Jo’s Monday walk

Jo’s Monday walk : Bolton Abbey and the Strid

When the email dropped into my Inbox I was immediately excited.  It was many years since I’d been to Bolton Abbey, in the Yorkshire Dales, but I knew it had a special location.  An invitation to walk there in the company of some of my Algarve walking friends was a real cause for excitement.

I should explain.  In the Eastern Algarve there are 2 complimentary groups of walkers, dubbed the Strollers and the Striders.  The first ambles in a highly social way, with plenty of coffee stops.  The second covers the ground much more swiftly, in order to reach the goal of a substantial meal. You can belong to either, or both, depending on your ability. They are equally welcoming and a very nice bunch of people overall.  One thing they have in common is that they don’t walk in the hot Algarve summer months.  Many return to the UK, and that is how this walk came about.  I felt privileged to be a part of their first ever English walk together.

Meeting at the Cavendish Pavilion, we exchanged hugs and kisses before a quick catch up of news, over coffee.  The weather was much as it has been for most of this summer, and we all carried waterproofs.  Time to start out, before the skies opened.

The walk neatly follows the River Wharfe, dipping and rising through Strid Wood, a glimmer of sunshine sparkling on the water from time to time. It’s life affirming stuff, in one of the county’s greatest beauty spots, of which there are many.

The river chuckles along and we pause for a group photo, happy to capture the moment. A bench made from a felled tree has been liberally ornamented with coins.  We are approaching The Strid, the focal point of this walk.

The Strid gets its name from an Anglo Saxon word, stryth, meaning turmoil.  The river suddenly narrows, forcing the water through under great pressure.  The Strid was formed from the wearing of softer rock by the circular motion of small stones in hollows. It might be a stride too far to cross over at this point, and certainly dangerous when the water is high.

Strid Wood, with its sessile oak trees, wraps around us.  As we head towards the Aqueduct the rain begins to fall.  The oaks provide shelter until it lightens again, tree ferns and wizened stone faces looking on.

The Aqueduct is another interesting feature of this walk.  The castellations hide the pipes that carry water from the reservoirs at the top of Nidderdale down to the cities of West Yorkshire.

It enables us to cross to the other side, shortening our walk a little.  We don’t get too wet, but miss out on Barden Tower and the prospect of more coffee, and possibly cake, at the Priest House.  Yes, I can hear you sighing!  Another time!

Damp seats don’t have much appeal but I love the twisted, enduring trees and down below, the gurgling of the river.  Before too long we’re crossing the bridge back to Cavendish Pavilion, and the prospect of a meal and a sit down.

We sit outside initially, but soon abandon fresh air for dryness inside and, as the heavens open, are glad that we have.  We are still optimistic and, sure enough, the skies brighten so that we can undertake the short walk across the field to the Abbey.

The 30,000 acre Bolton Abbey estate is the home of the Duke and Duchess of Devonshire. At its heart stand the Priory church and the ruins of an Augustinian priory.  From 1154 until 1539 the canons lived and worshipped here.  The church survived the dissolution of the monasteries and functions still.  It maintains a wonderful atmosphere.

I wandered the grounds, captive in the angles of aged stone.  Almost unnoticed the sun sneaked in to blaze glory on the scene.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

We debated amongst ourselves to see if any one of us would brave the stepping stones. In the event, the icecream van won the day, and we watched the antics on the river, before safely crossing over the bridge.

 

One final uphill endeavour past the Welly Walk, a childrens’ adventure trail, and we were safely back to base.  Hugs, smiles and ‘let’s do it again next year, shall we?’  I think we might!  It just remains to give thanks to our wonderful organisers, Peter and Sandie.

Many thanks for your company on another of my ramblings.  I hope you enjoyed it. Details of how to get there are on the Bolton Abbey website.  As many of you read this I shall be thundering towards Shropshire so expect me to be tardy in my responses.  I will be back on Wednesday evening, and hope to catch up with you all then.  Meantime, put the kettle on and enjoy!

……………………………………………………………………………….

All the way to Israel with Lisa for my first share :

Dan Reisinger

Going north with Marion to a cool and interesting part of the world :

A walk from Helsinki’ s Market Square to Tervesaari island 

Kitzbuhel and that magical part of Austria has long been on my list, so thanks Lady Lee!

Our Austrian Trip

More rambling in style, with Jackie :

Cream of the Crop

What more can I say about the war graves?  Woolly says it better :

Jo’s-Monday-Walk-Wk31_Lochnagar-Crater-Pt-2

Meg has set up a great tradition of Wordless walks.  Join her for a stroll?

