Jo’s Monday walk : A Stokesley Circular

Looking towards Roseberry Topping on the Yorkshire Moors

Looking towards Roseberry Topping

Stokesley is an attractive market town, situated on the River Leven, on the northern edge of the Yorkshire Moors.  It also has the advantage of being surrounded by a flat bit of terrain, so it was greeted with delight as our last walk of the year by my walking group.  The fact that we were ending at a garden centre, with coffee and cake, influenced nobody. (honestly!)

Life can’t be total perfection so we were advised to anticipate a little mud.  And we found some! But not too much. Come along and see.

The fields are just a little bit muddy

The fields are just a little bit muddy

We parked at Strikes Garden Centre, a mile or so from Stokesley.  Walking towards the town, we took the first ‘public footpath’ sign on the left, and crossed the field towards the farmhouse above.  The path swings off to the right and follows a little stream all the way in to Stokesley.

It might be a nice place to live, with that lovely backdrop

It might be a nice place to live, with that lovely backdrop

But, of course, you'd have to like farming!

But, of course, you’d have to like farming

I'm much better at walking!

And I much prefer walking!

Stokesley was granted a charter to hold fairs by Henry III, as far back as 1223.  To this day a weekly market takes place on The Plain, the main square, every Friday, and on the first Saturday of each month there’s a Farmer’s Market too.  Tying in with the Agricultural Show, a four day fair takes place each September, and spans the full length of the High St.

The stream leads us towards Stokesley

The stream will lead you towards Stokesley

At this point we duck down underneath a road bridge.  Careful- it’s a bit slippery!  There was a hard frost the night before and there’s still a little evidence on some of the leaves.

The path curves to the right and in a little while you’re passing between cottages and out onto Levenside.  There is always a flurry of ducks hereabouts on the River Leven.  Sorry guys- no bread today!  We’re eating cake.

Follow the river around to your left and you come to the Pack Horse Bridge, which dates back to the 17th century.

The Pack Horse Bridge and a couple of walkers

The Pack Horse Bridge and a couple of walkers

There are several bridges close together at this point.  Any one of them will take you across the Leven and into the High St., where gracious Georgian buildings are part of a pleasing blend of architecture.  The oldest building in town, the Church of St. Peter and St. Paul, has a medieval tower and chancel.  It contains some woodwork carved by the locally famed Mouseman of Kilburn.  His Visitor Centre at Kilburn is not too far away.

Meanwhile, Christmas has come to Stokesley.  But I didn’t see a tree in the main square!

Our steps begin to quicken as we realise that we’re now on the home straight.  Taking the right hand option at the junction, in no time Strikes Garden Centre is back in sight.  I’ll leave the walkers to queue in the cafe while I show you a few of the Christmas sights.  Lots of trees in here!

But you can almost certainly guess who my favourite is

Bet you can guess who my favourite is?

Just one more Monday walk and it’ll be Christmas!  I’ve no idea where we might wander next week, but I hope you’ll keep me company?  If you’re too busy, I’ll understand.  As the sign says, ‘Tis the season to be jolly!’

walking logo

I also hope you’ll make time to visit these wonderful walks this week.  Get that kettle on and we’ll take a stroll together, without leaving our armchairs.  If you’d like to join in, details are on my Jo’s Monday walks page, or click on the logo above.  Very many thanks to all my contributors.

Drake’s getting festive in lovely Strasbourg this week  :

Cool impression through cold walk

And Amy has a message, beautifully shared  :

Egret on the lake

When Jude mentioned Clovelly I thought we were in Devon.  So wrong!  :

Clovelly Beach to Bondi

Sue’s taken me to a city I’ve always wanted to see.  Brownie points to Sue, but I’ll skip breakfast!

Spain- Bilbao, the Basque Country, with eels and sherry for breakfast

Meg, meanwhile, has given me a glimpse of a Newcastle in Australia.  No sign at all of ‘fog on the Tyne’.

Visiting an old friend

Thanks a lot for sharing, everybody.  I so enjoy it!  Have a happy, healthy, walking week!

102 comments

  1. This was a lovely post, Jo! filled with adventures and exciting photographs to study and feel like we traveled around to special places with your being our wonderful guide! Thanks for this and hope you have a merry and festive holiday season, Jo!

    1. Thanks, Suze 🙂 It rather depends on the weather, doesn’t it? I walked the High Line with you a few days ago, I think, and I thought then that it would make a good Monday walk. I’ll include it this Monday 🙂

    1. I shall have to go on a round up of old bridges, Laurie 🙂 I expect they’d be quite popular. Have a fabulous festive season, hon! How can you not with Little Man about? Hugs! 🙂

  2. No comment. Christmas gift from me is relief from reply – and everyone’s said it all anyway. Relax and forget the courtesies of the blogosphere with my blessing. I don’t want to see any comments from you on my blog till 2015!

