Jo’s Monday walk : Beside the Tees

An elusive sun over the Tees

An elusive sun hovers over the River Tees

Crisp, frosty mornings in the Christmas holidays.  What do you do?  Lie in bed, wallowing in the warmth?  Well, that’s one option.  But you know that this is Jo’s Monday walk, and really, you’ll feel so much better if you get out for a bit of fresh air.

A scarf would be good, and maybe a hat.  Let’s not loiter and you’ll soon warm up.  I have a nice spot for you, and there’s even a Victorian tea room to round things off in.  Bet that got your attention, didn’t it?

I’m going to Preston Park this morning, beside the River Tees.  There’s ample free parking and a good playground, if any of you have children. (or surplus energy)

Isn't there something about water and reflections?

Isn’t there something about watery reflections?

And cloud reflections

And clouds!

There’s not much activity down at the landing stage today, but in summer there are boats to hire. A couple of regal swans gaze disdainfully at the ducks.  Well, they are rather common!

The landing stage

The landing stage

The path runs alongside the Tees in both directions, so spin a coin or follow your instincts.  You can loop back into Preston Park when you’ve seen enough.  The Teesside Heritage Trail will take you all the way to neighbouring Yarm, but you have to leave the river bank and follow a stretch of road to join it.  This morning we’ll stay close by the river.

The Tees looks pretty full right now

The Tees looks pretty full right now

The trees are looking quite sparse

But the trees are rather forlorn!

The sun casts interesting shadows

The sun casts some interesting shadows

And it's a great place for dogs to romp. Can you see him?

And the dogs just love to romp here.  Can you see one?

The dogs are having their own excitable game of ‘tiggy’ and it’s not easy to track one down with the camera.  There are lots of dog walkers out and about, and a relaxed, happy, holiday feeling.

Aren't those wispy clouds lovely?

Aren’t these wispy clouds really lovely?

But I bet that water's cold!

But I bet that water’s cold!

Let's head back up into the park

Let’s head back up into the park

Anyone feeling active?

Anyone feeling active?

Or there's a skate park?

Or there’s a skate park, if you fancy?

You’ll remember I suggested a cuppa in the Victorian tearooms?  I’d promised my husband a toasted teacake (hoping to get him out of bed on a chilly morning) but it didn’t quite work out that way.  It was fine, though.

The Victorian Street was looking very festive

The Victorian Street was looking very festive

Chocolate anyone?

Chocolate anyone?

But there's a welcoming light on in the tearooms

But there’s a welcoming light on in the tearooms

It was fresh outside and I could see a smiling face beckoning from behind the counter.  Two smiling faces, in fact, and no customers except us.  Because it was the holiday period, the tearooms were being run by volunteers from the museum staff. You’ve guessed it- no toasted teacakes, but there were complimentary mince pies or biscuits with our mug of coffee.

Plenty of spare tables

Plenty of spare tables

And a beautifully decorated mirror

And a beautifully decorated mirror

You know how these things work.  Seeing us cosily inside, people began to drift in from the courtyard.  A couple with a toddler were encouraging her to play skittles, but the warmth lured them too.  Time for us to move on.

You may remember, I’ve visited Preston Park museum before.  It was back in February and I was given a ticket valid for a full year (for only £1!) so I thought I’d have a look and see what was new. I found an interesting exhibition, which I’ll share with you another day, but you can get a flavour of the museum from my link.

The conservatory was closed to the public, for a wedding reception later in the day, but I still managed a bit of a peek.

There were paper stars suspended from the ceiling

There were paper stars suspended from the ceiling

Pretty, isn't it?

Pretty, don’t you think?

But the best bit was the polar bears and penguins!  I borrowed a couple of photos from the museums’s Facebook page.  I’m sure they won’t mind.

Our last walk of 2014!  It wasn’t too strenuous, was it?  I do hope you’ll join me next year.  I so look forward to your company.

walking logo

First, I have some lovely walks to share.  If you’d like to contribute, it’s very straightforward. Take a look at my Jo’s Monday walk page or click on the logo.  Many thanks to everybody for this week’s efforts.  Let’s put that kettle on and have a read, shall we?

Drake is taking me somewhere new this week.  And watery!  It looks fabulous…

Eau de Vologne

And here’s one worth waiting for!  Part 2 of the Botanic Gardens with Jude  :

The Royal Botanic Garden Sydney, and the Domain, part 2 

Aren’t they stylish in Canada?  I love these door decorations from Violet Sky  :

Ring in the holidays! 

