This was our longest walk on the programme so far this year and would take us around Herrington Country Park before heading towards Penshaw Monument and down to walk along the River Wear.
As we started we spotted another group of Nordic walkers who we would see later on in the morning.
We started walking in the Country Park, around the lake and visiting the Miners Memorial Garden and sculptures along the way. Various group photos were taken at these points.
Crossing the main road and heading up the hill towards Penshaw Monument there were a few cows and bullocks who are obviously used to people and dogs as they didn’t even lift their heads.
There is a well placed seat half way up the hill and an opportunity for a group photo with the iconic Penshaw Monument as the backdrop. We walked down to the River Wear.
Anne had been walking along the River earlier this week and had seen a kingfisher. Kiirsty was so excited and hoped we would see it again. Otters and seals had also been spotted along and everyone kept their eyes wide open in the hope of spotting them, unfortunately with no luck.
As we stopped for lunch down by the River there were squeals of delight from Kirsty, Anne, Chris and Diane as they had spotted the kingfisher.
Following the River we passed a boat which had been wrecked during the Beast from the East.
Part of the route was the old railway line and the pace was picked up especially by Kirsty and Chris. The beauty of a disused railway line is that it is flat which was just as well as we were about to have a challenge walking up the hill to Penshaw Monument.
We ended the walk back at Herrington Country Park with a cool down and stretch. Some of us went to Penshaw Tea Room where we had to wait a while for a table but we were rewarded with our delicious sandwiches and cake.
Well done everyone on a difficult walk you all did brilliantly.
A short teaching session started this shorter walk as we had 3 new walkers, Sue, Pete and Emma joining us.
The rest of the group met up with us and after a warm up we headed down towards Druridge beach and pushed on with techniques getting better as we powered on.
The Northumberland coast has many WW2 coastal defences (tank traps) and we walked past more of these remarkable structures.
On heading back to the Nature Reserve, Pete and Sue mentioned how they were feeling their shoulders and arms and Emma commented on how much better her posture was. In their first walk they were seeing and feeling instant positives.
We completed the walk by walking around the whole of the Nature Reserve. We spotted a group of twitchers very excited and interested by a bird. I asked what they were watching. They answered with “eider ducks” as they hadn’t seen them often. Martyn said that these ducks in Northumberland are commonly called Cuddy ducks, named after Cuthbert.
On reaching the cars we did a stretch and cool down before heading into The Lookout Cafe for cake and tea.
It was fantastic to see everyone again and to welcome Pete, Sue and Emma and I hope to see you all soon.
The first walk of 2019 saw us visit the town of Newbiggin by the Sea. It was great to welcome everyone back and also Christine’s daughter Stacey, who was with us for her first walk.
Whilst waiting for everyone to arrive we admired the Couples structure standing on the breakwater off Newbiggin by the Sea.
We warmed up and headed towards the beach. We walked past some bollards topped with puffin statues. Cue first group shot of the day.
Once down onto the very soft sand. We moved closer to the waters edge to try and find some firmer sand. Walking on soft sand is very difficult and really works your glutes and legs. The beach is very short so we headed up onto the England Coast Path.
The Coast Path passes through the Sandy Bay Caravan Park which was closed up for the winter so was very quiet.
After passing through the caravan park we moved down to the edge of the River Wansbeck before we walked along the pathway passing under the A189 towards Cambois Rowing Club.
We took the opportunity to stop for lunch by the river before heading back along the same route. The weather was unseasonably warm and a few of us discarded our jackets and were down to t-shirts.
As we came back to Newbiggin by the Sea we stayed up on the promende and stopped at the smaller version of the couple statue and another group photo was taken.
The Newbiggin Maritime Centre was to be our final stop before heading home.
Thank you everyone for joining me and I hope to see you all at another walk.