Jo’s Monday walk : Lambkins and bikes!


Just before I made off for the Algarve I had time to squeeze in one last walk.  I’ve been to the North Yorkshire village of Great Ayton many times, and had not really expected to share with you another walk there.  150 photos proved me wrong, and I think you might like to share one or two of them.  Who can resist wobbly, white lambs?

I almost didn’t get there because our walk leader’s car was sick, but I bestowed the walk leader badge on my other half, and off we went.

It was a bit fresh, and misty, but with the bunting flapping wildly, we crossed over the narrow bridge and headed up the side street out of the village.  More about the bunting later.  There’s a sign pointing out a public footpath, which leads between houses and a big hawthorn fence, round past the cricket pitch, over a field and down to a stream.  Are you still with me so far?  It’s tricky!

This is where you should end up.  Cross over the little bridge and you come out into a country lane.  More bunting and a bridge with a scruffy sign, pointing to Easby and Kildale.  You don’t want either of those options today, so proceed gently uphill past Brookside Farm.

The goose, though handsome, is the honkiest, noisiest creature.  The cow, much more placid.  At about this point we were joined by a young ex-army man, out looking for fresh air and exercise.  Hadn’t he come to just the right place!  We chatted pleasantly along the lane.  The conversation was of Pisa and travels abroad, and I totally missed the fact that the farm cafe was open.  Not like me, at all! The husband was more alert but didn’t point it out till after we’d parted company with our walker friend.  We directed him uphill towards Captain Cook’s Monument.  A much sterner test for the legs, and one that we declined that day.

IMG_5109The daffs were everywhere, and a sprinkling of primroses too.  As we hailed the morning rider, White Cottage came into view, with a stunning fanfare of rhododendron.  The crossroads here lead down to Little Ayton, and continue on into Great Ayton itself.  Probably the recommended route for strollers but, if you choose to puff and pant uphill, you will find a footpath off to your left.  This takes you across a field.  If you’ve timed it right, you could be in for a real treat.


I don’t think I ever saw such bright, white, new ones!  One of the little fellas had managed to find his way out of the field, and away from the safety of his mother’s side.  He was scrambling frantically to find a way back in, while Ma looked on in exasperation.  I stood politely and quietly by, holding the gate just a little ajar for him.  I didn’t want any adventurous brothers or sisters skipping out to join him. But I need not have worried. With a twitch of his stubby tail, he was under the gate and gone, with barely a backwards glance.


For us, the trail led on, very muddily, over the railway tracks and back down into the village.  Where finally all of that bunting was explained.

The Tour de Yorkshire is coming to the village on May 1st, and the villagers were out in force, bedecking and festooning with bunting and bikes.

And I’m not done yet!  Past the cascades and along by the river, romantically trailing willows, still there’s more bunting and bikes to see.  I think they’re going to have a high old time on 1st May, don’t you?  I almost wish I could be there.


As we returned to our car, parked by the riverside, my husband spied a rather lovely magnolia.  I couldn’t quite get close enough for a decent shot, but I found a reward of a different kind.  A tiny raised gate led into the churchyard beyond.  I had stumbled upon James Cook’s childhood church, All Saints, dating from the 12th century.  In this lovely spot, his mother and siblings are buried.


If you happen to be in the area on May 1st, Stage 3 of ‘Tour de Yorkshire’ starts in Middlesbrough and races down over our beautiful Moors, ending at Scarborough on the north east coast.  Myself, I will be in Poland, but I might just catch a glimpse on the sports news. A map and full details of the route are contained in the links.

walking logo

I’m glad I managed to fit in this post, not least because it gives me the opportunity to showcase some amazing walks.  Where else will you find Korcula, the Shropshire Hills and Katmandu, all on the same page?  Please don’t miss any of them.  Huge thanks to all my contributors, and to all of you for your patience in my absence.

I’m going to have to take liberties again, because very early on Thursday I’m off to Poland with Dad.  I don’t return until 12th May and will have only limited internet access whilst there.  If you would like to share a walk in the meantime, you’re very welcome to do so. Details are, as always, on my Jo’s Monday walk page.  Just click on the logo above.


If I had to shortlist places to see before I finally vanish, Hawaii might well be on it.  You will enjoy this!

