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One step at a time

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Janet, pictured front centre, back in 2017

Having the courage to try something new and take ourselves out of our comfort zone is daunting, but that's exactly what Janet Scott did when she joined us on our guided walk series four years ago. It was an experience that changed her life. Here, she tells us her story ...

"Come and walk the Northumberland Coast Path with us" they said back in April 2017.  I have been on an extraordinary personal journey ever since!

The year did not start off great for me and I found myself overwhelmed, unable to cope with family loss and struggle, feeling isolated and alone.  Then I came across an invitation from Northumberland AONB advertised in the Northumberland Gazette.  South Shields born and bred I found walking my own coastline, together with the beautiful Cleadon Hills nature reserve helped me deal with anxiety.  Problems seem to shrink in the great outdoors.  So what's on offer in Northumberland?  Sign up and find out.... I did!
Six wonderful Wednesdays, a stage at a time, linear walks getting the bus back. I was full of it back at work on a Thursday, boasting the delights of coast and castles, fauna and flora and making new friends along the way.  My boss may have regretted granting me those Wednesdays off to attend!
At the end of our 62 mile journey along the outstanding Northumberland coast I felt a tad sad.  What am I going to do now?  What next, I can't stop now?  Others felt the same, we'd had such a fantastic journey of discovery and before long we were exchanging details to meet up and continue exploring together.... And we have!
Two years later I moved up to Northumberland, attended a navigation course run by Northumberland National Park and recently started to organise and lead fellow members of a walking group.  I can always be found either on the coast or in the Cheviots gassing away to anyone willing to listen about how lucky we are to be in the beauty that is Northumberland.  
After more than a year of devastating deaths, lockdowns and restrictions I wondered what to do, to get people out and about, improve our mental health and fitness?  I know!  Walk the Northumberland Coast Path again, this time leading my own group of willing walkers on all six stages.  It worked for me!
We just completed all 62 miles/100km mid July, doing the same, one stage per week and it was another amazing journey. Not only did it bring back happy memories of 2017 but personal appreciation and delight to be able to share it with more and more people.  Spread the love that's what I say!
Right.... I'm off to study a map or two and look for more possibilities and more Janet's Jaunts!

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Walking towards Beadnell on the Northumberland Coast Path
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see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil ... sort of!
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Alnmouth, pictured from Church Hill
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Northumberland Coast Path in the glorious sunshine