Jo’s Monday walk : a Durham footpath


Reflected beauty

Interesting reflections

Often I walk with company, and that’s very nice, but occasionally I get to do a bit of wandering on my own- just me and the camera.  Nobody tapping their toes impatiently while I explore all the angles- ‘what IS she looking at?’  You might know the feeling.  My husband travels quite a lot locally, visiting customers, and sometimes I go along ‘for the ride’.  Durham is a favourite place.

The River Wear twines itself through the city, towing me along behind it.  My sense of direction is abysmal but, with a river to hold on to, I stand a fighting chance.  A bright Autumnal day was just the excuse I needed for an unfettered wander.  I’ll let you look over my shoulder, shall I?

The river bank is a little overgrown in places

The river bank is a little overgrown in places

I’m starting off at Shincliffe Bridge, by “The Rose Tree” pub, on the A177 road, on the outskirts of Durham.  There’s a path either side of the bridge and I linger for a while, contemplating which direction to take.  I cross over the bridge and am lured by a footpath that I don’t know.  It follows the river so there’s a good chance I’ll end up in the centre of Durham.

I don’t get very far when I spot some wildflowers by the path.  The sun is strong for October so I spend some time trying to get a shot that I like.  I catch curious looks from the occasional jogger. Two ladies, strolling, confirm that I can cross over a bridge further along.  Subsidence and falling trees has closed some of the footpath off, but I already knew this.

Sycamore wings

Sycamore wings

This will have to do!

This will have to do!

After a while I come to the bridge which I must cross over.  Now I’m on more familiar territory. There’s a large modern sports facility here, used sometimes for football training by Hartlepool FC. (ssh, sensitive subject- no comments please!)

Approaching the bridge

Approaching the bridge

The treads are made of logs

The treads are made of logs

Looking back across the river

Looking back across the river

Safely over the bridge, the path follows the river on the other bank, through dappled leafy shade. Frequent splashes of oars can be heard as the local rowing teams spin and twirl in the water, to the harsh calls of the cox.  The odd, solitary oarsman glides past too.

I cross over a path which leads to the boat club (members only), and shortcut across a field strewn with the remnants of Autumn.  The wider expanse of river beckons.

Lingering Autumn

Lingering Autumn

The river widens at this point

The river widens at this point, heading towards Durham centre

The bandstand

The bandstand

I take a seat in the bandstand.  I have been carrying with me, since my visit to Nottingham, a postcard destined for Viveka in Sweden.  I exchanged addresses with this lovely lady some time ago, and now I receive ‘surprises’ in the post. (one of which was a Paris t-shirt in black and gold! I don’t know anyone more generous than Viveka)  I have always loved postcards and having one land on my doormat gladdens my heart. Now it’s my turn to reciprocate.  There’s a post office in town and what nicer place to sit and write?

On towards the centre and another bridge

Along the riverbank to yet another bridge!

Durham has such a pretty centre

Durham Castle, beautifully framed

The path follows the river to the bridge with the green railings, shown above. (Baths Bridge) I cross over, approaching the boat hire beneath Elvet Bridge.  This is a popular spot and, in Summer, paintings of the castle and many other Durham views adorn the nearby walls. You might want to pause here for something to eat, or a row on the river.  There are plenty of places to eat in Durham, catering to all tastes and wallets.

I love the boat names

I pause to admire all the boat names

Especially Shirley

Especially Shirley!

I’m going to continue into the centre, to post my card.  Before I go, I’d better give you instructions on how to get back to the start point, hadn’t I?

Climb the steps up onto Elvet Bridge and cross over it.  Turn right onto New Elvet, passing the Royal County Hotel, and continue uphill to Hallgarth St. Following Hallgarth will bring you to a roundabout with a junction signed A177.  About 15 minute’s walk in this direction will bring you back to Shincliffe Bridge, where I began.  I hope you enjoyed our wander.

walking logo

Next Monday I will be in the Algarve, but I intend to schedule a walk, just so you don’t forget me. I can’t guarantee that I will be able to respond to your comments, as this will necessitate a visit to an internet cafe.  Not something I often do, but Anazu does have a connection.  Please just link to my post as usual, if you have a walk to share. My Jo’s Monday walk page will give you the details, and I will respond to you as soon as I possibly can.  Meantime, let’s put that kettle on and settle in for some more great reads.