Wordless walk: Burrendong botanical gardens and arboretum

Can’t beat a bit of adventure up on the moors!  Come and meet Mackenzie :

Yarnbury

Have you noticed, Drake is good at telling ghost stories?  Must be his Danish heritage :

A different ghost story

Isn’t life strange?  Here I am, heading for Shropshire, and what does Becky find?

Exploring Ironbridge Gorge, a World Heritage Site

And even better, six delightful words on her other blog :

I can’t possibly sit down here

Join me next time on Jo’s Monday walk?  Have a great week!

Jo’s Monday walk : Hovingham

There’s no two ways about it!  England has some of the finest villages you could hope to find, and Hovingham, in North Yorkshire, is a prime example.  In summertime it’s the perfect place to amble past old stone cottages, festooned with fabulous hollyhocks, to peer over the church wall.

In reality it was one of those days when summer is reluctant to parade itself for our pleasure, but I was still hopeful.  We had passed through the village, on the Helmsley to Malton road, in search of Yorkshire Lavender.  No amount of grey sky could dim that glory!  Returning the same way, it seemed churlish not to stop the car and explore a little.  Keep me company?

Beside the village green, the unusual Grade II listed school draws the eye.  Ivy swaddles many of the buildings and colour cascades, at curb and much higher, to combat the grey.  Locally grown tomatoes advertise their presence alongside fresh eggs.  A breakfast here must be a total pleasure. I wonder what the gents at the cafe had.

Set back behind the main road stands magnificent Hovingham Hall.  This Grade 1 listed Palladian style mansion was designed and built by Thomas Worsley between 1750 and 1770. The house is only opened to the public between 1st and 28th June each year, and I was sorry to have missed it. Entrance is unique in being through the former riding school, where George III was taught to ride.  In front of the house, the oldest privately owned cricket pitch in England.  I snuck as close as I dared for a look.

Over the garden wall I could see the Saxon tower of the parish church, All Saints.  The name Hovingham has an interesting derivation, combining a ‘place of graves’ with a settlement in a ‘meadow near a river’.  No sign of the river, but I could see some graves.

I was pleased to find that the church door was unlocked.  Quiet reverence inside, an unusual font and beautifully carved organ pipes, lots of kneelers and some exquisite stained glass.  Was there a significance to the dragon?

Crossing back towards the village green, my eyes lit up at the sight of a rocking horse, waiting impatiently at the window for its owner to return.

In a corner of the green, another church, very different in character.  Methodist, with a ‘welcome’ sign on the door, I couldn’t spurn the invitation.

This village is full of surprises.  Quite suddenly I came upon a ford, crossing Marr’s Beck and leading to the elusive River Rye.  A neat little cafe and bakery sits alongside.  The locals, undetered that it was closed, had brought a picnic to their favoured spot.

As if in celebration, just then the sun contrived to make an appearance, transforming the old stone and setting the hollyhocks nodding.

Isn’t England bonny in the Summer?  I walked the length of the beck, beside the cottages and back to the main street.

How better to finish than with a bee, rolling in ecstasy?  I hope you enjoyed our wander today.

It was touch and go this week, a router problem knocking the Internet out for countless hours, but I made it!  Many thanks to all of you who’ve stuck with me.  I had to get the job done so I could showcase these walks, didn’t I?  Please take the time to visit them, if you possibly can. Pop the kettle on first?  And do join in if you have a walk to share.  The details are on my Jo’s Monday walk page.

………………………………………………………………………..

First up is Violet, with another attractive bridge for us to cross :

A bridge to cross

Then a hodge podge of food and stuff from Jackie :

Food@home

I rather think Lady Lee had a good weekend!

Happy Sunday

Want to hear a ghost story?  Then Drake’s your man!

In the middle of the history

Kathrin has her own version of scaling the Hollywood heights :

Hike to the Hollywood sign

While Ann Christine likes to take it more gently :

A Walk at Lindo – In the Best Company

And our Meg is wordless, but inimitable :

Wordless walk: Hervey Bay Botanical Gardens

Where’s Woolly this week?  He’s found a very large hole :

Jo’s-Monday-Walk-Wk30_Lochnagar-Crater-Pt-1

We finish with something rather unusual, recommended to me by Sheri, a keen walker herself :

Letterbox Walks

Well, not quite finish, because I have to include Carol’s latest.  Not totally a walk, but you may recognise someone :

Meeting James and Jo

I’m in two minds about next Monday because I shall be traveling to Shropshire (and hopefully meeting up with someone else you know).  I do have another walk I’m desperate to share though.  I’ll keep you posted.  Have a great week!

