Favourite Rambles (Nature Edition)

Thanks @Waddy for this list request! It made me feel very appreciative for the experiences I've had :) Although I'm not a hardcore hiker by any means (no overnighters yet), a narrow twisty walking path sandwiched between nature makes my πŸ’š happy. All photos mine unless specified.
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    My earliest memories of 'hiking' were actually strolls on family trips to the Drakensberg (Afrikaans word for Dragon Mountain). A 2.5 hr drive away from my city, this is one of my favourite places in the whole ENTIRE world & the fact that I haven't been in ages is a travesty.
    Drakensberg is a UNESCO World Heritage site &, fun fact, the place the survivors decide to go to at the end of the movie 2012 to start civilization anew. Kinda apt considering South Africa is the cradle of mankindπŸ‘
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    Circa 1998. My grandmother skipping stones like a boss. Also, the best hikes involve stepping on rocks to cross streams.
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    Can't wait to do a grown up hike here some day. This is one of many gorgeous pics of the berg on the net.
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    I feel like I live in a place political exiles would retire to. If you go just one road up from us, the aesthetic is completely different with lots of big houses and yards/lawns.
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    This is the Palmiet Nature Reserve. My backyard. My acre of Africa. A slice of nature smack bang in the middle of the suburbs. I love walking alongside the river but I've been wary ever since I read that the black mambas found by 🐍 wranglers in other suburbs get placed here once said wrangling is over. 😱
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    Roselands, Richmond in our province Kwa-Zulu Natal. 2002.The best ever overnight school trip. Satisfying on all levels but especially on the scenic nature walk front. I'm talking lush green valley vistas, wooded areas, streams & tea plantations. Owning my tomboy phase :)
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    Growing up on the east coast of SA =lotsa beach walks. I love tidal pools & holes in rockfaces. At a beach called Thompson's Bay (thanks for the aerial pic, cyberspace), I used to hold my breath as I crossed the slippery ledge, afraid I'd fall onto the rocks or be swept away.
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    Waves would crash against the Hole in the Wall & you'd be spritzed with cold salt-water. The payoff was a series of 'secret' mini beaches laden with shells reserved for the brave.
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    Fast fwd to 2014 & doing my MA on scholarship in the UK. Lots of excitement to find the Fellwalking society. Bought the obligatory shoes with ankle support & set off to the Yorkshire Dales National Park. Steep cliffs, limestone rocks galore, farmers' boundary walls to step up over, muddy boots & a fiery sunset.
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    I love spotting viaducts & the Yorkshire Dales didn't disappoint.
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    You breathe in deeply because this sort of place demands it and you'll be treated to crisp, fresh country air with hints of sheep and other livestock shite. I went caving here too on a different occasion but that's a fun story for another list maybe :/
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    Lord Amstrong's estate, Cragside, near the village of Rothbury. Northumberland National Park.
    Armstrong was a pretty big deal as a hydro-electric pioneer & arms manufacturer & he hosted royals & other VIPs. Will maybe also do a list of the interiors of some of the famous estates I've visited... gorgeous and fascinating stuff!
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    Armstrong's estate has loads of trails with stunning views. English countryside fantasy come to life βœ”
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    Rothbury itself has great panoramic views if you're willing to make the climb.
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    This is me trying (and failing) to put a customary stone on top of the pile of rocks at the summit.
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    Lake District. Rainy weather curtailed rambling but I'd like to go back one day πŸ™
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    On the way to Hadrian's Wall, a white horse on the horizon like something mythical.
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    Hadrian's Wall! A defensive fortification begun in 122 AD, it spanned east to west in Northern England and marked the upper limit of the Roman Empire. It's a UNESCO World Heritage Site and the fact that it ran almost coast to coast was inspiration for George RR Martin's wall in Game of Thrones #theNorth #walkthewall
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    Holy Island, Lindisfarne - once home to Celtic Christian monks. Famously known for being one of the first places raided by Scandinavians at the start of the Viking Age circa 793AD. We walked for about 2 hrs up & down sand dunes around the island & on the pebbled beach that's witnessed some interesting human history.
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    One thing I miss about the UK is the public transport. In SA, you have to drive everywhere & I drive about as well as Kim Kardashian can sing. I captioned this Instagram pic with the following -
    'How happiness might hit you like a train on a track: Step 1 - Buy a ticket out of the city Step 2 - Walk on crunchy gravel, sloping hills and soft grassy footpaths until it hurts.'
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    Ireland was my first completely solo destination trip without travel buddies. With no one to talk to, I could just walk & walk & I found myself doing a lot of head-shaking, wow-mouthing & selfie-taking.
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    The introvert in me loved the solitude.
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    Like, I can't even with how gorgeous N Ireland's coast is. And that's Scotland on the horizon. This was technically a tour of the Giant's Causeway, another UNESCO world heritage site, but we had plenty of alone time to explore & walk the trails. Game of Thrones filming territory so I was suuuper keen.
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    The unusual basalt column formations at Giant's Causeway.
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    I went up to the Scottish Highlands to see Loch Ness. The Ness Islands in the middle of the city of Inverness are so peaceful & I spent about an hour here walking and soaking it in while I waited for the bus to go to Urquhart castle and the loch itself.
    There's also a nice 5km walk to be had between the Culloden Battlefield and the Clava Cairn tombs. I jogged to fit the tombs into a tight schedule but along the way there were cute farmhouses, a stream that glittered in the afternoon sunlight and my fav, a viaduct!
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    Hikes>runs. Seriously, I would rather do a 25km hike in interesting terrain than a 10km run in the same area. HANDS DOWN.
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    You can find most of these & other pics & descriptions on my Insta @fatzm1.
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    City Edition coming soonπŸ‘Œ