We often think of outdoor activities like walking and cycling to be the preserve of the spring, summer and autumn but winter really can be just as pleasurable.
Ok, perhaps not on a day when there's a gale blowing with rain pelting down (like today!) but given a dry day, either cold and frosty or warmer and blustery, the Vale of Pewsey looks magnificent and the experience of exploring the Vale is just as enjoyable - particularly if you can end it in one of our lovely country pubs!
We joined Ashley Sandy and her Wessex Nordic Walking group for a pre-Christmas ramble starting at The Swan Inn in Wilton and doing a 5.5 mile route along the Kennet & Avon Canal and back through Bedwyn Brail, taking in Crofton Beam Engines and Wilton Windmill and then back to The Swan, where we had a fabulous lunch in front of a log fire.
After walking along the beautiful Wilton Wide Water, we arrived on the towpath of the Kennet & Avon Canal where the water was partially frozen creating lots of interesting shapes and shades.
What makes a walk? Well, not just the amazing landscape and nature that surrounds you, but also the people you walk with and those you meet along the way. The people who go Nordic walking are very sociable, so there is lots of banter as you walk, or you can still walk along quietly if you want to.
This chap, John, was actually grounded and stranded in the middle of the canal! Someone had left a lock gate open and so the water level dropped too low for the boats to travel through. He was having to wait until that stretch of the canal refilled. Whilst we were chatting, it turned out that one of the walkers came from the same town in Yorkshire as he did!
A bit further along, we were captivated by the mirror-like quality of the Canal - the water was absolutely still, not a ripple, giving a mirror image of the bridge ahead of us.
Then a canoe came along, creating an amazing bow-wave and shaking everything up. Beautiful.
And it's surprising what you might see on a walk through the woods! Bedwyn Brail is full of interest and wildlife.
And so to the perfect end to another fabulous Vale of Pewsey walk - lunch at The Swan Inn. The log fire, delicious food and a glass of wine were very welcome.
We'd had a lovely winter walk.