About Us

Nordic4 is based in Bristol and was founded in 2017 by Katie Atkins. The ethos of Nordic 4 is a focus on correct technique so developing a deeper understanding of one’s body in exercise, improved fitness and a sense of well being.

Our teaching sessions take place in varied and beautiful locations in Bristol providing both gentle and challenging terrain as is right for our walkers.

Nordic4 places real importance on the individual, recognising that not all walkers are the same. Katie Atkins, Rachael Wilson, Emma Webb and Nicola Johnston tailor sessions to individual needs so that all walkers can achieve their potential whatever their age or fitness level. The variety of Beginner Courses and Walking Fitness
sessions offered by Nordic4 for Adults and Teens reflects this ethos.

We predominantly teach Nordic Walking on The Downs, Blaise Castle Estate, Ashton Court, Abbots Pool and Leigh Woods.Nordic4 is pleased to hold the Leigh Woods Nordic Walking Teaching License for National Trust and Forestry England.

Katie Atkins

“Hello, I am Katie and I am the proud founder of Nordic4. An INWA Lead for Children’s Education, developing and an Instructor for British Nordic Walking, I am a qualified Nordic Walking instructor with 26 years experience teaching in the Primary Sector. I offer a unique combination of high quality teaching practices and technique based learning. A PE specialist (working with mainstream, gifted and talented and SEND pupils) for 12 years I enjoy thinking of all the different ways to adapt my teaching to enable walkers of all ages and abilities to achieve and enjoy Nordic Walking."

“All of our courses, whether adult or teen, have the outcome of ensuring each and every individual fulfils their potential and personal goals. Teaching walkers in all weathers, taking in the sights, sounds and scents of the different seasons adds a layer of mindfulness too so that all walkers feel that Nordic4 really is “Exercise for the body and relaxation for the mind”

“Get in touch to see what Nordic Walking with Nordic4 can do for you.”

Katie’s qualifications: National Trainer INWA, Primary Lead PE Teacher, BA Hons, PGCE, PE Mentor for Wesport, INWA Nordic Walking Instructor, Level 2 Certificate in Fitness Walking (YMCA Award), YMCA Level 3 Award in Adapting Exercise for Independently Active Older People, British Nordic Walking For Children Instructor, Fully Enhanced Nordic4Kids DBS, Certificate in Walking for Parkinson’s Disease (Connect Neuro Physiotherapy and accredited by International Nordic Walking Association), Outdoor First Aid Qualification, Fully Insured, Level 4 : Diploma in Coaching Pedagogy in Physical Education Environments Transcend Award).
Safeguarding: 11/ 2018: Prevent Training (AGBIS)
2019: 3 Yearly Safeguarding Training
2/2019: GDPR e Learning
7/20 : SARI Webinar Training (AGBIS)

Emma Webb

“Hello, I’m Emma and my background is in healthcare, having been a GP in Bristol for 20 years. I have experience in the wide range of medicine that primary care provides and that has shown me the value of healthy lifestyle choices in improving and maintaining overall wellbeing. There is a wealth of medical research showing the health benefits of physical activity and Nordic Walking is recognised as low-impact exercise that is particularly valuable for improvement in muscle function and balance as well as being fun.

"I have had a love of walking and being outdoors since my school days. Firstly exploring Snowdonia as a teenager and later returning there to train in navigation skills. In recent years I have enjoyed regular walking with my family in the UK and Europe.

"Influenced by alpine walkers, I decided to learn Nordic Walking with Katie. I immediately enjoyed it and discovered its enhanced fitness benefits. I was impressed by Katie’s teaching and the ethos at Nordic4. The individually tailored approach to teaching and the aim to positively encourage people to optimise their walking inspired me to join the team."

Emma's qualifications: MB ChB, MRCGP, INWA Nordic Walk Leader, INWA Nordic Walking Instructor, Nordic Walking for Parkinson’s Disease INWA, Fully Insured, Certificate in Outdoor First Aid 2020, Fully enhanced Nordic4Kids DBS, Safeguarding Children and Young People 2020, Safeguarding Adults 2020, GDPR 2019, SGA Module 1 - Introduction to Safeguarding Adults: Level 1

Rachael Wilson

“Hello, I am Rachael, a qualified INWA Nordic walking Instructor and I have had the privilege of being involved with Nordic4 since its inception, teaching teens alongside Katie at the weekend. With thirteen years’ experience supporting junior school children in specialisms including Occupational Therapy and Physical Education, I have worked closely with Katie and a number of physiotherapists to help pupils reach their potential. Teaching with an understanding of tailoring lessons to individual needs, has been key to improving the physical strength and general well-being of all pupils enabling me to adapt my Nordic Walking teaching methods to suit children, teens and adults.

