Nordic Walk - Warkworth to Alnmouth
Tue 4th November 2014
I had been keeping an eye on the weather all week via the Met Office and was so pleased to see that it was forecast for a dry, sunny and warm (around 13°C) day. The tide was on its way out as well which was a good sign.
We all met nice and early. Introductions were made between members of the group who hadn’t met before, poles were distributed and we did the warm up, as usual. As I introduced myself to the group I was met with lots of comments of “we know who you are”. I explained it was in case they had forgotten my name! I was reassured that they would never forget my name!
A few members of the group were concerned that they would not manage the 10 miles (as our Nordic walks are usually around the 5 mile mark) and I reminded them that it was actually two 5 mile walks as there was a lunch break in the middle – some of them still weren’t convinced but I reassured them they would be okay.
We set off down the bank, from the car park, towards Warkworth beach, at which point some people took off their fleeces as it was warm – t-shirt weather in November!
I told everyone to go at their own pace and that I would be checking technique. I also explained that if anyone needed any help they should give me a shout.
It didn’t take long for the group to split into twos and threes to chat as they headed up the beach towards Alnmouth. Kirsten became a very popular member of the group as she offered around sweets to everyone.
We were walking along at a nice pace when we heard (what we thought was) a funny robotic sounding bird. It seemed to be saying “nawdic, nawdic, nawdic”. We realised a few minutes along that it was actually Kirsten who had discovered that this was a good way for her to keep her arms straight, whatever helps you Kirsten!
We came to a section of the walk where there were some rocks (Birling Carrs). Unfortunately the tide hadn’t gone out enough so a detour came into play (it wouldn’t be a Julie walk without one). Paul and John headed straight up the grassy bank, to the caravan park, and the group followed once they reached the top. The bank was quite steep but everyone managed no problem with the help of our poles.
Much to everyone’s delight we came back down to the beach quickly and were greeted by the sight of three flocks of geese flying in varying formations.
We headed on towards the River which split Warkworth beach and Alnmouth. I gave the group the option of swimming across or heading up to St Cuthbert’s Cross, which is said to be the location where St Cuthbert agreed to become Bishop of Lindisfarne when petitioned by the King. Needless to say we headed up to St Cuthbert’s Cross. As we were walking towards the cycle path which would take us to Alnmouth, there was a muddy and slippery area, around some mud flats, over which everyone managed to keep their feet – EXCEPT for me, as you will see by the photographs. The knee of one of my trousers took the brunt of the slide. No injury just concern from the group.
We walked along the cycle path that had just had a new layer added, which isn’t good for cyclists but is excellent for Nordic walking, as the poles (minus paws) kept a very good grip. The pace was steady, although people were starting to tire slightly and techniques weren’t as good as usual.
Once we came off the cycle path, and Alnmouth was nearly in touching distance, the pace picked up and we headed to the café.
At the café John checked his GPS and informed everyone we had walked 5.6 miles that morning, although Martin’s said 7 miles.
The Dandelion Café was our stop for a lunch of sandwiches and cakes. Chocolate, potato and orange cake for some and apple and stem ginger cake for others. Mary was very good and didn’t have cake, a fact she was very keen to point out.
After lunch we headed back to Warkworth, missing out St Cuthbert’s Cross and heading straight over the dunes back onto the sand.
Kirsten suggested a Nordic race and drew a line in the sand. Unfortunately I got a fit of giggles so the race was curtailed quickly. At this point some of the group decided they were going to “welly it” (aka go faster) and shot off into the distance.
We all got back to the cars where John and Martin checked their GPS’s and they read just over 10 miles and 12 miles respectively and everyone decided they would go by Martin’s as 12 miles sounded better.
We did our cool down with an extra lady (who had walked along the beach) joining us and I told everyone about up and coming walks/events and wished everyone a Merry Christmas.