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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.

Julie x

Fri 4th November 2016

Edlingham

Edlingham

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 1920’s 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 hadn’t 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 Cuthbert’s 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.

Julie x