Nordic Walking; a personal perspective from National Coach, Arlene Bowmaker October 25 2019

Arlene Bowmaker National Nordic Walking Coach

My name is Arlene Bowmaker and among the many ‘hats that I wear’ in my working life are Nordic Walking Instructor and National Coach for British Nordic Walking. I thought I would share my journey in the Nordic Walking world so far, from that first free taster workshop at a Pilates conference, to be being a National Trainer in Scotland.

Nordic Walking and Healthy Ageing October 23 2019

Healthy Ageing

British Nordic Walking has become Signatory on the Consensus on Healthy Ageing in an initiative from Public Health England to help achieve a shared vision “for England to be the best place in the world to grow older, giving everyone the opportunities and support they need to have a healthy and good quality later life and making the best use of the strengths, skills and experience of older people.“ 

UK Chief Medical Officers' Physical Activity Guidelines recognise Nordic Walking October 03 2019

The UK Chief Medical Officers' Physical Activity Guidelines published on 7 September 2019 has recognised the benefits of Nordic Walking as a useful activity separately to those of ordinary walking.

Breast cancer and Nordic Walking August 20 2019

Nordic Walking and breast cancer article

A study, published in the European Journal of Cancer Care, analysed nine past studies about the benefits of Nordic Walking for women recovering from breast cancer treatment.

Alison Clarke talks about being a British Nordic Walking instructor June 05 2019

Alison Clarke British Nordic Walking instructor

Nordic Walking instructor, Alison Clarke, shares her knowledge, experience and keenness with other Nordic Walkers as a British Nordic Walking instructor.

British Nordic Walking featured by Countryside Jobs Service magazine June 03 2019

Rosliston Forestry Centre runs Nordic Walking sessions

Focus, the magazine of the Countryside Jobs Service, has featured our work with South Derbyshire District Council and Rosliston Forestry Centre over the last 10 years.

Calling Nordic Walkers in Scotland and the North of England May 08 2019

Exel Nordic Walking Challenge Event Scotland

We're keen to sound out what level of demand there is for running one of our Exel Nordic Walking Challenge Events in Scotland/North of England in the future. Your help completing this shirt survey would be very much appreciated.

Public Health England recommends Nordic Walking July 05 2018

We are so pleased to see the announcement on 4th July that Public Health England now recommends Nordic Walking.  Our CEO Catherine Hughes presented to senior managers working in public health at one of their CPD days in 2013 delivered by Durham University.  There are so many benefits to health, fitness and wellbeing in taking up Nordic Walking that we can't fit them all in here.  If there is a particular subject area you are interested in, go to the course of research information gathered from around the world on INWA's website INWA research papers.

Our instructors have seen many people benefit from Nordic Walking over the past ten years or so.  

If you've not tried Nordic Walking before, book a lesson with with an INWA instructor here.

Nordic Walker completes 100 parkruns May 05 2018

Colwick parkrunner Louise Third MBE, a Nordic Walker and breast cancer survivor who recently joined the 100 Club, tells us why this form of exercise is a much more vigorous workout than normal walking and how to get involved.  Read her story here.

Exel Nordic Walking Challenge Events April 21 2017

Not long now, to our first Exel Nordic Walking Challenge Event for 2017.  We'll be Nordic Walking around the beautiful Wollaton Park in Nottingham, home to Batman's Gothic manor, Wayne Hall.  

Nordic Walkers will be gathering on Sunday 7th May to take part in one of three distance challenge events and to meet their friends, old and new, who Nordic Walk across the UK.

If you've entered yet, please click on this link to book your place for Nottingham and any of the other three events we'll be running this year.

Wonderful Nordic Walking event in Wales July 05 2016

A fabulous day was had by 100 Nordic Walkers and a dedicated team of volunteers.  people had travelled from all over England and Wales to  join in the 5km, 10km and half marathon British Nordic Walking Challenge event at the end of June.

Nordic Walking challenge events are becoming increasingly popular with all ages, with their relaxed and sociable atmosphere.  This event even attracted five very keen children who excitedly Nordic Walked round the course, racing into the finish to accept their well deserved medal.  

Parents - if you struggle to distract your kids from their Gameboy’s, Wii, Nintendo or Xbox, why not introduce them to Nordic Walking?  It gets them outdoors, burns lots of calories and also teaches them important coordination skills.

