Jo’s Monday walk

Jo’s Monday walk : A whizz around Beverley

Many of you had never heard of Beverley in East Yorkshire when I shared my recent visit to its magnificent Minster.  I’m back this morning to give you a whistlestop tour of the town.  Hold on to your hats!

It was another of those whims of mine that took me there on a coach trip one September day.  The journey seemed tortuous and I wondered why I was putting myself through it, but immediately I set foot inside the Minster I knew that it had been worthwhile.

I glimpsed the spires as we drove into town and as soon as the coach doors opened I was off and beelining for it.  I found the Tourist Information office on Butcher Row en route, and grabbed a map with details of the Beverley Town Trail.  Patience not being my middle name, when I realised that it gave a choice of 4 local walks I threw up my hands and just got on with the job.  Straight down Highgate brought me to the gates of the Minster.  It was a grey old sky, not bringing out the best of the old stone, yet the building had presence.

Bowled over by Beverley will take you inside, if you missed it.  Glancing at the map when I came out, I continued around the outside of the grounds to Minster Yard South.  I was quite surprised to find a grassy paddock with cows grazing contentedly, here in the middle of town.  I knew that it was a market town, but still, a little strange?  The white phonebox set a smile on my face as I continued onto Eastgate.

I detoured, as directed, on Friary Walk for a look at the former Friary, but this was planted firmly in the midst of a housing complex, and I did not loiter.  Back towards Wednesday Market- what an endearing name for the square, peaceful on a Thursday, with pavement cafes and coffee drinkers enjoying the mild temperatures.  On along Butcher Row, taking more notice this time of an interesting mix of shops and eating places.

I stopped occasionally to consult the trail guide, which was full of fascinating snippets of information.  Medieval Beverley was a wealthy town with a diverse population of skilled workers.  Carpenters, armourers, printers, locksmiths, weavers, hatters, brewers, ropemakers- the list is impressive and comprises 39 different medieval guilds.  Do you know what trade a fletcher pursued?  No- nor me! (He made arrows)  The trail encourages you to look for signs of each, but time was precious.  I was heading for Saturday Market and a handsome Market Cross.

It surprised me to read that Beverley was once the 10th largest town in England, and one of the richest, based on the wool industry and the pilgrims who came here to venerate its founder.  The town dates back to 700AD, when St. John of Beverley founded a monastery on the site of the Minster.

Market Cross sits most elegantly at the heart of the square known as Saturday Market, surrounded by attractive buildings.  Did you notice two more white telephone boxes?  Saturday is the main market day here and I can imagine traffic coming to a standstill.  Just beyond the square you can see the tower of St. Mary’s Church, and that’s where I headed next.  As luck would have it, closing was at 4, giving me half an hour to explore.

St. Mary’s was founded in 1120 and the foundations of the early Norman building are still visible in places.  A notable feature of the church are the stone carvings.  The Minstrel Pillar is shown below but I missed the carving of a rabbit dressed as a pilgrim, dated around 1330 and said to have been the inspiration for Lewis Carroll’s White Rabbit.  (You can see him on this link)  The vestry ceiling is painted to represent a map of the heavens, and reminded me of Polish churches I’ve seen.

Amazing to have such a beautiful church and the Minster in one small town.  The ceiling of the chancel is quite breathtaking and I was thrilled to be able to get close to the 28 wonderfully carved misericords.  And who can resist that humble donkey, waiting in the wings?

Take a breath!  The misericords next…

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

My time in Beverley was running out, and looking at the trail guide it seems I’d covered most of the 4 walks.  I was disappointed not to have found the Beck and its shipping heritage, but a bonus was the logically named North Bar Within and North Bar Without.  They sandwich North Bar, the earliest brick built town entrance in England.

Heading back to the coach, there was just time to stick my nose in the Coronation Garden, formerly owned by St. Mary’s Church, which explains the headstones.  The benches were empty but I couldn’t stop.

I grabbed a takeaway coffee and a few munchies and subsided onto the bus home, via the Humber Bridge.  But that will have to wait for another time.  I’m off to the Algarve on Wednesday and not sure exactly when I’ll be posting again.

Did you manage to keep up?  I hope you enjoyed it.  I’m onto my second cup of coffee and I’m hoping you’ll do the same.  Put the kettle on and have a good read.  All of these are worth it so please do visit them.  Thank you so much to everyone who’s taken part and kept me company all these weeks.  I’ll be popping in on you when I can.

Starting with an introduction- meet Nadja and her scene stealing photos of Austria :

The Maltese Valley

Fantastic memories of one lovely lady, from another!  Thanks so much, Becky :

An evening stroll for Jo

What would you expect to find at a zoo?  Violet had a bit of a surprise :

At the zoo

I adore dates, and here’s Jackie teasing me with date cake!

Matrimonial cake

Are you an early morning jogger?  Ju-Lyn has the nicest surrounds to tempt you out of bed :

Guess who I met at the Singapore Botanic Gardens?

