Classic example of getting it wrong!
A sultry Summer’s day seemed like an excellent time for a stroll by the River Tees, in search of a tempering breeze. Yes, this is north east England I’m talking about. Don’t fall out of your seat in surprise! It happens.
We headed for Preston Park, knowing that we had access to the river there, and should be able to walk along the banks as far as the village of Yarm. You’ll note that I said “should”. It being an impromptu little outing, neither of us had consulted a map.
The park itself was heaving with picnics and families having a good time, so it was a relief to drop down onto the riverbank. It felt wonderfully idyllic as we ambled through shoulder-high wild flowers, extravagant in their pink frocks. The sunshine bounced and shimmered on the water. All was right with the Bradley world.
Innocently following signs for The Cleveland Way, suddenly we found ourselves in the midst of a housing development. The river was there somewhere, but we couldn’t find it! Nothing to do but keep following our noses (and the signs) in the direction of Yarm. It was a long walk beside a busy road! I wished I’d had my bus pass with me.
Undeterred, but hot, we reached Yarm, and with relief descended again to the riverbank, alongside of the superbly positioned pub “The Blue Bells”. Why it did not occur to us to seek refreshment at this point, I do not know, but good spirits were restored anyway. Yarm is a pretty place, and peaceful, viewed from the opposite bank of the river. Swans mingled with ducks and the bridge was in harmony too.
Again we were swathed in wild flowers, mainly whites this time, and meadows opened out behind us. I was amazed at the form and variety of some of the plants, which seemed to have grown to a mighty height. The sun beat hotly down as we followed the meandering riverbank. Beautiful though it was, I was starting to wonder how much further, when catastrophe befell.
We had arrived at Eaglescliffe Golf Course, with its privileged riverside location, and there was no access beyond that point. If it hadn’t been for substantial hedges I would have been a willing trespasser. Irritatingly we could hear the golfers calling to each other, yon side of the hedge, but we had to head wearily inland to complete our walk.
We never regained the riverbank, but collapsed into “The Sportsman” for a reviving Guinness, then limped back to the car. Fortunately the rest of the week’s walking was better planned. Another lesson learned (till next time!)
Hope you enjoyed our very English walk this week. Have a great weekend, and don’t forget to take your map with you! Do make time for Six word Saturday, with Cate at Show My Face.