"For me, Nordic walking has so many benefits: freedom to exercise out in the fresh air, it takes me away from life’s everyday stresses and strains, gadgets and screens, allowing me to fully appreciate and enjoy the beautiful open spaces around Bristol. I find Nordic walking totally invigorating. It gives me a full body workout, strengthens my core and provides me with a real feeling of improved wellbeing. On a personal level it has helped alleviate back pain, by aligning my body and ensuring correct posture. It has helped with migraine headaches too.

"Nordic walking is definitely addictive and sharing the pleasures and benefits of this sport through teaching others is an absolute privilege!"

Rachael's qualifications: INWA Nordic Walking Instructor, British Nordic Walking for Children Instructor, Adult & Children First Aid Qualification, Fully Enhanced Nordic4kids DBS and Fully Insured.

Nicola Johnston

“Hello! My name is Nicola Johnston and I am a qualified INWA Nordic Walk Leader. Having grown up holidaying in Cornwall, I hiked the coastal paths with my family and dog in all weathers and developed a real love of the outdoors. After years of living in London and relying on gyms for fitness, it was a pivotal moment when I met Katie in 2020 and was introduced to Nordic walking.

"Not only has Katie’s teaching improved the way I walk with or without poles, it is also a simple but very effective technique to take pressure off joints (especially knees) whilst also enjoying a fabulous total body work-out in the fresh air. My family love skiing and Nordic walking has seamlessly replaced time usually spent on the slopes. I would highly recommend this sport to any skiers to keep ski-fit outside of the ski season. I have been privileged to have met some incredible men and women through Nordic Walking, it really is a unique sport which combines sociability with mental and physical health benefits galore.

"I am delighted to have joined the Nordic4 team so I can support Katie, Emma and Rachael with walking for fitness classes and seasonal walks and look forward to meeting you soon!"

Nicola's qualifications: INWA Nordic Walk Leader; Fully insured, BA Joint Honours, English and Italian; Post Grad Law, Certificate in Outdoor First Aid 2021.

Anne Sharp

“Hello, I'm Anne Sharp and I have recently qualified as a Nordic Walking Leader. I'll be helping Katie, Emma and Nicola with the Gentle Walking groups, and also the Seasonal Walks as needed.

"I started Nordic Walking with Nordic4 in about 2018 and have really seen the benefits of improved fitness, keeping joints healthy and maintaining a good posture. Above all, the sessions are just good fun and there's a real sense of companionship across the groups. I also love getting to know the beautiful spaces in and around Bristol, having moved here in 2013 from London with my husband.

"Why did I decide to go for the Nordic Leader qualification? Having enjoyed my Nordic walking sessions with Nordic4 for several years, I thought it would be good if I could help communicate and deliver the benefits of Nordic walking to others. It's a such a good all-round exercise but also provides much more in terms of emotional wellbeing and social interaction. I'm really enjoying being part of the Gentle Walking team, seeing first-hand the positive impact of Nordic walking.

"Other than walking, I enjoy Pilates and am a keen gardener. For many years our main holiday was always skiing, mainly alpine but some Nordic skiing as well, and I'm looking forward to trying more Nordic skiing to complement my walking. Growing up on the coast in South Wales, my main physical activity was sailing although I did spend weeks at summer school in Snowdonia, hill walking as well as sailing. And obviously the Brecon Beacons was on our doorstep.

"Most of my career has been in the banking industry. When I left the industry in 2009 I started volunteering and then working with Citizens Advice. I then indulged my love of gardening by taking my RHS exams and studying for a diploma in garden design. I've been a garden volunteer with the National Trust and am Chair of Windmill Hill City Farm where I am also a garden volunteer."

Anne's qualifications: INWA and British Nordic Walking Nordic Walking Leader, Fully Enhanced DBS, Outdoor First Aid, HNC Financial Sector Studies, RYA Yachtmasters certificate, RHS Level 2 and 3 qualifications, Diploma in Garden Design.