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Everything you need to start Nordic Walking

ROAD TO RECOVERY How walking can help you heal

10 WONDERFUL WALKS Discover our Cornish trails




elcome to Walk Kernow magazine. Walk Kernow is a Nordic Walking group in Cornwall. Put simply, Nordic Walking uses specially designed poles to enhance your natural walking experience. Each week we run several walks around beautiful areas of the county which members of all ages and all levels of fitness can join. Becoming a member is very simple. Come along to one of our Beginners' Workshops so we can show you how to use the Nordic Walking poles. We will then issue you a membership card, which will remain active for as long as you walk fairly regularly with us. From that point on, you can buy Walk Cards, with five or ten walk options available and come along to as many walks as you like, hiring our poles, or using your own. In this magazine, you’ll find articles on Beginners' Workshops, discover the basic kit that you need (mainly some trousers that dry quickly and some suitable trainerstyle shoes) and find out why Nordic Walking is so beneficial to your health. You can also see photographs of some of the walks we do regularly, although we often add more to the list and try out special ‘one-off’ walks from time to time. Walk Kernow is a very social group, and we have regular social events which you can read more about. If you’d like to know more, do visit out website You can book Beginners' Workshops or walks here and find out more information about Nordic Walking. We hope to Nordic Walk with you soon. Kelly Bennett Founder of Walk Kernow





Everything you need to start Nordic Walking

ROAD TO RECOVERY How walking can help you heal

10 WONDERFUL WALKS Discover our Cornish trails


4 6 10 14 18 20 26

With thanks to Cathy Rhodes Photography

Meet the Team Kelly and the other Walk Leaders

Beginners' Workshops What to bring, what we do, what happens next…

10 Reasons Nordic Walking is good for you

Get your Kit What you need, and what you might just want to ensure you enjoy Nordic Walking in comfort

Recipe for Success Suzy Lowe reveals how Walk Kernow inspired Rustic Cakes

The Walks Trelissick, Chapel Porth, Godolphin, Tehidy, Constantine, Hidden Hut / Melinsey Mill, Coast to Coast and the Gylly Epic

Get Connected Social events and Walk Kernow on Tour



Meet The Team


began Nordic Walking over five years ago. I'd had enough of being overweight and not having the energy to enjoy my life. Diets alone didn't work for me and I hated gyms and classes as being overweight I was very self conscious.I found a Nordic Walking group and before long, I decided that I really enjoyed Nordic Walking‌.it wasn't a race, there was no competition and no one was looking at me thinking how awful I looked because we were all too busy out enjoying ourselves walking and talking. Not only was it good for my confidence and health I found that I was getting some "me" time too, being a mum I needed a break now and again and didn't realise it.


I decided to buy a set of really nice poles, I wanted to make sure I kept on Nordic Walking so I thought if I buy these poles I will HAVE to use them. I then started to calorie count along with the Nordic Walking and the weight began to fall off. I walked twice a week for roughly an hour each time. In about eight months I had lost a total of four stone. I went from squeezing into a size 16 to a trim size 12. The poles, that I still use now, were such a great investment in ME. I hope you will enjoy Nordic Walking as much as I do and can benefit from it as much as I have and still do. Kelly Bennett INWA Nordic Walking Instructor, Founder & Director

Meet our volunteer Walk Leaders, each is a very important part of Walk Kernow. They are all trained by British Nordic Walking and are here to make your Nordic Walks enjoyable and safe. They have all completed a First Aid Outdoor Course and are fully insured.

Adrian BNW Walk Leader Adrian is our voluntary Walk Leader who specialises in the Fast & Furious Walks for those who want a little more of a challenge.

Cathy BNW Walk Leader Cathy is a great photographer catching our wonderful walks on camera. She thoroughly enjoys Nordic Walking and completes longer 30 mile+ challenges.

Tricia BNW Walk Leader Tricia loves Nordic Walking with her dogs, Poppy and Rosie and can certainly keep pace with Adrian. Like Cathy, she enjoys longer Nordic Walking challenges.

Julian BNW Walk Leader Julian is our most recently qualified voluntary Walk Leader. He also enjoys the Fast & Furious Walks and has a passion for Cornish street food.



