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Sun 27th May 2018

Bardon Mill and Roman Wall walk

Bardon Mill and Roman Wall walk

Bardon Mill and Roman Wall walk – May 19th

It was a beautiful morning as the walkers for the day’s walk met at Bardon Mill – a blue and cloudless sky, not a breath of wind and pleasantly warm. Almost certainly due to the other main event of the day our group was smaller than usual and the dynamics also different with more men than women walkers!

Mark introduced himself to those who had not walked with him before and after outlining the walk, set off through the pottery yard and over the A69 and up the quiet and very dry valley to the first place of interest, Vindolanda where he outlined the basic purpose and history of this Roman fort/township. Our route took us on a country lane to the Sill at Once Brewed – this is the new flagship visitor centre of Northumberland National park – and everyone agreed how impressive it is, especially with excellent views of “the wall” and the Whinsill in the distance.

We made our way to Hadrian’s Wall path and headed east towards Housesteads passing by the iconic tree at Sycamore gap. Rather than take the “low path” Mark led the walk to the path which closely followed the wall and overlooked the loughs below the crags. Absolutely outstanding views of the wall and surrounding countryside were enjoyed. Our lunch stop was just before we reached Housesteads and Mark gave a further brief talk about the wall, the soldiers who manned it and this best preserved of any Roman fort in Britain.

The route back to Bardon Mill took us over the Military road and on a poorly defined footpath over Thorngrafton Moor to Thorngrafton and from there on the road, under the A69 to our starting point.

All confirmed this was a lovely walk made all the more enjoyable with such a perfect day for walking.

Tue 15th May 2018

Northumberland Coastal Challenge Walk 2018

Northumberland Coastal Challenge Walk 2018

On May 7th 350 walkers took place in this years Northumberland Coastal Challenge Walk.

After registering in Alnmouth we transported them up to Budle Bay, just North of Bamburgh. From here they set off on their 26.2-mile journey back down the Northumberland Coast Path to Alnmouth.

Well done to everybody who took part, it was a great day.




Next years event is on Monday 6th May - more here.


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