Winter in the Woods

Last Sunday, Sam and I went to Hatfield Forest, a National Trust site near to where we live.

We spent over two hours exploring the site and honestly, I felt so refreshed when we came home. There's something about getting out into the countryside and breathing in the fresh air. Coming from a country background I can sometimes feel a little cramped in our town, albeit a small town.

I know it might sound strange, but I feel like I can properly breathe when I'm out in the wild. Like someone has lifted a weight off my chest and I can take that deep breath I've been gasping for. It really did us the world of good, as we spent the rest of the afternoon eating the most amazing slow cooked lentil chili and snuggled up under a blanket watching "How to Train your Dragon" (recommend!).

I felt silly and frivolous whilst we were there, running around in the woods finding 'campsites' and just having proper conversation without the need for phones and social media (probably helped along by the fact we didn't have any signal or 3G, but I truly didn't feel the need to even check my phone!).

I'm looking forward to more days like this now the weather is getting better, and I felt like we turned a corner that day - Spring is on its way!

Hatfield Forest is closest to Bishop's Stortford, Essex, in the back roads. The signage to get there isn't brilliant so pack a sat nav along with your wellies and coat. It's muddy, but its gorgeous. This time of year, you can see through the forest to fields and fields of birds, livestock and deer and its so romantic walking around the perimeter of the lake (which you can boat on in the summer!)

The cafe and shop both take card, and there is a pay and display car park both within the forest grounds and at the very perimeter. There are signposts and pathways for all types of walkers, but our favourite parts were the woodland areas where the forest opened up onto desolate marshy fields filled with animal tracks, mole hills and weather beaten trees.

Its a lovely day out in Winter or Summer, and I'm sure we'll be visiting again come Summer.

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