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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 hadnít 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 Cuthbertís 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.

Sat 15th October 2016

Pilgrims Way

Pilgrims Way

Group met up at The Barn At Beal with several taking advantage of a coffee.  After a discussion on the best thing to wear on ones feet we set of along the cycle way to the start of the causeway.

Walking along the causeway was not as frightening as it can be as there were only a few cars using it.  Having crossed the bridge over the South Low we stepped onto the sands.  Several members of the group took of boots and socks off to walk it bare foot.

This was one of the driest crossings Mike had made with just the odd shallow pool of water.
About half way across there is a very muddy section, Mike had been told that if he went more to the south of the posts it was less muddy and sure enough it was slimy but only not a clarty as trying to follow the posts.

Once round the muddy section we re-joined the line of the poles and reached the second refuge, with one brave soul climbing up for the sheer fun of it!  Even the stream that runs near the end of the posts had only an inch or two of water in it.

Having reached the island at Chare Ends we headed into the village of Holy Island for a quick coffee.  The group reassembled one hour later at Chare Ends.  From here we could see that the tide had turned as there was less sand exposed.

So without further ado we set off after four of the group decided to walk back via the causeway.  The first part couple of hundred yards was a lot wetter than the outward journey but it then sand must rise just enough for us to leave the watery bits behind and once more the walk back was relatively dry.

As we approached the bridge again over the South Low we could see a large mixed flock of swans swimming in the water and a solitary sea up out on the sands.  One of the group got quite close to the seal and took a photo.

By now the group who had walked the causeway joined us for the final walk uphill back to the Barn at Beal.

Sun 9th October 2016

Swarland Wood Nordic Walk

Swarland Wood Nordic Walk

This was one of our shorter walks but nonetheless still beautiful.

As is becoming the norm we had some new walkers to Nordic walking, Jo, Julie, Nazia and Zahed join us. 

Jo and Julie were taught the technique whilst Anne looked after everyone at the coffee shop.

Poles handed out, we gathered for a warm up.  I introduced myself and Anthony (my volunteer for the day) who was going to be back marker to make sure we didnít lose anyone.

We headed off along the road past the golf course to the start of Swarland Wood, group photo taken, we headed through the wood, there was a lot of chatter and laughter behind me. 

We were walking along a path when we came across a frog/toad (not sure which) and shouted to everyone to be careful they didnít stab it with their poles.

This was quite an uneventful walk until one of the group (I promised I wouldnít mention her name in the blog) spotted some white mushrooms growing on a tree and wondered if she could eat them, we all said we didnít know so it was best to leave them alone, she picked one to have a look but didnít eat it, we walked on and saw a fly agaric (or smurf house).

We got back to Nelsons at the Park, for our usual post walk snack.  The food was amazing, the chatter continued until everyone took their leave and went home.

Thank you Anthony for being an excellent back marker.

Our next Nordic walk is on Saturday 22nd October 2016 and is from Warkworth to Alnmouth, we will be stopping for lunch in Alnmouth before returning back to Warkworth.

I hope everyone enjoyed the Swarland Wood Nordic Walk and I hope to see you all very soon.

Julie x