Beginners' Workshops See if Nordic Walking is for you and learn the basic technique on a Beginners' Workshop at the beautiful Trelissick Gardens



he cloud looming in the sky over Trelissick Gardens wasn’t doing very much to help calm my nerves as I waited for my Beginners’ Workshop in the car park - but I needn’t have worried. There was something about Kelly Bennett’s smile as she greeted me that put me instantly at ease. I knew straight away that I was in good hands. Kelly is an International Nordic

Walking federation (INWA) instructor who founded Walk Kernow in 2012 and she knows exactly how to make sure you feel confident. Because you give your details in advance, Kelly knew exactly the right poles for my height. It was the same with the handful of others who were also arriving for the session. Onto the public outskirts of the gardens we strolled. After a brief

warm up session to get the right muscles ready for action, Kelly got us to move our arms backwards and forwards in a pronounced fashion and offered tips to help us get to grips with the Nordic Walking technique. There followed a series of easy instructions for attaching and detaching the poles, together with the dos and don’ts of using them to get the best out of the support that they offer. And, of course, making sure we didn’t have anyone’s eye out - indeed all the way through the session, health and safety was paramount. Walkers must always bring a bottle of water and take a sip at regular intervals. Before I knew it, we were attempting a few short walks with the poles on a variety of gradients. Uphill was a little trickier but the poles really do help a lot here. When you spread effort between your upper and lower body — getting up a slope has never felt so easy. All the while Kelly was keeping the talk light and already the whole group were happily chatting to one another. During the walk around Trelissick, Kelly took time with each of us to make sure we were following the right technique to get the maximum benefit. But all the tutorial didn’t stop us from being able to enjoy the scenery around us. By now the sun had come out and, though I had been to the actual National Trust property a number of times,

I was yet to experience the tranquillity and beauty of this part the Fal River, beyond the King Harry Ferry slipway and along the woodland pathway along the upper stretches of one of the many creeks. There was still one challenge left, though, and that was to master the steepest part of the Trelissick walk. We were all a little apprehensive, even though Kelly reassured us that there was a bench where we were all to stop halfway up. Poles in hand, I started the climb - I imagined it would involve a lot of straining of the muscles - but it wasn’t like that at all. Nordic Walking really does make


WALK KERNOW ascending hills easier - giving you the exercise you need without harming the parts of the body that shouldn’t be strained. The other people in the group seemed to feel the same. After we reached our start point again and did that all-important warm down so we didn’t feel stiff the next day, most of us signed up for more sessions. Kelly told us that there would be as little or as much guidance as we may want on future walks, along with a variety of paces of

walks to suit our needs. You just buy a Walk Card worth five or ten walks and book the ones you want to attend as you go along. There’s no regular fee that you are committed to, and absolutely no pressure - it would have been just as easy to simply discard the poles and walk away. Or, like many of us, you might just decide to keep Nordic Walking. The choice is yours — and it’s well worth trying the Beginners' Workshop to find out if this is for you.

Book your Beginners' Workshop at Beginners’ Workshops cost £30, quote WALK KERNOW MAGAZINE for a 10% discount. Book online at, e-mail or call 07540478919



10 reasons why Nordic Walking boosts your health There’s more and more evidence that Nordic Walking is especially beneficial to your health.



o, why is Nordic Walking beneficial to your health? There’s more and more evidence that it is. Nordic Walking uses specially designed poles to enhance your natural walking experience. With a technique that is similar to the upper body action of classic cross-country skiing, Nordic Walking becomes a genuinely whole body exercise that can be enjoyed at many levels, from walking for health to athletic Nordic Running, and there’s a

growing stack of evidence that it boosts our physical and mental well-being in many ways ....


It’s a top to toe workout. Because it is based on a technique that is similar to the upper body action of classic cross-country skiing the effort is shared between the upper and lower body and it actually feels easier than normal walking, particularly uphill. It’s really good exercise for problem areas such as the arms, stomach and bottom.


It’s easy on your joints. Nordic Walking puts less strain on joints than other activities and can be very effective for people with mobility issues or those recovering from illness or injury. In fact, Nordic Walking strengthens the muscles that support your joints and helps to prevent osteoporosis, due to the weight bearing aspect of using poles, High impact sports, can be damaging to joints.


You burn more calories. When Nordic Walking you burn up to 46% more calories compared to walking without poles, because you are using up to 90% of your muscles. Added to this, because you are improving muscle tone all over your body, it helps you to achieve and maintain a healthy weight / Body Mass Index.


It reduces aches and pains. Nordic Walking releases tension in the neck and shoulders, improves your posture and strengthens your back and abdominal muscles — all of which help you to avoid neck and back pain, often caused by sitting at a

desk all day. It has also been shown to relieve arthritis and back pain.


You’ll walk taller. There’s no doubt, the use of you upper body muscles and longer strides taken because you are using poles help to improve your posture and gait.


It makes you happy. Exercise, particularly exercise outdoors while surrounded by nature has been proven to improve your mood, alleviating depression, stress and negative thinking.


