An inner city walk to soothe the soul, heal the body and refresh the mind

I love going out of my way, beyond what I know, and finding my way back a few extra miles, by another trail, with a compass that argues with the map…”  Rebecca Sonlit, A Field Guide to Getting Lost


After a big week I was physically and mentally drained but I couldn’t resist the urge to get  outdoors and walk. There were strict criteria for this would be walk. I didn’t want anything too taxing nor too far away. It had to be soothing to my soul and pleasing to my eye. The options in my city are endless.

After much consideration I decided to head down to the Southbank precinct and design my own river walk.

The beauty of starting off  at dawn is you get to see the city wake up.  My wander took me through parklands, along the river, past our cultural precinct including art gallery, state library and gallery of modern art, over a funky bridge that replicates the masts of ships and through a mostly sleeping city. It’s wonderful to take in the diverse materials, shapes, colours, angles and soft edges of a quiet city. I enjoyed the opportunity and time to consider the public art along the way.  Too soon however my path took me past dishevelled, disoriented party goers tripping  out of the casino and other establishments. I skipped my way through their meandering routes.  These seedy elements weren’t buoying my soul or my eye and I was just starting to ponder the sense in my decision when, thankfully I plunged myself into the sanctuary of the city botanical gardens. A much appreciated, peaceful haven.


When my son was young we spent many hours in this garden. I hadn’t  been there for years so it was lovely to reacquaint myself with the different elements of this little piece of heaven before emerging in the grounds of a university, strolling across another funky bridge and back to my starting point. It was here, back at the beginning, that I had planned to dip my feet into the pool, our city beach.


On route to the beach I was tickled to discover a herb and vegetable garden. Basil, parsley, eggplant, tomatoes and all manner of edible delights were arrayed in a little grotto.  A second treat emerged in the shape of a (man-made) pebbled lined stream. My shoes came off and I gingerly stepped in for a relaxing reflexology foot massage. It was divine.

Shoeless, I skipped across to the beach, dug my toes in the sand, wadded across the way and felt satisfied with my decision not to hike a mountain or to drive off to the beach, an hour away. My body, mind and soul were rejuvenated and energised by my early morning, inner city, river walk.


Create your own adventure, there are so many to choose from. You might wander down  previously untrodden  laneways, get lost in your own city, village or suburb and at the end of it all, you can sit back with a cup of tea and revel in your discoveries.


6 thoughts on “An inner city walk to soothe the soul, heal the body and refresh the mind

  1. I love this Idea… a city looks so different in the early morning before the world and his wife wakes . We have met on a few occasions on your inspiring blog ( I’m the lady that gets lost down the lanes in West Wales ha ha )
    Before I came to live here , Five months ago , I used to live in a town about ten miles from the city of Birmingham called Halesowen .and every morning at 6 0 clock is I would be out walking , whatever the season , whatever the weather . I loved it …everyone thought I was mad but I didn’t care a jot. I saw so many interesting things and it would set me up for the day . Coming back to a cuppa and my journal was always a treat . I plan on doing the same in this wonderful country …just feeling my feet at mo . Love your blog …the photos and just the way you think . Thank you for sharing .

    • Hi there Cherry. I thought of you as I popped that little piece in about getting lost in laneways, as you and I have both done it.

      Now you’ve set me on a mission. I know you are new to Wales but now I’m intrigued by the town you moved from. Halesowen. I’ve not heard of it so I will be googling to get a sense of where it is.

      It is fascinating what you see in the early morning when no one else is around and everything is fresh. I like walking year round as well. Once I’m out the door (and rugged up in winter) I love starting my day with a walk. I think you are amazing because I know how hard it is at times here to get up in the dark cold winter but your climate would be a real challenge. Quite brisk I imagine! 😉😄

      Thank you for your comment. I love hearing from you.

      • Google Clent Hills they sat at the bottom of my street just waiting for me to walk them ,they are beautiful in all seasons, but in spring with carpets of blue bells, they are a delight . So lovely to know you are interested in the lovely town of Halesowen …thank you so much for your interest .

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