Get kids and adults back to nature with these top five tips

The recent snowfall has seen many of us reliving our childhood and heading for the hills with our sledges and excited children in tow. If you loved the outdoors as a child, chances are you want your children to enjoy it too but in our busy, time-constrained lives with modern day distractions from TV to computer games, it’s increasingly rare we actually get to enjoy the great outdoors.

When we do and kids get to wander wild and free, we all have fun don’t we? Help create some special memories with these top five tips for getting our kids and ourselves back to nature this winter.

Treasure TrailsTreasure
Explore the coast with a Treasure Trail – these are walks with a
difference, helping you experience the natural and built environment in a fun and unique way that kids love. Follow in the footsteps of pirates with a Treasure Trail from Porthcurno along the ancient smuggler’s route on the Coast Path.

Go beachcombing along the shoreline – this is a great way to introduce kids to the marine environment and the flotsham and jetsam washed up with the tides. Branscombe in East Devon saw more than its fair share of gatherers 6 years ago to the day (almost) in the aftermath of the Napoli disaster. Today, you’re more likely to find starfish or jellyfish than a BMW motorbike. You can still see the ships’ anchor that commemorates the event and the communites’ sterling effort to minimise the damage.

Starfish JellyfishWinter Rockpooling
Winter is a great time to go rockpooling. Wembury beach on the South Devon coast provides the perfect natural playground and its Marine Centre runs a series of guided rockpool rambles throughout the year from April. Follow The Seashore Code from Devon Wildlife Trust for advice on rockpooling without a guide. The National Trust has a rockpool score sheet to record your findings.

amoniteFossil Hunting
Follow in the footsteps of Mary Anning along the Jurassic coast, one of the greatest fossil hunters in history. Lyme Regis and Charmouth are the best places for fossil finds and the Lyme Regis Museum hosts regular guided hunts throughout the year. The annual Fossil Festival takes place this year with Curious Coast from 3-5 May.

For more inspiration, check out the National Trust’s 50 things to do before you’re 11¾

What are your special memories of the great outdoors as a child? Any recommendations for locations on the coast that are particularly good for kids?

Please add your ideas in the comments below.

Step into the new year on the right foot

What are your travel predictions for 2013?

Those looking for a sense of achievement while raising money for a worthy cause will no doubt agree that charity challenges on the Coast Path are set to be a big thing in 2013. If you or anyone you know is either thinking about it or have already set out plans to do something, get in touch via the blog or twitter and look out for the next post on the ultimate charity challenge in 2013.

For inspiration, follow Dave Jones from Manna from Devon cooking school as he walks the entire 630 mile experience that is the South West Coast Path for the Motor Neurone Disease Association

He set off from Minehead on December 16th and has already made it to Devon and all in some of the worst weather conditions you could possibly hope for! He’s also posting helpful news on the state of the path as he goes along.

You can join him for a walk to Dartmouth tomorrow – read all about it here….