  3. Well I reckon your kettle has boiled dry by now Jo…so sorry for being so late 😦 This is what happened – after I replied to everyone’s comments I realised I was running late for a doctor’s appointment and, well…say no more. The place has gone mad, seems as if everyone has left Christmas to the last minute and doing just one errand takes way too long. So here I am, the next day, and oh boy, was I ready for this walk! You really do have some lovely places where you live and this one being nice and flat was just perfect after the day I had yesterday. And of course the beautiful, white squirrel is just a delight, thank you Jo for this lovely oasis of calm 🙂

    1. Oh, sweetheart! Take a deep breath, Sherri 🙂 I just read all 3 of your comments in my Inbox and I can feel that key in your back 😦 Don’t let it get to you, hon. WP can take a back seat. If it doesn’t at Christmas, when will it? I have a roughly allotted amount of time to answer my comments and if I don’t get there… they have to wait 🙂 Fact of life- I cannot run any faster and nor can you. Hugs! Let’s burst into a Christmas carol together 🙂 🙂
      I have ironing to do and a pie to bake and I will visit yours this evening. Till then, keep breathing 🙂

      1. Yikes…you know me too well Jo 😮 Oh a burst of Christmas carol sounds just right! Fa-la-la-la la, la la, la laaaaaa…. 😀 You are my Christmas Angel…and I’m breathing 🙂

  4. hi Jo! I’m visiting after a while, so lots to catch up on. Loved this beautiful walk… especially the quaint bridges and the FootGolf sign (footgolf??! One learns something new every day, huh!). The sparkling Christmas sights are lovely. One of my favourite things about the holiday season (besides the holidays of course) is the gorgeous decorations 🙂 Sending lots of festive cheer your way!

    1. Hi Kan 🙂 Are you still doing ‘Joy is’? I haven’t made it to yours in a while either and I have a ‘must do’ for next week in my head. No use in my head- it needs to be online 🙂 Wishing you a joyful and happy Christmas and thanks for your company.

      1. Yes I am, Jo. it’s been the only thing keeping me coming back to my blog over the last several weeks. Haven’t gotten around to doing a regular travel post for a while now! Hope you get to your must-do soon 🙂 Thanks much for the wishes!

  5. Enjoyed the walk – and sky in these photos is what first caught my attention – the blue and the vast openness. Also, love the bit of holiday pods near the end – so fitting for the 15th of Dec and just enough to keep the festive feel pulsating. 🙂 and the bridge shot – with the ducks and then houses – loved it 🙂

  6. The tranquil pastoral stretch with those gorgeous blue skies was my favourite too Jo. Including time for coffee and cake at the end of the invigorating walk was very thoughtful of you 🙂

    1. It was a nice way to end our walks for the year, Madhu. It was another cold crisp day here again today, with the loveliest sunset. I was much more idle and went out to lunch with a friend. 🙂 Wishing you joy and peace this festive season.

  7. That cute little Santa is MY favorite. I’m betting Mr. Bunny is yours. Am I right? (Just say yes. I hate being wrong!) 😉
    I’d like to see the market in full swing. Any chance of that.
    Have a fabulous week,, Jo.

    1. You’re right, of course (but he’s a squirrel 🙂 Don’t worry- he’s not the type to take offense!)
      I’ll add Stokesley market to my list for next year. Happy festive season, Gem! 🙂

  8. I’ve been to England many, many times (I married a Brit, after all) so I should be used to it by now, but no, I’m still thrilled to visit small towns and villages and learn about their long history. Just the thought that they are older than my part of the world still amazes me!

    BTW, I wrote about a walk I took in Portsmouth, very urban, no fields or streams or ducks here 🙂 : http://anatravels.org/2014/12/08/portsmouth-guided-walk/

    1. Hi Amy! It’s been another bright and beautiful day here again today. No walking but I had a lovely celebration lunch with a friend and admired the sunset. 🙂
      Many thanks for your contribution!

      1. Another beautiful day, how wonderful! Enjoy lunch while admiring the sunset…. envious! This one is my last walk for 2014 (hope you like it) since we will be taking a trip next week. TTL…

  9. Crisp weather, gorgeous clouds and cake at the end.love the pastoral scenes and the quaint bridge. I’ll wish you Merry Christmas now, since we’re packing bags again to visit our son and family. Take care and happy walking.

  10. Like Paula I love the clouds! Wonderful textures and mushrooms to go with the gorgeous vistas Jo. The wee bridge made me smile as we don’t have anything with such character. Have a great day!

    1. Those bridges are 10 a penny here, Sue 🙂 Ok, I’m exaggerating a little bit- a good few! And it was a fabulous bright day after some really grey miserable ones. Good time had by all 🙂 (except Eileen, who slithered over in a muddy patch- strange it wasn’t me!)

