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Mon 28th November 2016

Lesbury Nordic Walk

Lesbury Nordic Walk

This was the walk which was rearranged from a few weeks earlier due to really bad weather making the route dangerous.

Two newbies joined the group Chris and Helen.  We had a quick run through of the technique.

The group photograph was taken at the Lesbury Old Bridge which is an ancient monument. Then we had a warm up with Steve singing the Hokey Cokey.

Crossing the road we got to the start of the walk which started with a hill/incline/mountain depending who you speak to.  Mary was not a happy bunny, she doesn’t like uphill bits at the best of time but definitely not at the beginning of a walk. 

Martin took up the lead with Kate and started at a good pace, the group as always walked at their own pace.  We walked under the Lesbury Viaduct., which replaced a wooden trestle structure built for the Newcastle and Berwick Railway, in use from 1847. Together with other replacements of wooden bridges on the line, it was designed by Robert Stephenson and built in 1849.

The walk went along the route of the old railway line making it a lovely flat walk.  The walkers at the front could hear some caterwauling, which turned out to be Steve singing (?) Christmas carols.  We were to be serenaded regularly by him and Russell throughout the day.

We followed the path to the Aln Valley Railway before heading up to Cawledge Farm, quick stop for some of the group to pet the very friendly Shetland pony. 

The footpath took us through a woodland and over the Cawledge Burn.  We stopped on the footbridge and Steve very kindly took a photo of the group.  The woodland was very picturesque and we saw some interesting mushrooms/funghi

Next up on the walk was a small pond which is a very peaceful area.  We stayed here for a few moments before heading down to the Cawledge Burn and  the point of the walk that we knew we may get wet feet, luckily the heavy rain had pushed some debris down so that the burn wasn’t very high, no fallers which was good news.

Another slight incline took us back to the old railway line and back to the Viaduct and Lesbury.

The Coach Inn wasn’t able to take us all so some people headed home and a few of us went to Alnmouth and an old favourite “The Village Tea Room” for tea and cakes.

This was a really enjoyable walk, as always the group were friendly, chatty and entertaining.

Thank you to our photographers, Steve and Russell.  Thanks to Martin for volunteering.

Special thank you to everyone for coming along and I really hope you enjoyed it.

Our next Nordic walk and indeed the last for 2016 is the Christmas walk taking us up to the Christmas tree on top of Simonside.

I hope to see you there but if not have a lovely Christmas and hopefully see you in the New Year.

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.

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 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.