What our customers say…
That was such an enjoyable day and I dredged up bits of knowledge from when I was at school!!! You are such a great teacher. Thank you.
Christine, Milbourne – February 2020+
The group exercise worked really well for us. It helped that we were doing it over familiar ground allowing more time to focus on the measuring, bearing, timing calculations and landmark logging.
Alix P, Milbourne- February 2020
I enjoyed the Map and Compass Workshop yesterday and it was a good refresher for me on a number of things.
Geraldine, Hullavington – February 2020+
I thoroughly enjoyed the Map and Compass Workshop sessions and you gave lots of hints and tips. A very nice band of people too.
Sarah K, Bradford-on-Avon – February 2020
Thanks for the workshop, really enjoyed it. Having all 4 in one go was bit of a marathon, but it does make sense to have them together. The material you delivered was absolutely great. Of course having this course f2f is the best option, but the online format also worked quite well.
Sulekha, Chippenham – February 2020
I thoroughly enjoyed the maps and compass online training yesterday with Steve. The pace and delivery were great and the pre-planning of all our personalised local routes for us to have a go at mapping was much appreciated. Off to practice my newly acquired skills with the family this morning 👍😁
Melissa D, Bristol – February 2020
Fabulous Map & Compass CPD course with Steve today. Zoom may seem an unlikely forum for a practical skill but Steve has such a depth of knowledge he was able to deliver an engaging and interactive workshop.
Lucy CM, Birmingham – February 2020+
Not sure if there is another one scheduled yet but I highly recommend this course when there is. Thanks Steve!
I have just completed a very comprehensive Map and Compass skills training session with Steve Ellis and many other Nordic Walking Instructor friends. My brain now aches, but I am itching to get planning some new and interesting routes for my groups. Thanks so much.
Tracy H, Nottingham – February 2020
Morning Steve, just a thank you for hosting the Map Reading Zoom meeting yesterday.
Ian B, Knutsford – February 2020+
Brilliant, Steve, really enjoyed!
Una L, Kent – February 2020
Many thanks for running the course on Saturday and for attaching the route plans – I had the same time and just under 6km as distance. I really appreciated the time you took beforehand to get these route plans done, as you said, it makes it more real and personal.
Eilidh, Blair Atholl – February 2020+
The Map and Compass Workshops on zoom were easily accessible, Steve calmly ensured everyone was following and revisited to reinforce understanding. Steve is very experienced, knowledgeable and encouraging. Getting out and practising the skills is the way forward.
Sue H, Exeter – February 2020
I joined Gemini Nordic Walking Group in March ’19.
It’s an excellent way to get fit, lose weight and enjoy the outdoors. I used to do a lot of running but it was high impact on my knees. Nordic Walking uses poles which takes the weight off your knees. Also, it’s such a lovely way to exercise – walking with fellow walkers and making friends.
Jill K – September 2019+
There are plenty of sessions available that can be joined to fit around a busy life. That makes things much easier. There are also different types of session to choose from which include Nordic Walking, Trek Fit Training, Trail Walks and some planned weekends away.
I have lost nearly two stones and feel so much healthier. I highly recommend Gemini Outdoor Nordic Walking. Thank you, Steve and Dave for lots of laughs and helping me to improve my health.
We asked Nigel ‘what does Nordic Walking mean to you?’
“It’s been a way of exercising that both of us can participate in. We can do it at different rates without the other one feeling left behind. You can put in as much effort as you want. It’s a way of exploring the surrounding area. It’s a friendly group, you meet all kinds of people with vastly different backgrounds that have a common interest and you can engage with each other as little or as much as you want. You can have little internal targets to reach ie keep up with certain Members etc, and challenge yourself at different stages of the walk.”
Nigel C – May 2019+
We also asked ‘how would you describe Nordic Walking to someone else?’
“It doesn’t really matter how fit/unfit you are, you can participate; it’s a way of doing some exercise in the open air; it’s not difficult to learn and you meet a nice group of people who will help and encourage you along the way. It’s a good way of increasing your exercise/fitness in a non threatening environment; its done outside so you benefit from fresh air and mental wellbeing.”
