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Sat 21st January 2017

Chopwell Wood Nordic Walk

Chopwell Wood Nordic Walk

This was our first Nordic walk of 2017 and the day started with lots of hugs, chatter and catching up. 

It was a large group of 25 and consisted of a lot of our regular Nordic walkers, a couple of newbies (Liz and Dawn) and a few we haven’t seen for a little while.

We did a quick warm up with introductions for Martin, Ruth and Janey.

Martin took up the lead with the faster walkers, Ruth was backmarker with Janey and me in between.  The group got stretched out as everyone walked at their own pace.

We firstly walked the short route, with a viewing point where Ruth spotted a red kite.  The rest of the group were getting restless so we headed back down and we started off on the rest of the walk which was pretty uneventful, the woodland was beautiful and there were lots of carvings to admire.  At one point Carol decided to hug a tree then Dawn and Zeenat joined her.

There were a few clarty parts but no fallers, which is unusual for the Nordic Nuts.

We got back to the cars, checking the various gadgets for the length of the route, we had a variation of 7.07, 7.7 and 8.3.  The members of the group who wanted to stretch did whilst the others headed towards the cafe.

The car park was full so a couple of the group went home whilst the others parked on the side.

Once we got into the café, Debbie and Glynis (who we haven’t seen for a while) were waiting for us.  Unfortunately the café, even though I had booked weren’t prepared but we enjoyed our snacks.

Thank you to Martin, Ruth and Janey for their help today and a massive thank you to you all for joining us. 

The next Nordic walk is on the 19th February and is at Druridge Bay Country Park and I hope to see you all there.

Mon 28th November 2016

Lesbury Nordic Walk

Lesbury Nordic Walk

This was the walk which was rearranged from a few weeks earlier due to really bad weather making the route dangerous.

Two newbies joined the group Chris and Helen.  We had a quick run through of the technique.

The group photograph was taken at the Lesbury Old Bridge which is an ancient monument. Then we had a warm up with Steve singing the Hokey Cokey.

Crossing the road we got to the start of the walk which started with a hill/incline/mountain depending who you speak to.  Mary was not a happy bunny, she doesn’t like uphill bits at the best of time but definitely not at the beginning of a walk. 

Martin took up the lead with Kate and started at a good pace, the group as always walked at their own pace.  We walked under the Lesbury Viaduct., which replaced a wooden trestle structure built for the Newcastle and Berwick Railway, in use from 1847. Together with other replacements of wooden bridges on the line, it was designed by Robert Stephenson and built in 1849.

The walk went along the route of the old railway line making it a lovely flat walk.  The walkers at the front could hear some caterwauling, which turned out to be Steve singing (?) Christmas carols.  We were to be serenaded regularly by him and Russell throughout the day.

We followed the path to the Aln Valley Railway before heading up to Cawledge Farm, quick stop for some of the group to pet the very friendly Shetland pony. 

The footpath took us through a woodland and over the Cawledge Burn.  We stopped on the footbridge and Steve very kindly took a photo of the group.  The woodland was very picturesque and we saw some interesting mushrooms/funghi

Next up on the walk was a small pond which is a very peaceful area.  We stayed here for a few moments before heading down to the Cawledge Burn and  the point of the walk that we knew we may get wet feet, luckily the heavy rain had pushed some debris down so that the burn wasn’t very high, no fallers which was good news.

Another slight incline took us back to the old railway line and back to the Viaduct and Lesbury.

The Coach Inn wasn’t able to take us all so some people headed home and a few of us went to Alnmouth and an old favourite “The Village Tea Room” for tea and cakes.

This was a really enjoyable walk, as always the group were friendly, chatty and entertaining.

Thank you to our photographers, Steve and Russell.  Thanks to Martin for volunteering.

Special thank you to everyone for coming along and I really hope you enjoyed it.

Our next Nordic walk and indeed the last for 2016 is the Christmas walk taking us up to the Christmas tree on top of Simonside.

I hope to see you there but if not have a lovely Christmas and hopefully see you in the New Year.

Sun 13th November 2016

Nordic walk St Cuthberts Cave

Nordic walk  St Cuthberts Cave

The challenge for this walk was finding the car park, even though the nearest post code was given and also a map of the area we ended up waiting a little while for some of the group.  The lovely Kim was on duty to give directions firstly to Claire and then to Steve and Russell.(who were having a domestic while she was trying to direct them).  Linda, unfortunately, didn’t find us so we had to start without her.

We had the usual suspects as well as Gordon (who we haven’t seen since summer) and our latest newbie, Alistair.

Half an hour later than expected we started up a small incline to a gate where the sign told us St Cuthbert’s Cave was ¼ mile, we all headed along and the usual group shot in front of the cave was taken, some of the ladies were discussing where they would have the fire if they had been there.

St. Cuthbert’s Cave is an overhanging outcrop of Sandstone rock, supported by an isolated pillar of stone. It is reputed that the monks of Lindisfarne brought St. Cuthbert’s body to this place in AD875 following Viking raids on the Island.  Latterly the cave starred in Vera.

We headed back on the track to another outcrop of rock and someone (Susan) decided it would be a good idea to go to the top of the rock everyone apart from chief photographer Steve went to the top and Anne decided she had to climb on top of the highest rock.  Steve took a few photos and we made our way down. 

We followed the St Cuthbert’s Way path and the calls of “when is it lunchtime”, “I’m hungry” were met by me saying “not far just when we get to the pool of water”.  About 15 minutes later we got to the lunch stop, various items came out of rucksacks to sit on and Steve got a lot of doughnuts and some cookies out of his rucksack in celebration for Russell’s birthday the week before.  There were 2 lovely swans on the water who swam away from us (obviously they didn’t like the laughter and noise). 

After lunch we got straight back onto St Cuthbert’s Way to a gate with a sign telling us “Bull in field” even though the path was part of St Cuthbert’s Way the farmer had bolted the gate so we couldn’t open it so we decided to climb over, cue Russell and his usual photographs of our bottoms.  Anne decided to vault over the gate.

Following the path again, no bull in the field and we got onto the next part of our route which took us through a woodland area. 

As is usual with one of my walks we had a slight detour before we turned around and went through a gate which took us along the Sandstone Way and back to the gate which we started at.

We headed back down the hill to the cars.

Goodbyes were said to those not heading into Belford for refreshments.

Russell, Steve, Sue, Kim and me firstly went to the Blue Bell Hotel but it was too noisy with Bad Bob Bates playing in the bar so we went to the Well House Coffee Shop for tea, scones, tea cake and lemon meringue pie.  Another excellent tea room if you are in the area.

The next Nordic walk is the rearranged Lesbury walk on Saturday 26th November.

Our last walk of 2016 is the Christmas walk on 10th December where Martin and me will be bringing mulled wine, hot chocolate and mince pies.  Christmas hats are compulsory.

I look forward to seeing you all soon.