The Road Less Travelled

The sun is shining and Mark Gregory wanted to start a new hobby...

Like most people in the largely office based creative profession, I spend an inordinate amount of time sitting down staring at a screen, praying for divine inspiration.

So recently, I decided to curtail the onset of sedentary seizure syndrome and get out and about for some serious exercise. The path I’ve chosen (pun intended) is that of… ‘Urban Hiking’.

Although I live within reasonable reach of coast and country, the ‘urban’ aspect of this calorie burning phenomenon puts paid to yet another DVT inducing car journey and allows the adventure to begin quite literally, at my front door.

Last Sunday morning I set off from that very spot, quickly pounding off through the town centre and out onto the busy main road, before eventually having my curiosity stirred by a slightly obscured public footpath sign, pointing intriguingly into some bushes, just behind the local tip!

To my utter amazement, what I discovered during the next two hours rambling amidst the pungent wild garlic, was a thickly wooded wonderland of rare flora and fauna set amidst babbling brooks playing host to rare birds and a colossal Victorian railway viaduct to boot! It was like stepping through the back of the wardrobe into Narnia! I couldn’t believe I’d lived here for nearly 20 years and simply hadn’t had a clue as to the existence of such an unexpected and breath-taking location.

So, as I clomped my way around the rest of the ten-mile hike, my blood by now well and truly pumping, the mind becoming ever clearer, I began to wonder just how often professionally, we may sometimes miss out on the more desirable or exciting destination such as this one. Simply by taking the more obvious or cautious route. Whether that’s at the briefing stage, or during the writing production and presentation process.

Are we alright just ‘sticking to the roads’? If so, I suppose that’s fine to some extent. The worst that will generally happen is that we produce a product which is perfectly ‘reasonable’. 

But if my first Urban Hike is anything to go by, just imagine what creative delight and client success that obscure path ‘off the beaten track’ could lead to.

Mark Gregory

Signpost – Climb through the fence half a mile before the tip!


River/Bridge – A very big viaduct to carry very big trains!