Jo’s Monday walk : Christmas Magic in Roundhay


A little bird told me that you’ve all been very good this year.  Soon it will be time to open Santa’s sack.  Thank you for staying with me on all of those long and arduous hikes.  This week it’s all pleasure.  Shall we take a little one by the hand and go in search of some Christmas magic?

The venue is Roundhay Park on the outskirts of Leeds, where we’re queuing up for the Magical Lantern Festival.  Arrive a little early to make parking easier.  There are food stalls and a few small rides for the tots.  Hot chocolate and Baileys, strictly for the grown ups.

Here we are, queued beneath the Chinese gate, the anticipation and excitement building.  Look up!  Look up!  Can you see the reindeer on the top?

Under we go, across the road and into the park.  Roundhay Park includes 700 acres of parkland, lakes and woodland.  In summer you could stroll to your heart’s content, admiring the Monet and Alhambra gardens and former Chelsea Gold Medal award winning gardens.  Tropical World is beloved of children for the meercats and the butterfly house.  This December the gardens have been transformed with the addition of the lantern festival.

It’s a gentle beginning, as the sun disappears softly into the woods.  What ARE all those pandas up to?

We weave around the canal garden, ooh-ing and aah-ing at each new sight.  A pumpkin feast affords much delight.



Flowers sparkle prettily, birds tweet from luminous cages, dragonflies whirr and ladybugs glow.

A serenely oriental pond has me clicking and clicking, trying to get the best angle to capture this beauty.

With a grand finale of geese and prancing unicorn, I fear that the tour must be over.  Not so! I’m delighted to be directed back across the road.



In Mansion Place an avenue of lanterns leads to yet more flamboyance.



Elegant blue and white porcelain twinkles, while swans dip their graceful heads to admire their own reflection.

A pagoda signals one last crescendo of excitement.  No self-respecting Chinese festival is complete without a dragon or two.


Try to end with a flourish!  I believe I did.  Time to relinquish the little hands and tuck small persons into bed.  The Magical Lantern Festival is on at Roundhay until 2nd January.  If you’re in the area, why not treat yourself?  It really is lovely.  Full details are on the website.  Let’s put that kettle on!

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Thank you so much for another fantastic year of walking and friendship.  You make it very special.  I hope to have another walk for you next Monday (Boxing Day) but I know that many of you will be absent and enjoying Christmas with your family.  Let me take this opportunity to wish you all a peaceful Christmas, filled with much joy.  And now to share some walks.


A blissful beginning from Paula!  I know you’ll enjoy :

New Horizon

Lady Lee spent the most beautiful birthday weekend walking and eating…  ideal!

Birthday Weekend in Garmisch

Life isn’t ideal in a lot of places.  Let Indra show you the brighter side in India :

Walk the Green Side of Gurgaon, India

Becky’s found blue skies and some rather interesting sculptures in Olhão :

Exploring the delightful ‘Legends Way’

Where’s Woolly this week?


My memories of San Diego are of scorching heat.  Elaine’s are soothing and refreshing :

Balboa Park – Japanese Friendship Garden

Christmas posts are becoming inevitable!  Here’s a lovely one from Stephanie :


And then please hop over to delightful Kayserberg with Drake :

Do they know it’s…? 

Carol had the most fantastic view from her apartment in Cornwall this year :

Falmouth – Near and Far 

And Biti found the cutest B & B, especially if you enjoy street art :

Marseille Colorful Panier

A mournful, poetic walk to end the year with Geoff and Dog :


But Cathy’s still right on adventuring!

West Virginia : The Endless Wall

A winter wonderland’s something to celebrate, isn’t it?  Irene’s is beautiful :

Melancholy is Futile

I hope to be out and about walking between Christmas and New Year but I won’t be posting walks between 2nd and 16th January.  Maybe you can guess where I’ll be.  Merry Christmas all!


  1. Wow. You did such a great job putting this together. Your photos are so magical and your walk with the little one so descriptive, as if you were talking to him/her. So then why is it all I can think of now is a hot chocolate and Bailey’s? Great post!

  2. Gorgeous photos, Jo, very festive indeed! You’ve captured the magic of Christmas there! (My visiting, replying, commenting and the like have fallen a little by the wayside of late, for which I apologise, but wanted to call by today and wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!)