Jo’s Monday walk : Yorkshire Lavender

I’ve been aware of the existence of Yorkshire Lavender for a couple of years, but I had no idea that this family concern had been going for more than twenty.  Almost 60 acres of south facing farmland on the Howardian Hills have been cultivated into a rolling sea of lavender.  It began as a project and distraction when the owner’s wife died, leaving him with two young children.  What a tribute it is, to her and to them.

I had set my heart on a pot of white lavender, having seen some at Hampton Court Flower Show.  Scarcely was I through the door when my eyes alighted on the very thing. And in awfully nice company, too!  ‘Heavenly Angel’ was destined to come home with me.

But first I’d better take you on a tour of inspection.  We’ll take it slowly because you don’t want to miss anything.

Breathtaking, isn’t it?  I hardly would have thought that such impact could be created with lavender, but it curved sensuously away, a delicious romp of lilacs, pink and white.  And the aroma?  Wafting gently at you from all sides.

Old and young experience the joy together, the children whooping through the maze and turning cartwheels, smiles on the faces of their elders. Nor is it only about the lavender. Densely packed borders tilt and sway with fronds of delicate grasses and exquisite beads of colour.  I defy anyone to hurry through this garden.

Beside the Wibbly Wobbly Way, a switchback of green and lavender, a gardener paused in her labours to explain to us something of the history of the garden and its planting.  The lavender will all be cut back in 2 ferocious days of harvesting in early September.  Till then, it’s ours to admire.

All afternoon I waited for the sun to shine, to burnish the softly swaying fronds of grass, but it was not to be.

If the youngsters are getting bored, there’s a giant snakes and ladders game to play and a small enclosure with deer, but I was having trouble tearing myself away from the dazzling array of plants, some of which I’d never seen before.

Climbing the hillside to the top of the site I came across a pond with water lilies.  The gardens are continuing to develop, and several people that I talked to had noticed a big improvement in recent years.  I was more than happy with what I found.

New strains of lavender are introduced, alongside tried and trusted favourites.  At the top of the hill, a last bit of whimsy.  A cricket match is in progress.  Don’t look at me!  I can neither bowl nor bat, let alone catch.  Maybe I could umpire?

The gardens are open from the end of March to 1st October, a £3 charge being made from June till August.  Out of season, entry is free.  A shop sells lavender products, and in the tearooms you can sample lavender scones, with jam and cream, of course.  What’s keeping you?

Many thanks for joining me again this week.  Walkers or readers, it doesn’t matter.  You’re all wonderful company.  If you’d like to join in with a walk of your own, details are on my Jo’s Monday walk page.  You’ll be very welcome.  Time to put the kettle on now, and settle in for a good read.

…………………………………………………………………………….

Drake starts us off with a vintage train ride this week :

On track of the past

Fancy a swift trip to the barrage and back with Debbie?

A quick walk around the bay

Welcome Violet again!  Look what she found in Toronto :

Rubber ducky

Jackie’s in Toronto too.  I do like the look of that roof garden :

Let’s Chew the Fat

Woolly is still with the Royal Newfoundland Regiment :

Jo’s-Monday-Walk-Wk30_Beaumont-Hamel-Pt-2

What a time Lady Lee had at the spa!

Spa weekend in Bad Fussing

Cathy has finished work in Japan.  It’s all fun from now on!

The Daibutsu Hiking Course, a Love Shrine and a money washing shrine

There’s usually a way, if you look for it.  Do visit resourceful Down by the Dougie :

Coastal walk from Lyme – Charmouth, Golden Cap and Stonebarrow

Lisbon looks good from lots of angles so we’ll forgive Becky for taking to the water :

Crossing the longest river in the Iberian Peninsula

‘Twixt land and sea, Susan lyrically experiences the perfection that is California :

Walking Port San Luis Pier

And the ‘other’ Susan has a treat for us bookworms, in NYC :

A Walk Along Library Way

That’s it for another week.  Hope you can fit in some walking between showers.  See you soon!

 

 

Jo’s Monday walk : Whitburn through the Looking Glass

Are you wondering at my title this week?  The village of Whitburn in north east England has a Lewis Carroll connection.  It’s generally accepted that he wrote “The Walrus and the Carpenter” while staying at his cousin’s home in Whitburn.

Charles Dodgson, whose pen name was Carroll, of “Alice in Wonderland” fame, regularly visited his cousin Margaret Wilcox, the wife of a Customs officer in Sunderland.  For entertainment on an evening they would make up verses.  ‘Twas brillig and the slithy toves Did gyre and gimble in the wabe’ started life here, and was published as ‘Jabberwocky’ in 1872.   I had no such rhymes in my head on the seafront at Seaburn.  The sun was shining warmly and I planned to head up the coast.

