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Tue 24th April 2018

Cresswell to Warkworth 2018

Cresswell to Warkworth 2018

It was an overcast morning as the 22 walkers for the day (plus 3 Shepherds Walks volunteers) met in Warkworth to board our coach to transport us to our walk’s starting point at Cresswell. On the bus Mark introduced himself and gave a brief outline of the walk and asked Andrea to be the day’s official photographer!

We were fortunate to view the magnificent vista of Druridge Bay as we began our walk on the sand – the tide having just started to go out – before the weather deteriorated with thick clouds and light rain in evidence. At our first coffee stop, Mark talked about the beach, the remaining signs of the 2nd World War defences, the extensive sand excavation in the past and open cast coal mining. Our lunch stop was at the visitor centre where we were able to shelter from the now heavy rain and enjoy our sandwiches in comparative comfort.

Despite the rain everyone’s spirits remained high, and to our delight, as we resumed our route the weather changed completely and the remainder of the day was spent in sunshine and clear blue skies. Continuing on the beach we reached Low Hauxley and pressed on to Amble – a once vibrant port from which local coal was transported and which had thriving fishing and ship building industries. Over this section lovely views of the coastline and Dunstanburgh Castle in the distance and Coquet Island were enjoyed.

The final stretch took us beside the Coquet  estuary with our destination – Warkworth Castle -  prominent and drawing ever closer. On reaching the grounds of the castle Mark spoke of the brief history of the castle and some of the key historical events that had occurred in the village over the centuries. He then wished everyone a safe journey home and thanked them for their company.

Mark wished the 7 walkers raising money for St Leonards Hospice, York well with their endeavours and expressed his thanks to Andrea, Jackie and Jean for their assistance.

Mark Nordmann  

Mon 16th April 2018

Alnwick Pastures - 2018

Alnwick Pastures - 2018

Our Nordic Walking programme have certainly been blessed with good weather.

After a wet week it thankfully dawned as a nice sunny day on Saturday.

After meeting up in Alnwick we skirted around Alnwick Gardens before heading down to Alnwick Pastures.

Alnwick Pastures and the River Aln that runs through the pastures were designed by Lancelet ‘Capability’ Brown, the famous landscape gardener.

Alnwick Castle was looming above us so it was a great spot for our group shot and what a stunning backdrop for our Nordic Walk.

As we continued on we passed the famous Lion Bridge before continuing on.

After again crossing the River Aln we climbed gradually back into Alnwick and entertained the locals by doing our cool down exercises whilst Alnwick Market took place.

Mon 26th March 2018

Humbleton Hill 2018

Humbleton Hill 2018

The walkers for the day met at Wooler Common carpark and Mark introduced himself (and Wendy and Hector who would be back marking the walk)and welcomed everyone and gave a brief outline of the day’s walk. The weather was perfect for a walk in the hills – sunny, clear and no wind.

The climb up Humbleton Hill had some walkers breathing heavily but Mark assured them it would be worth the effort as the panoramic views from the summit would be exceptional  - and so it proved with the snow-covered Cheviot and Hedgehope to the south, the North Sea to the north and Yeavering Bell to the west. Mark explained that this was one of the ancient hill forts in the Cheviot Hills and also the site of the battle of Humbleton 1402.

Our route then skirted  Harehope Hill to Gleadsclough where we stopped for lunch. Mark talked in greater detail about the history of the area and in particular the battles of Otterburn and Humbleton. He also pointed out examples of glacial meltwater channels. Suitably fortified our group began the gradual climb up to St Cuthberts Way and were lucky enough to see some of the wild goats with their young close to the path. Mark talked about St Cuthbert and then advised that if we were going to get wet and muddy feet it would be over the next mile or so – as it turned out this was not the case.

More wonderful views of the Cheviot Hills were enjoyed as we walked along St Cuthberts Way back to our starting point.