Nordic Walk - Cragside Carriageway
Mon 12th March 2012
We couldn’t have picked a better day for a Nordic Walk, spring has definitely sprung!
Our large group of 19 Nordic Walkers, all of different abilities, set off, up the first climb of the walk, leaving the High Street of Rothbury for the ascent to the Cragside carriageway.
Some of the group were nervous that they may not make the climb but after being reassured the top was in sight and that once there it would be flat; our gallant group went onwards and upwards. After a brief stop at the top of Pondicherry and some points of useless information from Jon we carried on, upwards.
Eventually we reached green hills and we were rewarded with stunning views of the Cheviot and Cheviot hills. Down in the valley we could see the village of Thropton, with the River Coquet winding its way through it. Otterburn firing range saluted our ascent with the boom of their big gun and a plummet of smoke, a little unsettling. Onwards and upwards, nearly there, steepest part behind us!
We joined part of the Cragside Challenge route and followed the wall line towards the carriageway. At this point the layers came off and many of us walked in T shirts. Onwards and upwards, nearly there, steepest part behind us!
We climbed through the heather to reach the carriageway itself and at last I could say, with real conviction “we ARE at the top and the steepest part IS definitely behind us”. The views from the carriageway were stunning, the hard surface under our feet a welcome change to the heather land and as we progressed Rothbury came back into view. At this point the group made the unanimous decision to extend the walk by a further 1 ½ miles, to continue to the end of the carriageway. This was after getting an accurate hill count before we set off. So un-trusting!
At the end of the walk we dropped down through fields, said hello to a friendly horse and back into the village. After some cool down stretches those that could went for a well earned cuppa and reviewed the day.
I think I can safely say that everyone enjoyed this walk, even though it was quite demanding in places. One member had started the walk thinking she would not be able to complete it all. But after the initial climb she stopped and told me that she had never managed to walk up that hill, in one go, before. Even those people who had only learnt to Nordic Walk a few hours earlier managed the whole route and their techniques were much improved by the end of the walk. Those people who had come on their own had made friends and arrangements to meet on the next Nordic Walk..... and I like to think I have made some friends too.
A true testament to the power of Nordic Walking!