Looking good, don’t you think, and I’m not surprised that Carroll enjoyed strolling on this stretch of cliff top that leads north to Souter Lighthouse. I’m easily distracted sometimes and a wooden sculpture by the edge of the road beckoned me to take a closer look.

Welcome to Whitburn, the sign said.  Well, why not?  A path led invitingly past a swathe of vibrant wildflowers and I found myself in Cornthwaite Park.  There I found the legend writ large, ‘Whitburn through the Looking Glass’.

I love the reputation of this peaceful, rural location as a haven for shipwreckers. Following the attack of the Spanish Armada in 1588, the defeated Spanish fleet fled up the north east coast of England.  Two galleons ran aground in rough seas on Whitburn Rocks and the locals were not slow to utilise wreckage.  Two oak beams in the village smithy were said to have come from the wreck, and a bell used to call the Spanish crews to prayer was mounted in the parish church.

Leaving the park, imposing gates and a double letter box drew my eye to the most stylish and sumptuous of buildings.

Whitburn Hall originally belonged to the Carr family, but was bought in 1719 by the Williamsons, who remained in residence for 200 years.  During that time, Sir Hedworth Williamson trained racehorses on Whitburn Sands, producing a couple of famous Derby winners.  Horses are still a common sight, exercising on the beach.

Lewis Carroll would have been a regular visitor to the Hall.  Lady Hedworth Williamson was second cousin to Alice Liddell, to whom the ‘Alice’ books are dedicated.  Remember my Llandudno post?

Church Lane leads to Whitburn Church, and beyond that an expansive village green.  Set back from the road, a row of cottages with an idyllic location.  An elderly gentleman passed the time of day and acknowledged his good fortune at living there.

The cottages look up to strikingly decorative Whitburn House.  Thomas Barnes, the owner of a brickworks, tried to fence off the common ground in front of it, but in 1873 the courts decided that ‘the Bank’ and the village green should remain free for the use of all villagers.

Did you notice the Tradesman’s entrance?  ‘Know your place!’, as it was in those days.  A window cleaner was tackling the vast frontage and I didn’t envy him.  From Whitburn House I turned right off Front Street into Sandy Chare.  I vaguely remembered a village pond from a previous visit.

Serene as it looks, it has a bit of a tumultuous history.  Formerly known as the Horse Pool, the pond was used to wash coaches and the white building behind once housed stables.  In 1824 the first village school was built, beside the pond.  When a larger school was built in Sandy Chare, in 1852, the building became the Infant School.  In seriously wet weather the pool was prone to overflowing, and one villager recalls having to sit on his desk amidst rising water.  The headmaster gives a graphic account of the situation after the great storm of 1900. (you can read it if you magnify the panel above)

The sea was calling me back, and a return to the rough headland of the Bents.  My husband had food in mind, though we paused to admire the antics of a family of cormorants out on the rocks. ‘Latimers’ of Whitburn does a mean plate of food, with a sea view to boot.

On Front St. I had noticed a sign for Bede’s Heritage Trail and, looking it up when I got home, discovered that Whitburn is part of a 12 mile walk dedicated to the saint.  On June 29th each year there is an annual pilgrimage.  More food for thought, and certainly an outing for another day.  Here is the map.  I had unwittingly completed parts of section 4 and 5.  I hope you enjoyed it.

Many thanks to all of you for wandering with me, and for this wonderful selection of walks.  I hope you’ll find time to put the kettle on and sit back for a good read.  Join me if you can.  The details are on my Jo’s Monday walk page.

…………………………………………………………………………………………

Not quite a Beatles classic, Drake gives us Scandinavia with a smile this week :

Southern Norwegian mood

While Debbie does an easy snippet of the Fife Coastal path :

Inverkeithing to North Queensferry

And Lady Lee, a fierce-looking castle in Malta :

Traces of the Past- Citadel/Cittadella

Jackie is on hand with coffee and cake :

Smell the coffee

Which Tish could do with, after a hard day’s gardening.  A privilege for me to have her here :

Butterflies in the Buddleia, Bees in the Teasels and all’s well at the allotment

Join Vanessa and family in a gentle introduction to walking in Japan.  If you have the stamina you can climb Mount Fuji too :

Fujiyoshida/ Hiking the Tokai Nature Trail through rural Japan

Meantime, Meg goes bouldering, with due care and diligence :

Granite country

Got your parasols ready for twirling?  Rosemay has a lovely summery walk for us :

Promenade by the lake

And by contrast, Lynn flirts with an avalanche.  I kid you not!

