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. What a fantastic walk – so many wonderful sights, thanks for sharing and for the great photos, Jo! Did the storm ever hit, or you got home in time? ♥♥♥ ;^)

  6. 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

  7. 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.

  8. Your tall masted beauty is marvelous, but I absolutely adore your bridge shots!!! I will be spending a lot of time here this week. What day are you leaving, and when will you be back?

      1. Apart from having to go back to work tomorrow morning, I am doing great 😀 My three day trip to Slovenia erased all bad memories from Slovakia 😀

    1. You’re very welcome 🙂 I believe you can but I’ve never actually done so because, as I commented earlier, in Hartlepool (my home town) marina we have our own tall ship, HMS Trincomalee. It’s fully restored and in immaculate condition, and I’ve been inside a number of times. (at one time I worked for Hartlepool Maritime Experience as a guide). Thanks for your interest 🙂

  9. Wonderful treat Jo, as I’m just getting to your Monday Walk on Tuesday, lol – I’m so behind! Loved seeing the Infinity Bridge and old clipper ship both a treat to see. Have a wonderful time in Paris.

  10. The Infinity bridge is a beautiful and a unique design.
    You have shown great angles but as you say you could play for hours.
    All the photos are of special interest to me.
    I am the same age as the Sydney Harbour bridge and was in charge of quality inspection on bridging structures on the Maui Pipe Line Project N.Z.. I also was for a few years in charge of maintenance of the Auckland Motorway Structures.
    The replica of The Endeavour visited Auckland while I was a volunteer at the Maritime Museum.
    This allowed me privileged access on many beautiful old ships.
    Your post brought back some good memories and made me realise how fortunate I am.
    You will enjoy Paris if you get a chance take some photos of Notre Dame and those gargoyles.
    Looking forward to a post featuring Paris Jo.

    1. Privileged to be alive and to have witnessed so many wonderful things, Jack 🙂
      It’s always a pleasure to have your presence on here, alongside the ‘missus’.
      Yes- I plan to go gargoyle hunting!

  11. What a wealth of interesting and picturesque places you have for you walks, Jo. This one was lovely, and I especially enjoyed seeing the gorgeous old ship replica. Have a marvellous trip and 25th anniversary celebration. Happy travels. 🙂 xx

    1. I’ve just been out to lunch with a friend, Ad, and we both agreed that Stockton is pretty abysmal as a place to live. But if you’re passing through, it can look very attractive. You just have to get those angles right 🙂 🙂 (and have fun!)
      Are you moved now?

  12. It seems there is lots to see in your neck of the woods. We have a very similar but smaller version of the millennium bridge here in Exeter. I love your angle shots.
    Yesterday I couldn’t stop thinking about Christine, I’m so glad you linked to her Paris post and hope you get to walk in some of her footsteps Jo dear.

    1. Our apartment is not too far from where she stayed on that last trip, Gilly, so I will be thinking about her. It still comes as a jolt if I visit an old post and see her comment on there.
      Thank you 🙂

    1. You northerners! 🙂 🙂
      I liked the town better in the ‘old days’, Robin, with a proper market place and all that. But they’ve not done a bad job on the riverside and the heritage is beyond dispute. Thanks a lot!

  13. Loved walking with you Jo – I don’t know this area at all, but it’s lovely, despite the gloomy skies. The two modern bridges are quite something, aren’t they? I particularly love some of the close-up angles you have captured. Excellent!

    Have fun in Paris – and I send you every good wish for your Silver Wedding Anniversary. Hope you have a fantastic time. Will you be visiting Monet’s house on the 12th? I LOVE Monet’s work, but even though I’ve been to Paris several times, I’ve never made it to Giverny …. yet!

    1. Thanks a lot, Marianne 🙂 Yes, the plan is Giverny on 12th, Versailles this Sunday, and as much Paris as I can squeeze in around that. 🙂
      I have yet to see the Infinity Bridge on an evening. Allegedly it has a touchplate which makes the lights on the bridge change colour. Sounds good, doesn’t it?

  14. You make walking on a gloomy day fun. Bridges are so compelling -old or new. And I loved the locomotive iron work – so creative.

    Have a fab fab time strolling the Seine – speaking of bridges … Paris !! I’m SO glad you won’t be interrupting your “here, now” moments to post. Many do, and I enjoy their offerings, but I’m a strong advocate of absorbing the sights, sounds, smells of my surroundings without bringing distractions of home and blogging.

    1. It’s finding time to scribble my diary at the end of the day that I struggle with, Sammy (or more often early morning, while my husband’s still asleep) Thank you! 🙂

      1. I started one every time I took a trip for a period of years and invariably by the third day it was untouched. Once in awhile I fill some in on the plane home or even months later but they are all incomplete. I’ve allowed myself – on future trips to release that intention without guilt.

  15. Loved the walking tour, Jo. My favorite? Hard to tell. The locomotive ‘sculpture’ on the bridge was neat.
    Sorry I’m so late for Saturday, I played this weekend. Our youngest grandkids are now living in town (across town–Houston–about 87 miles) you know. I may post KP eating her mango sorbetto cone (from our Italian restaurant binge).

