Nordic Walk - Derwent Walk Country Park
Sat 16th January 2016
When I woke up this morning there was snow on the ground in Sunderland. I donned my thermal leggings under my walking trousers and set off with time to spare so I could check out the conditions and ground before the walk.
I headed from the Thornley Woodlands Centre down to the Railway path on the Derwent walk, the ground was crisp with frost but great to Nordic walk on. I saw 4 deer in the trees and hoped they would still be around for the group to see.
I headed back to the car where I met up with everyone, quite a few regulars but also 4 people new to the group. The chatter was fantastic to hear catching up after the Festive period. I left them to it and took the new members to one side to teach them the technique. I love teaching people about Nordic walking and hope that they get hooked (which most of them do).
Once we had finished, we had a quick warm up and time for the first photo of the day.
We then headed along the path where I pointed out the various carvings in the trees, we kept our eyes open for the deer but unfortunately they had gone into hiding.
The railway path along the Derwent walk is perfect for Nordic walking and everyone got into their stride while I helped one of our new walkers with her technique. It was an interesting time, Susan found an interesting variation to the technique, she started great and then her body went into a funny wobble, which made us laugh very loudly. She also decided that she couldn’t move her head whilst she was concentrating. We caught up to the group and I decided to leave Susan to walk without me watching her.
We turned and headed back along the same path towards the 9 Arches Viaduct with the Column of British Liberty (in Gibside) in the distance. We hoped we would see the red kites but we were unlucky again as they were keeping away from prying eyes.
Next stop was Hollinside Manor, this was a point in the walk where everyone had a choice to go up the steps to visit the ruins of Hollinside Manor or if they preferred to stay on the railway path.
Surprisingly everyone decided to go up to visit the Manor. Geoff (aka Elbows) took the opportunity for elevenses.
As we were nearing the Swalwell Visitors Centre, there were two paths, Ruth pointed out a signpost but I decided to take a detour (well it wouldn’t be a walk with me without one).
A quick comfort break when Russell took out his flask, there was a lot of conversation around the hot drink in it, I think I heard mention of green tea with lemon.
I offered the group two options for the walk back, the route that I had planned had been very claggy the week before but everyone was very happy to risk it. Parts of the path had some treacherous ice on it but we managed to skirt around these areas on the slightly frozen grassy sides. Everyone managed to stay on their feet.
There was an incline up to Red Kite Hill which really showed the new members Russell, Steve, Ken and Susan the benefit of Nordic walking poles.
The pace picked up substantially when the Thornley Woodlands Centre was in sight with the promise of cakes and tea and the café.
A quick stretch before we descended on the café. Unfortunately they had written the date we were attending down wrong so the lovely owner was on her own but she was so friendly and welcoming and we weren’t in a hurry. More opportunity for us to chat.
Toasties, panninis, soup and cheese scones were ordered, unfortunately for Ruth she missed out. Kim felt a bit guilty but not guilty enough to share!
Whilst we were waiting for our food I handed around copies of the Shepherds Walks brochure and got everyone to read them whilst I took a photograph.
We were given free top ups of tea and coffee and offered free biscuits. A few of us ordered cake, namely me, Laura (chocolate fudge) and Anne (carrot and orange).
Russell and Steve left first as Newcastle were playing, everyone else left saying they would see us soon. Susan said thank you for making me feel welcome and that she had thoroughly enjoyed her day.
I hope to see you all on a future Nordic walk. Don’t forget the next walk is at the Happy Valley on 14th February.
Thank you again to Laura for being backmarker and an invaluable help.
See you all very soon.