Thank you to everyone who took part and make it such fun.  

If you would like to view all the event photos please visit


Fabulous Nordic Walking Festival In Nottingham May 22 2015

The Nordic Walkers were wowed by the beauty of Wollaton Park, the friendliness of the organising team and the amazing atmosphere of the Nordic Walking community.

The ages of the Nordic Walkers ranged from a family including a lady of 84 years young to a seven year old Nordic Walker, called Ben, who was determined to beat his mum and sister in the 5km Challenge distance. His mum Sarah had started Nordic Walking because she'd heard about the health benefits and soon after her son and daughter decided they wanted to follow in her footsteps.

Many people came to challenge themselves to either complete the distance or beat their previous fastest time and were awarded with a stylish medal. All participants enjoyed the chance to meet other Nordic Walkers from areas as far flung as Surrey, Corrnwall and South Wales.

Race Director, Catherine Hughes, thanked her large team of volunteers, without whom the event would not have gone ahead. To see the results of the event go to this page:  

To see some of the photos of the event click here.

British Nordic Walking Challenge Series 2015, 4 events, 4 beautiful parks, hundreds of Nordic Walkers... April 16 2015

The British Nordic Walking Challenge Series 2015 events have now been finalised. Four events, four beautiful parks covering four seasons... and literally hundreds of Nordic Walkers.

British Nordic Walking Challenge Series 2015

The first event kicks off in Nottingham at Wollaton Park on May 17th, then Cardiff's Cosmeston Country Park and Lakes for July 5th. To mark the end of summer we re-visit Lydiard park in Swindon on the 6 September and then in November we are just to the West of London at Black Park in Buckinghamshire.

Click on our events page for more information and details of how to book.

Choose between 5KM, 10KM or 20KM distance and enjoy these stunning off road Nordic walking routes.

We hope to see you at one or all of the Nordic Walking events this year!

Clare Balding picks up the poles with British Nordic Walking - Tune in to Radio 4 on Thursday 19th March at 3pm March 18 2015

Clare had never tried Nordic Walking before, but she willingly set off to Bramcote Park in Nottingham to join our National Coach, Dr Catherine Hughes, and her Saturday group for a lesson. 

We’re pleased to report that after learning the first five steps, of the INWA 10 Step Method, in only a few minutes, she was off around the park and really took to it. Her speed took us (and the producer) by surprise!

We told her about our Challenge Series, and had a bit of a race up the hill and back to the car park. She strode out with quite a purpose and really loved pushing on her poles. 

Clare was visiting a project that Catherine runs for people with learning difficulties and their carers plus other members of the public who prefer a slower pace. The class is like a lifeline to some of the group, offering a rare chance for the mums and daughters of the group to enjoy doing a sport together.

Clare took time to interview everyone, and she admitted she’d had a very moving experience listening to how Nordic Walking had changed their lives.

If you miss the show on 19th March it is repeated on Saturday 21st March at 6am or you can download the podcast later



Fascinating new research shows that your brain is capable of rejuvenating and regenerating itself throughout your life. According to John J. Ratey, a psychiatrist who wrote the book Spark: The Revolutionary New Science of Exercise and the Brain, there’s overwhelming evidence that exercise produces large cognitive gains and helps fight dementia. Exercise also helps to prevent age related shrinkage of the brain. Avoiding sitting and keeping moving  is the secret to aging well and Nordic Walking, with the added bonus of being sociable, is the perfect option. So next time you are out Nordic Walking remember you are not just training your body but also training your brain!

A Nordic Walking milestone: First to join the 50 parkrun Club November 21 2014


The 15th of November marked a first in the UK when a Nordic Walker poled her way around a Nottinghamshire course to become the first ever Nordic Walker to reach the parkrun 50 Club! Well done to Angie who completed the 5k event with a huge smile on her face and was met at the finish line with cheers and greeted by none other than the founder of parkrun, Paul Sinton-Hewitt CBE.  