A little snow on the mountain

Woolly explores the sad loss of Newfoundlanders on the Western Front :

Jo’s-Monday-Walk-Wk29_Beaumont-Hamel-Pt-1

Last September it was surely warmer and sunnier than now.  Or was it just having Jude’s lovely company?

Garden Portrait : Edinburgh Botanic Garden

Meanwhile Denzil’s pulled out all the stops to impress with his canal boats :

GR121 Stage 3 : Nivelles to Braines-le-Comte

Something for everybody, I’m sure you’ll agree.  It’s a miserable wet Monday here in the north east.  Maybe I’ll stop at home and do a little research. Have a great week everybody!

 

 

Jo’s Monday walk : Illuminating Lagoa

If you’re a regular visitor to the Algarve, chances are that you will have bypassed Lagoa numerous times.  Sitting just off the busy E125 road, it’s not somewhere that you would necessarily make a beeline for.  So my husband looked at me askance when I asked if we might visit the town for Mercado de Culturas… A Luz das Velas – the ‘market of cultures… by candlelight’.  I had never heard of the festival before, but it was apparently in its 4th year.  This year’s theme, Rota de Seda -Silk Road, sounded inviting to me.

After a lazy beach day, we headed along on a sultry Sunday, for the last evening of this 4 day event, not entirely sure what to expect. Looking for parking, our first encounter was a bit of a surprise.  Strong sunshine created deep shadows, even at 8 in the evening.

A small park with a war memorial leads to an imposing church.  Few people are about and you begin to wonder if you are in the right place.

And then, turning a corner, the atmosphere changes discernibly and we have the first hint that something special might be about to happen.  Rose coloured paving with white spots cannot disguise the fact that the area is shabby.  On a raised platform there is a display of bonsai.

And, close by, the first of the unlit candle arrangements, laid out on boards on the floor, in a Chinese theme.

It wouldn’t start to get dark for another hour, so plenty of time to explore the narrow streets, and have a bite to eat.  We wandered into the impressive Convento de São José, founded around 1710 by Carmelite nuns, who fostered and educated abandoned girls.  There are beautiful cloisters and the surrounding rooms have been turned into a museum and exhibition space.

Street stalls offered an array of tempting food and artisans worked quietly beside their wares.  A clattering of drums announced the arrival of two Chinese dragons, who cavorted and rolled winsomely at the feet of the laughing onlookers.

As dusk gathered there was a frisson of excitement.  The first of the 12,000 candles were being lit.  It would take quite some time, and a whole lot of effort, till all were burning brightly together.

Following the trail of candles, we come to a large square, with restaurants and a church whose interior glowed invitingly.  Stepping inside to admire the white wood panelled ceiling and the medieval painting behind the altar, we are met with a ‘brother’.  His face lights up as he tells us the history of his church, Igreja da Misericórdia, and the processions that celebrate Easter.  We reassure him that we have a church of the same name in Tavira, and have enjoyed those same processions, and we part good friends.  

The lights flicker on, ahead of us and behind.  Watchful candle lighters step forward to replace guttered candles and the whole world glows.

Music ripples in the air and, as it grows darker, a Persian dancer twines her body in graceful poses and the night casts its spell.  A small crowd are gathered in the doorway of a chapel, lit in a rosy hue.  Serenely a lady plucks the strings of a lute.

I know that the merriment will continue till long after midnight on this warm evening, and find it hard to tear myself away.  But we have a long journey home ahead, and I am thankful to have witnessed this wonderful celebration of light.  I hope you enjoyed it too.  Perhaps, if you should be in the Algarve next July, it’s one to look out for.

Thank you for your patience and support, especially those of you who have posted walks for me. I returned home late on Thursday and am still trying to find my UK groove.  Time to put the kettle on and enjoy some great company.  If you’d like to join me any time, details are on my Jo’s Monday walk page.

Are you a fan of trees?  Let Geoff poetically show you one or two :

The Book of Trees#dulwich#trees#villagelife#poetry

Canada Day was a big one this year.  This is how Jackie (and the big duck) celebrated :

Let’s Celebrate!

