A Bishop’s Stroll


Oh dear!  It’s that “reach for a warm jacket” time of year again.  Spoiled as I am by my sunny sojourn in Barcelona, I always knew that I was set to meet the British Winter head on when I returned.  I could hibernate, I suppose, but that doesn’t sound much fun.  Nothing for it but to wrap up warm and put the best foot forward. Where better than a medieval hunting lodge to start?

Auckland Castle, in Bishop Auckland, has been the official residence of the Bishop of Durham since 1832, and the surrounding park was originally used by the Bishops for hunting.  These days it’s the start point for a very pleasant stroll.  It never ceases to amaze me how many of these lordly residences still survive in England today.  This one is a veritable treasure trove.  The castle’s long dining room was specifically created to contain 12 of the 13 portraits of Jacob and his 12 sons painted by Francisco de Zurbaran in the 17th century.  Their last valuation was 20 million pounds!  In order to maintain them in their existing home an ambitious project is underway to tell the story of religion in Britain within the castle.  Currently the Castle is closed until next Spring, but it’s still a good base for a walk.

The skies were as grey as my jacket, but still, it’s good to get out!  Wrap up warm and join me.  Follow the links for more information.

Everyone needs a waterproof jacket in this weather!

Everyone needs a waterproof jacket in this weather!


  1. I thought the gray skies were really quite beautiful, and you look prepared for any weather with that lovely jacket and scarf! You take the most interesting walks Jo, and I love traveling right along with you! 🙂

  2. I really enjoyed my walk around this historic area, Jo. One reindeer doth not a Christmas make. 🙂 I wonder if you might take me inside when the spring arrives? Love your jacket and beautiful pink scarf.

    1. One and a half reindeer might, Ad? I didn’t get close enough to the head on the wall for a good shot 🙂
      I will be interested to see what they make of the project next Spring, but whether they let me take the camera inside is a different matter. I’ll try 🙂

  3. tutte belle le immagini, e interessante la passeggiata, ma la più bella è quella tua col tuo giaccone a vento sciarpa ed un dolcissimo sorriso!
    Qui ancora non si è acceso il riscaldamento e il giardino ancora molto fiorito, anche se nel prato c’è un tappeto di foglie che deve essere rimosso in continuazione

    all beautiful pictures and interesting walk, but the most beautiful is the one your with your wind jacket and scarf a sweet smile!
    Here again you haven’t turned on the heater and the garden still flourished, although in the Meadow there is a carpet of leaves that must be removed continuously

    1. We still have a lot of colour in the trees, Ventis. I focussed more on them this afternoon when the rain stopped.
      Wonderful news- I am now using Google Chrome, which gives me Google Translate as an automatic option. No more guesswork! 🙂 (shame! I quite enjoyed it 🙂 )

      1. wowwwwwwww, questo mi fa molto piacere, così potrò scriverti direttamente in italiano, ed in oltre ci capiremo meglio
        la tecnologia riesce a farci diventare cittadini di un unico grande paese il mondo!

  4. You know how much I enjoy these kind of strolls. We are lucky in the UK having so many splendid parks and castles and stately homes to visit. But I am a kind of hibernate in winter person, so travelling vicariously with you is just the ticket 😀

    How come you’re not in Portugal already?

  5. I love it all except the cold and raw parts. We could use the jacket in these parts today winds howling, temps dropping and rain 🙂 I will stay in 🙂 and catch up on blogs 🙂

      1. 🙂 I will be back on a level field when each and every Poinsettia has been handed off to their new owners 🙂 Dec. 2 nd. Not sure when shoulder will be operated on but I see a huge lay up when that occurs Doctor appt. is the 2nd I think as well I better look I have been putting the surgeon off for so long now I have forgotten 🙂 I need it to climb 6to the roof and to shovel 😦

    1. As a town it’s underwhelming (sorry if any residents read this 🙂 ) but the Castle and surrounds are worth a look. I read in the Telegraph that £25 million had been privately invested on the upcoming project.

  6. You are truly a restless Jo! I enjoyed my wander around the Bishop’s castle, whilst waiting for paint to dry (well, actually, images to upload)… Shame about our very English grey sky! 🙂

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