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Mon 27th March 2017

Stanleyburn Wood Nordic Walk

Stanleyburn Wood Nordic Walk

Another woodland Nordic walk on a fabulous sunny, warm Spring day with the Nordic Nuts.

As we all met up in the pub car park (permission had been gained), Kate (soon to be volunteer and also a qualified Nordic walking instructor) took Bob (our newest walker) to one side to teach him the technique.  Just as they finished I ran over to get a photograph.

This walk had a lot of the usual suspects as well as newbie, Bob and returning walker, Lorraine. 

Hugs and poles given out by the whole group we had our usual warm up when I introduced Martin and Ruth as my ever helpful volunteers and I also explained that Kate is also an instructor so if anyone wanted any help with technique we were both available.

We headed off down the bank to the actual start of the walk, group photo shot taken, and off we went. 

Kate asked “what is the river/stream called?”.  The Stanley Burn was the response to which Kate said “of course it is, you can put that in the blog if you want”.  Of course it was going in the blog.

Underfoot there was quite a lot of clarts but the scenery was beautiful.  A good pace was set by Martin whilst Ruth kept a check on the walkers at the back.  Lots of chatter meant we had no chance of seeing the deer which are in the woods.  There was a squeal from Debbie as she slipped on some of the clarts, but the ever helpful Russell saved her – what a gentleman!

We got to an area of the burn where it was easy to get to and of course someone always has to have a plodge, cue Steve who sat on a rock whilst the rest of the group caught up.

The route was varied with some inclines, steps and lots of bridges, 7 in total and a few small waterfalls.  The smell of the wild garlic was pungent in places and Lesley was very excited by this and said she was going to pick some on her way back.

At a field boundary Martin decided to worry everyone by asking me which path we had taken when we did the recce, heading off across the field it was an opportunity to really open up and pick the pace up.

Next up was an extremely muddy and slippery path which took us to a small road down to the second part of the walk. 

Some of the group spotted some squirrels on the return leg.

Back to the cars for a cool down stretch before most of us headed to the pub for refreshments.  Not great service but the sun was out so we enjoyed the company.

Thanks to Ruth, Martin and Kate for their help on Saturday.

Our next walk is the Nordic Challenge Walk, Belford to Holy Island on 22nd April.  It is a 12 mile walk along St Oswalds/St Cuthberts Way.

Hope to see you soon.

Wed 15th March 2017

Bardon Mill - Vindolanda - Housesteads

Bardon Mill - Vindolanda - Housesteads

Our party of 21 walkers (and three dogs) plus Mark and Moira gathered at Bardon Mill on a surprisingly mild and clear day for the first Shepherds walk of the year.

Mark had forewarned everyone that the first section - following the picturesque Chainley Burn to Vindolanda -  may be a little muddy. He was not wrong and by the time we reached the fort for a coffee break and a brief history of Roman life in the first century, everyone’s boots and trousers had been christened!

On the road to Housesteads wonderful views of the Whin Sill accompanied by bright sunshine were seen and everyone enjoyed a second break at the second fort of the day. Mark provided more details of the fort and its history before setting off following “the wall” on this most popular of sections to Steelrig. Yet again the paths were extremely wet and muddy. Lunch was enjoyed with fine views of Crag Lough and the surrounding countryside. The iconic Sycamore Gap (with probably the most photographed tree in the North of England) was reached soon afterwards.

The Twice Brewed Inn was ideally placed for a comfort break! Quiet country lanes were followed to take us back to Vindolanda before the final muddy return to our starting point. The tea room at Bardon Mill remained open for many of us to sample their refreshments which were most welcome.

A lovely walk with the added bonus of fine weather.  My thanks to Moira for acting as back marker and helping to make the day so enjoyable for all.

Mark Nordmann

Mon 13th March 2017

Cresswell Beach Nordic Walk

Cresswell Beach Nordic Walk

A change to the original walk (due to the state of the footpath) meant we walked from Cresswell towards Druridge. 

This was a smaller and quieter group than usual and we welcomed back some walkers who we haven’t seen for a little while coming back together with some regulars.

We met up in the car park, poles handed out and down to the sand for warm up.  The usual rules of go at your own speed and enjoy yourself applied.  Ruth took up the mantle of official photographer for the day.  Thankfully this meant just a few photographs.

The group headed off with Ruth leading the way at a decent pace, the great thing about Nordic walking on the beach is that you don’t have to watch where you are putting your feet, or do you.  We came up to some rocks which were covered with green and black seaweed when the lovely Ruth slipped gracefully, as always if you fall you have to get your photograph taken before you get up.  We checked she was unhurt before heading off.

Three mile in we came across a channel of water which was quite fast flowing and we decided to turn back towards Cresswell, a quick stop for sweets, water and even lunch for 3 of our walkers before we headed back.

Unfortunately the weather turned and we all put waterproofs on, the sand was softer which makes it more difficult to walk but everyone kept up the pace fuelled by the thought of cheese scones and mint Aero cheesecake at The Drift Café.

We started to head off the beach at the point that I thought we had come down but, surprise surprise, it wasn’t and it turned out to be a slight detour.  It wouldn’t be a Julie walk without a detour although this one didn’t make the walk longer.

Everyone went to The Drift Café, for tea, coffee, hot wrap melts, cheese scones, soup, mint Aero cheesecake (aka Julie’s cake) and the lovely Marilyn had the Chocolate Brownie she had been thinking about since the Druridge Bay Country Park Nordic Walk.  She wasn’t disappointed.

Thank you everyone for coming along to this walk, this is my favourite beach and café and I loved sharing it with you all. 

Thank you to Ruth for her priceless help and also for being official photographer.

The next walk is Saturday 25th March 2017 at Stanleyburn Wood (Prudhoe).

Hope to see you soon.