  3. I am finally catching up with my blog friends. This place looks magical. I wish you and your family a very happy Christmas I hope it’s not tinged with too much sadness as you remember your Dad. 😉

    1. Thanks a lot for finding time to stop by. 🙂 I’m very up and down at present but nothing unusual about that. Wishing you joy this Christmas, and health and happiness in the New Year.

  4. A beautiful Christmas outing and post dear Jo, how I wish I could go there but wonderful to see it all through your eyes…my favourites are the toadstools 🙂 Magical and uplifting, lighting up blogland as you always do. Merry Christmas Jo, I’ll see you again after the New Year. Love & hugs 🙂 xxx

    1. There’s always a little magic, if you go looking, Sherri, isn’t there? That’s all my presents wrapped. Just a few food bits then I can relax. Christmas hugs, darlin 🙂 🙂

      1. I signed off before I had a chance to reply Jo…I hope you enjoyed your Christmas despite missing your dear dad. And I hope the New Year brings you comfort, peace and lots of love and big hugs… ❤

  5. A grand flourish to finish, Jo – this is pure magic! 😀 I’m heading up to that part of the UK tomorrow so see if get a chance to go and see this, I would love to! The photos make it so tempting! Merry Christmas to you and yours. 🎄

    1. It was a real treat, Annika. I would advise to get there early and pop into the Rounhay Fox pub. Parking was becoming a problem as we came away. Hope you have a wonderful Christmas, and a healthy and happy 2017. 🙂 🙂

    1. Thanks a lot, Denzil. I’ve enjoyed your company. I do intend to put a walk up on Monday, to get us all out and about after the Christmas indulgence. No idea where yet 🙂 Wishing you and the family a joyful time.

    1. I thought you might like them, Paula 🙂 I’ve just been sending Christmas emails. Getting very close now. Hope you got all done that you needed to. Yes, the flights were exceptionally cheap, and we love the Day of Kings celebration on Jan 5th. James is home for Christmas but not New Year so it will be something to look forward to. Hugs sweetheart 🙂

  6. wow – would love to see this in person – my fav was the blue and white porcelain and the swans – but nice to see so much color -I rember for a few years they had a lot of only white at some shows – and the color was a treat this morning….


  7. What a beautiful and festive walk to almost end the year. I love Chinese lanterns and the atmosphere they exude. Yet, I have never witnessed them in real life… I truly love you stroll through the festival of lights, Jo. We are hoping to visit one ourselves nearer to Christmas Day. Happy Holidays!!! And, thank you for taking us on all these wonderful walks with you!

    1. Hi Liesbet 🙂 It’s been great to have such enthusiastic company. Glad you enjoyed this and I hope you find your own Chinese lanterns this Christmas. Very best wishes for the New Year. 🙂

      1. Thanks, Jo. Hopefully, I find some hot choclate woth Baileys as well. 🙂 Enjoy your trip to the Algarve and say hi to the sun and blue sky for me.

  8. What a light display.
    Have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

    My guess where you’ll be in January, somewhere warm. Mykonos and Santorini in Greece, at this time of the year, is not too bad – less expensive and fewer tourists. The weather can get sketchy if a storm sweeps in from the Balkans, but otherwise is fairly nice. 🙂

  9. It’s been my pleasure, Jo, to have followed your blog this year, as in the previous ones: thanks for all the great posts! 🙂
    I wish you a Merry Christmas and a peaceful and blessed New Year,

  10. Such a gorgeous light display Jo. My guess is you will be off to Portugal in the new year. Happy holiday wishes and very much looking forward to following along in 2017. Xoxo

  11. Oh, Jo you are such a big kid aren’t you? I love your sense of fun and glee at these events – I’m afraid the crowds would put me off (and the entrance fee!). I have never seen lanterns like this, I though they were inflatables, or maybe they are? Roundhay park has developed enormously since I was a little kid, all I remember is parkland. No tropical world and only the usual public park gardens. And I have to say your photos are magnificent, your little camera is a little beauty.