  16. Your walks in the north always surprise me Jo. Things have certainly changed since I was a lass 🙂 And you showed me Endeavour (well, OK a replica) but I have not seen this before and I am quite a Cook fan so thank you for that. And your bridge photos are wonderful – you get so many great angles and shots of some really lovely bridges.

    I’m by the water again this week: – It’s only a short walk so it won’t tire you out. Oh, and enjoy Paris. I’m sure you will have many romantic walks whilst you are there. I have to return as I want to visit Auvers sur Oise!
    Jude xx

    1. Thanks a lot, Jude 🙂 I was in Great Ayton again, with the walkers, this morning. I thought we might make it up to the Monument but that wasn’t the plan (though I did suggest it 🙂 )

      1. Are you a member of a walking group then Jo? Do you have a regular weekly walk? I think I’d get out more if I joined a group, but I’m not good with too many hills and stiles and there does seem to be a lot of those around here.

      2. That’s kind of how my ‘Monday walks’ started, Jude. I always have the camera and get laughed at for loitering in the shrubs 🙂 They are mostly 60-80+ so we don’t do more than 5/6 miles and not too many hills.
        They’re going to Barnard Castle next Monday and I’ll be sorry to miss it. I also go out with some ‘Nordics’ on a Thursday but not so often as I did. ‘Today’s’ walk I actually did with Mick last Thursday afternoon. 🙂

  17. A wonderful walk, with the surprise of the Endeavour as a delightful addition. Have a great time in Paris, and send a kiss and a hug on the wind to Christine as you see the sights she delighted in so recently.

    1. Thanks a lot, Ann. Yes, some of it will be bitter sweet. She sent me details of the apartment they stayed in, which looked absolutely lovely. In many ways I’m now glad that it wasn’t vacant for our visit. I have secured an ‘artist’s garret’ which should do us admirably. 🙂

  18. Have a fabulous anniversary celebration Jo in Paris. May you feel Christine’s positive presence in your heart.
    I enjoyed this bridge walk very much. Your photography and use of angles very good indeed. I promise to ring my bike bell before looming up behind you. 🙂

    1. I did think of you when I wrote that, Sue 🙂 🙂 I don’t know what’s changed? People always used to ding their bells but there seems to be some unspoken agreement not to these days. I can be pretty nimble when I have to, hanging tight to that camera!
      Thank you! I’m getting quite excited now.

      1. Sorry to hear the bells have stopped ringing there. Here it is pretty much accepted practice or to say “on your left” or something like that.
        I love that time just before a trip. The anticipation and excitement!

    1. Viv, that is a lovely thought! We only have 5 nights in Paris. We’re spending 1 day at Versailles and another at Giverny in Normandy (Tuesday, 12th, which is our anniversary). There is so much that I want to see in Paris that we will struggle to fit it all in, so although that is a wonderful offer I’m sorry to have to decline (this time 🙂 )

  19. I love that tall ship Jo. Are people allowed to go in and visit? What a treat it would be to see inside and to see the spaces those early adventurers lived in.

    1. Me too, Colline. I’ve never actually been on board because we have a tall ship in our own marina in Hartlepool, the HMS Trincomalee. It’s the genuine article and absolutely magnificent inside. 🙂

  20. I love both bridges, the Infinity and the Millennium. And I love that tribute to George Stephenson’s Locomotion too. What a lovely walk. I never knew the “ton” meant farm or homestead. You taught me something new today, Jo. I look forward to coming along on your walks by the Seine. Paris is one of my favorite cities. I’ve been there twice, but sadly before the age of digital photography. I’m sure you’re rushing about getting ready this week. I’ll be in Puerto Rico while you’re there; we’re leaving Saturday for a week. Have fun! 🙂

  21. This was great treat for me, Jo. I love and collect anything connected with James Cook! 🙂 Your bridges from various perspectives look very good.
    Have a great, wonderful birthday in Paris! ❤

    1. We’re in Captain Cook territory up here, Dina. Just this morning I was in the village of Great Ayton, where he spent his childhood. Thanks for your good wishes 🙂

  22. Enjoyed our wander round the river Tees Jo. The bridge shots are fantastic Perfect for Marianne’s challenge. Christine will surely be with you in spirit in Paris. In case I don’t get to ‘speak’ to you before then…have a wonderful, wonderful birthday! I know you will 🙂

  23. That was very nice roam about with you this morning Jo !
    Lovely curvy bridge lines … oh doesn’t it make you jump when cyclists appear from nowhere . Well that how it feels 😉
    Have a wonderful celebration in Paris .. bet there will be many clicks happening …and many chinks of glasses … Enjoy .

    1. Thanks a lot, Poppy! Yes, we’ll have to ensure that the French wine is up to standard 🙂
      We don’t go until Saturday so I expect I’ll be making a nuisance of myself again before then.

  24. I’ve never been to Stocton, but it does look great, similar to Portsmouth with the replica ship and the millennium bridge.. there were a lot of these bridges or towers built at the time… I enjoyed this walk.. nice one.. 😉

  25. What a. Treat to find Bank Endeavour and lovely shots of The Infinity Bridge – you’re right about those angles! Thank you for linking to my walk through Pisa – gelato is always on my mind….!

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