My weekly ramble

And just to totally convince you, Carol’s taking us to a waterfall :

Manoa Falls

Geoff took me to familiar and much loved haunts with this walk :

G is for the Greenwich#atozchallenge 

Becky gave me the gentlest of nudges before I set off for the Algarve.  Isn’t this walking bliss?

On the trail of Nightingales

Anabel finds the loveliest chateau, and a little bit of mud!


Shakespearean sonnets make for an interesting garden stroll with Trav Trails :

Sonnets and Flowers

And Jackie is out looking for signs of Spring in Toronto :

A Walk along the Humber

Another walk I’d really love to take for myself one day.  Say hello to the folks on this lovely island :

Top Views of Korcula- Walking Route

I love a walk that’s a bit different, and Karen provides exactly that!

The Goods Line

While Gilly takes us for a lunch time romp among the bluebells :

A lunchtime escape

Seriously good ‘value for money’ from Denzil, with a city walk and boat trip too :

How to spend a day in Ghent

A lovely welcome home arrived from Susan.  So like one of my own Tavira beach walks :

Rock Walk 2

And what can you say about Tish?  An astoundingly beautiful return visit for me, which I thoroughly enjoyed :

Happy Earth Day from the Shropshire Hills, some of the world’s Oldest Rock Formations :

I would not have believed it possible to have so much delight on a homecoming.  My cup runneth over, Badfish!

Last Supper in Katmandu

So there we have it, for a couple of weeks.  I have some lovely Algarve walks to share with you, but they’ll have to wait for a little while.  I might try to schedule a post for May 9th, the Monday before I come home, but it would probably be more sensible to wait until 16th.  In the meantime, I will visit and share as much as I can.  Do look after yourselves, won’t you?  And very happy walking!



    1. I have been following the blogs a little while away Sue and I’m really glad you can join me. I have a walk scheduled for Monday but don’t have a way to add links to it so I can’t share this till the following week.

      1. Oh goodness that is just fine Jo. With me being such an infrequent participant I will be grateful for you taking the link at all. Enjoy your time!

  1. I love seeing lambs in the fields and you got great photos of them. Nice seeing all the bike stuff too!

  2. I’m so pleased you managed to squeeze this last walk in before you take off again Jo it is pure delight. The little lambs and anxious mums, the daffodils and rhododendrons and all the bikes. It would be lovely to be there on May 1st and, I think, rather crowded. Have a happy time with your family, take care.

  3. Oooh, I love little lambs. 🙂 Thank you for another hugely enjoyable walk. It’s amazing how much decoration is done in aid of the bike race – I remember we were visiting friends in Yorkshire just after the Tour de France had started there a couple of years ago – the imagination of the decorations was great!
    My most recent walk was looking for bluebells – they were out in full force this time!

    1. I managed a quick bluebell walk last Saturday morning, just hours after I got home! They were just coming out. In Poland now so might struggle to share this. I’ve scheduled next walk for May 9th but I’m not home till 12th xx

  4. It’s like a three-fold post.
    Bikes everywhere, I love it! Maybe I should start painting everybody’s bike for no reason. 🙃 Just to make my surrounding colorful. Ahihihi

  5. What a fun walk, Jo! I love all the sheep and little lambs, the green fields, the flowers, the leaning tombstones, and the bikes! I would love a walk like this! Have a great time in Poland! 🙂

    1. Thanks, Cathy! 🙂 I’m exhausted! Just had our evening meal and I haven’t even started to pack yet. Been cooking and shopping for Mick all day (after t’ai chi 🙂 ) Just having half hour’s sit before I go and throw some stuff together! It’s just family so it won’t be dressy up stuff and I’m going to travel as light as I can. Leaving home at 3.30 in the morning for an early flight. I hope to have some internet while I’m away so I’ll do a bit of catch up wherever I can. Take good care of yourself. Anything new regarding Adam, and how’s the house stuff going?

  6. What a pleasant walk! I wish I’d been with you. I was there in spirit, however, enjoying the lovely flowers, streams, and bridges. Lambs are such a pleasure to watch. Did they bounce around for you in that way that looks like it belongs in a cartoon?

  7. thank you for another lovely walk Jo! the little lambs are adorable and the bikes so charming! enjoyable narrative and beautiful pictures as always! 🙂 have a wonderful time with your Dad! 🙂

    1. Yes, I guess so, Geoff (on both counts- European flag and another ramble 🙂 ). I hadn’t got much beyond thinking about the white rose of Yorkshire 🙂 Irrelevant, probably. I saw on north east news last night that Thirsk has gone wild with yarn bombing as well as bikes, so I’ll have to amble in that direction when I’m home from Poland.

