Wylam and Ovingham – 10th February 2019

WylamOvingham - Wylam_10022019J-22.jpg

We all met up in Wylam. This was only a small group, so we promptly did a warm up and were on our way. The weather was remarkable for a February day, sunny and relatively warm, especially in the sun.

We set off towards Newburn at a good pace and it didn’t take long to get there. Once there we decided that a cup of tea was in order. The tea shop was very busy but it was lovely outside, so we decided to sit by the river.

WylamOvingham - Wylam_10022019M-15.jpg

The next leg of the walk passed one of the boat clubs on this part of the river and then crossed the bridge at Newburn. It was great to see all of the rowers out on the river. We then followed the river back upstream on the opposite side and on towards Wylam.

WylamOvingham - Wylam_10022019M-3.jpg

At Wylam two of our walkers dropped out and the rest carried on to Low Prudhoe. This section was interesting as it was effectively over industrial spoil heaps from the war when ICI manufactured fertiliser. These heaps are called the Spetchells and are made of chalk. This chalk environment is unique in Northumberland and many flora and fauna that would normally only be found in the South of England, can be found here.

WylamOvingham - Wylam_10022019M-11.jpg

On reaching Low Prudhoe we visited the Riverside Cafe in the Tyne Riverside Country Park. We enjoyed a slightly overdue lunch with several of us having the amazing ham broth and cheese scone.

Keen to get back and off to the final tea room of the day, we speeded off and covered the three miles back to the car park in record time.

We finished off at Daniel Farm Shop and Tea Room, before heading home.

Look forward to seeing you again soon.

Julie & Martin


Home | Blog | Walks | Sign-up | Contact

Strolls with poles – Nordic Walking for Fun and Fitness

Howick Hall Gardens – 17th February 2019

Howick - Howick_17022019J-16.jpg

This was an unusual walk as we started with a guided tour of the gardens with Peter, a volunteer at Howick Hall Gardens.  Peter was incredibly knowledgeable about the trees within the gardens, explaining how they are labelled, where they come from and who has collected the seeds.  We walked through the sensory garden, provided by the Autism Society and around the blankets of snowdrops.

Howick - Howick_17022019J-25.jpg

We completed the morning with a visit to St Michael’s and All Angels Church. Peter gave us the history of some of the tombs within the graveyard.

We said thank you and goodbye to Peter and went to the Earl Grey Teahouse for lunch.  As usual Martyn was unlucky in that the cheese scones had sold out.

The afternoon saw most of us head over the road to the arboretum, following the route for the long walk.  We reached the pond where we saw swans, eider ducks (also known as Cuddy ducks), 7 herons, 2 buzzards and 5 roe deer.

Howick - Howick_17022019J-26.jpg

We finished off the day with another visit to the Teahouse, where we enjoyed a cream tea of fruit scones, clotted cream and blackcurrant jam.  Delicious.

I hope you enjoyed the day and I look forward to seeing you soon.

Julie x


Home | Blog | Walks | Sign-up | Contact

Strolls with poles – Nordic Walking for Fun and Fitness

Learn to Nordic Walk at Wallington – 9th February 2019

Wallington-LearnToNordicWalk - WallingtonTraining_09022019-16.jpg

This was the first “Learn to Nordic Walk at Wallington”. So, it was not only a learning experience for the walkers but for us too. We met everyone in the Visitors Centre and introduced ourselves to them. It turned out that one of the ladies was Polish, giving another meaning to Strolls With Poles. We gathered their details before giving them a little instruction on how to attach themselves to the poles and explaining the origin of Nordic walking.



The training was to take place on the green near the coffee shop. On reaching there, Julie taught the first 6 steps of the technique, with Anne helping to demonstrate, including some partner exercises before letting them try out the technique.

The river walk

Once they had mastered the basics, it was time to try it out for real. Martin lead the group out of the grounds and into the gardens. Some of the walkers, that hadn’t been to Wallington before, were already remarking how beautiful the gardens are and it’s still winter. We headed down towards the river but quickly found that we needed to make a diversion. The river was high and the stepping stones were under water. Luckily, there is a road that runs down to the bridge, where it’s possible to cross the river and rejoin the river path.

Wallington-LearnToNordicWalk - WallingtonTraining_09022019-13.jpg

We followed the river path from the bridge. Already, some of the group were commenting about how the poles made a difference, especially with hills. Along the way, Julie and Dave spotted 3 deer. This group of deer are known to roam the area by the river.

Towards the end of the walk, there are a couple of hills, to test the technique. They all managed them with ease.

Martin lead the group in front of the house and towards the dragon heads, that can be seen as you approach Wallington. The last group photograph of the day was taken and we went off to cool down.

The coffee shop

Everyone took advantage of the coffee shop to warm up and enjoy refreshments, before saying their goodbyes and going off to investigate Wallington further.

We hope you enjoyed the session and look forward to seeing you all again on another walk.

Julie & Martin x


Home | Blog | Walks | Sign-up | Contact

Strolls with poles – Nordic Walking for Fun and Fitness

Chopwell Woods – 27th January 2019

We arrived at Chopwell Woods early with everyone looking forward to a good day of walking. When everyone arrived, we did the usual warm up before setting off.

The morning walk

The intention was to follow the red route (River Route), in the leaflet from The Forestry Commission, followed by the green route (Boundary Walk). The’re weren’t any red markers making it was difficult to follow however a great route was found and it was a lovely walk. The woodland and views were spectacular and we saw a few Red Kites at the Bird of Prey viewpoint. We came back to the car park for lunch. Whilst standing in the shelter we realised that the red route had been changed, according to the information board.

Chopwell - ChopwellWoods_27012019M-1.jpg

The afternoon walk

After lunch we set off following the green walk. The scenery is significantly different to the dense woodland on the southern part of the morning walk. This part is mainly to the North of the wood and higher up the hill. Parts of this section followed the old railway line through the wood. Further on we passed an information board and decided to investigate. We found some coal tubs in a small cutting. This was an old route used to transport coal, using a track-way, according to the information board. The day was getting on and people were tiring so we made our way back to the car park, where we cooled down and debated which tea shop to visit.

Chopwell - ChopwellWoods_27012019M-8.jpg

The tea shop

It was decide that we should go to one of our favourite tea rooms at the Thornley Woodland Centre. Off we went for the traditional tea/coffee, cakes and whatever else. It was excellent, as usual.

Well done everyone on a difficult walk you all did brilliantly.

Look forward to seeing you soon.

Julie x


Home | Blog | Walks | Sign-up | Contact

Strolls with poles – Nordic Walking for Fun and Fitness