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Tue 6th August 2013

Edlingham Nordic Walk

Edlingham Nordic Walk

This was Julie’s first time leading a walk and the day started brightly with everyone meeting early beside St John Baptist Church, Edlingham.  There was a good mix of men and women.

Julie started by introducing the group to Martin, who had been volunteered to come along, she also explained the route we were going to take.  Alison was nominated to be official photographer with Beth also taking photographs.

After the warm up we set off and it was quickly evident that some of the group were going to be setting a fast pace so Martin went ahead with them waiting at each gate for the rest of the group to catch up.

We walked over the bridge at the burn and we were met with a rain shower and the first steep hill on which a field of cows, calves and a bull were grazing.  Everyone set off at their own pace and the cattle paid little attention to us.  Two of the ladies stopped to look at the field mushrooms and wishing they’d brought something to carry them home in.  We all got to the top and were really glad we had the poles to help us.

Next was the walk through the woods and Scott was leading the way, suddenly everyone stopped.  Scott had spotted a toad!  A few minutes were spent looking at the toad then we were on our way.

The walk took us up another hill and at the top Julie opened a bar of chocolate with most people partaking.  We continued towards the little cottage where group photographs were taken and then onto the lane and down to the road.  There wasn’t a lot of traffic on the road so we made good progress and turned left onto another quieter road.  

We walked through the houses and as Julie had spotted a peacock the week before everyone kept their eyes peeled to see if they could spot it.  It must’ve heard the clicking of the poles or the chatter as it was nowhere to be seen. We also spotted a field in the distance that appeared to be very colourful. A member of the group informed us that this was the combined harvester graveyard and had been there for some time and was still growing.

Another walk through the cow field took us downhill and again we lost the speedier people in the group but as always everyone went at their own pace.  When we got to the field just before the cars Scott spotted peas in pods growing and everyone stopped to grab a few and eat the freshest peas you could get.

We finished at the cars and after Julie told everyone what was coming up – and the dismay that the next Nordic walk isn’t until 21st September – we did our cool down exercises and everyone went their separate ways – mostly to Alnwick for a cup of tea.

This was a really good walk and everyone was chatting to each other all the way around. Julie hopes to see you all on the 21st September at the next Nordic walk. 

Sun 28th July 2013

Pilgrims Causeway to Holy Island

Pilgrims Causeway to Holy Island

As I woke up in the morning it was literally pouring down and we even had an extreme weather warning for heavy rain. But looking at the weather forecast it was (hopefully) going to brighten up in the afternoon and with the walk starting at 1.00 pm we could have planned it better.

As I pulled up at the start of the walk it looked as if they had got the weather forecast completely wrong as it was pouring down, but one by one the cars pulled up and what a hardy bunch of walkers we have at Shepherds Walks. Not one no show and as they all pulled on their waterproofs everybody was well up for the walk ahead.

After a quick introduction and overview of the day we set off along the road before joining the pilgrim’s route as we passed over the sand. We negotiated plenty of large water channels initially as it was just two hours after safe crossing time as we started our journey following the ‘tall poles’.

Upon reaching the first of the two refuge shelters one of the walkers could not resist climbing the ladders to look at the view and to read the information panel to us all.

Walking across the pilgrims route to Holy Island it truly special, it is very different than walking in the hills, your eyes scan the lying water looking for the best route through this special landscape.

Good pace was being achieved and with the rain stopped and hoods down the heads of the group really lifted as everybody really savoured and enjoyed this special walk.

The next stop was for what is becoming our traditional group shot (thanks Martin) and then it was not long before reaching Holy Island.

We had planned a very different layout of the day for today. As we reached Holy Island everybody then had a couple of hours to visit the sights, walk around Holy Island and explore this special place at their own pace before meeting up for the transfer back to their cars.

Well done to everybody, some great hardy walkers who never got out off by a bit of rain.

Thu 18th July 2013

St Oswalds Way Part 5 - Boulmer to Warkworth

St Oswalds Way Part 5 - Boulmer to Warkworth

With the weather being what it has been Hot, sunny and decidedly Sticky, Sundance decided that he would be pushing things just a bit too far if he performed the old soft shoe shuffle and got even hotter weather.  So he left it to the Fate’s to decide on what to do.  As it turned out it was a wise decision. 

Overnight mist was slowly burning back to the coast and as we parked up at Walkworth the sun was trying to sine through the mist although by the time the mini bus had taken us to Boulmer for the start of the walk it had not made much progress.  After the group photo we set off south pass Boulmer Haven walking to Seaton Point here the path takes you along the beach to Foxton Hall a short loop over the golf course brings you back on to the cliffs above Marden Rocks.  From here the path goes between two golf courses.  At the Gun Battery the path descends down into Alnmouth and passes a comfort stop.  From here we followed the river inland and as we had not had a 11 o’clock coffee break we stopped for an early lunch.

After lunch we crossed Alnmouth road bridge and now walked along a cycle way for 3km which eventually took us to about 200m opposite Alnmouth but on the south side  of the river.  We now continued south along the track on the landward side of the dunes before passing through yet another caravan site and yet another golf course. Part way along the golf course we took a path that lead us to the beach. A hard walk along the beach for 1km brought us back to the cars.

Another dry walk that was not too hot due to the sea mist early on and a cooling breeze for the rest of the day.