Toast Master

Miriam has enjoyed every step of her Aussie adventure :

Stepping into a Magical Outback

Summer Solstice is always a bit special, isn’t it? Share a bonfire with Lady Lee :

Summer Solstice

I’m almost ashamed of myself not to have walked this.  Debbie has (and Becky too!) :

Water on High

Woolly continues his visits to the sadness of the war graves :

Jo’s-Monday-Walk-Wk27_Serre-Rd_No-2_Cemetery

Jo’s-Monday-Walk-Wk27_Serre Rd_No-2 Cemetery-Pt2

Lisa cheered me up with a return to her roots, and some cliff tops, not too very far from me :

Hull – Part II

And Jude’s usually cheerful (though occasionally grumpy).  A bit more of Queen Mum’s old place?

Garden Portrait: Glamis Castle Italian Garden

It wouldn’t be a Monday walk without Drake, would it?  Two more for you this week!

Surrounded by architecture

Under the arches

And speaking of architecture, look where Indra’s been!

Travelscapes -Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, New Brunswick

While, even further away, my lovely Meg dabbles her toes :

Wordless walk : Shelly Beach

And in the stunning scenery of the Banf National Park, there’s another adventure with Sheri :

Hiking Wind Ridge

Tobias always comes up with something a little different :

Documenting locations

I thought Amanda was taking her dog for a walk.  Wrong again!

Walking on Straddie with Maddie

And who better to give you a tip or two than our intrepid Sue?

10 Tips Before Hiking Table Mountain, Capetown

Welcome back to Denzil, with some practical advice on walking in Belgium :

GR121 Stage 2 : La Roche (Brabant) to Nivelles

And to Susan, with her lyrical West Coast writing :

Walking Harmony Headlands

I know there are loads.  That’s what happens when I take a break.  Please find time to visit, especially anybody you don’t already know.  I’m off to enjoy that rare commodity in the north east- a sunny day!  Take care till next time.

 

Jo’s Monday walk : Mallyan Spout revisited

The village of Goathland, in North Yorkshire, has any number of attractions, just one of which is the waterfall, Mallyan Spout.  At the bottom of a ravine, with a 70 foot drop, in full spate it is a beautiful sight.

The start point of my walk is beside the hotel of the same name, highly rated on Trip Advisor, for those of you who pay attention to such things.  I pass through the gate adjoining the coffee shop with scarcely a glance, eager to set eyes on the waterfall.  Almost immediately the path starts to drop downwards, and down some more, and then down again.  I’m not even thinking about the inevitable climb back up when my eyes alight on a perfect cluster of palest pink, wild orchids.

I listen hard for the telltale chuckle of water as I descend still further.  Finally I can hear it and, a few moments later, there it is.

Now I can’t pretend to anybody that this is an easy walk but, in not too damp conditions, it is perfectly possible to negotiate the stepped path down to the waterfall.  Turning left at the bottom, you need only follow the beck for a matter of yards to be within sight and sound.  It’s up to you how close you want to go.  To get a good look, a bit of scrambling over rocks will be needed, but there were families with quite young children making the trip.  Watch out for the ‘coin’ trees, shown above, set deep into the rocks.

How can you not love being in this leafy dell?  When you have gazed your fill, you have a choice to make.  You can retrace your steps to the bottom of the path that led downwards, and then continue to the right, alongside the beck.  This will take you on a 3 mile circular walk, via Beck Hole, as detailed in the link at the start.  Or you can be a bit more adventurous.

The walk I was following crosses the waterfall and continues along a ‘sometimes difficult’ footpath, and over two footbridges, according to my guidebook.  Sound challenging?  It only had a medium level of difficulty.  I thought that passing the waterfall might prove tricky, but the rocks weren’t too slippy and with the help of a steadying hand I managed it.  Balance is not my strong point.

There was a sense that the valley bottom had shifted, leaving behind the pedestal on which the first footbridge rested.  The second had a gentle curve, the pedestal still loosely attached.  Tree roots and boulders didn’t make for an easy walk, but it was the dampness underfoot that was my undoing.  Just beyond the footbridges a sign pointed upwards to Goathland, half a mile away, up a stepped incline.  It didn’t seem too bad an idea to me, but my companion was scathing.  Half a mile?  That’s not a walk!

A further sign, pointing out that erosion had affected the footpath ahead, did nothing to reassure.  A deep breath and on we went, slithering a bit in muddy patches and clambering around rocks and endless tree roots.  I was grateful for any handhold I could get and clung fiercely to ferns, roots, boulders, anything that would give me purchase.  Inevitably it happened. Stepping forward onto ‘firm’ ground, suddenly my foot had slid from beneath me and I dangled over the edge, in a less than comfortable version of the sideways splits.