You’ll sleep well. If you Nordic Walk regularly, you will enjoy deeper, more restful sleep. Just ask some of our former insomniacs!




It prevents disease. Regular Nordic Walking in the great outdoors helps to prevent conditions including heart disease, colon cancer, breast cancer, strokes, high blood pressure and also constipation, gallstones and impotence. It also boosts good cholesterol in your blood, helping to reduce the risk of heart problems.


It’s good for your brain. Outdoor exercise has been proved to improve cognitive function.


Improves your emotional well-being. Studies show regular exercise outdoors creates a sense of well-being and increases feelings of peace, stability and a sense of connection.


Benefits of group exercise Another benefit of Nordic Walking with Walk Kernow is that you can walk in a group regularly. This means that the walks are led by someone you can trust as an expert. All the walks are risk assessed and the group and Walk Leader help to ensure the safety of all the individuals on a walk. A route might be altered for example, if part of the path is very slippery. The social element of Nordic Walking with Walk Kernow also keeps you motivated, supported and ensure the walks don’t feel like hard work, so you’ll be happy to walk further and for longer. The fact you have to book the walk also means you have an ‘appointment’ making it harder to bail out. You also have an opportunity to make new friends.

Making a positive difference to your health and social care services Share your experiences of health and social care services to influence change for the better Call us or visit the website today to have your say and access information about services

Putting you at the heart of health and social care 0800 0381 281


Get your Kit Nordic Walking doesn’t have to be expensive. Here’s our essential guide to kit.


s with most outdoor activities, there is a wealth of kit that you can buy to enjoy Nordic Walking. But when you start out, you really don’t need much at all. What will I need when I start Nordic Walking? When you start out, you really don’t need any special clothing at all. In terms of footwear, we recommend trainers rather than walking boots. The reason we don't wear boots is that the support on the ankle restricts the gait when your pace starts to increase. Cross trail shoes are the best and if your trainers aren't waterproof you can always wear waterproof socks. In terms of clothing, wear trousers and a top which will dry quickly if they get wet, and which have breathable material which won’t make you feel hot and sweaty. Do bring a thin waterproof, and if it is cold some thin layers, but be advised that you will get hot quickly when you start walking. A good test is that you feel a little chilly, but not too cold, as you do the warm-up and wait for the walk to begin.


Footwear Supportive trainers or walking shoes with flexible soles. Trail shoes are usually best as they offer cushioning and endure off-road terrain but allow you to roll your foot, which is part of the Nordic Walking technique. Breathable walking shoes help to keep your feet dry as do waterproof socks.

Clothing Layers as you will get hot quickly. Trousers and a top which will dry quickly if they get wet, and which have breathable material which won’t make you feel hot and clammy. A thin waterproof cap can protect you from the sun and the rain if used with a waterproof hood. Gaiters and/or waterproof trousers for muddy walks. Cyclist clothing allows you to move your upper body.

15% discount at Hawkshead Falmouth Walk Kernow members can get this discount with membership cards. Cannot be used in conjunction with any other offer.

Fleece £30

Cap £12

Hoodie £30

Polo £25

Order your kit online at


WALK KERNOW Choosing the right poles When you first begin walking with Walk Kernow you can hire poles on each walk. If you find you are walking very often, or decide that you would like to walk by yourself, you might consider buying your own poles. There are a few key things to consider when choosing the right poles for you. 1. The percentage of carbon Nordic Walking poles have carbon in them because this makes them very strong and lighter than trekking poles. It also dampens vibrations which travel up the pole into your arm as the pole hits the ground. Starter poles have a lower percentage of carbon, but those who do a lot of walking on hard surfaces, longer distances or those with arm injuries might consider poles with higher carbon content. Lower carbon poles suit those just starting, who mainly do off-road walking, and those who wish to stick to a lower budget. 2. Do the poles compact for travel? Some poles can be shortened so they fit into a suitcase. As you cannot take Nordic poles on hand luggage, for example, this option is good for those wishing to Nordic Walk overseas.


3. The curve The new curve design in poles reduces the vibration of the poles when they strike the ground,

making them ideal for those doing long distances and walking on hard surfaces. 4. The strap Nordic Walking poles have hand straps attached to the pole which enable you to follow the correct technique of pushing the pole behind you and and letting go briefly as you walk along quickly, without losing the pole. A good pole has a strap which is comfortable and easily detached from the pole. 5. The tips The base of the pole has a tungsten tip, a strong spike which helps the pole to purchase the ground when off-road walking. They should also come with a paw, a soft rubber fitting which is either loose or hinged which you can put on the tip for walking on hard surfaces. The Excel poles used by Walk Kernow come with ALIS cork grips so they are comfortable to hold, ALIS straps which have a quick release system from the pole and tips for on and off-road surfaces. Kelly can advise you on the best pole for your needs and can let you know of any offers which are available.

