Love of travel and the desire to share the great outdoors with kids is what inspired Kate Limburn to set up Baby Routes in 2012. What started as a website, gradually evolved into a blog with a Directory of walks (all baby friendly) forming its core. It is not just a listing however as the walks are detailed with the many essentials that parents would want to know before they set off on one, ice cream shops being a case in point. It has since then evolved to cover many related topics like travelling with young families and bringing them close to nature. Her tips are sure to help you get those little feet out of the door!
Q1. First things first, how did you get into blogging? Has this changed or evolved with time?
I got into blogging by accident. When I had my first daughter, Roo, back in 2011 I wanted something to keep my mind busy during those baby days (and nights). I’d always intended to cut free from the rat race and have my own business or venture at some point and maternity leave seemed like the perfect time to start plotting and planning. I didn’t yet know what I was going to do, but I figured that whatever business idea I had that these days it would most likely need a website, so I set about learning how to build a website! Baby Routes was my trial site – combining website building with researching and recording family friendly walks. Later on I discovered that to really reach the audience I was writing for, a blog was the obvious way to go, so my walking routes website gradually evolved into a blog.
Over time I’ve expanded to write about off-shoots of our walking routes – family travel, nature and getting kids outdoor. The lovely thing about a blog is entirely up to you what you write about.
Q2. What is the cornerstone of your blog, the one thing that people can always expect to find when they visit this space?
Baby Routes was set up with the intention of sharing family friendly walking routes and the Directory of walks by country/region is the heart of Baby Routes still. I am always out testing new routes and writing these up from a parents’ viewpoint e.g. does a route have stiles or big hills, are there loos or ice cream stops along the way. Every time we go on holiday or visit somewhere new a walk is normally involved. I love to see the world by foot.
Q3. What are some of the blogs that you regularly follow, for relevant information, a pick me up or just a laugh?
Mummy Travels and Five Adventurers are just two of several fantastic travel blogs I regularly dip into for inspiration. Their sites do nothing for my already insatiable travel bug though! The Wild Network is another site I read regularly – they have lots of guest blogs and some brilliant ideas for reconnecting kids and grown-ups alike with nature.
Q4. We know you love to write about days out with your family and there are some great nuggets there for readers. At ScooterSlingz, we are currently running a campaign #ScootThroughAutumn aimed at providing parents with some great outdoor options for celebrating autumn with their kids. What is one such autumn outing that is a favourite with your kid/kids that you would recommend to other parents?
This year we just can’t get enough of autumn. A trip out to the woods to gather leaves, pine-cones and other nature materials is a must - whether an arboretum or just your local park or woods. All the nature treasures we collect on our outings then fuel plenty of nature craft activities when the autumn gales strike and getting outside is really hard. If your kids aren’t natural stick-picker-uppers, then you can spice an outing up by creating a simple scavenger hunt sheet before you go to add an extra element of fun!
Q5. As parents of younger children will confirm, an outing can quickly change into a disaster if you just forgot to carry that one thing! What are your outdoor essentials, something or maybe things that you wouldn’t leave home without?
For outdoor adventures a windproof and waterproof layer is essential, whatever the weather. I also tend to stuff a spare pair of leggings, socks and underwear in my pocket in case the puddle-jumping gets a little too enthusiastic! Nothing spoils a trip out with tiny children in the cooler months more than having to walk home in wet, cold clothes and one bad experience can make it tricky to persuade kids back out again straight away.
Q6. We are all out and about during the summer holidays, soaking up the sun. However, with schools starting in September, a set routine takes over. How do you ensure that the kids continue to keep active?
I love to do things on the spur of the moment. Since Roo started school I’ve taken to storing our wellies, coats, nappy changing kit and a baby sling in the boot of our car so we always have the option to head out for a walk without coming home first. It’s about being flexible with the weather. If it’s a nice day, stuff the chores – just get out there! By the afternoon, it may be miserable again. Same goes with after school. Grab ten minutes just to walk in the woods or wander in the field next to the ballet lessons hall. It gets dark so quickly now that you can’t wait to be perfectly prepared!