I don’t receive many walks from South Sulawesi!  Many thanks for this treat, and welcome Noe  :

Walking around Tinabo Island

Jerusalem and Cardinal seem to go together.  This is very beautiful night photography  :


Combine good company with superb night time shots in Bologna, with Paula  :

Music and lights of Bologna

There are lots of things that Drake knows.  How to entertain has always been one of them  :

Knowing its Autumn

Fall in Canada!  Wouldn’t you love to share it with Colline?  :

Familiar Streets

Climbing hills and hopping over stiles in Dorset.  Can this really be Jude?  :

Pilsdon Pen

More beautiful Autumn colour and a little shared knowledge, from Violet Sky  :

A tree walk

Close up and personal with Milkweed Bugs?  I don’t like bugs much, but I do love Amy’s company

Milkweed Bug walk

And finally, stop off at the market on the way to the beach with Pauline.  You may need a sunhat!

A walk along beautiful Burleigh Beach

I hope you enjoy these walks as much as I did.  Many thanks to all my lovely contributors. Happy walking!  See you soon.



    1. It’s ‘on the doorstep’ stuff for me. Durham is just 20 mins away by car and always a good place to stroll (well, maybe not this afternoon- the rain’s just arrived) Thank you 🙂


  1. You caught some interesting lines and patterns, like the shadows of the side rails on the slats of the bridge. I also like the rib lines and shadow contours on the boats.


  2. Durham, it’s familiar to me in some way … nevery been there, but it’s something that rings the big bells with me. Maybe I had a supplier there.
    Beautiful images .. I can really feel the clear autumn day in my nose and lungs walking here with you.The boats is my favorite image. Thanks again for bringing me along.
    Is it nex Monday … I’m a little envy about your escape. *smile


    1. Hiya gorgeous! 🙂 I thought you’d like to see the bandstand where I wrote your card. Who knows if you’ll receive the next one- Portugal is not so reliable as Durham 🙂 Leaving tomorrow. Skies bright again today after crazy rain yesterday, but now we have that Autumn ‘nip’ in the air. Take care of yourself. I’ll visit you before I go.


      1. A postcard is on the way, I can’t wait.
        Tomorrow I bet you can’t get there soon enough.
        We had a dark and miserable morning – but now the sun is out and the blue sky in sight. Love it. Had to have my lamps on 11.30am. You travel safely now and have a delightful time, girlfriend. Will miss you!!!! A lot!

        Have installed a spell checker program … but god knows if it works or not. Very confusing anyhow. *laughing


      2. Something has happen to my net book it doesn’t do spell checks anymore when I write comments – it’s working now again.
        This new program is suppose to change my sentences into proper wording. Very confusing anyhow. And how boring my posts will be without backward sentences and wording. *laughing


  3. We’re in England right now and planning to do a little side trip this weekend. Durham was one of the options but apparently the weather will not be cooperative, so we may go elsewhere.


    1. Hi Ana 🙂 I haven’t looked at the forecast so can’t help you. It becomes more unpredictable every day, but is dry and bright today with an Autumn crispness. Where are you based and how long for? Have a great time in case we don’t ‘speak’ again. I’m Algarve bound tomorrow.


  4. What a lovely breath of fresh air this post is Jo. Your walks always invigorate me even if from a chair. Just love your photos of the flowers and the river and the views of the buildings. The log bridge is unsual too. And how lovely to exchange postcards with your friend. They seem to be going out of fashion but receiving snail mail is a a wonderful gift to be treasured any day of the week. In case I don’t get another chance to say it, have a wonderful time away and see you soon 🙂


    1. Hi Sherri 🙂 Remember my ‘Joy is’? Well, reading your lovely comment this morning put a smile on my face and I thought to myself ‘joy is finding Sherri in my Inbox’. 🙂 I meant to visit you yesterday, hon, but I’m in the last round up of ‘doing things’ before I go (tomorrow). Thank you so much. I’ll pop over now.


  5. A lovely walk and really gorgeous photos but my favourite today was the sycaore wings as it bought back memories of playing “helicopters” with my grandmother as a child 🙂 Have a wonderful trip!


  6. Lovely Jo, as always.
    I prefer to walk alone but to do it properly, not with the burden of thoughts of a humdrum life but actually looking and seeing, smelling and touching (and tasting) the world around me. Just like you…


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