Handsome chap, isn’t he? You’ll meet him later. I often accompany my husband if he’s out on a job and it’s a nice day. He goes to work and I go off to play. Almost fair, isn’t it? This week he was back in Saltburn and after two dreary, wet days I was determined to find myself a walk. The day was still a little overcast but I had high hopes.
My walk started on Marske Mill Road, on the outskirts of Saltburn, where I had spotted a public footpath sign. The path tumbled quite rapidly downhill and soon I was at a junction. The branch to my left was clearly signed ‘Valley Gardens’, but the more tantalising option had no marked destination. It’s obvious which I chose, isn’t it? This was my reward.
Viaducts are always an arresting sight, especially when they appear unexpectedly. The ground was quite moist, and I could hear the chuckling sound of water. Intrigued and captivated, I followed a concrete path which led me beneath the viaduct.
Ahead, a metal bridge crosses the churning stream. Aged sleepers form steps and the path leads up, beside the viaduct. A hint of blue had appeared in the sky and soon the bare woodlands are transformed. I exchange greetings with a couple of dog walkers and stop to admire the tree patterns cast by the sun. This little chap, sitting on the path, was most suspicious of my activities.
I fell into step with his owner and we began to chat. I had assumed that the path would lead me back into Saltburn at some point. Completely wrong! We were headed inland, in the direction of Skelton village, where she lived. The notorious sense of direction working well again. I enjoyed her company a little further, but then decided to retrace my steps the short distance back to the viaduct. By now the pale sunlight had begun to sneak into crevasses, and glint on the frothing water.
Back across the bridge I went, and up to the junction where the sign so clearly announced ‘Valley Gardens’. I may have taken the wrong turn, but I was quite delighted by my little escapade. The woodland gardens were now washed in gentle sunshine- that welcoming bench, not too far ahead.
Joyful Spring burgeonings were everywhere as I followed the path through the woods. Just above the formal Italian gardens, a quirky little corner is being developed by the Friends of the Valley- a Bumblebee Bistro. It’s good to see the nurturing process continue in these Valley Gardens, which date right back to 1860. The mischief in me wants to link this post to Jude and her Wildlife Garden, but I know I’ll get no thanks!
You might remember these beguiling mosaics from my last visit to Saltburn. At the Woodlands Centre, created to encourage children to interact with nature, I managed to find some more. Appealing to adults, too, I think. Cute badger and bunnies!
The Valley Gardens Tearooms is a nice little spot to sit beneath the trees, but I needed to press on through the valley. I wasn’t too sure how much time I had, but you’ll be pleased to know that I did make a stop at Camfields. It’s a favourite of mine for its friendly service, not to mention cakes.
A quick text message established that I had half an hour left to play. Just time for one last treat. I’m heading for the cliff top. Can you keep up?
The path leads up to the cliffs from just behind ‘The Ship Inn’. There you can join the Cleveland Way, a superb 110 mile coastal walk. Just three and a half miles away, the first stop is Skinningrove. But I think that’s enough for one day. Don’t you?
I may have rambled a little today but this map from National Trails will give you an excellent overview of my walk. I hope you enjoyed it? Definitely time to put the kettle on, and settle in for a good read.
Many thanks to all my lovely contributors. My Monday walks wouldn’t be the same without you. If you’re new here you can find details of how to join in on my Jo’s Monday walk page. Just click on the logo above. You’ll be made very welcome.
Last week, Paula gave me a beautiful start to the walks :
LOTS of warnings accompany this one from Ellen. For the brave (or a trifle foolhardy)!
If I said to you STILL in Mexico you’d know I meant Jackie :
Make time for pelicans with Amy! Well worth a wait :
Not sure that I fancy ‘mouse water’ but I trust Anabel’s judgement :
Morro Beach looks blissful! Come and have a morning stroll with Susan :
Always a smile with Drake! How can you resist the man?
Some sterling Scottish vistas from Smidge (no, I didn’t say ‘Stirling’) :
And a wonderful panorama from Rosemay in Perth (no, not that one either!)
So much colder in Canada! Get your top coat out for this one :
But Gilly has found glorious Springtime for us :
Another week of fabulous contributions. Thank you everybody and I hope you have a great week.
Note to Jude- there’s a dog, and he’s wild! Well, quite cross, anyway.