Members of Penarth walking club having a drink after the walk.
Members of Penarth walking club having a drink after the walk.

Penarth’s new evening walking club leaves January blues behind one step at a time

The group is designed to help locals who don’t want to walk alone in the dark

HAYLEY Church loves walking and hates January – and from those two things the idea for Penarth’s new community walking club was born.

Hayley, 38, started walking with her friend Nicola Penny in the evenings, before realising that maybe other people would want to join them too.

“No one wants to walk in the dark on their own,” she said.

“January can be quite lonely for a lot of people, so this is something they can come down to that might make them feel more hopeful.”

Some members of the walking club on Monday evening

The walking club has only been running for three weeks so far but has already attracted a mix of generations to walk and talk.

“I’m not particularly sporty, but I thought, ‘I can walk’,” said Karen Bretts, 65.

Karen moved to Penarth four months ago and wanted to find something that helped her become part of the community.

January can be quite lonely for a lot of people.

Hayley Church, organiser of the new club

Chloe Street, 21, who works at the yacht club where the group is based, said that much as she was enjoying the walk she was also really looking forward to a glass of wine afterwards.

When The Cardiffian joined the group this week they walked just over four kilometres, which was the longest route so far. The club also offered a shorter route for members who wanted it and are eager to start a third group, depending on demand.

“The great thing about walking is they’re all able to do as much or as little as they can manage,” Hayley said.

After the walk, the group heads back to the yacht club for a drink and swap stories about kids, work and life in general.

Charlotte Holland, 41, who joined in for the first time this week, said: “It’s just really nice to talk to people.”

The group is currently based at Penarth Yacht Club, but when asked if any of them sail or row there was a resounding ‘No’.

Karen says that the club is more about feeling part of a community, than it is about the activities they do.

It’s just really nice to talk to people.

Charlotte Holland, a new member of the club

The club is still in its infancy, but Hayley and Nicola are eager to see it expand.

“We would like to build the numbers because it’s a nice a thing to do, and there are no restrictions on how many people we can take,” said Nicola Penny, 51.

“Even if it was just me, I’d still come down every week just to make sure I wasn’t letting someone down.”

  • The group meets at Penarth Yacht Club at 6.15pm on Mondays, ready for a 6.30pm start. You can just turn up or email that club at