The Snowdown Chronicles - a local wander

 I am currently seeing all walking I do as training for my fundraising night-time trek to the summit of Mt Snowdon in May 2021.  I have been trying to get out for regular walks as much as possible and also scheduling in some longer walks with my daughter who is completing the challenge with me.  We discuss where we might find hills and we discuss walking up and down hills as part of our training.  I should probably explain that whilst the East Midlands is not flat, it is not mountainous.  We decided we have a few hills closer to us than we had previously realised.  Whilst walking around around where we live we have noticed this more and more.  They may not be mountains, but they are better than nothing.  We decided the other day that we would go for a wander around where my daughter lives.  

It was a lovely warm-enough late September afternoon.  We decided we would take the long route around to the pub for lunch (three miles) and then spend the afternoon taking a longer route home (four miles).  We wound away through the roads until we had to cross the tram-tracks.  I loved this bright planting by the side of the rails.
We don't have trams where I live so I admit I find them rather exciting.  We were not going on one today though, this was a walky day.
All of where we walked was new to me and most of it quite surprising.  I had not expected to find a ford.  
and we found a couple of these deep looking ponds.
This pond seemed to have a race-track around it.  I am sure it is not a race track really, but it was intriguing.
Speaking of intriguing, as part of the walk we passed Ghost House Lane: my daughter has told me the story of the road name and it is, as you may expect, seriously spooky.
Whilst I am on the subject of road names we also passed this one.  Nottingham people who read this will know what a twitchell is.
After a pause for lunch we continued on our way into the Attenborough Nature Reserve.  I have travelled past here many times on a train, but have never actually visited.  
It was the most beautiful walk.  The nature reserve is alongside the River Trent and is comprised of 226 hectares.  There are lots of paths through it and people were walking and cycling through - all nicely socially distanced.
As we wandered along we passed this colourful river-facing garden.  If you look closely you can see what appears to be a naked man waving a Welsh Flag.  Whilst we applauded his flag waving, we were relieved to realise he was a mannequin. 
We waved at Ratcliffe On Soar Power station, a landmark of my life, when coming back from holidays as a child I always knew we were nearly home when we saw it.
We had clearly been waving so much that when we popped into Attenborough Station even the topiary was waving back (and wearing a face-covering which we thought was very sensible of him).
We had the a wonderful afternoon and walked over seven miles in total.  Not quite enough as we need for our trek and we will not get a lunch break mid-Snowdon; but we declared it worthy training nonetheless.  We did also go the up and down the steep hill twice which we thought made us very virtuous.  The best part of the afternoon though was that we explored our locality and that we did not have to travel far to find all sorts of wonderful things.  It was a proper click the heels of your ruby slippers together moment 'there's no place like home....' 

Please support me if you can to complete this challenge (did I mention it is at night?).   At the time of writing I have raised 40% of my target so I still have a way to go in every sense.  All the money is going to the horticultural charity Perennial, whose services are needed more than ever in these dark Covid days.  The trip is already paid for so every penny donated goes directly to Perennial.

Stay safe everyone and be kind.

The full story of this quest can be found here