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Mon 19th October 2015

Nordic Walking Training Saturday 17th October 2015

The weather for the day was perfect, 12° and light clouds in the sky.

We met at the Shepherds Walks shop and sorted out poles.  We headed down to the Riverside to start the training.

We worked through the first 6 basic steps of Nordic walking including the exercises to reiterate the actions.  This didn’t take the whole 2 hours as the steps were picked up very quickly so we headed along the Rothbury Railway line to practice and I could correct and work on any issues, if needed.

We finished the walk and headed back to the shop for lunch before meeting the rest of the group for the walk in the afternoon.

I hope you enjoyed your training and hope to see you on one of our walks very soon.


Tue 29th September 2015

Volcanic Walk - Hedghope Hill

Volcanic Walk - Hedghope Hill

We assembled on probably one of the finest days for walking this year.   Blue skies, no wind, warm and with excellent visibility.This was a challenging walk which comprised three fairly distinct parts.

Firstly, there was the ascent of Hedgehope Hill (714m). Now this hill is steep! But with plenty of rests we made it. As ever the 'gain from the pain’ was all about the views in all compass directions. From the summit we could pick out all of the other hills over 600m in the Cheviot range (Cheviot, Comb Fell, Wyndy Gyle, Cushat Law, Bloodybush Edge).

Secondly, we walked a couple of miles over blanket bog to Comb Fell.  We did this in 'zig zag' fashion as dictated by the wet and not so wet ground. One or two boots went in too deep here and there. We then descended from the fell into the valley…a short leg but requiring a lot of concentration because we were 'off track’.

The third and final leg was along the valley…but we needed to cross the burn thirteen times (counted by Harry) before the track was defined enough to continue.  It was whilst returning along the valley floor that one of our group slipped into the burn.  Myself and other members of the group were well placed to assist her in getting clear of the water. Apart from getting wet from head to toe she was unscathed and bravely walked on….albeit with squelchy boots. We dried our boots a little further on whilst another member of the group took a ‘wild swim’ at Harthope Linn.  I must remember to bring my swimming gear in the future because we now know from first hand evidence that the swim is ‘invigorating”.

Along the way we noted the Alder groves along the river bank, drystone walls, different kinds of mosses (Star, Antler and Sphagnum) and flowers (Tormentil). In the walk description for this walk I mentioned Herons. On cue, at the end of the walk, there was a Heron flypast!  So graceful.  I wish I could really summon up one of these events whenever I wanted to!!  There was good spirit in the group. Katie, the collie dog, was as fresh as a daisy at the end of the day…giving us a display of her jumping skills towards the end of the walk.

This was my final guided walk of the season. It was good to have the company and assistance of Shepherds Walk’s volunteers, Julie and Martin as well Jon himself on this occasion. If you are reading this and you have been on one of my walks then I would like to say that I have enjoyed your company.

Roy Kennard (Hillguide)
Julie Barnett (Volunteer)
Martin Ainscow (Volunteer)

Sun 20th September 2015

Humbleton Hill Nordic Walk - 19 September 2015

Humbleton Hill Nordic Walk - 19 September 2015

We knew this walk wasn't going to be easy for the group as we (me and Laura) had been out and recce'd the walk a couple of weeks earlier.

The weather was absolutely fantastic  Blue skies and sunshine. 

My day started when I was having a cuppa at the Terrace tea shop and chatting to a couple when a lady I didn't know asked if I was Julie, I told her I was and sh said "I thought so, you look the part".  Turns out it was Anni, our new starter to our group but not to nordic walking.

We met the rest of the group at Wooler Common Car Park, where Laura was entertaining everyone.
As usual, introductions were made, warm up done and we headed off. 

First an incline, I refuse to call it a hill because I knew the hill to come.  We got to the top and quick photo taken for the blog/Facebook page, to many complaints.

We walked part of the St Cuthberts Way up to a gate when we turned right down a bank, Laura told us later on that she had heard some rustling when she was furthest back, funny we wondered why she walked extra quickly to catch up to us.

I showed the group which hill we were going up.  They were not keen as it is very steep.  I told them not to worry we weren't making them go that way there is an easier route around the back.
We followed the path through the field of sheep, who all had fluffy wool on the top of their heads where it was growing back.

We went around the bottom of the hill, then Ruth gave a little history lesson to Anni and Kim on the landscape.

No putting it off any more.  We were going up Humbleton Hill.

I encouraged everyone to go at their own pace, rest if/when they needed/wanted to and off we went.
Poor Audrey "Twinkle Toes" Dunn was stuck at the back with Laura "gold star volunteer" Frisby while the rest of us went ahead.

Everyone soon got into pairs, Ruth "Pedometer Bosum" Bull and Anni "new girl" Sanderson were going at a steady pace and poor Kim "pink face" Blackie was at the front with me.  I gave her a few pointers but I soon realised she wouldn't enjoy the walk if she kept going at that pace so I went ahead.

I got to the top, had a comfort break, and then headed back down to the group to shouts of "stop showing off!"

What I didn't know was what Twinkle Toes had said to gold star volunteer apparently it was something about going away.  LOL

The group got to the top.  I'm not sure what they had been complaining about as they weren't totally out of breath and had all talked all the way up.  Once again showing the benefit of nordic walking!
Short stop at the top when sandwiches, pork pies and even nuts "for the Nordic Nuts".

Another photo opportunity and we headed back down taking the route towards St Cuthberts Way.  Laura reminisced about how much she had enjoyed the St Cuthberts Challenge (NOT)

I asked everyone to walk quite close together so I could get an action shot and we continued back to the gate and wood where we had started the walk.

At the cars, we decided not to do a cool down, everyone wanted cake and tea.

We headed down to Wooler and the Terrace cafe, it was still warm so we sat outside.  Cakes, scones, coffee and tea were ordered but we had lost Twinkle Toes.  So I headed along Wooler High Street to find her.  Not to worry our tag line is "we never leave anyone behind" although this usually applies to the actual walk!

Everyone said goodbye, wished Ruth a happy holiday and told Audrey we would see her next year!

I hope you enjoyed the walk, the weather was fabulous, the company amazing and as always, a special thank you to Laura for her amazing help.

The next Nordic walk is Craster on 18th October.

Hope to see you all there.

Thanks again

Julie and Laura x