I first got into walking about ten years ago when I was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis; the doctors said it would be good for my condition and general fitness to help fight the onset of the disease.
I began hiking small distances but not on a particularly regular basis. I first started to really get into it about two years ago when I got my dog, together we have since done some very strenuous and long hikes, enjoying them very much!
As I live in Herefordshire my favourite places to hike are the Black Mountains and the Brecon Beacons, there are many wonderful locations in both these areas that have wonderful views and a large, varying, range of long hikes. I love being up in the mountains watching the world pass me by with an almost birds eye view for miles around!
When I first started to hike properly I would follow a route that I had been pre planned, searching the Internet for recommendations. Now that I have become more experienced however, I really enjoy going off the beaten track, having a starting point but not following the marked out trail, that is what most gives me the biggest sense of adventure – discovering areas not seen as much by others.
The first hike I did was up a peak called Fan Hir, a subsidiary summit of Fan Brycheiniog in the Black Mountains. This really set me up for all my other hikes; although the weather was unrelenting being out in it was so thrilling and rewarding.
I now hike weekly for as long as I can, the dog and I go up as many mountains as possible. The freedom I feel is not something you can find in any towns or cities, just being out there, able to listen to nature and view the landscape, that is the beauty of it all for me.