For more information about parkrun and to find one in your area check out: If you start now you could be earning your own 50 club achievement about the time Angie is joining the distinguished 100 club! To find a qualified British Nordic Walk instructor or group in your area, check out our locator

Winter workout tips November 11 2014


Old man winter is knocking on the door but that doesn't mean you should allow him to slow down your Nordic Walking! Continue to reap the physical and mental benefits of keeping fit while exercising outdoors by following the advice from Olympian Jo Pavey for winter workouts.  While her tips are aimed towards runners, they are just as important for all outdoor activities including Nordic Walking.  

Some of the highlights of the article include:

  • Stay hydrated. Many of us forget to drink enough water because it's cooler outside and the perception is that we sweat less. Keeping hydrated helps keep our energy levels up.
  • Choose the right equipment and layer up.  Shoes with the proper grip are important during these muddier months. Technical synthetic fabrics are usually better than cotton because they are thinner which allows for more comfortable layering and they also wick the sweat away from your body instead of trapping it next to the skin (no chafing!). 
  • Warm up properly. It may be tempting to rush through the warm up because it's cold out but it's still a vital part of the routine because it reduces the chance of injury.
  • Cool down.  Again the temptation might be to reduce the amount of time or even skip the cooling down altogether but it's important not to. End your Nordic Walk with an easier pace to bring down the heart rate slowly and stretch those muscles in order to reduce any post workout aches. 
What are your favourite cold weather Nordic Walking tips?  More information and pictures can also be found on the British Nordic Walking Facebook and Twitter pages.  



British Nordic Walking Challenge Series Swindon | The best yet! November 03 2014

They came from far and wide. Every age, men and women, individuals, clubs, from all over the UK and even Italy. What brought them together? Nordic Walking.

The office has been flooded with feedback today, "what a wonderful day, how friendly, how exciting", "like no other Nordic walking experience", "totally different to my usual Nordic walks".

Over 120 people took part in the Nordic Walking Challenge, either in the 5KM Nordic Walk, the 10Km Nordic walk or the 20 Km Nordic Walk. The back drop of Lydiard House and the park were stunning and added to the atmosphere. The course was really varied with grassy paths, woodland trails, lakeside stretches, a bit of mud and the odd shower of rain. The sun shone through for the prize giving. here are the results:


5 Km Nordic Walking Challenge distance:

Men: James Smith | 0:46:37.4

Women: Pam Lucas | 0:42:15.2


10 Km Nordic Walking Challenge distance:

Men: Alvyn Bysouth | 1:11:08.1

Women: Helen Evans | 1:15:10.8


20 Km Nordic Walking Challenge distance:

Men: Gareth Davies | 2:31:21.5

Women: Vicky Welsh | 2:32:52.4


Team Nordic Walking Challenge:

5 Km: Bristol Nordic Walking

10 Km: Oxfordshire Fitness

10 Km: Gemini Outdoor


British Nordic Walking this weekend at Lydiard Park October 31 2014

It's here! Lydiard Park at Swindon will soon be filled with Nordic Walkers!  First, the British Nordic Walking Instructors will gather on Saturday for the annual conference to learn all the latest news, techniques, and developments that they will then bring back to share with their Nordic walking groups.  Having had the opportunity to try out one of the new training exercises myself, I can promise it will be exciting!  

Then on Sunday, it's the 2nd event of the 2014 British Nordic Walking Challenge Series!  Which event distance are you challenging yourself with this time--the 5k, 10k, or 20k?  We are looking forward to seeing and cheering for everyone out on the course.  In case you forgot how much fun the Challenge event was at Bristol, check out the video put together of highlights from the inaugural event.  

See you at the finish line! 


Nordic Walking the SAD away October 24 2014

British Summer Time (BST) comes to an official end this weekend when we set our clocks back an hour on Sunday.  With the time change approaching that also means cases of SAD (seasonal affective disorder) will also be on the rise. The NHS recommends exercise as a proven way of helping to ease the symptoms--what better way to get that movement than heading outdoors for a Nordic Walk? Even if you aren't able to participate during the daylight hours, the exercise combined with the social aspect of Nordic Walking will improve your mood and outlook for hours afterwards!  Banish the winter blues and improve your fitness with the activity that is non-impact and burns up to 46% more calories than regular walking.  



New to Nordic Walking? Click here to find a qualified British Nordic Walking Instructor in your area.  