  8. You construct a great walk narrative, suspending info about the flags while you ogle lambs – and well worth ogling they are too. The bikes are a splash of colour (the colours) and very inventive and fresh. And then you get a church and gravestones and daffodils. A command performance for you – and us, by proxy!

    1. Sometimes it all comes together rather nicely, Meg. 🙂 I do value your appreciation. (and your kindness 🙂 I saw your email earlier but have spent the day cooking for Mick for while I’m away and cleaning at Dad’s, so this is my first sit down. I got as far as a bus timetable and an email to Jadzia last night) Hugs, darlin’ 🙂

  9. ogni immagine un piccolo incanto, una raccolta limpida dei tuoi pensieri, incantevole quella delle vecchie tombe dove, inevitabilmente un giorno tutti andremo a finire, ma non bisogna avere tristezza per questo…il grande filosofo greco Platone diceva che nessuno puo dire che la morte non sia il bene più grande…anche se è meglio che aspetti ancora del tempo prima di arrivare, ha ha ( da noi si dice ” facciamo le corna)
    benritrovata, un grosso bacio

    1. Hi Kathrin 🙂 I’m really glad you could join us. I have looked at the ‘blue and yellow’ issue but there doesn’t seem to be an explanation other than these being the colours asssociated with the race. The white rose of York has traditionally represented Yorkshire so I don’t know if it’s a ‘spin off’ (ha! ha!) from this.

  10. I’m assuming it was your car that was sick? (I’m sure you’re the walk leader, Jo) 😉 If so I hope it gets better soon xxx

    I LOVE the lambs and the fact that you tried to get one back inside the fence is fantastic – what an adventure! 😀

    1. Not at ALL, Dianne. 🙂 A walk leader needs a sense of direction and I just follow my nose (or Michael 🙂 ) but thanks for the sympathy. Our leader is a lovely guy called Maurice and the group did ‘our’ walk the following Monday, without us, because we were in the Algarve. Hope they helped a few lambs too 🙂

    1. Well, I can’t believe what I’m seeing here, Karen. It’s snowing heaven’s hard in my corner of the UK! 😦 Portugal was bliss 🙂 Poland on Thursday. I might need a rest 🙂

  11. I love bike riding but 500 km would be a bit far for me these days.
    I am lucky you take me on your walks via your post.
    I find taking the camera for a walk good.
    I can stop and take a photo every time I feel like a rest. 🙂 _/\_

  12. Lovely post Jo, it sums up what England is all about – the daffs and primroses, weeping willow over a river, old graveyards so interesting to walk round, happy little lambs, and beautiful little villages to explore. All the things I miss so much about the UK. Thanks for the trip down memory lane!

  13. Jo, this is what I miss … from UK … the newborn lambs … the bluebells and early spring. It has been snowing a little today too over here .. ice-cold in the wind. April really has it’s run around with us this year. Bike in Swedish colors????!!!!! Lovely post and you had your little camera working overtime. Fantastic images .. and you’re such good storyteller .. it is just I been walking beside you. Brilliant job, as always.

    1. Thanks, Vivi 🙂 When I came upon the bikes I just knew I had to post them. Your colours, of course! Yes- hail, snow, wind- all happening here too. Dare hardly look at the Polish weather. 😦 Did you get my Algarve postcard yet? I put it in the same box as last time- just outside the post office- on my very first day in Tavira. Hugs, sweetheart! Wrap up warm 🙂

      1. No, postcard yet …. but it always comes. Are you going to Poland ???? So am I in the end of May, 5 days in Sopot. I really hope it will become a bit warmer until then. My friends in Gdansk told me it’s freezing there too. I’m all wrapped up … in a big cardigan. More clothes on now then in December. *smile … Cardigan hug >>>

      2. On Thursday, with Dad, for 2 weeks. Krakow is further south so I’m keeping my fingers crossed, but we will be spending 1 week in Central Poland where Dad’s home was. I’d better dig out some cardies too 😦 😦 Travelling Ryanair hand luggage so I’ll have to wear them all. 🙂 🙂

      3. Ryanair … yes, wear the whole wardrobe. 2 weeks with only hand luggage???!!!! That would never work for me. I need 20 kilo for 5 days. *laughing. Krakow is more inside the country, so I’m sure it will be a bit better there than along the coast.