Jill’s assessment as she starts her Nordic Walking journey…
“This type of exercise is really working for me, I can really feel my fitness level improving.”
Jill K – March 2019
Roy’s thoughts on his “Trek Fit Training” experience…
“Really enjoyed the challenging TFT sessions through last winter, a good incentive to get up on those dark mornings (I especially enjoyed the frosty ones where we soon got warm!). A great fitness improver that helped get me to the top of Mount Kilimanjaro with Steve and the Gemini Outdoor team in March 2018.”
Roy Pentecost – October 2018
Helen’s views of her “Tuscany Trails 2016” experience…
Accommodation… “A stunning setting with beautiful views, fantastic food, warm welcoming hosts and really lovely and comfortable rooms”
Walking Routes… “Pleasingly varied, extremely interesting and pleasantly challenging. Each day was different – one day crunching through chestnut woods and across vineyards, another high up on a rocky mountain, another passing through mountain meadows with the occasional cow looking on…”
Leader… “Well organised and prepared. Very knowledgable about the area where we stayed and where we walked (and the different varieties of grappa available at our accommodation!). Fun, friendly and entertaining. Nothing was too much trouble.”
Itinerary… “Very well thought through itinerary. Everything well organised. Plenty of variety throughout the week and a real treat in the middle of our stay to have a day to visit a beautiful city. Thoroughly enjoyed our evenings out as well as the home made suppers that we had back at the accommodation with our hosts. Our ritual coffee/gelato stops after our walks also definitely went down a treat!”
Helen Evans – October 2016
“I have just returned from a fantastic mountain walking holiday in the Pyrenees with Gemini Outdoors and the very knowledgeable International Mountain Leader Steve Ellis.”
Tracey McCarthy – September 2018+
Steve is extremely knowledgeable and passionate for the Outdoors; he inspired me to pursue a career within the industry as a professional instructor, and that is what I have done. Five years on, I asked Steve for a reference for another Instructor post I am applying for; and without a second thought it’s done. Thank you very much Steve and I hope to see you on the hill soon. The trip was incredibly well organised, down to the minutest detail for our comfort, safety, challenge and fun.
The routes we walked were varied, with stunning scenery and catered for all abilities.
The accommodation was amazing with gracious and attentive hosts who also specialised in outdoor adventure and were also happy to share their knowledge.
I have returned feeling fitter, relaxed and with a great sense of achievement.
Thank you Steve for looking after us so well and helping us all reach our walking potential.
“Steve was my College Tutor whilst I was on the BTEC National Diploma in Outdoor Adventure. From Day 1, I knew the 2-year course the right choice.”
Tom Coombe – January 2015+
Steve is extremely knowledgeable and passionate for the Outdoors; he inspired me to pursue a career within the industry as a professional instructor, and that is what I have done. Five years on and I asked Steve for a reference for another Instructor post I am applying for; and without a second thought it’s done. Thank you very much Steve and I hope to see you on the hill soon.
“Summer 2014, the wrong side of 50, overweight, poor health and constantly tired so I decided, with my sister in law’s encouragement, to try Nordic Walking.”
Gill C – April 2015+
My first attempt was an hour in Lydiard Park with Steve Ellis of Gemini Outdoors and about half a dozen other convivial, friendly walkers on a Wednesday evening in July. Steve is an amazingly patient teacher – it might look easy but getting the right technique with the poles takes practice (I’m still practicing). It’s a bit like being on a cross trainer but more fun. At the end of the first hour I was a sweating wreck but I felt invigorated and so pleased that I had taken my first steps towards better health and fitness. I went the next week, and the next… Wednesday evening couldn’t come around soon enough.
On the fourth occasion Steve mentioned the Nordic Walking Challenge in November. The beauty of the event is that you challenge yourself. You don’t have to race anyone, although you can if you want to. I find Steve quite inspirational and as he was organising it and had helped me so much I wanted to reciprocate and support his event. I said I would do the 5k challenge. He encouraged me to try for 10k and I found myself agreeing! I drove home wondering what on earth I had let myself in for.
