At the risk of sounding unappreciative or even worse, condescending I’m not one for walking in large parties. One can miss so much of the nature and environment you have come to experience unless led by an experienced historian, geologist or biologist. Today however I was invited to join a group on their short walk from Haigh Hall near Wigan, of which I had no knowledge, They meet once a month for a walk and a pub lunch to follow. Sounded just right for a non committing outing.
The sat-nav negotiated unfamiliar lanes to state that we had arrived at our destination in the large car park of Haigh Woodland Park. (£3.50 all day parking) Our merry group of 12 assembled, I knew three or four of them. Two hours later we were back having followed our leader of the day on what appeared an interesting three-mile circuit. Most of the interest however was passed by as conversation took preference between the friendly crowd. We retired to a local eatery for more of the sociable chat and an excellent meal, a pleasant way to spend a few hours, and I was very grateful for being included.
There was not much opportunity to take photographs as the hoard marched on.
On my return home perusing the maps and websites here and here I found so much more to occupy a repeat visit, probably alone. The area is full of history. Bah humbug, mea culpa.
This was roughly our circuit from memory.
A quote I have on the sidebar of my own blog:
“…the man who goes alone can start today, but he who travels with another must wait till that other is ready, and it may be a long time before they get off.”
Henry David Thoreau
Very apt, although I am often the last.
Walking with a group would definitely be no fun for me. While it might be nice to be in the company of others the conversation would detract from the surroundings and the opportunity to stop for photos would often be missed, as you’ve recently found for yourself. I’ve been a ‘lone explorer’ for 13 years now and love being able to go at my own pace, stop when I want to take a photo of something, and veer off my planned route if something catches my attention.
I haven’t been to Haigh Hall since I went with someone else in the mid 1990s so I don’t remember much about it or its surroundings, however ms6282 has written several interesting posts about the area so I fully intend to explore it myself before too long. I hope you get back there on your own before long and you find plenty of interest on your walk 🙂
Well said Eunice.
I have some close friends from years back who are a delight to walk with and share my interests, putting up with my exploratory whims and endless photography.
I think you would find plenty of interest in the Haigh grounds particularly in the Summer. There are some excellent walking downloads on the websites I linked to. But you don’t need me to tell you that.
I’m wondering if ms6282 will comment?
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