  14. Spring is here, although it does not feel like it yet, since it continues to be cold and damp. The little lambs are gorgeous. I loved the bounty and the blue/ yellow bicycles, I wish I could be there to see the cycling tour. Have a great time in Poland.

  15. Ahh the bikes are really good fun, love the unicycle and that they’ve made term all such a lovely colour. Who could resist those darling little lambs? I have a friend who calls all male lambs Minty and all female ones Rosemary, she does it on purpose to make me cry! I do like a walk with water, as long as its not on my head. Happy days darling 🙂

    1. Thanks, sweetheart 🙂 For the last couple of years the bikes have been appearing in Yorkshire villages but I had no idea of this year’s route so it was a nice surprise when we got there. On the local news tonight they showed Thirsk village and they have yarn bombing as well as the bikes. If I had time I’d go and look. 🙂

  16. Oh those darling little lambs! ❤ Love all the blue and yellow bikes and the graceful willow trees. My grandson is very good on a unicycle. 🙂 Have a great trip with your dad, Jo. I'm sure you'll come back with lots of photos. xx

  17. Sounds like you will be on your way to Portugal soon. I hope I came back right in time to wish you a safe trip.

    Great pictures. European cemeteries are so different from the ones here in the U.S.

    Be well my friend 🙂

    1. Thanks a lot, hon. 🙂 I seem to be confusing everyone- myself included! I’m just back from the Algarve but on my way to Poland with Dad on Thursday. Barely had time to look at the Algarve photos. 🙂

  18. Another wonderful walk in the countryside with a few surprises along the way. I love it, Jo! Any idea why the bike decorations are all painted blue and yellow? Maybe the colors are part of the local crest? Have fun in the Algarve. If I have to guess, you won’t miss the grey skies and the mist!

    Liesbet @ Roaming About – A Life Less Ordinary

    1. Thanks, Liesbet. 🙂 The Tour de Yorkshire colours are blue and yellow. This is the third year of the event and it’s brought a lot of fun so far. I’m back in wild and windy UK for a day or two then off to Poland. How’s the new home?

      1. The new home is comfortable and quiet, set in the middle of the woods, with one sweet dog to care for. Pretty nice, really, with lots of hikes in the area. (Future blogs are in the making…) Thanks for asking. Wish for the colors of spring to arrive here, though, and for the weather to get a bit warmer. Enjoy Poland! I’m off to Belgium next weekend. From your photos, it looks like spring had a better start in Europe than here. Looking forward to that. 🙂

  19. Lovely to see you Jo. If there should be a prize for most unique finds you are in the finals girl. Those bikes are fabulous! I think I should like a few for the front yard. 🙂 As to those lambies could they be any cuter?

  20. Oh to be in Yorkshire now that April’s there! Love the lambs and the church – my boys and I hiked up to the Cook Monument in the snow and then continued to Roseberry Topping! I was of course, much younger then 🙂 And we had to lift an escapee over a gate to join his family 🙂
    Enjoy Poland – I shall miss you all over again, but look forward to your walks and photos once you return. And I have a few walks for you that I have been saving. Oh, and I shall be in Edinburgh on Friday and Saturday – 16/17 September. OH in a conference so maybe we could meet up one of the days and have lunch?

    1. Hiya darlin 🙂 Thanks for the Edinburgh dates. I’ll put them on the calendar for when I’m back. I had thought maybe Cornwall in early Autumn but I haven’t got round to discussing. Just been downloading a Polish bus timetable to see if it’s possible to meet Meg. 2 weeks worth of cooking to do, cleaning at Dad’s tomorrow and ironing for James this afternoon. Meeting myself coming back 🙂 Can I fit t’ai chi and a haircut in? 🙂 Thanks for your company and friendship, Jude.

      1. So is she. Practically stopped eating. Very worrying, but she does at least eat these now. We think. Of course she could just chuck them in the bin… 😦

  21. Naawww, lambs! When I was a child, my kindergarten teacher mother would take on orphaned lambs and we would look after them until they were old enough to fend for themselves and then send them back to the farm. I used to get funny looks from passing cars when I’d take them for a walk around the block on a lead. (We lived in suburbia.)

    1. I’ve ground to a standstill this afternoon. 🙂 I have so much to do before leaving for Poland that my mind has simply shut down. I’ll just look at the lambs instead 🙂 Thanks for your company, Sherry.

