Jo’s Monday walk : Through the Valley


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.

walking logo

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 :

Live musically

LOTS of warnings accompany this one from Ellen.  For the brave (or a trifle  foolhardy)!

Going for a Walk : Tongariro Alpine Crossing (Or why do my legs hurt?)

If I said to you STILL in Mexico you’d know I meant Jackie :

Monday Walk- Puerto Vallarta

Make time for pelicans with Amy!  Well worth a wait :

Monday Walk : Making time for the Sunset

Not sure that I fancy ‘mouse water’ but I trust Anabel’s judgement :

Lanark and the Mouse Water

Morro Beach looks blissful!  Come and have a morning stroll with Susan :

California Coastal Walk

Always a smile with Drake!  How can you resist the man?

Let’s call it Sandy 

Some sterling Scottish vistas from Smidge (no, I didn’t say ‘Stirling’) :

Dawdling at Dawyck Botanic Gardens

And a wonderful panorama from Rosemay in Perth (no, not that one either!)

Checking Out Elizabeth Quay

So much colder in Canada!  Get your top coat out for this one :

Kananaskis, Alberta

But Gilly has found glorious Springtime for us :

The Day We’ve All Been Waiting For

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.


  1. While I did enjoy seeing the viaduct, I’m glad that you turned around so that we could enjoy the walk through the gardens and see the cliffs. 😀

  2. The photos aren’t loading quickly on my phone so I assumed the ‘handsome chap’ you referred to in your first para was your husband. Say sorry to him – I’ve just seen the tinman!

    1. Ah- the ‘phone’ challenge, Richard! 🙂 🙂 Funnily enough I was going to compare the handsome husband to tin man in my intro but thought better of it. Happy weekend! (maybe better to not watch football 😦 )

      1. I’m actually feeling a bit positive about the football as we got rid of two useless directors yesterday. Too late to save us from the drop, but we’ll be back!

  3. Such a glorious walk Jo, so much to see. I’m struggling to keep up with every one this week, I’m moving, just upstairs BUT 15 stairs up and 15 stairs down with all the paraphernalia we have collected over 6 years since moving downstairs… I feel as though I have done a major mountain walk. Maybe I should do a walk post on it for next week!!!!

    1. Oh, bless you, Pauline- that doesn’t sound like fun at all! Why the move? You and Jude are in the same boat 🙂 Don’t go pulling any muscles or hurting your back! Take it easy for a day or two 🙂

      1. We have come to the end of our 6 year travelling phase in life and so are going to be staying home. Our friends from upstairs have moved into an apartment (the stairs became too much for them) so it was a good time for a life style change. More time for short trips and exploring this immediate area… Will be back to walks again soon, now the weather is cooling down

  4. ha ha stamane wordpress non vuole riconoscermi è il terzo commento che scrivo! spero stavolta abbia finito di scherzare 😦
    ho camminato con te chiaccherando delle cose belle che mi hai fatto conoscere, ogni nuovo posto si fa amare dalle tue immagini straordinarie
    la scogliera è superba
    un grosso bacio da Pisa

    1. I had the same problem yesterday evening with WordPress, Annalisa. Very frustrating! I gave up and watched tennis. It was no hardship- Rafa was playing 🙂 🙂 I got 2 of your comments, cara, so thanks for being patient. Big hugs from a damp and soggy Hartlepool this morning. I shall go to t’ai chi and ignore it 🙂 Is your hand/arm fully better now? Hope so.

  5. è piacevolissimo camminare con le tue divagazioni cara Giovanna! ogni luogo che non si conosce passeggiando con te si fa amare! mi sembra di avere camminato con te e magari anche chiaccherato ammirando i piccoli e grandi particolari delle tue magnifiche immagini
    un grazie e un grande abbraccio da Pisa

    1. There were a couple of benches of that kind in the valley, Draco, but he was easily the best. I couldn’t even bring myself to sit on him 🙂 Thanks for your company.

  6. I love that bench, and the garden and cliff views. That cake looks good too! I want to walk the 110 mile Cleveland Way coastal walk. I wonder if there are cute B&Bs along the way? Spring seems to have sprung there. We have another cloudy day, but yesterday I did see a few buds here and there. 🙂

    1. It’s rained all day today, Cathy, and we’re having a new fence put up so I’ve felt quite sorry for the workers. 😦 It’d be a great walk, with some very nice little pubs to stop off at. 🙂

  7. What a delightful walk Jo and it looks like a touch of spring has finally arrived! I always love it when the daffodils are out (we have tended to be over at that time of year in recent years). I also love viaducts – the architecture is so impressive! So many wonderful photos too – you must have covered a lot of ground that day! Thanks so much again for including my Elizabeth Quay Walk this week too 🙂

    1. Hi Rosemay! 🙂 Two or three days of glorious Spring (including a walk with our group yesterday) and back to Winter this morning 🙂 Grateful for small mercies! We’re having a new garden fence put up today and I feel sorry for the workers. It’s damp and miserable. 😦 Have a good week, hon!