INWA Nordic Walking Convention a huge success October 15 2014

Six Nordic Walking instructors from the UK joined the international Nordic Walking community in Barcelona to share best practice on teaching Nordic Walking.  They enjoyed learning new techniques to use in their Nordic Walking classes.  Senior coaches will also be using the new knowledge they gained when training people to be INWA Nordic Walking instructors, so that our instructors are bang up to date.


Enter now for the next event inthe 2014 British Nordic Walking Challenge Series August 17 2014


Join fellow Nordic Walkers from across the UK on 2 November 2014; for the second event of the 2014 British Nordic Walking Challenge Series at Lydiard Park, Swindon.

The event will comprise 5km, 10km & 20km circuits in a race/challenge format; in that you can race the circuits or simply enjoy the challenge of completing your chosen distance. Lydiard Park is a beautiful historic estate on the western edge of Swindon, with the Palladian House, Church and Walled Garden, set in 260 acres of parkland, just 5 minutes drive from J16, M4. It makes for the perfect day out for your non-racing fanily and friends.

Simply choose your challenge:

5Km | Starts 11:00am

10Km | Starts 10:30am

20Km | Starts 9:30am

There are Challenge categories for fastest man and woman in each distance and for the fastest team in each distance. Just enter the event as an individual and add your team/club name. The times of the fastest 4 people in each team will be added together to give the team result.

All the routes are off road and traffic free. The course is fairly flat with no hill climbs. Suitable for all levels of fitness. If you are new to Nordic walking you must have a lesson prior to taking part in the Challenge. Please contact us for details of how to book a Nordic Walking lesson.

Pole hire available and free taster sessions available for those new to Nordic Walking

View race rules


Enter Here


For more information on Lydiard Park click here

Entry fee for advance booking:   

5 Km - member* £10 | non member £12
10 Km - member £13 | non member £15
20 Km - member £16 | non member £18

*Join British Nordic Walking for £12 per year, click here for more information


Nordic Walking Racing Ahead! July 15 2014

Yesterday saw the first ever dedicated Nordic Walking Race in Britain.

Some 80 people competed in this off-road course in Ashton Court Bristol, racing either a 5 Km, 10 Km or 20Km distance. Competitors travelled from all over the UK, from as far afield as Blackpool and from Nottingham, London, Cardiff, and many other places. Men and Women took part of all ages, from age 20 to 76.


The race was run under the International Nordic Walking Federation competition rules (INWA) and was organised by British Nordic Walking. Paul Stevenson, Vice President of INWA, said “British Nordic Walking have been working with INWA over the last couple of years to develop Nordic Walking into a competitive sport in the UK. Many INWA member countries run successful race programmes that in turn help to increase participation in Nordic Walking as a leisure activity and a great way to stay healthy. The British Nordic Walking Challenge Series is the perfect platform for people who want to compete but also for those people who want a personal fitness or health challenge”.


Nordic Walking is rapidly growing in popularity in the UK. Walking with specially designed poles activates all the upper body muscles as you walk, raising the heart rate and burning up to 46% more calories than walking without poles. Most UK cities now have classes and groups that people can join to both learn the technique and participate socially. You can find instructors, groups and classes by visiting


The stunning setting of Ashton Court in Bristol was the perfect backdrop for this first Nordic Walking race. Karen Ingram, of British Nordic Walking said, “We were delighted by the whole day. So many people took part and there was a great buzz. It’s exciting for the future of Nordic Walking across Britain, we hope to organise many more such events and get more and more people involved in Nordic Walking. The smiles on the competitors faces as they crossed the finish line said it all”


The results of the British Nordic Walking Challenge Series 2014 | Ashton Court | 13 July 2014

5Km Women's First Place: Lucy Cull | 44:10 5Km Men's First Place: James Smith | 48:31 10Km Women's First Place: Ewa Andrrzejewska | 1:16:48 10Km Men's First Place: Bart Piotrowicz | 1:11:43 20Km Women's First Place: Jointly held by Samantha Armstrong and Vicky Welsh | 2:41:24 20Km Men's First Place: Dave Robinson | 2:41:50


Nordic Walking Challenge Series launch event a huge succes! July 13 2014

Nearly 80 people entered the inaugural British Nordic Walking Challenge Series event today at Ashton Court in Bristol. The atmosphere was amazing and this photograph reflects the way people relished the day. From start to finish it was a joy!