GENERAL - The Club was originally founded in June 1983 for NALGO (now UNISON) Trade's Union members, however in January 1994 previous membership restrictions were removed and the Club name changed. The Club is an affiliate member of Connected Voice and stages events throughout the year. There is a Saturday & Sunday walk each month; six evening walks and one or two weekend trips are arranged each year; and we have an annual week trip. When selecting the locations of walks, the Club Committee have tried to cater for the varying standards and capabilities of our 55 members; however, the nature of the terrain is such that we have to assume that both members and invitees/guests have a reasonable level of fitness.

SATURDAY WALKS - We meet in the car park of Gateshead Civic Centre for a 08.00 departure to various destinations in the north of England. A Gateshead Council self-drive minibus is usually provided by the Club; however, to enable more than 17 members to participate in each walk, members who either own or have access to a private vehicle are requested to allow it to be used as Club transport on a maximum of one occasion each year. In return, their £12 fare is refunded, petrol expenses @ 20p per mile are paid, and the driver is effectively guaranteed a seat on the minibus for the rest of the year. Both high and lower level routes are usually suggested; new or inexperienced members are requested to carefully consider which route they will best be able to safely complete in view of the terrain, fell and weather conditions and the hours of daylight - if in any doubt, please choose the lower level walk. We usually break our homeward journey for about half an hour with a fish and chip stop. Over the Summer months we usually arrive back at Gateshead Civic Centre by 22.00; in Winter we arrive back much earlier as walks are obviously more restricted by the hours of daylight.

2020 Saturday Walks

1st February @ 8am Runswick Bay & Staithes 1stAugust @ 8am

7th March @ 8am

Ingleby Moor & Greenhow Bank

5th September @ 8am

4th April @ 8am Ingleborough or Pen-y-ghent from Horton in Ribblesdale 3rd October @ 8am

2nd May @ 8am

St John's in the Vale 31st October @ 8am
6th June @ 8am Crummock Water 28th November @ 8am
4th July @ 8am Honister Pass to Buttermere Village

Bookings open on completion of the previous Saturday walk and can be made either by email or phone/text message. Anyone who insists in using their car to travel to an event or wants to return early (i.e. miss out the refreshment stop) will not qualify for petrol expenses and must pay £5 for each of the car’s occupants. The required £12 fare (cheques made payable to Gateshead Civic Walking Club) must be received by the Secretary by the Saturday following the walk. If notification of a cancellation is received at any time prior to 10:00am on the Friday one week before the walk (i.e 8 days) a FULL refund will be given. Thereafter, if notification of a cancellation is received at any time prior to 08:00am on the morning of the walk and it is still possible to fill all seats in all Club transport, the £12 fare will be waived. If notification of cancellation is not received, unfortunately the full fare will remain due.

2020 Sunday Walks

5th January @ 10am Wolsingham and the Weardale Way 19th July @ 10am  

16th February @ 10am

Hadrian's Wall from Once Brewed

16th August @ 10am

29th March @ 10am 20th September  
19th April @ 10am 18th October @ 10am  

17th May @ 10am

  8th November @ 10am  
28th June @ 10am   6th December @ 10am  

Bookings for Sunday walks open on completion of the previous Sunday walk and can be made either by email or phone/text message. Although Sunday walks are free of charge a booking must still be made for Club Indemnity Insurance purposes.

2020 Evening Walks (likely to be cancelled by AGM as a result of poor membership support in 2019)
27th April 13th July
11th May 10th August
15th June 14th September

WEEKEND TRIPS - For weekend trips we invariably hire self-catering cottages, although we occasionally stay in youth hostels or camp. Walks are usually planned on the day after studying a map and the local weather forecast.

2020 Weekend Events

Patterdale Long Weekend 12th to 16th March    

Liz Beech, Lyn Boyle, Lynn Ford, Anne Marie Forster, Jane Gerono, Paul Gertig, Pauline Gertig, Ian Goodman, Natalie Goodman, Andy Nixon, Carol Lonsdale, Claire O’Sullivan, Neil Waite & Ronnie Willison will be spending a long weekend surrounded by magnificent Lakeland mountain scenery in Patterdale Hall Estate accommodation for a massively discounted £75 per person.


2020 Week Event

Bearnock Lodge, near Inverness 23rd to 30th May    

Lyn Boyle, Theresa Costello, Lynn Ford, Anne Marie Forster, Paul Gertig, Pauline Gertig, Ian Hammond, Carol Lonsdale, Malcolm McVey, Ellen Morrison, Mike Morrison, Claire O'Sullivan, Andy Nixon, Ian Storey, Neil Waite & Ronnie Willison will be spending a week in the ‘Visit Scotland’ 5-star awarded Bearnock Lodge, near Inverness for approximately £200 per person.

COMMITTEE MEETINGS - These are held at least every six months in Gateshead Civic Centre. 

2019 Committee


Other Members


Graeme Page

Margaret Andison

Evelyn Brown

David Ellerington

Anne Marie Forster

Assistant Secretary


Carol Lonsdale

Claire O'Sullivan

Alan Ross

Roger Smith

Ian Storey

NAVIGATION - New or inexperienced members are more than welcome to accompany the more experienced members on walks that take place during Club events. However, for those with little experience of navigation it is advisable, for member's own safety and enjoyment, to use Club walks to learn and/or develop navigational skills. Experienced members will always be ready to give help and advice about navigation during Club walks. For members wishing to learn the basic principles of navigation, the Club has a very readable reference book called ‘Mountain Navigation’ by Peter Cliff.

SHOPPING - Privileged shopping facilities (usually 10%) are available to members at NevisSport, 100 Grainger Street, Newcastle, on production of a current Club membership card.

MAP READING - A map is a representation, on flat paper, of the three-dimensional features of the earth. Some members boast that given a map of some part of the country, they can scan a part of it and have a mental picture of the landscape it represents. This is possibly an exaggeration. The map certainly details the bones of the landscape, the flesh is left to the imagination. The Club has some experienced map-readers, however that task is invariably left to them. This is unwise; everyone should take a turn! Map reading is important as it is the key to enjoying the countryside. Anyone who lacks this easily acquired skill is denied an essential freedom.

CLOTHING, EQUIPMENT and PREPARATION - Safety, efficiency and comfort should be your guide. Clothing should be warm, comfortable, windproof, waterproof and colourful. The longer and higher the route, the better the equipment which is required.

Winter conditions (i.e. any time when there is snow, ice or frozen turf underfoot), plus the reduced daylight hours, can transform a pleasant summer stroll into an epic journey and paths normally posing no real dangers or problems can change overnight. It is obviously essential, in such conditions, that the correct equipment is carried and clothing worn.

Obtain a local weather forecast with fell conditions.

Learn how to use a compass, read a map and administer simple first aid.

Walk in company - it is safer and more enjoyable.

Start the day with a cooked breakfast.

Plan your route beforehand, balancing the terrain, the hours of daylight, the fell and weather conditions against your own experience and ability. You should allow at least 1hr for every 4km [2.5 miles] of your route plus 1 minute for every 10m contour line crossed during ascent.

Allow a large safety margin and always anticipate the worst.

Ensure that other party members are adequately clothed and equipped and that no one is overburdened.

Before you set off leave precise written details of your party, intended route (with possible variations) and expected time of return with a responsible person.

INSURANCE - The Club have both Employer's (£10,000,000) & Public (£1,000,000) Liability Insurance. Such cover specifically excludes any Club activities involving the use of "ropes".



FURTHER INFORMATION - If you require additional information, please: