Nordic Walk - Alnwick
Sun 24th May 2015
On waking up this morning. I was undecided whether to wear shorts or trousers for this fabulous walk. I had recce'd it last weekend and decided to opt for shorts and get the scary white legs out. After I put a comment on Facebook a few others decided to do the same.
This walk has a great memory for me because it was the walk at which Jon asked me if I was interested in becoming a Nordic walking instructor for Shepherds Walks. I jumped at the chance and have never looked back.
We met outside Tourist Information in the market place. A young girl asked her dad "why do those people have poles?", always keen to introduce people to Nordic walking I went over to explain and asked if they wanted to join us, her dad and grandad politely declined. After checking everyone's name off the list I turned around and someone had moved away from the group, either to use the facilities, to have a quick look at a stall or they had seen someone they knew. It took 4 attempts to get everyone together.
We headed down to the car park next to Alnwick Garden, gave out poles to those who needed them, we were all in the car park about to do a warm up when a car was leaving, we all put our poles up as if it was a guard of honour, we got a wave from the driver and the children in the car, we did the same for a car coming in and the same happened with the people in that car. It is obviously a regular occurence in Alnwick as the people didn't appear surprised.
I had been showing off my new Garmin fenix 3 GPS watch and someone said "does that mean we won't get lost?" I hastened to add we haven't been lost before!. We went to leave the car park and I headed to the corner which of course wasn't an exit this made everyone laugh as this was our first "detour".
We started our walk towards Alnwick Gardens, where we nearly lost Mary R who was headed in, luckily Ruth stopped her. Once out of the crowds going into Alnwick Gardens we headed off, Martin was at the front at quite a pace. We got to the first (of many) kissing gates and we came across 2 black dogs, one of which was carrying a fencepost! Not part of a fencepost but a whole fencepost! We stopped for a quick pet of the dogs and carried onto where there was a choice of 2 paths both of which came out at the same area, some people took the high path and the others the low path. At the fence there was the choice of a stile or slightly upwards a gate. The group split to their choice and met on the other side. We stopped here in front of Alnwick Castle for the group shot, Mary R said she hoped that this could replace the one we had had taken a few years ago but seemed to pop up on Facebook and the Shepherds Walks website quite regularly.
We met 2 springer spaniels, Lily had a flourescent coat on to tell us she was blind (you would never have known it as she was very excited running to everyone for a pat), the other dog was making sure she wasn't missing out, after a few minutes the dogs headed into the river and we completed our walk along this lovely field. We got to the gate and I told everyone we were turning left (over Lion Bridge) at which point everyone said in unison "isn't it right?" I explained I was just testing them as we had a few people who lived in the Alnwick area. Of course everyone believed me NOT.
At the next kissing gate (yes there were a few on the route) we walked along a path with nettles on either side of the path, Sharon and I were really surprised at how much they had grown along with the red campion from just last Sunday.
The next photo stop was standing on the bridge next to a field full of forget me nots and red campion which was stunning. We crossed the road and started up an incline up to Hulne Park. Everyone headed up at their own pace and when we reached the top we had another group shot. At this point I explained to everyone about the next 2 Nordic walks, the first being Copper Snout on Sunday 21st June and the next being Cresswell and Druridge Bay on Saturday 25th July. Everyone was very keen on these especially Copper Snout and a few were asking about the Cragside Challenge on 27th June which I explained that I always Nordic walk.
We were nearly finished the walk and continued uphill (very slight) passing a coop with chickens and cockerels, and a field on the right with lambs and sheep and the field on the left with cows and their calves who were very interested in us but ran away once we got closer as our poles clicked along the road. We got to the top and resisted the Shepherds Rest pub. We continued back to the centre of Alnwick. Funnily enough no one was keen to do our cool down stretches in the middle of a very busy Alnwick.
Our walk was 4.75 miles and I had done 11,300 steps, my new clever watch tells me so much. Once I figure out how to use it properly I will be able to bore everyone with sooooooo much information.
I explained some stretches people could do once they were away from the centre of Alnwick, thanked everyone for coming along and that I hoped to see them all on another walk.
Some of us went to the Nood Food Emporium (yes Sharon and I recce'd this too) for the now customary refreshments. We pretty much took over the cafe and and all enjoyed various meals from veggie burgers, beef burgers, vegetable soup, paninis, tea, coffee, healthy fresh drinks and some of us enjoyed cakes, lemon drizzle and banana coconut and date cakes. Sorry there are no photos of the cakes - they were gone too quickly.
Everyone headed off home shouting their thanks for a great walk.
Fabulous weather, great walk and amazing company. Thank you everyone
See you soon