The Exel Curve pro £135 The curve design increases push off and reduces vibration. A powerful training tool for Nordic Walkers. Fitted with the ALIS strap for comfort and great fit. The All Terrain Tip is fitted for both on and off-road walking. 100% Carbon Composite construction.

Exel Nordic Walker Pro Travel ALIS £125 The Nordic Walker Pro Travel is lightweight and collapses down small enough to fit in a suitcase or backpack (67cms when collapsed). 100% | 50% Carbon Composite construction.

The Nordic Walker® Sport Lite £69.95 This pole has 30% carbon and yet is well balanced and light. It is a perfect starter pole.

The Exel Tundra £96.95 This pole is 80% carbon with the choice of a separate Aero2 Tip and Paw or the All Terrain Tip.

Order poles online at



A Recipe for Success Suzy Lowe reveals how Nordic Walking inspired her delicious business, Rustic Cakes



’ve always had a passion for baking and cafe culture, and I have worked with food ever since working at The Boston Tea Party in Bristol as general manager of their Exeter branch. It was here that I met my husband Bob, who was a regular customer ‌ that was 17 years ago. In 2002 we moved to Penzance. At first I ran a franchise in Truro of Boston Tea Party and later opened Truro Coffee House. When my oldest son Sam was born in 2008, I sold the business and took on various roles in business training. One of the organisations I worked for was Get Set For Growth, and here it was my responsibility to represent Enterprising Women. I wanted to do something

different as a networking activity and Nordic Walking seemed a perfect way to bring fellow business people together, so I contacted Kelly Bennett at Walk Kernow. In order to embrace the concept I first had to do a Beginners' Workshop and from that moment I was hooked! I began Nordic Walking regularly and my experience of walking gave me confidence to talk about plans to start my own baking business once again. With each walk, I gained hints and tips, formulated ideas and tested them on real people. Rustic Cakes began to take shape. Baking allows me the time to create and develop new recipes and I gain huge satisfaction from

the feedback received. I’ve also developed Rustic Soups. Rustic Cakes and Soups are not fussy, just simple, high quality, and made with care at our baking depot in St Agnes. Almost six months in, this has truly been my most enjoyable venture. I love to be busy and Rustic Cakes enables me to involve my whole family in the business. My mum travels down from Bristol to help out and I have just recruited my husband, Bob, he’s a great cook! You can buy cake and soup from our depot at Unit 3, The Great Western Railway Yard, St Agnes and the following places: The Old Market, Chacewater The Sorting Office, St Agnes The Cornish Food Box, Truro or online Inner Tide Cafe and Gallery ItsTibbits Artisan Foods, St Dennis Charlie’s Boathouse, St Austell Neat Cafe, Pool Innovation Centre Neat Cafe, Penryn Innovation Centre Mobile 07745 842296 Facebook Rustic Cakes Cornwall Web Leave the stuffy office behind and build new business relationships at the beautiful Trelissick Gardens on Walk Kernow’s montly NetWalk events. For more information visit



The Walks

Walk Kernow offer walks all around the county with more added all the time. Here are a few favourites.


here are some regular Nordic Walks around the county that you can enjoy. We do add new ones, and change the locations from time to time, but here are some of the more popular ones you can enjoy as a Walk Kernow member.

pathway alongside some of the most tranquil and beautiful creeks and waters to be found in Cornwall. Most routes pass the King Harry Ferry and circle around the parkland back to the starting point overlooking the mouth of the Fal.

Trelissick Gardens


Trelissick Gardens, is a National Trust park near the King Harry Ferry. The gardens themselves are surrounded by beautiful parkland and river creeks. We offer walks here several times each week. There are various routes, but they all begin at the National Trust car park. We then follow the route of the Woodland Walk, down the hill to the banks of the Fal estuary and then along the woodland


Loe Bar This popular walk begins at the car park opposite Coronation Park in Helston and takes you around the pathways through the woodlands and fields edging Loe Pool, sometimes crossing Loe Bar itself, and to the Penrose Estate with its sweeping landscaped parkland and popular Stables cafĂŠ.


