Helen Hartley

WALX Heart of The Shires

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Bringing exercise WALX to Northamptonshire.

WALX Heart of The Shires is a friendly walking club, with skilled Exercise Instructors and Guides who are passionate about walking and outdoor exercise.

Our aim is to encourage and motivate all ages to stay active and improve fitness whilst enjoying the great outdoors, here in beautiful Northamptonshire.

With classes 6 days a week, we mainly use Nordic Walking to improve cardio-vascular fitness, strength, balance, flexibility and co-ordination, however we also have many sessions suitable for non pole walkers too. So if you are looking for an enjoyable way to exercise, improve your mental health, meet new people, explore our lovely county or just looking for a new hobby, come and find out more by joining a Power of Poles Session or an Open Explorer WALX and find out how WALX Heart of The Shires can help you to reach your health goals.



Further Details...

Contact Helen Hartley Register
WALX Types Available
  • Explorer WALX
  • WALX - Power of Poles Intro Course
  • Wellness WALX

Activities by Helen Hartley

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Meet the Team

Simon Villette

Role: WALX Guide

Simon Villette

Meet Simon our WALX Guide who is eager to take you on some Explorer WALX .

” After I retired I have to admit that I got into poor physical shape and needed to make some changes. Encouraged by my wife Wendy, I tried Nordic Walking as a way to improve my fitness and to lose weight. Combined with a healthy eating programme it helped me lose nearly five stone. But I discovered there is more to exercise than physical fitness. Getting into the open air with a group of people improves my zest for life. I have been out walking with my Nordic group twice a week for almost four years, even in the rain. I never miss a session.


I use Nordic Walking poles to help me with posture, balance and agility but you don’t have to use poles to get involved with WALX.  The important thing is to get outside and to put one foot in front of the other. Sometimes I walk with poles and sometimes not. Sometimes I walk slowly and sometimes quickly. Sometimes I stop to look at the view and sometimes I just press on. It’s walking that matters.


As well as aerobic and muscular fitness I particularly enjoy walking to encourage mental wellbeing. The combination of physical movement, fresh air and good company helps to put things into perspective and lifts the spirits, regardless of the weather.


I am fortunate to live between Northampton and Wellingborough with several good circular walks on my doorstep, mostly off road. Some of them have stunning views across the Nene Valley. I am also close to Sywell Country Park and Summer Lees Nature Reserve. I am surrounded by fabulous places to walk and enjoy the scenery. Whether it is a short stroll or a longer excursion with a stop for a picnic there are endless opportunities in this area. The changing seasons add to the variety.


Walking can provide an opportunity for other activities such as photography, poetry, storytelling or creative writing. Walking is a great way to boost your creativity and imagination. Have you ever stood in the open air and sung a song?


Whether you are fit and agile or taking things gently, walking at an appropriate level of challenge is a great way to keep fit.  I look forward to acting as your guide and companion as we explore the Northamptonshire countryside. ”