About Us

WALX Derwent and Dales is dedicated to providing outdoor fitness to all abilities in Derbyshire. Nordic Walking, Bungypump, Smoveys, Tai Chi Movements for Wellbeing, Mindfulness, Speedhyking and Holidays are all part of the complete well-being solution to help you to reach your goals. Through safe, effective professional guidance we will help you to make long-lasting positive changes for a healthier, more active life in a fun and sociable way.

Our team of Coaches and Guides offer a full programme of activities throughout the week. Based very close to the Peak District and in the heart of the Derbyshire Dales we are often found exploring the hills at the weekend.

Sam Armstrong -WALX Master

Sam Armstrong is the WALX Master for Walx Derwent and Dales. She qualified as a Nordic Walking Instructor in 2008 after working in the fitness business for many years. Recognising the benefits that exercise outdoors had to our physical and mental health she was inspired to set up the business and empower others.

With a Personal Training and Sports Massage therapy background she delivers many classes each week to all levels and abilities for members to achieve their personal goals and outcomes. Sam is always very driven and motivated to bring new and innovative ideas into her sessions including Smoveys, Bungypump, Speedhyking, and to slow us down a little  – Tai Chi Movements for Wellbeing.

Over the years Sam’s love of walking has taken her and her members on trips all over Europe and the UK.  Each May Sam organises a local Rustick Weekender, inviting Nordic Walking UK and WALX members across the UK to join us for three days in the Peaks with our team of local Coaches and Guides. Also qualified as a Hill and Moorland Leader, you’ll often find her in the hills on her days off. Her greatest pleasure is to share the local Derbyshire Dales and Peaks with her members.

Sam has a Team who support her to deliver the sessions and who share her passion for the outdoors, whilst thoroughly enjoying the social aspect of it all and the fitness benefits.

“Exercise is a journey, not a destination. It must be continued for the rest of your life. We don’t stop exercising because we grow old, we grow old because we stop exercising”. Kenneth H Cooper

June Holden – WALX Coach

June Holden – WALX Coach for WALX Derwent and Dales started Nordic Walking in 2009 playing a very active role in the business and is always motivated to deliver fun and active sessions. Initially completed her Walk Leader training and then became an Instructor in 2016 and now a coach.  June has always loved sport. This forms a major part of her life, having played competitive tennis and having enjoyed many years of horse-riding, training and cycling. It was a natural progression to continue to keep active in a very sociable and fun way. All Nordic Walking activities have improved June’s overall fitness, taken the impact off her joints and given her a sport that she can continue as the years progress. June is a great ambassador for Nordic Walking and loves motivating others to start walking, improving their overall fitness and mental wellbeing as a result. She has travelled to many European Countries and around the UK to Nordic Walk whilst also supporting the Rustick Weekender and the Purbeck Nordic Walking Festival in Dorset. June is welcoming and inclusive and has had a great impact on the business since she started in 2016.

Julia Gartside – WALX Guide

Julia is a WALX guide for WALX Derwent and Dales and has been Nordic Walking since 2009.

She was not previously a walker or particularly active but with weight gain, arthritis and retirement on the horizon she finally took herself in hand after reading an article about Nordic Walking and gave it a go.  Like so many other people she found it addictive and has never looked back.

Now her arthritis is manageable with sensible eating and exercise, and she has lost weight and changed shape without really trying. She has met some wonderful people who have become firm friends and has discovered the beautiful countryside in Derbyshire and well beyond.

She is fitter and happier than she has ever been.  She is out walking in all weathers and still surprise herself with the distances she walks, the terrain she is tackling and the challenges she is prepared to take on.

For Julia, Nordic Walking has been a real-life changer and a day without her poles is a day wasted.

Julia delivers her own evening sessions is a dedicated Guide and is always on hand to support other groups.

Jacky Brown – WALX Guide

Jacky has been a WALX Guide for WALX Derwent and Dales since 2009.  This was after walking for pleasure for many years previous to that with a friend who had had a stroke and wanted to go to the gym. She suggested looking at the countryside for exercise as it would be far more pleasurable.

After just a year of Nordic Walking, Jacky was leading her own evening class, enjoying torch lit winter evenings and long and bright summer evenings. Jacky has never looked back and amazes herself all the time with the distances she walks, thinking back to the time she would never have considered walking to any of the villages surrounding Ashbourne. Now, Jacky has travelled to many places around Europe and in the UK as well as all the local areas.

Nordic walking is a great pass time, and an excellent form of exercise, in the fresh air, with beautiful scenery and the best company. So although her walking started off as helping a friend to get over a stroke it turned out to be the best stroke of luck for her.

Jacky is a dedicated member of the team and always around to support us when needed.

Colin McLean – WALX Guide

Colin is a WALX guide for WALX Derwent and Dales and specialises in Speedhyking.

He was introduced to Nordic walking with Sam in 2016. Colin has enjoyed an active lifestyle for many years and was keen to add Nordic Walking to his weekly programme. Nordic Walking with the Ultimate Boot Camp style class for Colin has brought the gym outside (whatever the weather) for Colin and provides the all-round sport conditioning that complements his other outdoor activities.

An enthusiastic relative age-group triathlete, over the last 10 years, Colin has competed all of the Triathlon distances including in 2015, the 140.6 mile “Copenhagen Ironman” swim, bike and run course. He enjoys being physically active and for him Nordic Walking has provided not just an active workout but the opportunity to be in the company of like-minded people who enjoy being out and about in our local countryside.

Colin now delivers the Speedhyking sessions for our WALX weekly activities.


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