Tehidy Country Park Tehidy woodland is another area where we offer regular walks each week. This is the largest area of woodland in West Cornwall and it is managed as a country park by Cornwall Council. There are over 250 acres of woodland and lakes to explore, and more than nine miles of pathways through the woods, without considering the public footpaths we often join which take you out onto the South West Coast Path nearby. We meet at the main car park on South Drive, next to the cafe and vary our route through the woodland to arrive back at this spot. Among other things you can discover are the Dancing Tree, a protected oak which has a twisted trunk that makes it look as though it is spinning. There is the Given Garden, a small area filled with plants donated by visitors to the garden and there are also beautiful swans on the lakes.

Loe Bar

Constantine Meeting at the popular cafe, The Waymarker, this walk takes us over fields, through footpaths and into some beautiful woodland Constantine


WALK KERNOW with tumbling streams before circling back to the cafe. This is a longer walk, but perhaps one of the most beautiful in spring and autumn.

Roseland Peninsula There are two routes on the Roseland that happen at regular intervals. Some walks begin and end at The HIdden Hut near Portscatho and circle around this beautiful stretch of coast and countryside. Melinsey Mill, a short distance away is another walk starting point. This walk takes you to the coast near Pendower beach, through some pretty woodland, through fields and farmland and back to Melinsey Mill where we sometimes arrange lunches.


Roseland Peninsula

Gwithian The Towans, dunes behind the beaches stretching from Godrevy to Hayle, are a fascinating area, filled with rare wildlife and wild flowers, and an ever-changing


landscape. We meet at The Rockpool cafe here, and walk through the dunes and back along the huge, wide sands from Mexico Towans beach near Gwithian and back to Godrevy and the Rockpool CafĂŠ. There are various routes depending on the time of year and preference in terms of speed and difference.

Chapel Porth, along that coastline, past the historic engine houses and eastwards before returning to Chapel Porth.

Godolphin Another beautiful National Trust park, Godolphin has woodlands filled with a sea of bluebells in the spring, and glorious views from the south to the north coast of the county at the top of Godolphin Hill. The walk here takes us to the top of Godolphin Hill, through the parkland and woods and fields back to the cafe and main car park near to Godolphin House.

Chapel Porth The dramatic coastline near to St Agnes is some of the finest in the county. This walk takes us from

Chapel Porth


WALK KERNOW LONGER WALKS Once every three months you can opt to go on a longer 11-mile walk.

The Gylly Epic Twice a year we walk the 10-mile circular route from Gylly beach in Falmouth, along the coast path to Mawnan Smith, where we stop at the lovely Sarah’s Cafe for lunch. We then return through Maenporth and Swanpool.

The Coast to Coast Another biannual 10-mile walk is along the former tramway, now made into a trail for walkers and cyclists which stretches from Devoran to Portreath. This route is flatter than the Gylly epic, and perhaps good for your first long walk. It can help you to build your fitness and explore areas of Cornwall you have perhaps never discovered before.



Coast to Coast

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Discover new, beautiful walks, with dog-friendly stops along the way

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Share suggestions and reviews with other Cornish dog lovers on our social media

Learn which dog-friendly beaches are safe, have good facilities and parking

Find dog-friendly days out, and art, crafts and special dog friendly treats made in Cornwall

COMING SOON: Dogfriendlycornwall directory. Contact us at to express interest.




Get connected It is very natural to make friends as you walk with the group and for many Walk Kernow members, the social events are a real highlight. Whether you come along for a coffee and a chat after a walk, join us for a lunch at a lovely venue such as The Hidden Hut, Melinsey Mill

or The Waymarker, or come along to a larger event such as a summer picnic or our Christmas Party, or one of our netwalking events for those in business, we hope you’ll join us.

Join us on Facebook


When you join Walk Kernow, you’ll also be invited to the closed members only Facebook group where you can talk to others about which walks are coming up, what kit to buy and see photos of walks.

Challenge Yourself Some Walk Kernow members like to take on longer distance walks all around the country. Each year Walk Kernow supports some of these walks. At the 30 and 60 mile Race to the Stones event in 2015, for example, there were group talks on getting the right kit, training schedules and coping with issues such as keeping up energy levels and hydration. At the event Kelly and Rose from the group were on hand to help one @walkkernow

walker who hurt her ankle on the route at 2am and to walk with another the last few miles to the finish line. “I loved being at the event,” says Kelly. “We all had such a great time. Everyone walks the route at their own pace, but you don’t have to feel alone. It really was a team effort and we were all so proud of everyone who took part and simply did their best at the event.”


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Walk Kernow magazine  

Magazine for the Cornwall-based Nordic Walking club, Walk Kernow. Improve your health and explore some of Cornwall's most beautiful trails....

Walk Kernow magazine  

Magazine for the Cornwall-based Nordic Walking club, Walk Kernow. Improve your health and explore some of Cornwall's most beautiful trails....