Jo’s Monday walk : Tall Ships Regatta at Blyth

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You might know that I couldn’t stay away from a Tall Ships return to the north east of England.  I spent 4 happy days admiring them when the race came to Hartlepool in 2010.  This time it was the turn of Blyth, on the Northumberland coast.  I didn’t think you’d object to coming along and having a look over my shoulder.  I can promise you a little fun, and a pirate or two.

Although it’s only 50 miles north of me, and the birthplace of my late Aunt Isa, I have seldom visited Blyth.  I was surprised at the amount of information it generates in Wikipedia.  The name Blyth comes from the river of that name which flows through the town, blithe being an old English adjective meaning ‘merry’ or ‘gentle’.  Isa would have liked that.  Back in her day the town thrived on the industries of coal mining and shipbuilding. During the First and Second World Wars the local shipyards built many ships for the Royal Navy.  Among them, the first aircraft carrier, HMS Ark Royal, in 1914.  Like many another, the town has struggled to reinvent itself for the changing times.  A visit from the Tall Ships is a real coup.

What a thing of beauty they are!  I knew my Dad would be bursting with pride at the Polish representatives.  Dar Młodzieży, The Gift of Youth, is a Polish sail training ship and the largest of the ships present.  It made me smile that comparatively tiny Fryderyk Chopin is the youngest of the Polish Tall Ships.  Let’s stroll along the Quayside and take a closer look.

The British contingent was headed up by Lord Nelson, the flagship for the Jubilee Sailing Trust.  Their mission is to promote the integration of people with disabilities, enabling them to meet the challenge of sailing tall ships on the open seas.   Quite a formidable challenge it seemed to me, as I looked up at all the ropes and pulleys.

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Next in line I found Oosterschelde, the last remaining representative of a large fleet of schooners that sailed under the Dutch flag in the early 20th century.  The name comes from the eastern part of the River Schelde, which flows through Belgium and the Netherlands on its way to the sea.

Now I realise that not all of you share my fascination with ships.  Let me just introduce you to a pirate ship and then your attention can wander.  The Shtandart is a replica of the 1703 frigate built by Peter the Great, in St. Petersburg, Russia.  You can imagine the excitement that this one generates, with its swashbuckling appearance.  I think it had the longest queues for boarding.  And where there’s a pirate ship…  “arr, Jim lad!”

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In addition to the amazing vessels themselves, every effort has been made to beguile and entertain.  There are fairgrounds, trading stalls, and a grand stage.  An invitation to observe the activities of Port of Tyne includes a wind hub and renewable energies centre, looking to the future.  A band marches smartly past, and I cease the opportunity to ‘guess the number of Lego bricks’.  A minibreak to Amsterdam surely has my name on it!

Strolling on into Ridley Park, I’m glad to see that the children have not been neglected.  Magicians perform their tricks, eliciting broad smiles from the parents and the usual serious attention of the youngsters.  I applaud the dexterity, and cheer along with the crowd.

But it’s impossible to ignore the presence of the great ladies.  Their masts loom on the waterfront and the crowd sways toward them. Some of the ships are open to the public for a few hours each day.  The Polish ships and Lord Nelson have already closed but I still have one option.

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My Dutch friend comes with a bonus.  Tethered just behind her is the clipper Morgenster.  When I have looked my fill I can clamber over into the smaller ship.  I’m helped aboard by a smiling crew, and just look at this little beauty!

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See what I mean about all those ropes and pulleys?  Morgenster has an interesting history.  She started life in 1919 as a herring lugger named Vrouw Maria.  In 1927 she was motorised and given her current name.  She worked as a fishing boat until 1970, when she was sold and used for sport fishing day trips.  Certification problems led to her being sold again, this time to a Rotterdam singer, who apparently wanted to use her for ether piracy.  Prosecution was unsuccessful but the ship was allowed to degenerate into a terrible condition.  Happily she was bought in 1983 and lovingly restored.  It would not be until 2008 that she made her way back to sea.  The life of a boat!  Many such facts are found in the event guide.

Nothing more to do now than absorb the atmosphere of so many people having a good time.  At the main stage the Irish Dance music has toes tapping.  Mine too!  It was a reluctant farewell from me.

I hope you didn’t mind my little bit of self indulgence.  The event guide has full details, just in case you can make it in time for the Parade of Sail this afternoon.  Torrential rain caused car park difficulties on Sunday but the skies are clear again today.  A cuppa now, I think!

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Many thanks to all of you who read and encourage me each week, not to mention those who walk with me.   As always I have some great walks to share.  If you’d like to join me at any time, details are on my Jo’s Monday walk page.  You’ll be very welcome.  Just click on the logo above.

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Starting with a bit more of Toronto from Jackie this week.  Quite a big bit, in fact!

