life Shetland

Our Weekend Wanders: Kergord Woods

May 7, 2018

children behind tree out of focus exploring woods Shetland

Some of my favourite things in life include good pals and an explore outside. And food, especially if the explore has taken you for a good walk and you’ve worked up an appetite. Or even if not, let’s be honest.

I’ve failed massively to regularly add (or, ahem, just add) to my Our Weekend Wanders category, but a few weekends back  Soren and I took a trip to Kergord Woods with our best large and small pals, and I remembered about it… So I’m going to try and remember about it more. Summer (or as close as we get to it) is a-callin’ and I cannot wait to get outside more, especially now that Soren is a bit more able for longer walks.

path leading to Kergord forest, Shetland

I say it all the time, but despite the fact I’ve lived in Shetland most of my life there are so many  places that I’ve never visited. Kergord Woods is one of those places. I’ve driven by many times, but had never made it up into the woods.

We headed there on an overcast Sunday to tire out the small people, and then went to the nearby Bonhoga gallery cafe for lunch. (I have no pictures of this, because #shiteblogger, but it happened.)

two toddlers holding hands walking towards Kergord Forest, Shetland

Tiny pals. It makes my heart so happy to see Soren forming friendships.

Shetland gets labelled as a treeless place, and that is mostly true. To anyone used to seeing a lot of trees, the landscape here is definitely quite bare. But there are some pockets of woods, and this place is one of them.

Kergord is in a valley on the central Mainland, and the trees here date back to the early 20th Century when a local landowner planted them between 1913 and 1920 to serve as shelter beds. They’ve since grown, and become a favourite place for tree-starved Shetlanders, large and small, to lose themselves for a few hours.

These woods are managed by the Shetland Amenity Trust, and some kind/imaginative soul had piled up the cut logs into little dens and hidey holes. Such a dream for playing in. I don’t often find myself regretting anything about my childhood, but more time spent among trees would probably be one thing I’d change. There’s something so peaceful and at the same time exciting about being surrounded by them; the sounds of the leaves and branches rustling, the earthy, green smells. It’s invigorating.

Heading outside regularly saves my sanity, on the days I’m struggling to find ways to keep Soren entertained (or the ones where we all just need a breather.) I feel really lucky that I live somewhere with so many brilliant places to take my kid and let him roam and burn off energy and get messy and discover things. Granted, I often bemoan the lack of Instagram friendly parent-fuelling coffee spots while outside (how hard would it be to have a takeaway coffee spot up a hill?) but y’know, swings and roundabouts.

Making a “moose hoose”. Important business.

There are acres more to explore at Kergord than we managed that day. There’s a rope swing, too which I am TOTALLY going back for. (Also, I really struggled to take photos that day – I was using a new camera (this beauty), but I am definitely still working it out. I find it really tricky to focus, for one thing, but it’s fun learning.)

Shetland hill scene with trees

The Weisdale valley, with a few more patches of trees. Most of Shetland looks a lot more like the hills surrounding this place.

A weirdly autumnal shot, for the time of year. This whole day looked as though it could have been October to be honest, save for some green patches here and there.

Heading home. Hooray for adventures! I’m really looking forward to more this year. My plan is to pack the car up with blankets, boots and supplies so we’re ready to head for the hills as soon as the moment takes us. Maybe we’ll try camping too – have you ever camped with a toddler? Is it a disaster? Let me know!

 

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