I hauled myself up, with a little help, and stood there shaking for a minute or two.  The way back was just as fraught as the way ahead might be.  We looked at each other, recognising the folly of our situation.  As I limped forward, I was astounded to hear the sound of voices behind us.  Another foolhardy couple had disregarded the warning.  How reassuring, their presence. We exchanged a few words together, and then we carried on, leaving them resting beside the water.

The way ahead was no easier, sometimes promising to climb back out of the valley, only to drop you back down to the water’s edge.  I decided that the other couple must have turned back as there was no further sight nor sound of them.  My legs were growing weary when finally we stepped out of the undergrowth, and onto a narrow road.  An old stone bridge spanned the stream and we slumped against it.  A few minutes later, who should emerge from the woods but our couple, grinning triumphantly.

I have few photos of that latter part of the walk.  I was too busy hanging on, and hoping.  We stood chatting companionably to our fellow walkers for quite some time, relief in our laughter. They were from Dorset, on a first visit to Yorkshire, and traveling in a campervan.  We discussed good places to visit, and consulted each of our maps before agreeing to take slightly different routes back to Goathland.  Theirs appeared longer and we joked that whoever was back first should buy the beers.

Our route climbed gently through a forest of ferns, until at last we crested the hill.  Just the faintest hint of sunshine lit the rolling expanse ahead. Still we had to toil upwards, and upwards some more, but it no longer mattered.  We were free of the canyon.

Up above the woods it looked a long way down to the valley floor.  At the top of the stepped incline we had chosen not to climb, there was a map.  If you look closely you will see that there are two paths marked.  The one we followed, beside the beck, and an alternative ‘permissive’ path, a little higher up.  With hindsight….

Almost back to the village, something a little unusual caught our eye, through a gap in the stone wall.  Can you see what they are?

Alpaca!  I was prepared for moorland sheep, but this was a bit of a surprise.  The sheep were busy munching, and kept themselves to themselves.

Arriving at the long village green, we spotted, far ahead of us, our couple who had taken the ‘longer’ route.  No hurry to catch them up.  St. Mary’s Church was open, inviting a quick look inside.  Simple, but beautiful.  The stained glass, beacons of light.

I was wrong, of course.  There was a hurry!  We arrived at the pub at 2.40pm, only to find that they stopped serving food at 2.30pm.  The menu, tantalising, but out of bounds.  If you’re thinking that this walk was a disaster, start to finish, well, I might be tempted to agree with you. But that wouldn’t be true.  It was taxing, no doubt, but it gave me a perspective that I wouldn’t otherwise have enjoyed.

You know, from the title of this post, that I’ve been here a time or two before.  For a look at Goathland itself, and details of the Rail Trail, take a look back at Steam’s up in North Yorkshire. I think I’ve earned a week off now, don’t you?

I’m away to the Algarve on Thursday, so that gives me plenty of time to catch up with everybody before I go.  I won’t be posting a walk next Monday, because I don’t have Wifi in Tavira.  I suspect it will be too warm to think about walking far.  I’ll be back the following week, though, and more than happy to have your company.  Details, as always, on my Jo’s Monday walk page. Many thanks to all of you who follow along so loyally, and to my lovely contributors, who make this all possible.  And now, enough of me- let’s put the kettle on!

……………………………………………………………………………………………

We start with sunny September memories from Jude.  A swathe of beauty, fit for a queen :

Garden Portrait : Glamis Castle Walled Garden

And a walk to improve your photographic skills, with lovely Debbie :

A walk around quirky Bordeaux

Swirling mists in the Pyrenees, accompany Drake :

Like an upstair jungle

What mischief is Jackie up to, back in Toronto?

Hot Plate

Lady Lee makes Malta look irresistible again!

Our Malta experience 2

More beautiful memories from Becky!  She knows all too well that I love this place :

An evening stroll in Mertola

Agness hails originally from Poland, but she likes to keep on the move!

Mapping Melbourne- a Walking Tour around the City Sights

Cheryl conquers her fear of heights for some magnificent views.  Braver than me!

Hiking Inwangsan in Summer

And Woolly?  He’s lingering with the war graves :

Jo’s-Monday-Walk-Wk26

I couldn’t choose a better traveling companion than Gilly.  Let her show you her home turf :

Views of Dartmouth

And for a jaunty Irish stroll, wouldn’t you just like to be beside Ann Christine?

Early Morning Kilkenny 

Let’s finish with another garden.  A classic beauty from Cady Luck Leedy :

Jo’s Monday walk : A Visit to Sissinghurst

That’s it for a little while.  Enjoy Summer, if you’re here in the UK.  I’ll be eating strawberries and trying to keep up with Wimbledon.  Take good care, all of you!  I’ll try to bring back some cake.