    I have another Norwich walk for you this week, and I know you will like it as it involves water. You may even have walked this yourself. I will have another water one in a few weeks, I’ll save it until you are back from the BIG beaches and BIG sky place in the south… 🙂

    1. Thanks, sweetheart 🙂 Yes, the kid wins every time! Our timing was actually very good. We were in the pub on the corner soon after 2 having easily got parked. We did the talking and serious stuff and then it was all fun. Just starting to get really busy as we came away. The first little shots are inflatables at the food area but the rest were solid constructions. It wasn’t cheap but it was great! 🙂 🙂 Thanks for the walk, Jude. I found half a brain and I meant to say in my e that maybe you could do some kind of teaching/ photographic process based theme next year? You’re good at that kind of thing 🙂

  12. Wow, like a walk in Wonderland. I love the mushrooms. During the dark days, it feels good to immerse yourself in light, doesn’t it? I’m going for a walk this evening through old Prague to see the Christmas lights. Mondays are a little less crowded here. 😉 Wishing you a splendid holiday, Jo. I know it will be a tough one this year, though.

    1. Thanks a lot, Julie. 🙂 Yes, there’ll be a memory or two and I have a pile of photos I haven’t had the heart to move. Prague must be fabulous at this time of year. Enjoy your stroll, have a great Christmas, and thanks for your company through the year. 🙂

  13. Oh, how I LOVE this, Jo! I went to a number of lantern festivals in Korea and I fell in love with them there! I’ve heard we have one nearby us here, in Reston, so now you’ve inspired me to visit it.

    This one is really spectacular. I love the dragon, the sleigh, the pumpkin scene, the mushrooms, the underwater scene, and especially the pandas on bicycles!! How adorable. How delightful all around. 🙂

    1. It didn’t look too impressive when we first got there, Cathy, (everyone was in the pub 🙂 ) but as the lights came on it was fantastic. You’ll definitely have to go to the one at Reston. Wishing you, Mike and the boys a beautiful and peaceful Christmas and I hope that 2017 sees some of your hopes fulfilled. Hugs, darlin! 🙂

      1. I think the lanterns don’t look that great until they’re all lit up. We’ll definitely have to explore the one in Reston. Maybe we can get there this week.

        I wish you and Mick, James and Lisa a fabulous holiday. I hope 2017 is a better year for all of us! 🙂 Hugs, Jo. xxx

  14. Super festive illuminations you’ve queued up to show us ! magic mushrooms reminding me of Fantasia 🙂 blue and white porcelain … and a prancing unicorn … LOVELY .
    Thoughts and wishes for this Christmas dear Jo , I’ve no doubt you’ll be raising a glass with memories of other family Christmas times in the past . with love Poppy x

      1. Thank you Jo ! A quiet , very small family gathering for us . Christmas has just about been fitted inbetween a stay down at St Ives and then whizzing away for some Winter sunshine 🙂

      2. One of these days you’ll bump into Jude 🙂 Christmas is only a day or 2, isn’t it? And as much eating as is possible for most people. Enjoy the sunshine! Canaries? 🙂

  15. You know very well that I totally dig this kind of places or event. That is more than “Lantern” festival. Imagine being tempted on jumping on those and just go nuts around it. 😀 If not for those electric lights, I totally might. Ahihihi 😀 Incredible illuminations!!! I especially love the Chinese area.

  16. Definitely, I would be there if I lived in that area. I think it;s just fantastic for all ages – evan an ancient like me. The organisers are to be congratulated on having the vision and ability to stage such a wonderful event.

  17. It is indeed magic. I hope I can do such justice to Warsaw when I’m finally out and about. However I do wonder about cost of such displays in a stretched economy. I’m good at raining on parades, at the same time as I thoroughly enjoy them!

    1. I’d been looking forward to this for weeks, Gerry. It was almost spoiled by some bad news, but in the end we had a lovely time and it was a pleasure to share. 🙂 My very best wishes to you this Christmas.

  18. Absolutely stunning! I’ve just about finished a walk to publish later, but if our paths don’t cross again before Christmas I wish you and yours peace and love for the festive season now. I know it’ll be a “first without” for you as it was for us last year – but you will have happy memories of Christmas Past to draw on I’m sure. I’ve enjoyed walking with you in 2016 so here’s to 2017!

    1. Hi Anabel 🙂 Thank you so much for the support throughout the year. It’s certainly had its ups and downs, but then, most of them do. Wishing you and your family a happy time this Christmas and let’s see what 2017 holds 🙂

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