Some days end up with you doing something completely different from what you imagined when you woke up that morning, and one of the days of our Cornwall trip was exactly like that.
It’s fair to say that Godolphin is one of the National Trust’s smaller properties – the guy checking membership cards was based in a gazebo (a posh one, but a gazebo all the same) and the tea room was small but perfectly formed. We were handed a leaflet about the barefoot walk that they have – aimed to help children check off one of the 50 things to do before you’re 11 3/4 – and pointed us in the right direction. Little Miss C was excited, but I have to say that as we gingerly picked our way across a path covered in sharp stones I was more than a little apprehensive. How wrong the National Trust were to prove me to be!
The barefoot walk route does indeed start you off near the tea rooms and the first part of it involved walking along paths, grass, up a sharp feeling disabled ramp through and old door way and across an old paved floor in what I guess you could call cloisters. You then come out onto a large grass area and are directed to the far side of this where you can see the path disappearing into some woods. This is where it starts to get really interesting. As well as all the naturally occurring differences underfoot the National Trust have also set up a planned section of the walk, designed to provide you with a variety of underfoot experiences.
Little Miss C thought this was one of the most exciting things she’d ever done and as soon as we’d finished she insisted that we go round again. It was an excellent sensory experience as touching all these different things with your feet is so different to just using your hands. We spent most of the time going round talking about what our feet were feeling and whether or not we liked walking on different textures.
In a way walking barefoot is one of the simplest things you can do outdoors, but yet it’s also one of the most satisfying things you can do. Next time you’re outdoors take your shoes off and see how it changes the whole experience. It also goes without saying that if you’re ever anywhere near Godolphin, or anywhere else with a similar barefoot walk, then please make sure you try it – regardless of whether you have kids with you or not. This isn’t something to just do before 11 and 3/4 – it’s something for everyone to try.
This week I’m joining up with Country Kids for the first time too. Hopefully the first of many!