John Harris's Walking in England

Walking in Kent

White Horse Nordic Walking Group

The White Horse Nordic Walking Club began life in January 2007, at the Kent County Council’s White Horse Wood Country Park (hence the group’s name), opposite the Kent County Show Ground at Detling, near Maidstone (where we are based). There are around 30 members in the group, and we meet every other Sunday morning, to do a Nordic Walk of around 2 to 2.5 hours duration, in the countryside in various parts of Kent (eg, White Horse Wood Country Park, Shorne Wood Country Park, Trosley Country Park, Hucking Estate, Wye, Capel, etc). Mid-week walks also take place, once a month, usually on a Thursday morning, and on Friday evenings in the summer.

Very briefly, Nordic Walking was devised by cross-country skiers to keep fit in the summer months, and entails the use of two poles to propel yourself along (four-wheel drive walking!) - they are not hiking poles, and use a completely different technique. It is a wonderful means of exercising the upper body, as well as the lower body (about 90% of core muscles are used), while burning more calories (good for losing weight), increasing the heart rate, and reducing strain on the back and lower limb joints. Generally, you can, if you wish, walk further, or faster, than you would while walking without the poles, but you will probably also feel less tired. All this, while having fun and enjoying the fresh air, and views of the Kent countryside, and the company of a really friendly and interesting group of people.

You must have already attended a suitable Nordic Walking course, to use Nordic Walking poles on my group walks, however, non-Nordic Walkers are also most welcome to join us – they may even feel inclined to sign up for a Taster Session, when they see just how good it is! These regular Club walks are chargeable, through membership of the White Horse Nordic Walking Club. Also, you may have to pay parking charges at some of the venues.

Doug began Nordic Walking in August 2006, following a very serious illness, and soon gained a better level of fitness then he had had for many years previously, as well as losing a lot of weight, as a bonus.

He was so enthusiastic about the joys and benefits of Nordic Walking that he became a qualified Nordic Walking Instructor, through LEKI, in March 2007, and has since attended further Instructor courses with Nordic Walking UK, where, in August 2009, he met Julie Wraight, and shortly afterwards, they became business partners, running White Horse Nordic Walking together. They each hold an Emergency First Aid qualification, and appropriate insurance, and Julie is also highly qualified in fitness and exercise.

FREE Taster Sessions, which last approximately an hour, are usually arranged on fixed dates, or as and when there is sufficient demand, and include the use of our poles, as well as the instruction.

On completion of the Taster Session, we then offer a four hour course (run on the basis of an hour per week, for four weeks), to learn, and practice, all the techniques.

We also run fitness sessions, in six week blocks, to increase and then maintain, fitness levels, using Nordic Walking poles, as well as other types of equipment, and techniques.

If you are interested in this fast-growing form of exercise, then please contact us (see contact details above – press Ctrl + Click on the email and website links), to obtain full details of dates, prices, etc.

Please contact Doug, to obtain further details. Tel: 01622 205782 Mobile: 07984 614233 Email:

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