  22. Do have a lovely time in Poland. I am not long back from visiting my parents in Australia. I enjoyed my walk with you; almost like home with lambs, green fields and Captain Cook. 😉

  23. You do give value for money, Jo. What a wonderful walk, filled with spring breeziness (though a bit on the fresh side), and lambs (they do seem to have come out whiter this year) and then those wacky bikes, and some Captain Cook history to end. Phew! I need a lie down. Oh yes, and many thanks for the link. Have a great week.

  24. Oh, I miss seeing those little lambs! They are very newborn and look so wobbly on their legs! Ahh… Where you okay with the sheep though; they can get protective about their young…once ‘hounding’ us out of a field. Scary! The bikes are great, aren’t they and the one against the house is the biggest I’ve seen! Brilliant!

    1. The lambs were fantastic, Annika- especially the little one that ‘escaped’. The sheep gave us a bit of a look but they had far too much else to do with all those youngsters around. 🙂 Thanks for your company, hon.

    1. This is probably the best display I’ve seen and it came as quite a surprise, Andrew, because I didn’t know Great Ayton was on the route. 🙂 Not paid much attention this year. The village will be mental on the day! 🙂 🙂

  25. So beautiful photographs and amazing views… I loved the special note, sign for the sheep… How nice. Thank you dear Johanna, have a nice new week, Love, nia

    1. I’m exhausted before I even start this week, Nia, but those lambs are just too good to miss. 🙂 Thanks for your lovely wishes and a happy week to you too 🙂

    1. It was such a very English morning, Gerry, and it feels quite strange posting it with the Algarve still in my head and Poland later this week. Confused? Me too! 🙂

  26. Oh Jo, it’s so pretty and so English. We are planning to visit Yorkshire in September and your photos have me daydreaming about what we will see. Enjoy your trip to Poland and see you when you get back. Travel safely!

    1. Give me a shout with dates when you know where you’ll be, Carol? I might have suggestions or even be able to meet. My September is an open book at present. 🙂 Thanks, hon!

      1. That would be great. We are still finalising our itinerary. Our daughter is living in Manchester at the moment so we will spending some time there with her as well. I’m looking forward to it as we haven’t done that part of England at all.

  27. A very nice walk, I love the ships and their babies, they look so cute! Place is really amazing like from an English film! There should very peaceful there!

    1. Just a lot of shopping, cooking for 2 weeks while I’m away, washing and ironing… usual stuff, really 🙂 Finally got the boarding passes done for me and Dad and looked at Polish bus timetables to see if I might be able to meet up with Meg. Haven’t opened a Polish text book in about a year so I’m going to struggle. (nod and smile’s my middle name, Sue 🙂

  28. Ahh, now I feel a little homesick. What a charming English scene! Spring flowers, lambs, bunting! I love all the blue & yellow bikes, especially the one being ridden by tea pot! Enjoy Poland. You’re such a jet-setter Jo 🙂 P.S Thanks for sharing our walk.

    1. Right now I’m a rather harassed lady who’s spent the last hour getting boarding passes printed for me and Dad. Joys of travel! Time for breakfast 🙂 I enjoyed your company and thanks very much for the walk. See you when I get back.

  29. First off, this post just screams SPRING IS HERE what is not to love about little lambs, gorgeous flowers and all that green. As I have probably mentioned in previous posts, I have not experienced a real spring since 2012 so I am delighted to imagine myself walking in it here. The second bit is how cool it to see Captain James Cook’s boyhood haunts. He is my second favorite Captain and I have been following him about on this grand Pacific journey. Looks like I will have to pop round Yorkshire for a visit to complete my James Cook tour! Wish I was going to be there for the Tour de Yorkshire on May 1. Enjoy Poland!

    1. Isn’t it? (very English 🙂 ) Feels strange to be back and I was so tempted to post Mertola but I had this one almost ‘in the bag’ before I went. Haven’t even had time for a proper look at my Algarve photos yet! So sorry I haven’t responded to you on Linked In- time has been so tight since I got back and I really can’t even think about London till I’ve done boarding passes for Poland. 🙂 How are the cats?

      1. Agree on the strange being back! Cats delighted to be home – younger one can’t stop going in and out!
        No worries about London, and hope all goes well with your dad and trip to Poland xx

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