The Challenge Day arrived. It was really well organised – slick and professional. Before I even started walking I was surprised to bump into three people I knew from different parts of my life who, before the day, I had not known they did Nordic Walking. It’s like a friendly fitness Mafia! After a fun filled ten minute official warm up and wearing my personal time piece which was linked to the official timer I set out with the last group of 10k walkers. Within five minutes I was on my own. Everyone else, fitter and more experienced had cleared off but I was not disheartened. I was doing this for myself and to show my two very fit daughters that there was still life in their ageing mother!
The second 5k lap was really tough but all the Marshalls were so encouraging along with the Nordic walkers from the other distance groups who were lapping me! It started to rain at one point which was a welcome relief as I was so hot despite it being November. At the finish I was last (well someone has to be) but euphoric that I had achieved my goal. I was also really chuffed to receive my ‘split’ time, just like in the Olympics, which showed that I had managed to keep up the same pace throughout the course. I could have done without the official photographer and his camera although I was so wrecked I reckoned no one would recognise me! When I got home at lunchtime, after a shower and something to eat, I fell into bed and stayed there until the next morning – to say I was worn out is an understatement but it was worth it for the amazing sense of achievement I felt. Since then I have continued to walk with Steve’s groups in Malmesbury, joined a full day coaching session to improve my technique and walked most weeks with one of the friends I bumped into on the day of the Challenge. Nordic walking is fun, sociable and a million times more enjoyable than going to the gym. I feel fitter, healthier and happier since first planting my poles.
“Thank you for a great day with good company, and developing understanding of the principles of Nordic walking.”
Susie – Introduction to Nordic Walking Course – January 2015
“Thank you Steve. We both had a great day and I think you may have converted Clive!”
Gill – Introduction to Nordic Walking Course – January 2015
“Steve’s approach to Nordic Walking has provided the perfect catalyst to getting fit again, and enjoying the process.”
Julie – August 2013+
His methods are motivational, fun and functional – I found myself feeling fitter for life generally, and for the first time in ages my body started changing shape – for the better. The stale air of the gym seems stifling compared with the rush from being outdoors, hopping over logs and powering up grassy hills in Nature’s Gym. The opportunity to meet and chat with like-minded people on the group walks has also helped the process. However it would be hard to replicate the effect just walking with friends – whilst not a drill sergeant, Steve will certainly get you to go the extra mile.
Nordic walking itself has been one of the best forms of exercise I have ever found – it does what it says on the tin as it were. I used to look upon walkers with poles in the UK with bafflement – its incredible that holding two sticks can make such a difference. After just 2 months my husband noted my posture was better, particularly the ‘hunched over the laptop shoulders’. It works.
“Steve is one of the most forward thinking and creative people I have had the pleasure to work alongside in the outdoors.
Gary Daines, International Mountain Leader, Big Smiles Adventure+
His attention to safety and client care is second to none and his ability to communicate on all levels is fantastic. He brings fun and enthusiasm to any group he works with and always strives for excellence in every situation.”
“I hate exercise but I LOVE Nordic Walking! It’s the only form of exercise that I have ever stuck to (3 years now) and I put that down to two things:”
Barbara Robinson, Brinkworth, Wilts – July 2013+
1. Steve and the group that go walking are great company so it doesn’t really feel like exercise and
2. We get to go out and walk in THE most beautiful countryside (which is a lot better than looking at myself getting red and sweaty in a mirror at a gym!).
“My fitness level has increased dramatically since I started walking AND I’ve lost a stone and a half. I can’t recommend Steve and Gemini Nordic Walking highly enough so pull on your walking shoes and come join us. You won’t regret it!”
Carol Burns, Swindon – August 2013
“The flyer for the Nordic Walking introductory course immediately caught my eye. This was something I could do, it was in the great outdoors (I never was a gym rat) and showed a friendly group of ordinary people – like me – with not a scrap of lycra in sight.”
