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Sun 30th July 2017

Holywell Dene Nordic Walk

Holywell Dene Nordic Walk

A great forecast for the day and the group of 16 met up at Fountain Head Car Park.  Most of the group had walked with me before and two newbies, Hilary and Jill, who were welcomed to the group.

Bob very kindly agreed to help me with the group and he took up the front of the group whilst I ensured the group were okay.

We headed off along towards Whitley Bay passing the beautiful St Maryís Island, quick group photograph taken by Sharon (who really doesnít like her photograph taken).

We followed the path past the caravan park and along the dismantled railway and followed the waggonway to Holywell Dene.  We had a short stop for drinks and snacks before heading through Holywell Dene.

Holywell Dene is a steep sided ancient semi-natural woodland and is traversed by a small river known as the Seaton Burn. Between Old Hartley and Seaton Sluice, where the river enters the sea, the valley widens into a tidal flood plain.

We stopped on a small bridge for another group shot before crossing a stile and heading along towards Seaton Sluice.

Val and Cathy were both getting hungry and luckily we were less than half a mile away from the tea shop.

At the end of the walk, we crossed over to Castaways Tea Shop, some sat inside and some outside.
Scones, sandwiches and quiche were consumed before everyone headed off home.

Massive thank you to Bob for helping me, I really appreciate it.

I hope you all enjoyed the walk and I hope to see you very soon.

The next Nordic walk is 20th August in Rothbury and one of my favourite walks, Whitton Hillhead.

Tue 18th July 2017

The Cheviot Nordic Walk

The Cheviot Nordic Walk

An awful weather forecast for the day didnít deter the 20 Nordic Nuts ready to go up The Cheviot.  Waterproofs were donned and we headed off with Martin in front, me in the middle and Ruth at the back. 

Crossing a stile we walked up the first hill of the walk to Cold Law with everyone walking at their own pace (as always).  We reached the trig point on Cold Law and the first group photograph was taken. 

As we walked away Johnís rucksack waterproof cover blew off and it was fun watching him go after it and capture it by stabbing it with his pole.

A short descent and a quick brownie stop whilst everyone caught up.

It was a windy and wet day but luckily we came across a little dip round the corner from Scald Hill for our lunch stop.

Sue had made cheese scones, Martin had made brownies and Martinís mam had made shortbread which were offered around.

After lunch we walked up the second hill, Scald Hill and this was where we got our best view, even being able to see the sea.

The group was quite spread out but 3 members of staff meant this wasnít a problem and encouraged everyone to go at their own speed.

The Cheviot stands at 815m or 2674ft and some of the group reached the summit and waited for the rest of us where I took another group photograph.

We came back down Scald Hill and back to the cars.

Well done to everyone for accomplishing the biggest hill in the Cheviots, which I know was on everyoneís list to do.

Thank you to Martin for leading the walk and brownies and thank you Ruth for your help.  We all really appreciate it.

The next Nordic walk is a lot easier at Holywell Dene on 30th July.  I hope to see you then.


Tue 11th July 2017

Windy Gyle - July 2017

Windy Gyle - July 2017

Our walking group of 8 started  walking promptly at 9.30am on a beautiful clear, sunny and warm morning – the perfect weather for walking in the Cheviots.

We walked past Barrowburn (and a particularly noisy flock of sheep) and continued on the road until we reached the old drovers, traders and Border Reivers track of the Middle Ages known as the Street. The path took us on a steady climb to the border ridge and the Pennine Way - half way up we were rewarded with the sight of a small herd of wild goats much to the delight of all. Mark told us this was the first time he had seen the goats in this area of the hills and took some photographs to record the sight. Our route followed the border east to the summit of Windy Gyle (619m) and Russellís cairn where we had lunch. Here we enjoyed fabulous views in every direction and saw the hills at their very best. Mark explained how the cairn was named following the murder of Sir Francis Russell (a warden of the English march at the time) supposedly by his Scottish counterpart in 1585.  

Suitably refreshed we continued along the border until we reached Clennell Street (another of the  old drovers routes). Here we turned south and walked between two wooded areas and were again rewarded with more wildlife in their natural habitat – this time a deer with its fawn. A really lovely sight. Our path then took is past Murder Cleugh and Annette was able to give us the sorry tale of Robert Lumsden and Isabella Sugden dating back to 1610.Skirting Barrow Law, our well defined track steadily descended to our starting point at Weders Leap car park.

This 11 mile walk has to be one of the finest in Northumberland particularly with the superb weather we enjoyed all day – a sentiment echoed by everyone in our party.