Save the date:

 AGSD-UK Conference,
 Wyboston Lakes Executive Centre,  Bedfordshire. 
 20-21 October 2018


 GSD Camp (click here)

 Whitemoor Lakes

 Lichfield, Staffs.

 28-30 September 2018



Walking with McArdle's - Wales 2012

Pembrokeshire and Snowdonia, summer 2012

Another great opportunity to experience walking with other people who have McArdle Disease, to learn from others with the disease all about the techniques which make walking safe and enjoyable. You can do this in a holiday atmosphere, with a friendly and understanding group and in a choice of two beautiful national parks - the Pembrokeshire Coast in south west Wales or Snowdonia in north Wales.


Watch our video playlist on Youtube Videos - Week 1 Pembrokeshire.

Album of photos on Facebook Photos - Week 1 Pembrokeshire.

To read here the responses to the 2011 courses click here.


We have McArdle people coming from around the world at all levels of fitness. We can help guide you in a supportive and encouraging atmosphere, with no worries about embarrassment or competition.

The organising team
'Walking with McArdle's' is organised by the people who did the 'Walk over Wales' in 2010. (Photo, left to right - Dan Chambers, Andrew Wakelin, Stacey Reason and Andy Williams.) You can read about WoW here. Andrew and Dan will be on both weeks, Stacey on the Pembrokeshire week and Andy hopes to pop in on the Snowdonia week. All the Team have McArdle Disease themselves and have been severely affected in the past, so they know exactly what you go through.

The Team will be led by Andrew Wakelin, age 63, who has walked in Wales for many years and knows the area pretty well. Andrew is the AGSD-UK's Type V Coordinator.

What you will gain
We have set out here hints and tips which we shared with others on the walking courses in 2011. The participants found that walking with fellow McArdle's people was a real joy with a lot of laughs and had the benefit of true understanding from fellow walkers, making the walks relaxed, enjoyable, confidence boosting and hugely rewarding. Also, having plenty of time to discuss the condition was a blessing. We hope you will join us and feel the same in 2012.

We aim to teach you the best techniques for walking with McArdle's, so that you can gain in confidence. We will help you to improve your aerobic fitness and reduce the risk of muscle injury. You will gain confidence in managing your need for rests, without embarrassment. You are likely to improve your motivation to undertake regular exercise - with all its well proven physical and mental health benefits. Past participants have gone home feeling confident that they can exercise safely and with the desire to expand their McArdle's boundaries, inspired by what they achieved during the week.



The programme
This is primarily a walking holiday with the accent on having fun and enjoying ourselves in a beautiful setting. The walks will be enjoyable in their own right as well as providing the opportunity to compare notes with other people with McArdle's and gain practical experience of the subjects we cover.

We will be running a series of relatively informal theory sessions plus there will be plenty of opportunity for discussions. The programme will include: aerobic V anaerobic, the aerobic to anaerobic continuum, second wind, the 6 second rule, starting on the flat, effect of terrain and surface, slow and steady, regular rests, headwinds, benefit of walking poles, correct use of walking poles, walking with non-McArdle people, route planning, eating on walks, hypoglycaemia, hydration, zig-zag technique, stepping up, bad pain versus good pain, etc. We hope that we will be joined on several days by some of the staff from the the UK McArdle Clinic.

Rules of the road
We have some simple 'rules of the road' here for walking in a McArdle's group. These ensure that everyone is looked after and so we ask all participants to agree to follow them.

The walking
We will have an extensive schedule of pre-planned walks available, all geared to the needs of people with McArdle's. There is no need to feel worried - we plan walks to suit the participants and we all have McArdle's. Our locations give us many choices of wonderful walking. The options range from level walks around lakes, valley walks and coastal walks. We have prepared information on walks we will most likely undertake on the Pembrokeshire week, you can download the Pembrokeshire walks data sheet here. For the Snowdonia walks, it's best to read last year's blog.

