Everyone knows that exercise can benefit your health and wellbeing, but it seems it can also benefit your love life too.

At least that’s the case with Jim and Alison.

The (now engaged) couple met at one of Active North Tyneside’s walking groups which take place right across the borough; and we couldn’t resist the opportunity to shed some light on such a heart-warming love story…

Jim is a North Tyneside native, with Alison having moved to the area from Sheffield in 2020.

Alison explains: “We were both looking to meet people with similar interests, and we thought a walking group would give us the opportunity to meet like-minded people. We both enjoy exercise and being outside with nature, and I personally was keen to familiarise myself with local area. I don’t think either of us imagined what would end up happening.”

Jim and Alison

Jim and Alison both sadly lost their long-term partners at about the same time, and have been rebuilding their lives ever since.

Their first walk together was to St Mary’s Island in Whitley Bay where Jim kindly offered to help Alison fill in her paperwork, “Jim says from that moment he knew it was the start of something special. We walked together and got on so well. We arranged to meet each other outside of the group and friendship became love.”

Jim and Alison got engaged over Christmas in 2020, on holiday in the Lake District. They have plans to travel before they get married with hopes to visit Canada, Australia and New Zealand, but none of this would be happening if it hadn’t been for the local walking group in North Tyneside they both decided to join.

“We both enjoy meeting new people and learning about other local events. At the end of the walks we usually get together for a snack or some lunch. This gives us chance to get to know other group members who have become friends.”

And what does Alison have to say to anyone considering taking their enjoyment of walking that step further and joining a group?

“Joining any group on your own may seem a bit daunting but walking groups are very welcoming and in a short time you will meet some lovely people and find some new friends.”

More information on Active North Tyneside’s walking groups, including the days, times and locations of each group can be found here.