And Colline has shared some beautiful windows from Toronto.  I know you’ll love them!

Christmas windows

It just remains to wish you all a joyous and peaceful New Year.  Happy walking!


  1. I am sorry I missed this one 🙂 I really like your hanging branches over reflected water. Did you borrow penguin shots? Adorable place. That pic “let’s head up back into park” has a marvelous composition 🙂

  2. I’m sure getting out of a warm bed would be hard, I’m not used to the cold now… But it was certainly worth it, lovely walk Jo and what a delightful tea house.

    1. We didn’t set out till about 10.30, Pauline, so it had warmed up (as much as it was going to 🙂 ). And it is a very pleasant spot, with the bonus of the museum to visit, and a Butterfly House from March each year.

  3. I somehow managed to miss this walk earlier in the week Jo but looks very pretty in the photos (though no doubt it was rather chilly in reality!). The tearooms look lovely and am sure the hot coffee and mince pies went down a treat! Looking forward to more walks in 2015! 🙂

    1. I’m not surprised you missed it, Rosemay. WP published it out of sequence so it was quite hard to find unless you went looking for it. That’s partly why I’ve included it in this ‘follow up’. Many thanks for taking the trouble 🙂

    1. Meg- you’ve landed safely! 🙂 🙂
      I always know I can find you via Jude these days. I love the bond you two have established. Here’s to very many happy times in the year ahead! Chilly hugs from ‘Up Over’ 🙂

    1. We spent a lot of time dodging dog walkers, Sue, but I artfully ( 😦 ) kept them off camera. It must be strange with no snow over there at this time of year? We had some in the Midlands but I’ve avoided it so far 🙂 Happy New Year to you!

  4. That was a really bracing walk, Jo. My favourite bit was the tearoom. I would have liked a toasted teacake, but mince pies are a nice consolation prize. Do you still get Frys Chocolate Creams in England? I used to be addicted to them. 🙂

  5. Oh, thank goodness, I REALLY needed a walk today! I loved your photo of the Chocolate Shop, it looked like it was designed for a little Christmas village for under the tree. Charming!

  6. Those cloud reflections on the pond look lovely, but a toasted teacake inside that cozy tearoom sounds even better. Have a beautiful New Year and thanks so much for all your generosity and for always being available to chat with us! You’ve stuck with us from the very beginning and it has been absolutely marvelous getting to know you and share stories with you.

    1. It’s great when you find another blog that’s a good ‘fit’ and I’ve always loved what you do and how you do it. It’s nice to have grown alongside you 🙂 Many thanks for your good wishes and I wish you also a wonderful 2015. 🙂

  7. You take us to some beautiful places on your walks Jo – and this was a delightful crisp day – a bit like today, but I exercised by cleaning! Well there was a LOT of dust about, and cobwebs! A bot icy outside too and I suspect it was below freezing as the frost didn’t melt. Almost dark again now.

    BUT for some sunshine head to where you’ll be very glad of the shade 🙂

    HNY Jo – I look forward to walking with you next year… 😀

    1. -1C and a good frost here too, Jude, but we were brave and wore a few layers, and had a lovely coastal walk. Oh, please don’t remind me about those cobwebs. I fear that may be a tomorrow job for me. Should I broach the subject of decorating to you know who, AGAIN, do you think?
      Many thanks, Jude. I’ve enjoyed your company so much this year. I hope 2015 is kind to you 🙂

  8. Right I’ll take my hat and scarf off now …. rubs hands … lovely fresh walk think I’ll need another later mind … it looks very much the same out at the moment aren’t we lucky ! Did you remember the bread for the ducks and swans ? I always feel guilty when they come gliding over and all I have is a camera 🙂
    A lovely setting for a reception … Ah the Fry’s Choc advert .. the dark choc bar with peppermint was a great favourite treat for my dear Mum .
    Happy Monday and beyond Jo … but have we been transported back in time somehow … or maybe I’ve been sleeping … 2014 😀

    1. Ha… someone was paying attention, Poppy 🙂 🙂 I have terrible trouble with dates. Can you tell? I thought you were referring to the Victorian St and I was about to tell you about my time travelling prowess. Better nip in and change it before anyone else notices. Wink!
      Happy 2015 to you and yours, Poppy 🙂 That IS right, isn’t it?

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