About Us

Hi I’m Susan Spain. My Parks and Pathways Nordic Walking group explores the wonderful outdoor green and urban spaces we have in the Salford, Manchester and wider Greater Manchester, Lancashire and Cheshire areas. My goal is to make Nordic Walking effective, fun and sociable outdoor exercise so that you feel good about yourself at the end of every session and feel welcome in our friendly inclusive group of walkers. Give me a ring to chat things through and find the best session for you. Our motto is Fitness, Fun, Friendship and Fresh Air!!

Nordic Walking really is the perfect activity for almost everyone, both those already active and those returning to exercise. It achieves great results  but in a fun inclusive way.

Susan is a qualified fitness instructor and along with her team of fully trained NWUK Walk Leaders, all have First Aid qualifications and are fully insured. All routes are fully risk assessed and checked.

All sessions will have full Covid-19 risk assessments and protocols in place, taking into account latest Government and Local Authority regulations and guidance, along with that provided by Nordic Walking UK and our Insurer. These take into account many considerations including (but not limited to) number of walkers per session, locations and times chosen specifically to maximise social distancing, walking patterns, the use of double bubbles (you’ll find out what that is). All participants have to agree to follow all our protocols before they are able to join a walk or class.

Covid-19 Equipment Provision – Strapless Nordic Walking Poles which have been disinfected and quarantined between each use for 72 hours min will be provided whilst you’re learning. It is then preferable to buy your own (we have a monthly shop and drop from the NWUK store) or you can continue to rent them for an additional £1 (coin on the day) per session until your own arrive. Don’t buy any equipment before you start as equipment options are fully covered as part of the introductory course.

IF YOU’RE STARTING FROM SCRATCH you will need to book an introductory session. Why not give Susan a call on 07738 931710 to find out more. 

‘Discover the Power of the Poles’ is a 90 minute beginners course which costs £15. The price also includes your first group walk. After completing your course you will have a full understanding of how to use poles effectively and at a level where you will receive your Nordic Walking UK Freedom Passport.  You can then join our Parks and Pathways regular walks and classes, sign up to other NWUK or WALX classes or simply get more out of walking in your own time. There is also the opportunity to sign up to a follow on Power of the Poles 2 course where you will learn more intensive Nordic Walking technique and be introduced to traditional strapped nordic walking poles. Susan will tailor each course to suit all participants and give advice on which walks will be suitable to join after completing your induction and also include a talk and information about equipment. Everyone leaves with an information pack to remind you of what’s been covered and next steps.

Venues for the Power of the Poles Induction course. 

SALFORD at Clifton Country Park, once or twice a month on a Saturday at 11am – check activities page for dates.

MANCHESTER at Chorlton Water Park, once or twice a month on a Monday at 11.45am – check activities page for dates.

Private lessons which cost £45 per person for a 90 min 1to1 Power of the Poles course may also be a possiblity. Contact Susan to arrange a mutually agreeable time and location. The price also includes your first group walk.


If you’ve got your NWUK Freedom Passport but not Nordic walked for a while then contact Susan for a one off Technique Refresher lesson before joining our regular walks (Cost £15 for 1 hour lesson & the price also includes your first group walk) 


If you have learnt with an instructor who is not NWUK trained then contact Susan for a one off Conversion lesson so that you can obtain your NWUK Freedom Passport. (Cost £15 for 1 hour lesson  & the price also includes your first group walk)   


Once you’ve got your NWUK Freedom Passport you can choose from our programme of regular walks and classes running in the Salford and Manchester area and further afield.  All are easily reached from the M60/M56/M6/M66 corridors.  Where possible walks will start or finish with a social visit to a cafe for a drink and a chat.

All walks & classes are graded for pace, distance & intensity so you can choose the one that suits you best.

Workout Walks. To build your fitness  & stamina there are faster paced 1 Workout  Walks with Susan which have strength and conditioning exercises built into the session.  e.g. our Monday Blaster/Thursday Thunderer and Saturday Early Bird Workout Walks.

Sociable Adventure 1 to 3 hour walks run on different days each week. Some are weekly, some are fortnightly or monthly. Just check the walk details to find out which distance and pace of walk suits you best. Walks are led by Instructor Susan or one of her team of fully trained NWUK Walk Leaders.

