OPINION: Revel in what we have on our doorstep in Harrogate - Alex Hornby, Transdev
Did you have much planned this year? Or last year? Did you find yourself stuck in the UK instead of that dream holiday elsewhere? Isn’t it awful?
Well, I’d say no - not really.
For I think what the measures have done to us, as frustrating and as unpredictable as they are, is they have reminded us what is on our doorstep and what the UK has to offer.
Yes, we are all entitled to enjoy the deep cultures and amazing destinations elsewhere, and I know many have missed the opportunity to meet friends, colleagues and family in other countries too. We certainly have.
But I really think the past 18 months and likely the next few (or more) will teach us that we should enjoy and make the most of our immediate surroundings – and how fortunate we are that we have the ability to do so.
Some of these are very ‘immediate’ too. As you know, I am an advocate of using the bus; whilst it is my job, I do enjoy using the bus too, along with family and friends because I find it less cumbersome than lugging the car around, having to park and not allowing flexibility to enjoy a quick beer and so on.
However, as part of a bit of an effort to lose weight and get healthy, I’ve also started enjoying a walk to work from Bilton to Starbeck.
You do forget about what an early morning walk amongst natural surroundings, along the Nidderdale Greenway through Nidd Gorge and down the old railway alignment can do for the soul!
And how much seeing life happen around you during a 45-minute walk - from overhearing a true Yorkshireman battle over a refund for a late home delivery, mums battling with kids to hurry up and get to school and so on. Try it, you’ll see exactly what I mean, and you’ll feel much better for it than battling with the traffic on Skipton Road.
You then only have to open your eyes and Google Maps to be aware of the fantastic local destinations within 90 minutes of Harrogate that’s if you need to leave our town at all.
The gorgeous scenery around the nearby reservoirs at Swinsty, Fewston and up at Scar House were our favourite lockdown discoveries and made our families still living in the cities very jealous - and reminded us how lucky we are.
These are all free to enjoy and on the doorstep. But then our wider nation can offer you a rich variety of experiences and cultures akin to what you can find in a different country, if only you look and find them.
As for our next trip? We’re off to Herefordshire. ‘camping’ on a renovated 1960s bus of all things!
Well, you did ask... and, yes, the family made the same groan too!