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Fri 4th November 2016



What a great time of year to head out for a walk.

To be honest it had been a busy few days at Shepherds walks as we had been moving offices so it was a great break to get out and lead a great group of people (and a walk) on one of my favourite short walks in Northumberland, ideal for this time of year.

After meeting at Edlingham at St John the Baptist church, which is a Medieval (11th century) Church. The church is mostly Norman, from two periods, the late 11th - early 12th Century and late 12th century.
After a quick introduction, we headed off. Away to our right was Edlingham Castle, a Grade I listed building that is managed by English Heritage. The ruins are mostly laid low though much of the solar tower still stands despite an impressive crack running several storeys down to ground level. The castle was more probably a fortified manor house typical of many medieval houses in this region.
After passing through some lovely low level farmland we climbed up to some great views including the Cheviot Hills to the North.

After passing through a wooded section we passed back out into farmland and away to our left was a monument.  This is called the Fellbridge monument as it once stood in Fellbridge, Surrey. When it was in Surrey it was known as the Evelyn Monument and in the 1920ís it was brought to Northumberland.

We then passed onto the road and dropped down before turning up and passing Lemmington Hall.
After a relaxing lunch in the Autumn sunshine we headed on crossing over a wonderful bridge before retracing our steps back to Edlingham.

A great walk and some better company, thanks to all that came along and I hope to see you again soon.

Sat 29th October 2016

Warkworth to Alnmouth Nordic Walk

Warkworth to Alnmouth Nordic Walk

Another large group of regular Nordic Nuts met up in Warkworth for this 10 mile walk.  We welcomed a new member to our group, Pete, who had walked with me before but not with the other Nuts.  I warned him of the paparazzi who walk with us, namely Steve and Russell aka Little and Large.

During the warm up I explained the route we would be taking.  We completed the warm up and headed down to the beach for our customary group photo.

Martin led the way along the beach whilst I went through the technique with Zeenat and Zahed.  I explained how the beach was the best terrain to walk on as you could see if you are dragging your poles.
As always the group eased into little groups with lots of chatter and laughter going on.

The group got to the rocky area and Martin was assessing the situation as the tide hadnít gone out as far as we were expecting.  Timing the step down from the rocks with the wave was key, Steve went to step down and slipped, the only breakage luckily was the tip of the Nordic pole, Zeenat stepped down mistiming the wave and ended up ankle deep in water, she loved this and said it was exhilarating.

I swapped poles with Steve and we continued on towards Alnmouth, the footpath on the map shows a straight line however the river Aln is in the way, which we would have had to swim. No-one fancied this so we walked up to St Cuthbertís Cross and lots of posing for photos from Debbie and Carol) which is said to be the location where St Cuthbert agreed to become Bishop of Lindisfarne when petitioned by the king.  Next up was the path down to the little mortuary chapel with a decorated archway (built 1869) with funding from public subscription there was a plan to re-open the cemetery on Church Hill. In more recent times it was used on location by Vera. 

Heading away from the church towards the cycle path, John stepped in a rabbit hole and was the next to take a tumble, again no injury.

We dropped down to the rather slippery, muddy area. Take a bow Lesley as she joined the ranks of the Nordic Nuts to end up on the ground.   

Continuing to the cycle path this is a good path to Nordic walk on as it is flat and you can build up your speed.  Nothing exciting happened and we soon got to Alnmouth.  We passed Alnmouth Cricket Club which I explained was the place where we start the Coastal Challenge.

The Village Tea Room was our destination for lunch, we are well known by the ladies looking after us, as we had been earlier this year.  Hot beef stotties and crab sandwiches were the main items chosen from the extensive menu.  A couple of us had cake.  After we had eaten, Steve somehow ended up getting his shoulders massaged.  

Some of the group had decided they only wanted to do half of the walk so we bid our goodbyes and the rest of us headed back to Warkworth. Rather than go the same route back, Martin suggested shortening the walk back by walking over the sand dunes. With the promise of more cake in Warkworth, everyone concurred. So, off we went.  Martin, Pete, Debbie and Mal strode off at quite a pace with everyone else following behind.  We got to the rocky area and Steve decided to re-enact his fall for those of us who missed it the first time.

Back at Warkworth, once we had cooled down and stretched, some of us headed to another of our favourite tea rooms, Bertrams. More cake and tea before we all headed off home.

Thank you to Martin for being my volunteer, Russell and Steve for their photographs and everyone for coming along, I hope you enjoyed it.

See you on 5th November for the Lesbury Nordic Walk, hopefully.

Sat 15th October 2016

Pilgrims Way

Pilgrims Way

Group met up at The Barn At Beal with several taking advantage of a coffee.  After a discussion on the best thing to wear on ones feet we set of along the cycle way to the start of the causeway.

Walking along the causeway was not as frightening as it can be as there were only a few cars using it.  Having crossed the bridge over the South Low we stepped onto the sands.  Several members of the group took of boots and socks off to walk it bare foot.

This was one of the driest crossings Mike had made with just the odd shallow pool of water.
About half way across there is a very muddy section, Mike had been told that if he went more to the south of the posts it was less muddy and sure enough it was slimy but only not a clarty as trying to follow the posts.

Once round the muddy section we re-joined the line of the poles and reached the second refuge, with one brave soul climbing up for the sheer fun of it!  Even the stream that runs near the end of the posts had only an inch or two of water in it.

Having reached the island at Chare Ends we headed into the village of Holy Island for a quick coffee.  The group reassembled one hour later at Chare Ends.  From here we could see that the tide had turned as there was less sand exposed.

So without further ado we set off after four of the group decided to walk back via the causeway.  The first part couple of hundred yards was a lot wetter than the outward journey but it then sand must rise just enough for us to leave the watery bits behind and once more the walk back was relatively dry.

As we approached the bridge again over the South Low we could see a large mixed flock of swans swimming in the water and a solitary sea up out on the sands.  One of the group got quite close to the seal and took a photo.

By now the group who had walked the causeway joined us for the final walk uphill back to the Barn at Beal.