Selected Adventure walks with Susan may include Tai Chi Movements for Wellbeing or Standing Yoga  (a short interlude in the walk for extra relaxation and mindfulness in a peaceful setting). Check the walk information to find these sessions.

There is Susan’s popular monthly Sunday Special Adventure Walk which is a longer 3 hour more strenuous Nordic Walk which goes further afield and often ends with a pub lunch.

We also sometimes meet up with other NWUK/WALX instructor groups for joint walks.

PRICING for Parks and Pathways Nordic Walking sessions effective 29th March 2021

Power of the Poles introductory course (90 minutes) – £15 (also includes your first group walk)

Power of the Poles 2 follow on course (90 minutes) – £15

Power of the Poles 1 to 1 Private Lessons (90 min ) cost £45 per person (no discount) (also includes your first group walk)

Regular 1 to 3 hour walks for NWUK Freedom Passport holders with Parks and Pathways Nordic Walking cost

  • £7.50 on a pay as you go basis. 
  • Or top up your account by £25, £50 or £100 and save 20% on the price of regular walks which brings it down to £6 a walk/class.
  • Or sign up to the great value £25 monthly Direct Debit option which means you can walk as many times a month as you want with our group on regular walks for £25. The DD option also allows you to walk once a month for free with as many other participating NWUK/WALX instructors as you like  (e.g. walk with 5 other participating instructors once a month on one of their regular walks and pay no extra!) This excludes any of their no discount walks or special events. If you walk with another instructor more than once a month you’ll get up to 20% off the price of their regular walks. Ensure you read the full terms and conditions before signing up.

Sunday Specials cost £7.50 (no discount) and are excluded from the Direct Debit and 20% off options

If you’ve any queries or concerns just give me a ring or email first of all.

So, what are you waiting for? Come and try something new and hopefully you’ll be hooked… just like me.

Susan Spain – Owner and Nordic Walking Instructor

I love being outside in the fresh air so find Nordic Walking the perfect way to effectively exercise, socialise and relax. It’s the perfect, every changing outdoor gym as you’re always on the move! As a trained classical dancer and musician, a keen Salsa dancer plus having played badminton and tennis for many years I enjoy the camaraderie and social life that comes with group activities. It’s the only form of exercise that I’ve done that has effectively toned, strengthened and relaxed my whole body AND mind. And it doesn’t need to hurt whilst you do it!

I stumbled on Nordic Walking by chance. In early 2016 I was ready for a major change both career and lifestyle wise. Focussing on my health and well-being for once, I discovered Nordic Walking through a friend who’d seen an article in the Guardian and wanted to learn. With my philosophy of ‘I’ll try (nearly) anything once’ I tagged along, learnt the technique and was hooked!

It was perfect for me, combining everything I loved doing.  I soon realised I’d found a passion that I wanted to share and teach to other people. So after training and qualifying as a fitness and Nordic Walking UK instructor I launched Parks and Pathways Nordic Walking in May 2017 and a whole new adventure started for me and I hope you too.

With a wonderful team of volunteer NWUK trained Walk Leaders now supporting me as the Instructor, the team hope you’ll enjoy and benefit by being part of the Parks and Pathways Nordic Walking Group and have lots of laughs whilst getting fitter too.  We look forward to meeting you.

Miriam Kletz – Walk Leader

Hi, I’m Miriam Kletz and I started Nordic Walking with Susan in late 2017 as part of a Trefoil Guild Challenge called the Voyage Award. I have been a keen walker all my life and have led many walks around the Manchester area in my younger days. As I approached mid life, Nordic walking seemed to be the ideal way to improve my fitness levels, lose weight and combine my other interests of local history, industrial archaeology, maps and photography.

After just a few months of regular Nordic Walking I was several kg lighter and definitely more toned, couple that with fresh air, beautiful scenery and our famous British weather I know I’ve finally found my ideal exercise regime!

Of course, the social aspect of the classes is a perfect way to make friends and with a Freedom Passport, Nordic Walking across the UK is your oyster (and I’ve now walked with several other groups on my UK travels). Once you have your own poles you can walk anywhere at any time. I am frequently to be found striding out when I have an hour to spare, just for the exhilaration of being in the great outdoors.