Anon, Malmesbury – January 2013+
Surely this was a way of converting my Wish List (get fit, lose weight, invest in a healthier future) to a To Do list in an enjoyable, sociable way? Nordic Walking has done just that – and the key to this success is the competence, experience and sheer enthusiasm that Steve has for all things outdoors whether its short fitness sessions or day long excursions across the Downs or into the Welsh hills.
Steve is able to accommodate the fitness level of everyone attending, producing varied sessions which are structured, well lead and demanding. More recently, upcoming events such as a family wedding and applying for an overseas project caused me to redefine my goals and I turned to Steve for personal training to achieve a trimmer figure and the ‘robust good health’ required. Like the Nordic Walking, the personal training takes place outside, in the fresh air. Steve understands which aspects of an individual’s fitness need most work, and these sessions are tough – but he is a great motivator and I know that with his help I shall reach my goals. I would (and do!) thoroughly recommend Nordic Walking and Gemini Outdoor Adventure.
“Steve has been working with me on improving my fitness levels since January 2012 (for once a New Years resolution was stuck to) through his Nordic Walking classes.”
Chris Burns, EMEA Customs Manager at Intel Corporation – July 2012+
Despite myself and my history of non-exercise, these classes have been enjoyable, rigorous and challenging – to the point that six months later I’m still attending (longer than I ever managed at any gym) and still getting a great deal out of the exercise. Steve has been excellent at providing support, achievable targets and challenging goals – I look forward to continuing to work with him on maintaining my improved fitness level!
“Steve really made a difference to my son’s understanding of the great outdoors, even I came away with map reading skills I thought I would previously never master – Great time, great guy, great fun.”
Adele Thackray – North Wales
“Both my fiancé and I hate running, but know that aerobic exercise is the best way to loose the dreaded Christmas pounds.
Sarah – January 2012+
We had an exceptionally fortunate meeting with Steve Ellis through some mutual friends, and next thing we knew we’d signed on to an introduction to Nordic walking weekend course… what can I say? Quite simply the best, funniest, easiest and enjoyable way to loose weight and enjoy the outdoors we’ve ever experienced. We really enjoyed learning how to ‘walk’ again, and were amazed at how many calories we were burning throughout the course of the day; alongside that we loved meeting like-minded fellow Nordic walkers and just generally having a brilliant time outdoors.
I would definitely recommend Steve’s Nordic walking to anyone who: enjoys the outdoors, wants to get fit and have a good giggle along the way.
The sessions that are run throughout the week really up the heart rate and Steve is fantastic at encouraging you to achieve your best. Overall, quite simply, we’re hooked!!”
“I have had the pleasure of walking the hills with Steve over the years. Steve is extremely knowledgeable on a variety of subjects and the mountains are no different.
Richard Norris, Volunteering Programme Manager, BT+
He is keen to share his experience for the benefit of others and he does this in an extremely professional and articulate manner. More importantly I felt safe under his leadership and instruction.
“I spent two years under Steve’s tuition, on the BTEC National Diploma in Outdoor Adventure, and can honestly say it was the best and most useful two years of my education.
Ben Ryle, BTEC Outdoor Adventure, 2009-11+
Steve went out of his way to help me achieve top grades on the course, and outside the course by setting up plenty of opportunities, that lead to NGB accreditation, job placements,and some brilliant expeditions in Wales, Scotland and the Alps. Steve’s knowledge and love of the outdoors was evident in his lessons and leadership, he created a sense of safety, even in the worst of weather (a particularly wild winter trip up the usually placid Sugar Loaf mountain in the Black Mountains comes to mind!!!). I highly recommend Steve’s services as he will go out of his way to provide a professional, fun and educational experience in the Outdoors.
“Steve shared his time and expertise well with the whole group and didn’t make me feel an idiot for not understanding new things immediately. He also allowed us to make mistakes and learn from them in a safe environment. I also appreciated the suggested follow up reading material and suggested websites, and hope to return and complete Mountain Skills Course when I’m a little more experienced.”
Elizabeth – Hill Skills Course – January 2015