  11. Great walk Jo! It’s winter and yet it is still fun to do especially when the weather is nice 😀 Love the Christmas ornaments, giving the December a good and positive spirits..hm..I think the ducks wouldn’t mind to have the cake crumbles if there is any left… 😀

  12. What a lovely walk, Jo, especially with those blue skies and dappled clouds. I love all the Christmas decorations too. Thanks for the holiday cheer. Those frosty leaves remind us that it is cold out there on the moors.

    I used to know how to do those circular photos, but now I’ve forgotten! Oh well, I knew it once, so it must not be that hard. 🙂 Happy Christmas! I can’t believe it’s just next week! xxx

    1. The circles are just an option in the dropdown in the gallery, Cath- nothing clever on my part. It’s just nice to have a change 🙂 WP have their uses that way. I’m sure there are features I don’t even know about!
      Yes- it will soon be here. Tree’s up and a few lights and garlands. You’ll miss that aspect. I have no idea how the Chinese celebrate Christmas (even though our next door neighbour in the UK is an elderly Chinese lady! Bless her, we exchange presents every year but she speaks almost no English) Waiting to witness Chinese Christmas through your eyes, Cathy 🙂
      Hope you have a nice one.

      1. Oh, Jo, thanks for telling me about the circles in the dropdown menu. It used to be you had to take all these extra steps to do them, so I’m glad to know it’s now simplified. I don’t know how the Chinese celebrate Christmas; I have seen some Christmas decorations here and there, but China officially doesn’t celebrate Christmas. I am going to go into downtown Nanning this weekend on a search for Christmas, so you should see a post about it after I go. I do know that I get off Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, but my students still have classes, so I have to prepare some work for them to do in my absence! Isn’t that crazy? The students really want the day off, of course! My one class, the 08 class, of 37 students is preparing a party where they cook Christmas dinner for me, Chinese style. They asked me yesterday if I’d like to shop for vegetables with them. 🙂 They’re renting a room. That will take place on what the Brits call Boxing Day, but we Americans just call “the day after Christmas!” 🙂

    2. This could be your strangest Christmas yet, Cathy! I hope it isn’t too lonely 😦 Were you in Korea at Christmas? I know you did an Omani Christmas- could anything be more different? Your students are lovable, aren’t they? Sprouts and turnip? No- beanshoots and greens, I expect? It does sound fun! 🙂 I’ll be thinking of you, hon. Mine will be a very boring conventional day- in the kitchen then by the telly 😦 Did my card make it yet?
      What time does it get light there on a morning, Cathy? We’re in those ‘dark days befpre Christmas’ and it’s still dark this morning at 7.50! 😦 Hugs, darlin. How’s the stomache?

      1. This will probably be a non-event as far as Christmas goes, Jo. It will be very lonely, I’m afraid, but at least I’ll talk to my family by Skype and Mike will be coming in mid-January. Also it’s possible now that Alex may join me in February on some of my travels. I was in Korea during Christmas, and that was a lonely time as well. I always had a good Christmas in Oman because of the friends I had there. My students are really lovable, and it will be interesting to see how this party goes.

        Your card may be here but it might be in the central mail location where mail is received. I’ll go by and check to see if it’s arrived. Maybe they don’t contact us for things as small as cards or letters. I know when I’m expecting a box from Mike, I have to go and tell them I’m expecting it and to please let me know when it arrives.

        It gets light here around 7:30 a.m. and it gets dark around 6:00. By the way, my stomach is better, but as of yesterday, I seem to have a cold coming on. 🙂

        Merry Christmas!! Hugs to you and your family. xxx

  13. Beautiful blue sky Jo then I notice the walkers well wrapped up and the frosty leaves so that sky is very deceptive. I love how the walkways meander through farms and I even did one walk ( in 1990 when I was last in UK) that actually went right through a farm yard, at least I thought so looking at the map, and no one set the dogs on us…

    1. Quite a few of our walks take us through farmyards, Pauline. It always feels a bit of an intrusion and the dogs are never best pleased, but it’s often a ‘right of way’. 🙂

  14. What a lovely walk on a crisp winter’s day in Yorkshire and such beautiful photos – love the ones of the frosted leaves and the Christmas decorations are so pretty. I well remember “The Mouseman Of Kilburn” and the carved mice in the wood!

  15. Flat walk = good! My ankles are swollen today after walking around Sydney (I’m sure by now you have heard about the siege in the CBD and yes, I was in the city today to meet up with M-R but fortunately we didn’t choose THAT café) and then through the Botanic Gardens. You just never know what’s around the corner…

    Anyway, I loved your walk, nice and fresh, sunny and cake at the end! My kind of day 🙂
    And speaking about the Botanic Garden, here is a walk from my first visit there: http://wp.me/p3jVw4-1aq

    Enjoy!

    1. A ‘feet up’ day by the sea or more cuddles, Jude? Thanks for thinking of me. 🙂 It’s another such day here but I’m currently just admiring through the window. So much warmer 🙂 And I’m meeting a friend for ‘Christmas lunch’ later. Enjoy your last few days 😦

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