their movements.

The boys laid out on the wet ground to get a closer look at the tadpoles wriggling in the water, poking their fingers in the murky water and squealing as they flitted past them.

Stopping at a shop on the way home, we picked up fresh bread to dunk in hot bowls of tomato and lentil soup. We were soaked to the bone, and now the boys play in pyjamas, sated and happy.