Jo’s Monday walk : to Infinity and beyond!

Just a hint of blue sky through the Infinity Bridge

Just a hint of blue sky through the Infinity Bridge

One of the hardest things about my Monday walks is deciding where to take you next.  I have easy access to both coast and countryside where I live in the north east of England.  Add in a healthy dose of curiosity and restlessness and the sky’s the limit!

Last week’s visit to the Glass Centre is a hard act to follow, but I’m going to take you a little way south of me today, to the River Tees. The lovely curves of the Infinity Bridge have added grace and beauty to another quite industrial part of my world.  This weekend the Stockton Riverside Festival was taking place.  I hope a deluge or two didn’t dampen the enthusiasm for the music.

Our start point will be the parking lot behind the White Water Centre.  We’ve walked around the Tees Barrage before but this time we’ll be heading towards Stockton-on-Tees.

The White Water Centre and cafe

The White Water Centre, and cafe

There are usually canoes taking to the water

There are usually canoes taking to the water.  Tees Barrage is in the distance

Walk towards the Infinity Bridge

Walk towards the Infinity Bridge

And underneath!  Don't worry- we'll come back to it.

And underneath! Don’t worry- we’ll come back to it.

It’s a popular cycle track too, so you’ll need to be alert.  Some cyclists sound their bell in warning, but more often they just loom up.  You don’t want to drop your camera!

Stockton is an Anglo-Saxon name, the ending ‘ton’ meaning farm or homestead.  There is little in the way of agriculture to be seen on this stretch of the River Tees.  The town used to have a thriving outdoor market where fresh produce was readily and cheaply available.   The life and character that this brought has sadly vanished.

Stockton’s main claim to fame is tied to the advent of steam travel in 1822.  The first rail of George Stephenson’s Stockton and Darlington Railway was laid locally, on Bridge Rd.  Stephenson drove Locomotion no.1 himself on its first journey, on 27th September 1825.  In recent years the riverside has been developed to make a focal point for the town.

George Stephenson's Locomotion

A tribute to George Stephenson’s Locomotion no.1

The riverside and Teesside Millenium Bridge

The riverside and Teesquay Millenium Footbridge

Have you spotted something beyond the bridge?  Something with tall masts?  My main reason for walking this way, and one of my favourite things.  Wait just a moment.

First we need to pass beneath the bridge

First we need to pass beneath the bridge

And here we have it!

And here we have it!

Isn't she a beauty?

Isn’t she a beauty?

Here's a small clue

Here’s a small clue

I love these tall masted beauties!

I love these tall masted beauties!

James Cook was a local lad and is widely feted in this part of the world.  HM Bark Endeavour took him on the first of three voyages of discovery in the Pacific Ocean.  He sailed thousands of miles of largely uncharted waters, mapping New Zealand, Australia and Hawaii for the British Navy.  He died in Hawaii in 1779, leaving behind a huge legacy of scientific and geographical knowledge.

HMS Bark Endeavour has the company of some smaller craft

HMS Bark Endeavour has the company of some smaller craft

And a whole load of swans!

And a whole load of swans!

So hard to resist boat shots!

So hard to resist boat shots!

Not so sure about the mural

There’s a mural disguising the multi-storey car park

But now it's time to cross over the bridge

But now it’s time to cross over the Millenium bridge

Looking back at the boats and Thornaby railway bridge

Looking back- the Princess river cruiser and Thornaby railway bridge

Those clouds are still lurking!

While the clouds lurk overhead!

We’re heading back towards the Infinity Bridge.  On the far shore of the Tees there are numerous office complexes and we thread our way through them, passing poorly maintained canals.

Under bridges and over bridges

Under bridges and over bridges

And here we are again

Till we burst into the light again!

You could play with the angles all day

You could play with the angles all day

But look behind you.  A storm's a-brewing!

But look behind you. A storm’s a-brewing!

One last look to the heavens

One last look to the heavens

And it's time to quickly cross!

And it’s time to quickly cross!

You know your way back from here, don’t you, and it’s not far.  Maybe a coffee in the White Water Centre, or there’s a pub along at the Tees Barrage.  The easiest access is undoubtedly by car, but you could do the walk from Stockton, which is well served by buses and trains.

I’m not going to be walking with you next week.  I hope to be on a different riverbank- the Seine. I could schedule a walk but I prefer not to.  The joy in my Monday feature comes from sharing, and responding to your lovely comments, and I won’t have time to do that in Paris.  Feel free to explore a little without me, but report back, won’t you?

Two more things before I go.  I noticed that my friend Marianne, from East of Malaga, is featuring Bridges in her CBBH challenge this month.  We’ve been friends for the longest time but I seldom have time to visit.  I’m hoping she won’t mind if I include a link to my walk this week.  It certainly features bridges, doesn’t it?  A condition of the CBBH challenge is to introduce 2 of your friends to Marianne.  I will certainly do that with my links below.

Speaking of friends, and I’ve made so many of you on here, I know that I will be walking in the footsteps of Christine at least some of the time next week.  I couldn’t go without one last tribute.


walking logo

I hope you’ll find some time to visit my lovely walking friends now.  Put that kettle on!

Jude has found me a mill and a lovely public garden in Gatehouse of Fleet   :

The Gatehouse of Fleet

The Travel Bunny, Suzanne, has gelato on her mind.  It must be the weather!  :

Pisa- Much more than a Leaning Tower

Drake found some long haired cattle to walk with us this week.  He always has fun!  :

On the West  (not the Wild West!)

It will be very tempting to sit down on Amy’s walk this week, but you might need a cushion  :

Spanish tiles

That’s it for now!  See you in two weeks time.  Happy walking!


  1. Ahh…now I see you did go to Paris 😉 You certainly do live in a wonderful part of the world with so much of interest to see and do. You make everywhere you go so interesting and fun too. I would love to see the Bark Endeavour, fascinating aren’t they those tall ships? I remember once in the little fishing town near where we lived in the States a replica of the The Golden Hind sailed in for a couple of days. The kids loved it of course. I was a bit late for this walk Jo, but I enjoyed just as much as I always do, thank you for that 🙂


  2. Jo, you’re just amazing … how you can turn a modern bridge and an beautiful old ship into something so special and reading … it’s just like I walked beside you. Your Monday walks are just amazing.
    Even if the weather is a bit iffy, there is so much pleasure and sun in your words.
    I you have created beauty here out of a boring bridge.


  3. Congratulations on the reason for the trip to Paris! What a place to indulge in the savouring of years, and of your joint present. Your link took me back to Christine’s Paris, and again the disbelief that she’s not just up the coast ready for a travel chin-wag when I get back.

    What captures me most in this post are the skies – a superb background to wonderful shots of the bridges. I’m a fan of grey days photography, although your patches of blue amongst the clouds also charm.


  4. That what I thought too… You showed us a very “metal” image collection. The Locomotion tribute made me think of the Railroad stations in the Monopoly game. Ha! 😀 Love, love, love your perfectly symmetrical captures of the bridge. It makes me think you’re Spiderwoman. 😆


  5. I thoroughly enjoyed the Endeavor ship with such majesty! I also liked the mural and the Infinity Bridge! You are such a great ‘tour guide!’ I hope to catch up on more of these, past ones, too! Smiles, Robin


  6. Wonderful bridges leading to and from the tall masted and beautiful ship makes this walk very interesting. As enjoyable as this walk was, I know you will enjoy your walks in Paris even more…have a great and memorable trip.


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