Why do people pay to walk with Strolls With Poles? Good question. We are often asked “why should I pay to walk with Strolls with Poles”, when I can go for a walk on my own?
There are a few reasons and we thought it would be useful to explain why? These are the reasons our walkers have told us.
- Variation of walks
- Walk Leaders
- Nordic Walking instruction
The majority of our walkers start walking with us on their own. Apart from the safety aspect a lot of walkers prefer not to walk alone. You will often hear us before you see us as there is always a lot of chatter.
Of course if talking isn’t for you then that is okay too.
The group are so friendly and welcome everyone no matter how often we see them.
Some of the walkers have made great friendships and see each other outside of the scheduled walks.
The group love nothing more, after any walk, than to visit one of the many tearooms in the area. Indeed recceing the tearoom is as important (to the walkers) as the walk.
Strolls with Poles and our walkers believe very strongly in supporting the local businesses in our fantastic area. Often the walkers will revisit tearooms with their family at other times.
We take incredible pride and a huge amount of time varying our walks in both distance and area. We only duplicate the most popular walks, eg Pilgrim’s Causeway.
Our group is very supportive of each other. Ensuring no one walks on their own (unless they want to) and helping or motivating (especially on hills).
Outside of walks the group supports each other. One of our members has undergone cancer treatment recently and other members have visited or sent text messages.
Julie and Martin are our principal walk leaders. However we also have a couple of walk leaders within our numbers who we can call on if needed.
The walk leaders are all fully First Aid trained and Julie and Martin carry fully stocked first aid kits.
Julie and Martin carry GPS, maps and fully charged mobile phones. We also carry storm shelters especially when we go into the hills as it may be a while before help can reach us.
Nordic Walking Instruction
Both Julie and Martin are qualified Nordic Walking Instructors and have a lot of experience between them.
Julie started Nordic Walking in 2005 and qualified as an instructor in 2012. Martin started Nordic Walking in 2011 and qualified as an instructor in 2019.
We hold Learn to Nordic Walking Sessions and once you are on a walk, Julie and Martin are happy to provide extra tuition if you want it.
Interestingly, safety is not one of the most important reasons for our walkers. However it is the most important part of the walks for Julie and Martin.
All of our routes are recce’d and a risk assessment carried out. The risk assessment identifies possible issues we may encounter and gives us the opportunity to look at options, whether that is to vary the route or take the necessary precautions.
We also take into account the rescue services which are available in an emergency. We don’t want to risk anyone being hurt or injured, whether it be us, our walkers or those that may be needed to help.
We walk in many areas, from urban to coastal to farmland, as well as in the Cheviot hills. The risks can include traffic, other route users (walkers/cyclists), tides, livestock, weather and stiles.
We take great care in checking tide times. Better to err on the side of caution and leave extra time (especially with regard to Holy Island Causeway).
With regard to livestock on our walks, we encounter sheep, cows, calves, bullocks and bulls regularly. We are respectful of all of these animals and, prior to crossing a field containing animals, we get the group together and give advice on how to pass through them, if there is no alternative route.
The weather is one risk we are not able to control in any way. However we keep a very close check on the MetOffice weather forecast for a few days before a walk and we will cancel any walk where the weather will make it dangerous.
The one weather that we cannot Nordic Walk in is thunder/lightning and must cancel any walk where this is forecast.
We can walk in the rain, however heavy rain can make some of our routes slippery or on occasion very boggy. Heavy rain can also make a walk a chore rather than a pleasurable experience.
Hopefully, this tells you why people pay to walk with us.
Strolls with Poles – Nordic Walking for Fun and Fitness