Walking is an excellent way to build your fitness, improving overall health and stamina and keeping you trim. It can be very sociable, walking and chatting helps you stay in touch and can lift your mood.
Walking the dog is very good for both you and the dog. It is also sociable – dogs are a good talking point! Or if you don’t have your own dog —there are plenty of opportunities for walking other people’s dogs instead.
Also look out for special interest walks e.g. Northumberland Wildlife Trust’s birds or wildlife guided walks and self-led trails, National Trust walks and some led by Talking Matters designed to help people with mental health conditions such as depression. You can also train to be a walk leader yourself.
The groups listed here have regular walks of various lengths, find them online or ring as below.
Northumberland health walks
www.activenorthumberland.org.uk and Facebook Health Walks
North: 01670 629330 Jane Hardy
Alnwick, Amble, Berwick, Glendale (Wooler), Rothbury, Seahouses
Central & South East: 07860 504763 David Gregory
Ashington, Brockwell, Blyth, Cramlington, East Bedlington, Morpeth, Newbiggin, Pegswood, Seaton Sluice, Seghill, Widdrington.
West: 01670 622368, Loraine Oliver
Allendale, Bellingham, Corbridge, Haltwhistle, Hexham, Prudhoe, Stocksfield, Wark.
Northumbria Ramblers Association
Website gives details of times and venues, otherwise contact as below:
Alnwick, 01165 711797, Colin Duquemin
Berwick, (no contact number)
Hexham, 0191 413 1724, Julia Forster
Morpeth, 01670 511570, Vicky Ludbrook
Ponteland, 01661 886310, Steve Edwards
Northumbria Short Circuits, 01670 731340 Owen Oliver 4½ – 6½mile walks.
See also www.walkingforhealth.org.uk
More outdoor activities
Here are some more unusual clubs to try. Other outdoor activities e.g. Archery, Fishing, Riding, Sailing, as well as Bowling, Cricket, Golf and Tennis can be found on the website at www.northumberlandlife.org or in the Yellow Pages directory or at Yell.com
Haydon Bridge Nature Club
01434 684486, Robert Ford
Fortnightly lectures on nature, wildlife and the environment. From Sept to March on the first and third Thurs of the month 7.15pm—9.00pm. Country walks for the rest of the year.
Land of Oak & Iron
Woodland Conservation Team meets Thurs 10.00am—2.00pm in and around Prudhoe. Lots of planned events to explore your local area while meeting like-minded people. Ring for details.
Newcastle & Tyneside Orienteers (NATO)
01661 843880, Patrick Smyth
Orienteering events and courses throughout Northumberland and the NE. Open to all with coaching available. Club nights first Wed of the month at Prudhoe High School and third Wed at various Morpeth venues. Ring for details or see website.
Northumberland Wildlife Trust
0191 284 6884
The Hauxley Discovery centre at Druridge Bay offers wonderful bird and wildlife watching year round, walks and trails, events, activities and a café.There are 60 more reserves across the county, plus links with local bird and wildlife groups including Alnwick, Amble, Bellingham, Berwick, Coquetdale and Ponteland. Varied volunteering opportunities, ring for details.
Ponteland Wildlife Group, St Mary’s Church Hall, Thornhill Road, Ponteland, NE20 9PZ
01661 822210, Chris Wright
Friendly group meet first Tue of the month, Sept—April from 7.30pm. Varied programme of talks, occasional walks and events in Spring and Summer, all welcome. Wildlife sightings encouraged and recorded.
For more activities, hobbies, clubs and groups see pages 6-36 in the Golden Guide Northumberland