Steps2Health walkers have been battling a lot of rain and damp during the past month, but still enjoying their adventures. The walking group has three sections according to walking styles: Nordics (pictured), Speedies and Steadies.

It was a bright, spring-like morning when four hardy Nordic walkers set off to Broadhaven North on the first day of February. Leader John led them up the long hill through Haroldston Woods, dodging the worst of the mud, then back along the Coast Path. The coastal views were as delightful as ever and the going was easy once they were on the Coast Path. They had a coffee stop along the way and were ready for lunch back in Broadhaven.

The following Saturday was very mild, but the cloud was down to sea level, so it was damp and foggy all the way. Despite the weather, there was a strong turnout of 39 walkers for a trip to Laugharne. Brian, supported by Jane, led the Speedies group along the path under the castle, before striking up towards Dylan Thomas’ boat shed. Kym, backed by Chris, followed along behind at the head of the large Steadies Group. They turned around at the boat house and followed the flatter first section of the birthday walk. The Speedies stayed on the Coast Path for a while, before taking the inland path back into the town. Most people ended up in the Owl and the Pussycat tea room.

On Thursday 8, six Nordic walkers had another wet and miserable day to contend with. They went by bus to Kilgetty then walked to Saundersfoot. With the Coast Path blocked between Wiseman’s Bridge and Coppet Hall, they had to stay on the lanes and walk through Sardis to get back to Saundersfoot, but they enjoyed the steak pie when they got there. As one walker said, it was great to be walking together despite the heavy rain, so they really didn’t mind the weather.

The next Saturday started sunny and mild, with not a cloud in the sky. The good weather didn’t last long, but for most of the walk it was delightful. Kym, backed by Barbara, set a cracking pace for the Speedies. Starting from Battery Gardens, they went through the town to Butts Field, then powered up the steep path to Allen’s View. The Steadies, led by Heather, followed them through the town, but at a more sedate pace. When they reached Butt’s Field the Steadies turned right and headed for the North Beach and the harbour. On the beach they saw the Speedies ahead of them. Having charged back down the hill, the Speedies were well on their way to the harbour. Most of the walkers ended up in the Old Chapel where they enjoyed the warm welcome and delicious cake.

On February 15, a small but intrepid group of Nordic walkers headed for Eagles Lodge. The weather was mild for the time of year, but misty with regular showers. They headed down to Blackpool Mill, then on to Canaston Bridge, before completing the loop back to the mill and returning to Eagles Lodge.

On the Saturday, a strong turnout of 30 walkers went by bus and car to Narberth. The weather was very misty with driving drizzle. Kym and Jane led the Speedies down Carding Mill Lane, while Chris, backed by Barbara, led the Speedies up Northfield Road towards the Bloomfield Centre. Signs of spring were everywhere, from a profusion of crocuses, to banks of ever cheerful daffodils. While the Steadies completed a circuit of the town taking in views over the hallowed turf of the rugby club, the Speedies did a there-and-back walk. After climbing the long hill back up to town, the Speedies were very warm and looking forward to exploring the delights on offer in the new Hwb Food Court.

On Thursday 22, five “happy in the rain” Nordic Walkers held a walk at Freshwater East anyway. They walked around the dunes and zigzagged around the many trails. When the walkers had had their absolute fill of happiness, the rain did eventually stop. Will the weather ever improve? They rounded off their trip with a visit to Jack’s to sample the mucky chips.

Saturday 24 was a great day for walking, but later became very disappointing for rugby fans. Brian, backed by Barbara, led a strong Speedies group up to Allen’s View then on to Waterwynch. Jane, with Heather in support, led the Steadies through the town towards North Beach. By the time they reached First Point, the Speedies were powering up the hill towards Park House. They avoided the muddy fields and returned to town through the graveyard. By the time they reached the finish, the Steadies had also finished their walk and were enjoying the warm welcome in the Old Chapel.

On Leap Year Day, 10 Nordic Walkers rounded off the month’s activities with a walk around Carew and West Williamston. The weather was mild and dry with very little wind, an absolute joy after some of the weather this month. The walkers stuck to the lanes because the footpaths were still very boggy. With a larger than usual group, there was plenty of chat and the miles flew by. They finished up back at Carew Inn for a pub lunch, a pleasing end to winter walks. Spring, here we come!