On Friday we visited Conkers for the first time, a fantastic family attraction in the middle of the National Forest.
One of the things they have in their outdoor area is a ‘Barefoot Walk’ which means, quite literally, that you remove your socks and shoes and walk barefoot over different types of terrain. It’s 450 metres and the idea is to take you on a 200 year journey covering the heritage of the local area, so everything from spa water (aka freezing cold pools of water!) to rocks, mud, bark…lots and lots of different sensory experiences for the tootsies.
It is thought that walking barefoot is good for your health as it can stimulate the cardiovascular system, improving your circulation. It’s also supposed to be ‘life-enhancing’ but I will leave that for you to decide…
The kids were desperate to give it a go, and not wanting to be the spoilt sport and, I’ll admit I was slightly intrigued to see what it would feel like, I agreed to accompany them.
|Smiles before we knew what it was going to be like!|
I have to be honest and say, I did not realise that walking over pebbles could be so painful! I can remember running along our back lane when I was 7 or 8 years old, it was all rocks and stones and I never even flinched, when did my feet become such pansies? The kids didn’t even bat an eyelid and were scampering off without a care in the world. I meanwhile, hobbled along behind them ouching and wincing my way along each part.
The worst was definitely the water, I imagine in the summer it would be lovely and refreshing. Not so in October my friends, it was COLD. Eli showed his usual nonchalance about these things and waded straight into the first pool, even though it came well up over his knees soaking his trousers right through. Meg was a bit more hesitant and walked along the edges of the first few before taking the plunge *ahem*, I also fully embraced the experience and walked through each pool although I’m not actually sure why!!
The mud was actually the best bit, which I wouldn’t have expected. After the icy pools it felt lovely and warm and we spent some time curling our toes and squelching down into it.
All in all it was a really interesting and unique way to experience nature. Meg and Eli both said it was one of their favourite parts of the day. I’m really pleased I gave it a go but I might try it again in warmer weather!