High Park

Walking with tigers could be dangerous!  You’d better stay on the bus :

Periyar Tiger Reserve

Violet Sky has some quirky carvings for you this week.  You’ll like them!

Carvings

Kathrin has a beautiful time spotting elks, and admiring ferns :

Fern Canyon, Humboldt County

This city has been waiting for me eternally!  I’ll get there one day, Biti!

Rome again

The rough with the smooth with Drake this week, and some superb shots :

Quiet flows the River Rhine

A perilously placed chateau caught my eye, over at Denzil’s place :

Modave: A Chateau and a Country Walk

Not so far away, Susan check’s out Amsterdam’s rival.  A good-looking city!

Walking Rotterdam, The Netherlands

Make time for a canalside stroll with Adam and Harriet?  I’ve done some of this one :

Kennet and Avon Canal – Bath to Bradford-on-Avon

And Becky just barely scraped in!  I haven’t even had time to read it yet!

Returning to Wells for an ecclesiastical stroll

Wishing you all a very happy week, and if you can make it to Blyth today I can highly recommend it.  Take care till next time!

Six word Saturday

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‘You’ve been framed’ in South Shields!

Another glorious day in the north east of England.  Looking out from the promenade you can see Tynemouth Priory in the distance, caught in the frame.  The Tall Ships have arrived in Blyth, just a little further up the coast.  Exciting times!

Here in the UK it looks like it could be a sunny Bank Holiday weekend.   Have a good one, everybody!  Sharing my six words with Cate and the Daily Post challenge.

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A profusion of water lilies

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Profusion is a lovely word, isn’t it?  And certainly one you can apply to these water lilies.  Right now I’m feeling like I’ve had a profusion of summer days.  I know it can’t last but I love it. Recently I visited Burnby Hall Gardens, in the village of Pocklington in Yorkshire.  Home to the National Collection of over 100 varieties of water lily, it’s all about profusion.  Be prepared to be dazzled!

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In case you hadn’t guessed, this is my entry for Paula’s Thursday’s Special.  ‘Pick a word’, says Paula.  I think she’d probably agree that it’s a ‘brilliant’ display.  And did you spot the heart?

Jo’s Monday walk : Canalside in Skipton

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What drew me to Skipton, in the Yorkshire Dales, for our wedding anniversary?  Heaven knows, I’m no cricket fan (sorry, Freddie!)   Why boats, of course!  This little market town is at the heart of a network of canals where I could walk the towpaths to infinity. (well, Liverpool is 99 miles away- that’s infinity to my husband’s way of thinking, but then he’s a cricket lover)

Skipton sits on the River Aire and the Leeds-Liverpool canal.  Perfect for walking.  York is a mere 38 miles away.  Is that too ambitious?  It was only an overnight stay, so boundaries would definitely have to be set.

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In any case, the canal basin seemed like a good place to start.  I had an ancient town guide to hand and one of its recommends was a walk along Springs Canal.  This takes you around the back of Skipton Castle and promises fine views.  Unfortunately it was dull, verging on damp, at the time so my photos are much less splendid than I would have liked.

Continuing past an old sawmill, the walk weaves through Skipton Woods, a leafy stroll, and a favoured promenade since Victorian times.  It’s an atmospheric place, yet busy with dog walkers.  A circuit takes you past the Round Dam and parallel to the Long Dam, before climbing steps to follow the top edge of the wood, back into town via The Bailey.

At this point you might want to visit Skipton Castle.  Dating back to 1090, it is a wonderfully preserved Medieval castle, with an early Tudor courtyard.  I’ve visited the castle before, but not the neighbouring 14th century Holy Trinity Church.

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Emerging onto the High Street, I found the market in full swing.  I hadn’t come to shop, but there was ample opportunity and I enjoyed the lively atmosphere.  More to my taste, the ‘ginnels’ and narrow alleyways linking many of the side streets.  I couldn’t resist a few brollies for Meg, but then it was time to eat.  And just to prove that I don’t only eat cake…

A saunter down delightfully cobbled Sheep Street offers plenty of choices.  The Three Sheep Tea Rooms has remarkably fine cake, and I can vouch for the pear and apple chutney.  Even though I managed to squidge some down my white trousers!  Time to get back to the canals.

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The day was brightening beautifully, and I crossed over Belmont Bridge to join the towpath of the Leeds-Liverpool canal.  Few things delight my heart more than a narrowboat.  Wreathed in smiles I set off, reveling in such beautiful surroundings.

There are all manner of diversions along the way.  Curious wildlife inspect the prowess of the boat crews.  “Hold steady while I take this selfie!”  “Watch out for those cows!”  Just when all is going smoothly, lock gates present a challenge.