      1. Thanks Jo I’m not sure where the week has gone! Friday already and a busy weekend ahead. Sorry to hear it’s so damp and miserable again – not much fun for the poor workmen as you say. Hope the new fence doesn’t get blown (or washed) away. We’re expecting storms tomorrow, which to be quite honest will be welcome – we need the rain and it’s been humid today. However have an outing planned to the zoo tomorrow with the family so hope the rain stays off for that! Have a great weekend 🙂

  8. You find so many beautiful places for your walks. It’s amazing to me that there’s so much to see so near your home. (At least that’s the way I imagine it.) How long were you out for this Monday walk?

    After our children went away to college, I went on a few business trips with my husband, one long one in China and several shorter ones in the South Pacific. I really enjoyed seeing the sights, taking photos, and writing in my journal while he was working. We got together for breakfast and dinner and sometimes for lunch. It really worked out well.

    1. Our coast and countryside are wonderfully varied, Nicki, though just 15 minutes away from us we have a horrible swathe of heavy industry. We pass by it to get down to the Yorkshire coast and Saltburn is about 40 minutes from home. Going north we have former pit villages and endless coastline, so there’s plenty of choice. Depends how far the other half will let me roam. 🙂 This walk took me about 2 and a half hours, then we met for lunch, sorted out a small crisis for my son, and walked around Redcar (maybe next week’s walk 🙂 ) before returning home. A full but happy day 🙂

  9. You seem to find the most amazing places for a walk, Jo. And, spontaneously as well. Do you know about all these parks and trails ahead of time? It is so nice to just set out for a walk on a concrete path, without direction and then upon return still have time left for a bit more exploring. It also seems to me that there are more benches (and tea rooms) along the trails in Europe than in the US. A lot of times when we set out for a forest walk around here, there is no civilization to be found. Last weekend, it was a bit busier, thanks to the nice weather. The few picnic benches were taken. 🙂 Join us for a short track in Lover’s Leap State Park:

    1. In this instance I didn’t, Lisbet, but I did expect it to be easy to get back to the coast. So much for the sense of direction. 🙂 I do just like to wander out of pure curiosity but it does sometimes go pear shaped 🙂 Yes- we’re on a much smaller scale and never too far from a tea shop 🙂 Thanks a lot for joining me again. It’s good to see different aspects of a walk.

  10. Jo it sounds as though you and I have a similar world in that our husbands are off to work and we are often out with the camera. Well I’m still working but just part time.
    At any rate let’s see what I loved about this walk. Trying to keep up with you to the top of the cliff which of course we had to go see! The viaducts and especially the angle looking up, the shadows on the path and the bright green miss. Yes I liked it very much, especially the yummy food. Hope you have been well. We are just home from Fiji and I’m not certain what the date or time is. 🙂

    1. Back in Canada so soon, Sue? 😦 The bits I saw looked fabulous but I’m sure there’s much more to come. Take it easy for a day or two. I’ll do the cliffs- it’s no trouble 🙂

  11. I might stay at the bottom of the cliff and give you a wave, unless you can guarantee that I’m resuscitated by a seriously gorgeous paramedic 😉
    Love the mosaics, the beach, the viaduct, all of it in fact. Did you play the Goddess and sit with the Green Man?

  12. Haha… you had to do it didn’t you? But I will forgive you since you included a lovely bench AND took me to the coast. I do expect at least one proper wildlife photo now though 🙂 Must say it looked a little dreary at the beginning of your walk, so glad the sun eventually broke through.

      1. Nothing to do with me, but you know what landlords are like 😦 Plaster falling off screws in the plaster board on the top floor mainly, and about 4 picture hooks removed. We didn’t hang our paintings up here as we thought we’d only be in the house for a year. Almost five years later…

      2. Oh yes, I have loved getting to know Ludlow and surrounding area, always liked South Shropshire even when I lived in Shrewsbury. I shall miss walking to the market and the castle :-/

  13. Such gorgeous views from the clifftop! You must be as fit as a fiddle with all the clambering about that you do. The cake looks delicious and no doubt you could eat it all without gaining an ounce. I’m sure the animal mosaics should count for Jude’s wildlife challenge, if she doesn’t look too closely. 🙂

  14. Astonishing scenes, Jo! Find this , one of the best walks this year…….
    Lots of surprises and details , besides those magnificent viaducts and the amazing bench…..
    I enjoyed a lot this post!

