It’s that time of the year when the leaves start to fall, there’s a chill in the air and we start to indulge in all things warm and cosy which is why, with the help of some lovely bloggers, we’ve created a series of posts celebrating this beautiful season.
In our third Winter walks post, Scotland based blogger Ellen Arnison puts rugged boot Lotty to the test, through muddy puddles and leafy terrains.
Rarely does something that you like to do turn out to be good for you too. And if it’s easy, cheap and doesn’t have any complicated rules, then there really shouldn’t be anything to stop you.
If you haven’t guessed already, the thing I’m talking about is walking.
I love walking, it’s a fantastic way to exercise, clear the head, explore new places, get from A to B and, especially, spend time with lovely people.
You feel great – and smug – after walking to a meeting when everyone else has battled with public transport and still only arrived at the same time as you.
The only possible downside to this is that comfortable feet are essential. None of this self-satisfied and healthy striding is possible if your shoes hurt your feet or you’re scared to get them dirty or wet. And, quite frankly, life’s too short for the faff of swapping from trainers or wellies to smarts and back again.
My latest solution is a pair of beautiful Lotty boots in navy. They go with jeans and leggings and look reasonably put-together with most things. I’ve long abandoned any pretence at being on-trend and try, at least, to look like I didn’t get dressed in the dark.
Teenage children are a good gauge of whether you’re anywhere near the mark. Their judgement is either, “No, mum, what are you wearing? Just don’t talk to me, OK.” Or, after the head-to-toe onceover, “Right, let’s go.”
My eldest son has recently gone off to study in Stirling and I went to visit him for the first time. The stakes for this visit were very high – he had to reassure me that he was “fine, mum” and I had to pay for stuff and not, under any circumstances, be embarrassing. A tough call.
We decided that a walk from his digs to the Wallace Monument would be a good idea – exercise, talking and something to take our minds off the potential for things to turn emotional.
Obviously, it’s Scotland so, on the day, it was pouring down. However, undaunted, we put on our waterproofs and set off over Stirling Bridge. Me in my new Lotty boots.
The first part of the walk took us along puddly pavements to the foot of Abbey Craig where “Scotland’s most distinctive landmark” had disappeared behind the trees.
From the café and visitor centre, the path winds up through the woods and is decorated by information boards and sculptures all the way.
Finally, the uphill slog pays off when you pop out of the shelter of the trees and get the view. You can see so much of central Scotland and the Forth Valley, it’s worth the walk alone.
However, we headed up the 246 steep spiral steps to the top of the Monument, pausing at the exhibition galleries (convieniently placed to get your breath back). The view from the top is stunning.
Back down the hill, we retraced our steps into Stirling, and I returned a happy teenager full of an “if you’re paying then I’ll have…” cream tea at his flat.
I was content, he was not embarrassed, my boots looked good as new and my feet were comfortable enough to cope with another 246 steps.
Rugged, Versatile Boot Lotty
Designed to protect and cushion your feet, biker boot Lotty can be dressed up or down and features decorative buckle detail and sumptuously cushioned insoles, for an instant injection of cosy meets contemporary.
Available in colours Black, Navy and Dark Tan, £89.
I’m Ellen Arnison. I write a lot, for money and for fun. The rest of the time I’m mum to three sons and wife to one husband. I like coffee, yoga, hill-walking and travel, but not usually at the same time. Find out more about me at Ellenarnison.com