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So much to love!  Smiling faces on board, and on the towpath.  Boat names.  Pretty gardens to admire.  A slow, peaceful way of life.

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All too soon I have to return to the canal basin, for one last linger.  Watching the canal boats depart for their half hour trips, I strike up a conversation with a couple, over a drink outside The Boat House.  They used to own a barge in Belgium, and are as enamoured with the narrowboats as I am. It obviously suited Freddie Trueman too.  He made his home in The Dales and the dynamic statue by Graham Ibbetson is a fine tribute.

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I hope you’ve enjoyed sharing my anniversary walk with me.  It’s been a pleasure to take you along.  Time now for my second cup of coffee!

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Many thanks to you all again for sharing and caring this week.  The weather’s been great and I’ve barely been indoors.  Got to make the most, don’t you?  I have some wonderful walks to share.  If you’d like to join in any time, it’s pretty easy.  Just click on the logo or take a look at my Jo’s Monday walk page.  You’ll be very welcome.

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Who knew a walk round a pumping station could be so interesting?  Thanks a lot, Violet Sky!

High Level

Take a ride through some lovely countryside with Lady Lee?

Thekkady Jeep Safari

My good friend Leya is joining us with some real enchantment this week.  Please pay her a visit :

The Enchanted Monastery

In case you were in any doubt, Debbie shows us just how beautiful is Corsica :

Stroll around Ile Lavezzi

No place like Glasgow!  Just ask Anabel.  She knows!

Glasgow’s Clyde

Got to love Jackie’s energy!  Toronto is another good-looking city :

Summer in the City

Liesbet knows I love waterfalls.  They always make a walk worthwhile :

Hiking to Tannery Falls

You could say Drake is a black pearl.  What do you think?

A pearl without a hard shell

Laia reflects on life in beautiful Switzerland.  Wish I was there!

A walk along the Lake Leman

Please welcome Hanna to my walks.  She’ll show you a little of life in wonderful Copenhagen :

An Entertaining Stroll in The Citadel

I didn’t have Elaine down as a wicked temptress, did you?  But just look at the evidence!

A blustery afternoon in Largs

You couldn’t find a greater contrast than our Becky, in the Algarve.  Blue skies and beautiful wildflowers :

A stroll down memory lane, also known as PR5

Lovely Gilly has found  a calm and peaceful place this week.  Come with us and enjoy!

Buckfast Abbey

That’s it for another week.  It’s a Bank Holiday next Monday and I don’t hold out much hope for the weather.  I’ll still be here though. And smiling! Take care till then.

 

 

Six word Saturday

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Yorkshire just keeps on having fun!

Making the very most of a fine spell of weather, I’ve been out and about lots this week.  And look what I found!  You may remember that Saltburn-by-the-Sea loves its yarn bombing.  They’ve been at it again!  Everything from Yorkshire lavender to Geoffrey Boycott.

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They’re an endearing bunch of characters.  You might even recognise the odd one.  Click on the galleries for a closer look.

And you’ll not go short of a bite to eat, or drink.  Tea, or something stronger?

Got to feed the workers and keep their strength up.  Good old Yorkshire values.

There’s even a little architecture to admire.

Naturally, some people just want to play, and who can blame them?

It all adds up to pride in …

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I told you it was fun!  Great while it lasted but I think it’s going to be wet this weekend.  Never mind.  We can still smile.

Hope you have a good one.  And don’t forget to pop in on Cate with your six words.

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Scampston Walled Garden

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2016 marks the 300th anniversary of landscape artist Lancelot “Capability” Brown, whose designs changed the face of of 18th century England. Born in Northumberland in 1716, he learnt the skills of horticulture and husbandry from the age of 16, as an apprentice on the Wallington estate.  His vision was extraordinary and over the course of 40 years he moved gardens away from formal design to a style that is unmistakably his.

Brown persuaded the rich and famous to invest in landscapes which were beautiful, productive, and would take a century to mature. He designed on an immense scale, moving hills and making flowing lakes that resembled artificial rivers.  His work frequently produced an Arcadian idyll.  Sadly I have never visited Stowe in Buckinghamshire, his best known work, but he was involved in the design of over 250 sites throughout the UK.

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Scampston Hall in North Yorkshire sits beside the busy A64 road.  Wandering serenely across the estate you might never know.  A lazy sheep or two blink, and turn their backs.  The grounds at Scampston were redesigned by Capability in the 1770’s.  They bear all the hallmarks of his work.  A ‘ha ha’, or sunken fence, to confuse the eye, carefully planted trees and an expansive lake that resembles a river running off into infinity.

