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A Southern man’s tale....by Nick Garrett

Firstly, let me start off with a few facts.

Fact – I am a 50+ man, there is nothing I can do about that, it was decided in the summer of 69 and to be honest it’s a bit too late to change now. I have been told I have nice calves, but I just can’t see me in a dress at my age.


Fact – I am a Southerner; we are born rude and really don’t like talking to people. If you have ever ridden the tube during rush hour you will see thousands of people completely ignoring each other and doing it very successfully. My resting face is always miserable, but I regularly reassure my family I am laughing on the inside.

Fact – I am useless at small talk; the night before my first walk with YTWG I practiced small talk with my wife and it came out like a creepy old man in Revolution Bar, who really should have gone home before midnight.


My idea of talk of any kind consists of golf, rugby, cycling, running and why does everyone hate

Manchester United, but I knew I had to improve and bite the bullet.


Now we have that out of the way, let me tell you a few things about YTWG and my experiences.

I joined YTWG following a move North as a way to meet new people, keep fit and see parts of

Yorkshire I would never have found, even with a map, a compass, and a guidebook – in fact even the most Yorkshire of Yorkshire folk would have trouble finding some of the spots that the YTWG guides take you to.


I am now 2 walks in, so have I met my objectives?


I have met new people (although a few of them have been Southerners looking to meet new

people!) but on both walks the walk leaders have been really friendly and inclusive, the walking

group members try to talk to the newbies to make them feel at ease, and even though we are not

talking about hating Manchester United there is enough chat to make the miles fly by –

Walk 1 was 13 miles and 1,300ft of elevation and walk 2 was 10.6 miles and with 1,100 ft of

elevation – so not only have I been keeping fit, my Strava numbers have gone through the roof -


On both walks I have seen some amazing views and like a good tourist I do seem to come back with a huge number of photos of the Yorkshire countryside, I will calm down soon but at the moment everything is more beautiful than Southeast London (if you have ever seen the Crystal Palace Mast, you will know what I mean) - There are a few other thoughts I would like to share; the walking pace is whatever you want it to be – if you are fast - then knock yourself out, if you are not so fast then that’s also fine. The walk leader will always make sure we regularly regroup and there’s always time for a sandwich and a coffee. As you can see from the above the distance and terrain varies from walk to walk and if you don’t want to talk that’s also ok because sometimes you just want to get your head down and keep on walking

but do remember to occasionally look up and take in the views.


The most important thing I can tell you, is I am still smiling, I am really loving getting out into the

countryside and I have already booked my next walk. If you see me out with YTWG soon then feel

free to tell me how much you hate United, or we can just walk along in manly silence.


Have fun.



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Caroline Clift
Caroline Clift
Feb 28, 2022

Just read that whilst having a pedicure! Got to look after the feet! I have just joined the group and am all set for my first walk in March and the 200km challenge. I am a northerner that lived down south for more than 20 years. I moved back to Lincs 18 months ago and now plan to move to Yorkshire this year. I joined the group as I just want to meet likeminded people who love a walk and a natter. Your post fills me with even more positivity, as I already know that us northerners will talk to anyone 😆 Happy walking and perhaps we'll meet on a walk soon

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mark.lythgoe
mark.lythgoe
Feb 28, 2022

Enjoyed that and also feel encouraged...looking forward to exploring more of Yorkshire with the group and meeting a fellow Southern Man!😀

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Emma Shipley
Emma Shipley
Feb 28, 2022
Replying to

You can meet the man who wrote this haha hopefully you can join us

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