We will decide on each day's walk to suit the capabilities of the members of the group, and the weather. Walks are planned to provide (wherever possible) opt-out points along the way, so that if anyone feels not up to completing the walk they can be collected by car. You will be fully briefed at the outset of the walk so you know what to expect. The early walks will have opt-out points no more than 1 to 2 miles apart, so you can be confident to join the walk. We will start with shorter, level walks and gradually build up during the week.

Which week?
The Pembrokeshire week is designed for the newcomers to walking with plenty of level walks around lakes and estuaries, and coastal walking on cliff tops and beaches. (See link to a photo library below.) Any inclines will be relatively short and never more than about 100 feet of height gain. Walks will always have opt out points for a lift in the support car.

In Snowdonia there is a full range of hill walks for the more adventurous and aerobically fit - from very gentle hills to strenuous mountain walks. (See link below to last year's photos.) If you want to reach a summit, we can arrange it. Walks will start with opt-outs at intervals of about 2 miles, but the longest could be 8 or 9 miles without opt-outs. On some days, depending on the capabilities of the group, we may split into two parties and undertake two walks of differing grades. For those who would like to, at the end of the week there will be an opportunity to undertake a serious mountain walk (subject to weather conditions).

Our accommodation
We will be staying in self-catering accommodation and everyone will join in helping to make breakfasts and packed lunches. We will prepare some evening meals and on other evenings will eat out at local pubs or restaurants. Whilst we will all muck in, we have a supporter who will plan menus, buy the food and organise us in the kitchen.

Pembrokeshire - We will stay at the Stackpole Centre at Bosherton Lakes, on the south coast of the Pembrokeshire National Park. Our accommodation is part of a large centre owned and operated by the National Trust. Here the sleeping accommodation is in smaller (mainly twin) rooms. Details and photos of the Stackpole Centre and surrounding area are available as a PDF click here. For the Stackpole web page on the National Trust site (our place is just part of this) click here.

Snowdonia - We will stay at the Glandwr Lodge in Capel Curig in the heart of the Snowdonia National Park. The lodge is owned by a climbing club. The accommodation is in male/female segrated bunk rooms of various sizes. Details and photos of the Glandwr Lodge are available as a PDF click here. For the web site of Glandwr Lodge click here.



Who can join in
Anyone with a confirmed diagnosis of McArdle disease, wherever in the world you live. In order to fully participate in the opportunity you will need to be able to achieve 'second wind'. For the Snowdonia week you should be able to walk on the flat for at least 2 miles (3 km). If you are not yet able to do that, we have available some notes on starting an exercise programme which should help you to get to that level.

The cost
The cost of each course will be £250 GB Sterling (approx. $400 US) per person to include all accommodation, food, transport and activities for the week. This is based on a group of approx. 12 to 15 people. For both courses the cost is £400. Concessions available for those in full time education, unemployed, retired, etc. If a young person wishes to come and be accompanied by a non-McArdle parent, we can arrange that especially for the Pembrokeshire week where the room sizes are smaller. Please contact us for details of this and concessions.

Travel to Wales
You will need to organise your own transport to Wales - we will organise collecting you from train or bus stations. Pembroke is the nearest main line train station for the Pembrokeshire week, and Llandudno Junction for the Snowdonia week. If you come by car there is a car park available at each location and we will car-share with 3 or 4 cars during each week. For international travellers, we will advise you whether we can organise lifts from airports, or we will tell you how to get closer to our locations by train. Please just get in touch and let us know your requirements.

What you need to bring
Please note that you will need to have lightweight walking boots with good grip soles, a waterproof jacket and a pair of telescopic walking poles. We have 5 sets of walking poles available for loan - please ask. We have prepared a suggested kit list available here.

The dates of the two weeks are:
   Pembrokeshire: Saturday 21st to Saturday 28th July 2012
   Snowdonia: Sunday 29th July to Sunday 5th August 2012

Places will be allocated on a first come first served basis. Please use our on-line booking form here. Once your place is confirmed you will be asked to pay a deposit of £50 or the full amount. If you pay only the deposit the balance wil be payable on arrival.

For any further information and questions please email Andrew Wakelin on



All the links you need, and more, in one place:


Background information


Week 1 - Pembrokeshire


Week 2 - Snowdonia


Reference to past events