    1. He was barking his little heart out, Seonaid, but his owner said he was frightened of his own shadow! Appropriate, really 🙂 Thanks for your company, darlin’.

  15. Phew, Jo! I just made it all the way with you to the cliff top. Jolly good the kind lady showed you the right way. I love viaducts, their construction and beauty. However I have a friend who is terrified of them and will close her eyes every time she drives near them or under them – then I’m rather petrified! Fun journeys!😀 Lovely post and photos that are a joy to peruse.

    1. Strange the things people have phobias about, isn’t it, Annika? But then they wouildn’t be phobias if they weren’t strange! So glad you could keep up. I knew a couple of us would make it, and it’s so worthwhile. 🙂 Have a happy week and thanks for your company.

  16. It is lovely to see all the pre-spring colours of nature and that bright light (that has a way of showing just how long since you cleaned your windows). I would have lived to walk beside you, chatting and taking pictures. A really great day it looks like.

    1. Oh, don’t mention the windows! The husband said he was going to clean them this weekend, but got sidetracked with other jobs. Maybe I’ll do it… tomorrow 🙂 Thanks, Lena! I really did have a great day.

  17. I can see why you started off with “Leaf Guy” because that is one very awesome bench. It must be quite interesting to be able to walk in such an old garden that has been kept up and added to with new things like mosaics. This was a wonderful walk Jo, thank you.

  18. You just keep on finding wonderful places to walk. I loved this one especially somehow because I’m in the same hemisphere. Be mischievous and post the bees for Jude’s garden inhabitants. Special pleasures? The mosaic, the collage, the light! Just back from my first Warsaw shop.

  19. Oh Jo, you did play well!
    All those bridges and water are exceedingly appealing. And I like Mr Acorn 🙂
    The sun is shining here right now and i’m finding it hard to work rather then grab my shoes and go for a walk. If your Saltburn walk was close to me, there’d be no competition – the walk would win!!

    But I have finally got round to writing up one of my recent walks:

    1. And that was only half of the day, Debbie! 🙂 I had my playmate along for the other half.
      Thanks a lot, darlin’. It’s much appreciated. Just been for a short stroll this morning but the sun’s still there. 🙂

    1. It did start a bit cool but by the time the sun appeared it was very pleasant. You have to remember, I’m a hardy northerner 🙂
      Thanks for your company. Be over for the next instalment a bit later.

    1. I did have a good time, Miriam! 🙂 And then we went for a light lunch and an afternoon stroll. Got to make the most of the sunshine. It may not last 🙂 Thanks for joining me.

  20. You are pushing my childhood nostalgia buttons again! Not the place this time, the pooch. I had to enlarge the pic quite a lot to be sure up it was a Basset Hound. If it was anything like the one we had it would be timid rather than suspicious. Thanks, once more, for linking. Another one coming up soon.

    1. Yes, it was a bit on the timid side, Anabel. 🙂 The girl I was walking alongside had him and a tiny dot of a long haired daschund and the latter was much more confident. Now I’m just waiting in dread for Jude’s verdict. 🙂 🙂

      1. Nice bench. And scone. I shall say no more. Actually, I will. Since I saw some wonderful sculptures in a garden on Sunday, maybe I will allow a bonus wildlife in the garden for those kind of wildlife. And Anabel, I am not at ALL scary, Jo is just stirring with her wooden spoon… again 😕

      2. I rather feel as though I have been beaten over the head with a big brush! But when I spotted the sculptures I had to concede that you might have a point…

  21. Viaducts are always impressive…as is your walk for today. I myself went on a Lymington-Keyhaven Marshland walk on Saturday. Apart from actually walking these walks yours is the next best thing. 😉

  22. What wonderful places! Great to go and ride adventure! Thanks for sharing with us.
    Have a wonderful day and a new week Exceptional! Hugs, Ştefania ❤ 🙂

    1. Thank you, kind sir! I have to admit, I was kind of entranced down there. It was the surprise element, I suppose, but so much nicer with a little bit of sun. 🙂

  23. That was a wonderful walk you took us on with you and I’m glad the sun came out a bit.
    Amazing landscape and beautiful photos! Love them! Especially the ones from the cliff 😉

      1. You’re welcome, really enjoyed your post 😉
        I hope it gets spring soon because here it looks all grey and I’m in desperate need of some sunlight and a little colour around.

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