Being a Walk Leader gives me the opportunity to pursue my new hobby and share my passion for the outdoors with others, as well as discovering new parks, pathways and wonderful open spaces. I look forward to meeting you.

Julie McMullen-Hamnett – Walk Leader

Hi, I’m Julie McMullen-Hamnett and I only started Nordic Walking in January 2019 but Susan had me hooked from day 1!

I love being outdoors and having tried most forms of exercise over the years I was looking for something a bit different. The idea of being able to exercise your whole body without putting unnecessary strain on yourself had great appeal PLUS the fact that you can do this whilst chatting, making new friends or even just taking time out for yourself are all added bonuses.

Nordic Walking also gives you the opportunity to experience some of the beautiful countryside we have around us but don’t always see or know about due to busy lives.
I jumped at the chance to become a Walk Leader to help Susan & I remain ever hopeful that it will improve
my terrible sense of direction (only joking)! I look forward to seeing you in the great outdoors soon.

Mike Podmore – Walk Leader

Hi I’m Mike. I had previously been introduced to Nordic Walking during my time in the Army many years ago and in August 2018 decided to do a one day technique refresher private lesson with Susan to gain my NWUK Freedom Passport.

I have always enjoyed all outdoor activities and am currently a member of both Sale Walking and Activity Group (SWAG) and Stockport Community Cycling Club.

Whilst the walking and cycling have significantly improved the fitness of my lower body, the key benefits of Nordic Walking have been the improvement to my upper body as well as my overall health and general fitness.

I have led many walks and bike rides for the above clubs and felt that with this experience by training to become a NWUK Walk Leader I can put something back into Susan’s Parks and Pathways Nordic Walking group and help other people to enjoy the benefits of Nordic Walking.

It is a fantastic way to get fitter and healthier in a fun and social environment as well as exploring new walking areas in and around Manchester.

I look forward to meeting you on one of my walks.

Sue Kelly – Walk Leader

Hi, I’m Sue Kelly and I have been walking with Susan since September 2018. I had never heard of Nordic walking until chatting with Susan who described it as the perfect way to improve fitness, relax and socialise without having to join a gym. I picked up a leaflet and promised myself that I would try it when the time was right. So last September, as my eldest child prepared to head off to university, I decided that this was the time for new beginnings and signed up for a Learn to Nordic walk course with Susan.

By the end of the first session I knew I had found something that I was going to enjoy and as the course  continued and I gained in confidence with new techniques, I realised this was the ideal exercise for me. I have always enjoyed walking and being out of doors but struggled to combine this with working full time. Saturday morning walks at Clifton Country Park have enabled me to find the means to exercise in a beautiful location and start each weekend in a positive frame of mind. They are the perfect antidote to a busy and stressful week. Whenever possible I now attend both the Workout and Adventure walks on a Saturday morning and the monthly Sunday Special and feel the benefits both physically and mentally.

As a NWUK Walk Leader I now hope to help others to enjoy these sessions as much as I do!

Ruth Evans – Walk Leader

Hi, I’m Ruth Evans, and I started Nordic Walking with Susan back in July 2017. Initially, I decided to “give it a go” since walking (as a hobby) was a form of exercise I’d never really enjoyed nor considered doing, even though I’d played hockey and squash for a long time and latterly, do several exercise classes a week with the occasional recreational bike ride.  Much to my surprise, I found that I really enjoyed Nordic Walking, particularly as using Nordic Walking poles made getting up those hills a lot easier!
Nordic Walking also complements my other exercise classes in many ways:
    – I can enjoy the freedom of being outdoors instead of staring at gym walls!
    – I get a good all-over body workout without having to haul heavy weights around!
    – It’s nice to be sociable during and after the exercise instead of just afterwards!
    – It’s actually fun, even when it’s muddy (but don’t tell Susan!)!
    – I have been introduced to some interesting local places (not far from my home) which I never knew existed!
By being a Walk Leader, I hope to be able to make Nordic Walking fun and enjoyable for other people, whilst introducing them to all the wonderful countryside in the local area.”


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