Oddly enough, I didn’t come to Scampston in search of the Palladian Bridge, but I think that Paula might like it for her Traces of the past.  The lure of the Walled Garden is the ‘new European garden style’, designed in 1999 by Piet Oudolf.  1999 no longer feels new but I did find enchantment in the drifts of Molinia grass.  Here is a small sample of what you might find.

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There’s much more, of course.  You can do some hedge trimming, or even have a cream tea.

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But you can’t beat Capability and a few Marsh Marigolds, can you?

I’m not sure if Scampston Walled Garden fits with Jude’s Garden Challenge, but I know she’ll like it.  That’s reason enough, isn’t it?

Jo’s Monday walk : Scarecrow fun in Kettlewell

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This week photo quality has lost out to Fun.  I’m hoping you won’t mind though, because it’s all in a good cause.  The village of Kettlewell in the Yorkshire Dales is throwing open its doors, from 13th to 21st August.  I know it’s short notice, but you won’t regret a visit.

The scarecrow festival has been running here for more than 20 years, and it must have been in its infancy when I last visited.  Coming over the tops from a rain-soaked Malham, sunlight beamed across the valley.  An afternoon of smiles had begun, and what a cast of characters!

It is the most picturesque of villages, and the surrounding scenery could steal any show.  A field just beyond the village has been earmarked for parking, at a cost of £3.  Smiling villagers direct traffic, and sell trail leaflets for a further one pound.  The map shows the route to follow through the village, with the added bonus of a riddle to solve on the reverse.  For a prize, of course.

Food is widely available, and everywhere a gentle Yorkshire sense of humour prevails.  There are village matrons, with a refined glass or two.  A maypole, with scarecrow children dancing, and Red Riding Hood, tucked quietly in a corner.  Someone always ends up in the stocks, and someone else gets eaten, while a soldier looks gravely on.

The festival has grown hugely since my last visit, but still retains warmth and intimacy.  I chat freely as I wander.  ‘Isn’t it lovely to be here?’  One lady says she lives in Skipton, at the head of the Dales and just a few miles down the road, but has never thought to come before.  This time the whole family are here, and having a great day out.

One of my best memories is the lovely bridal scene outside St. Mary’s Church.  Now the doors of the church have been flung wide, and inside the bishop awaits.   He’s in wonderful company.

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There are many crowd pleasers and figures from popular culture, and all within the most beautiful setting.

There is the prettiest of village greens, and beekeeper’s rule, you’ll be glad to note.  Hard to stop smiling, isn’t it?

‘Star Wars’ is a obviously a village favourite, along with ‘The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe’ and ‘The Wizard of Oz’, of course.

‘Ding, dong, the witch is dead!  Which old witch?  The wicked witch.’  I hope you’ve had as much Fun with this stroll as I did.  It’s not at all the walk I intended to post today, but the timing makes it imperative- just in case you should be in the neighbourhood.  I’ve only shown you a fraction of the whole but I hope it’s enough to whet your appetite.  The proceeds all go to the school and village funds.

Even if you miss the festival, you will still receive a warm Kettlewell welcome.  This website guides you round the village, accompanied by a wealth of historical facts.  And now, I really must have some breakfast!

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Many thanks to you all again, for your good company and contributions this week.  If you’ve never joined in with a Monday walk before, I’d love you to do so.  Details are on my Jo’s Monday walk page.  Just click on the logo.  Now, settle in for a terrific read :

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Debbie was swift away this week, with a stunning coastal walk :

Maidencombe to Babbacombe 

Meet Judith, as she shares some lovely woodland walking in France :

A Path Through the Woods

Jackie does history again, coupled with a nice bit of sculpture :

Canary District

High in beautiful Andorra is a fine place to be with Drake :

Morning mood on the edge

You all know Cindy?  Glorious photography is her middle name :

Eastern Sierra High

Do you find Meg’s graffiti disturbing, or not?  Don’t be a fool like me- click on the gallery!

Vignettes from a morning walk- 7 

Pretty and peaceful with Jaspa, in the capital of Slovenia :

The Streets of Ljubljana Old Town

Anyone fancy meeting Jude in Coffee House Passage?  Sounds good, doesn’t it?

Scrobbesbyrig/Shrewsbury : Town Trail Part 2 

Get set for pagodas and shopping!  That’s Cathy in Myanmar for you :

City Walk : Yangon’s Colonial Treasures 

Anyone for waffles?  Don’t mind if I do, Susan :

Walking Brugge, Belgium, Without Regrets

Mesmerising colours in Kathrin’s walk this week.  I know you’ll love it :

Garfield Peak Trail, Crater Lake

That’s it for another week.  I hope you have a good one.  Next week I’ll be showing you a little more of what took me to The Dales.  The ladies from Monday Escapes are about again, if you’d like to join them.  And, of course, I’m up for the Daily Post challenge.