 

Jo’s Monday walk : Rufford Abbey and Country Park

Rufford Abbey in Nottinghamshire looks very inviting on a warm Summer’s day.  Nestled on the edge of Sherwood Forest, in Robin Hood territory, the abbey dates back to 12th July, 1147. Founded by Gilbert de Gant, it was populated with Cistercian monks from Rievaulx Abbey in Yorkshire, a place that I know well.  They were known as ‘white monks’ because their habits were made from undyed wool, and they lived an austere life of prayer and hard work.

When my daughter suggested that I would love these abbey ruins, now part of a large country estate, I was more than happy to accompany her. She always makes excellent company.  Why don’t you come with us?

Did any of you ever hear of a heliochronometer?  That’s what Lisa was studying in the rose garden.  According to a complicated explanation in Wikipedia, it is a precision sundial first devised by Philip Hahn around 1763.  We struggled to set it, rather unsuccesfully.

Only the west wing of the abbey remains.  The rest was demolished in the 1670s, following the Abolition of the Monasteries.  The pink-tinged stone has a delicacy I love.  A country house replaced the abbey, alleged to be haunted, most appropriately by a skull-bearing monk.

The formal gardens have a lovely hint of playfulness, entrancing to children large and small. Had it not been so hot we could have navigated the fortune maze for much longer.  Spinning the wheel to choose our destiny.  The metal gates and sculptures were intricate and beautiful.

Shade was a valuable commodity, with Lisa fluttering her fan and wishing she’d brought the delightfully dilapidated parasol I’d managed to poke another hole in the previous day. Accidentally, of course.

The Oil Patch Warrior, a sculpture by Jay O’Meilia, a Navy artist in World War II, commemorates American oil workers who drilled over 3 million barrels of oil in the heart of Nottinghamshire, between 1943 and 1945.  He is one of many varied and interesting pieces throughout the grounds.

Hidden in the depths of leafy shade we find an immense ice house.  Sadly, the ice is long departed.  Hoping to catch a breeze over by the lake, or maybe even an icecream, we saunter down through the trees.

There’s a small cafe, but it’s melting hot inside, so we opt for that icecream- tangy lemon for Lisa, pistachio and almond for me.  Lovely!  The path winds on around the lake and we follow it back to the start.

Time to twirl that imaginary parasol homewards.  All good things come to an end, and it was beautiful while it lasted.  I hope you enjoyed it too.  Rufford Abbey is now managed by English Heritage, and full details of how to get there are on their website.

That’s my couple of days in Nottingham accounted for.  Thank you for your company, and for the many and varied walks I’ve received this week.  Join me any time.  You’ll be most welcome. Details are on my Jo’s Monday walk page.  Time to put the kettle on now and settle in for a good read.

……………………………………………………………………………

I was delighted to be introduced last week to Theresa, by Becky.  Another birder, of course!

Little Orme Level 1

For a glimpse of breathtaking beauty, you often can’t beat Drake :

Nowhere highland

One I missed from last week!  Please have a catch up with Denzil :

The Valley of the Hermeton

A beer by the Spree and/or a bit of wall?  Nice choice from Debbie :

Walking the Wall

A look at a place Jackie knows well- street art and stairs! :

Bonjour Montreal!

A bit of sadness with Woolly :

Jo’s-Monday-Walk-Wk25

But Geoff stays determinedly cheerful :

Cake not Hate – a walk and some thoughts

Meg gently meanders, looking in crevices, twice!

Two wordless walks

While Jude is mildly disenchanted with walking in Truro.  Can anyone help?

Truro – the UK’s most southerly city

Lady Lee offers a superb look at another of those places I’ve always wanted to visit :

Our Malta experience

A good friend has been to the falls at Plitvice and Krka.  They look magnificent!  Here’s proof positive from Paula :

Transience of Water

Do you know Ting?  She’d love to escort you around these beautiful gardens :

Exploring RHS Gardens, Wisley in Surrey

Becky just knew I’d love this post!  Distinctive boats, canals, sunshine… can’t go wrong!

Exploring the many canals of Aveiro

While Carol takes me somewhere very familiar indeed.  I do like a Shambles!

A Walk Around York

You might need a bit of stamina for this long walk, with Eunice :

Ambling round Anglezarke

I am enamoured with Savannah.  Take a look at Cady Luck’s post and you will be too!

Jo’s Monday Walk : Savannah, Georgia

Sssh, but the sun still seems to be shining a little bit up here, and I’m off out for a walk.  Catch you all soon.  Have a great week!