Group Details

Thank you for accessing our website.

This page gives details of the Association, our group and, if you are interested, how to join.

What is the LDWA?

Founded in 1972 by Chris Steer and Alan Blatchford, the LDWA is an association of people with a common interest in enjoying walks of longer distances in rural, mountain or moor land areas. The association promotes organised challenge events, pioneers new walking routes, publishes information on all aspects of non-competitive walking and is recognised by Sport UK as the governing body for this activity.

How long is a long distance walk?

This is defined as an extended walk in rural areas and is generally accepted as one exceeding 20 miles, although terrain and conditions may dictate the length.

The Northumbria Group?

The group was formed in May 1986 in order to promote the LDWA in County Durham, Tyne and Wear and Northumberland and presently there are over two hundred LDWA members in this area.

We organise:

1. Regular group walks, these are normally circular and completed in a single day. They are a mixture of well-known challenge walks for which badges and certificates are available, and new walks devised by our members.

Apart from our own area we also go to the Yorkshire Dales, North York Moors and the Lake District. The number of walkers varies, but the average is about fifteen.

2. Our current walks programme is available on this website.. The walks programme is updated three times a year, in September, January and May. Details of our forthcoming activities are also to be found in the LDWA magazine, Strider, which is posted to you as one of the benefits of joining the national association.

3. The group records completions of the 25 mile Cheviot Hills 2000 Ft Summits Walk, the 30 mile Three Peaks of Cheviot Walk and The Hillforts Round. These are three open challenge walks, which you can attempt at any time at your own pace. Details will shortly be available on this website.

4 We also organise an annual challenge event called the Durham Dales Challenge, which is open to walkers and fell runners from all over the country. On the event walkers navigate a set route at their own pace and we provide checkpoints for refreshments or a lift back to the start. The Durham Dales Challenge is a major undertaking involving many members of our group.

5. Members frequently walk Long Distance Paths or National Trails and there are opportunities to find a companion to tackle the Pennine Way and similar routes if required.

There are no Group Membership fees or entry fees for our group activities, as we rely on profits from the Durham Dales Challenge. We do have collections for visiting speakers and some walks involve public transport but this is stated beforehand. We would prefer you to join the national LDWA but we are quite happy for you to come on some of our walks or to our meetings before you decide.

Inividual membership of the LDWA is £13 per year. It is possible to join on line at 

Group Walks

We average about 2.5 mph (a relaxed walking pace) over the whole day, including stops, so a twenty mile walk will take around about eight hours. This varies due to weather conditions, the number of walkers and their capabilities. Leaders will have walked the route beforehand and will often note ‘escape routes’ for anyone who wishes to shorten the walk. We look after everyone on our walks, especially newcomers and guests.

Occasionally, some walks are more arduous because of the leader’s intended speed, or the amount of ascent involved, and these are stated as such in the programme.

The meeting point for a walk is given in the programme with a location description, start times beign prompt and OS Grid Reference.

There are some basic rules about clothing and equipment. We ask that you always bring waterproofs, food, drink, a torch and a survival bag. It is not essential to have a map of the area on every occasion, but it will add to your interest to have one. If you need advice about equipment please email the group Secretary.

Recently the regulations concerning Adventure Activities and young people under 18 have been tightened up. This means that people under 18 can only attend our walks if they are already LDWA members or if their parent or legal guardian accompanies them.

If you have any questions please ring our Secretary, Bill Milbourne on 07722256733