Candy has some really lovely walks in Brittany.  This is just one of many :

A walk around Landerneau

Kathrin is determined to hike Half Dome one day, but this looks just as good!

North Dome Hike

Carol’s finally finished her English adventures.  What next?  I think I know :

The Last Afternoon

Woolly has a wonderful way with our feathered friends :

Jo’s-Monday-Walk-Wk38_Balyang-Sanctuary-2

Bringing a bit of desert heat our way, I wish I was looking over Drake’s shoulder :

In the sand

And with even more sand in the picture, this is a real beauty from Karen, if a little strenuous!

The Three Beaches Walk

Putting up a gutsy performance and us dilettantes to shame, I’m ending on a real high with Lexie :

High Tatras High

Ending on a high is always a good way to go.  Take good care of yourselves, and I’ll be back before you know it.

Jo’s Monday walk : Ruswarp to Whitby (and back)

Memory is a strange thing, isn’t it?  I was sure I’d walked this walk with you, from Ruswarp to Whitby and back again.  I even remember telling how I was like a drowned rat when the skies opened on the way back.  Sitting in a puddle, eating a cheese sandwich and looking out of the pub window at the rain is not my idea of fun.  The Guinness was good, but it was a sunny riverside setting I had in mind.  Apparently my memory lies.  Nowhere could I find that original post!  Nor photos to accompany it.  Strange tricks memory plays!

I walked this way again recently, with a sunnier ending, and this time I’m determined to share it with you.  It’s tinged with sadness today, because it’s a year ago that Dad died.  There was nothing he liked better, if he had company, than to whisk them into his car and off over the Moors to Whitby.  Fish and chips and a pint and he was happy with life.  He couldn’t walk far but was always fiercely independent (in a soft, gentlemanly way).  The last time we were there together he parked the car on the cliff top.  Somehow we ended up down at street level, and then were faced with the challenge of getting back up there again.  I seriously doubted we’d ever make it but, with many pauses, we did.

Ruswarp is a charming village, a little over a mile inland from Whitby, along the River Esk.  The Esk Valley Railway runs through the village and sometimes you’re treated to the sight and sound of steam.  By the riverside you can hire rowing boats and canoes, and take canoeing lessons.  This gentle walk is signposted off the main street and follows a stone pannierway, known locally as Monk’s Trod.  Watch out for a bit of an uphill haul as you leave the river and approach Whitby, on the Esk Valley Walk.

You have a couple of choices for leaving the walk to enter Whitby.  Last time I followed the Cinder Track but this time I opted for West Cliff.  Either option will bring you close to Pannell Park and from there you’re close to the seafront, and the monument to the bombardment.

This is where Dad parked, close by the monument to James Cook, looking across to Whitby Abbey and near to the whalebone arch.  I remember the relief with which he subsided onto a bench when we made it back up that cliff.

I was lucky to be heading downwards, admiring the views on the way.  Into the ‘Screaming tunnel’, alleged to have been used by Dracula to frighten his victims, and out the other side.  Best done in daylight.

Down on the harbourside the seagulls are in raucous control, while St. Mary’s church looks down with the serenity of centuries.

The swing bridge remains locked in position, while Whitby is full of its usual bustle.  To escape the crowd for a while we duck into our favourite little eating place, tucked away in the quiet of Sander’s Yard.  Healthy food, you’ll note! (I won’t show you his chips)  And  I only looked at the cup cakes.

Leaving the bucket and spade brigade behind, it’s time to carry on, past the marina and down to the very end of the car park.  There you will find a footpath that runs between the railway and a boatyard.  Hold on- you’re in for a treat!  Look what’s coming!

It’s always a sight to gladden the heart, and I watch it disappear into the distance before turning my gaze back to the river.  At this point we have lovely views back to Whitby, while ahead lies the 120 foot high viaduct, built to carry the Whitby-Scarborough railway.  The route was closed in 1965 and the Cinder Track walking and cycling path I mentioned earlier now runs across it.

The River Esk was used to power corn mills in the village of Ruswarp, though the last closed in 1962.  The weir built to channel water into a mill-race has been adapted to power a hydro-electric project on the south bank.  As I follow the river, suddenly I can hear a whooping and a hollering.  Looking over the hedge I’m amused to see what looks like a scene from ‘Swallows and Amazons’.  The schoolkids are having a whale of a time.

I’m almost back to my start point when there’s the hoot of a whistle behind me.  Spinning round I’m delighted to see the engine racing along, black steam pouring from its funnel.  Steam trains don’t stop in Ruswarp, but slow at the level crossing where our trail ends.

Five minutes later and we’re back on the riverbank, where we began.  I hope you enjoyed coming along with me.

Yesterday we did what Dad would have wanted.  The family got together in a pub that he liked, and we talked and we laughed.  It was easy to imagine him there with us.  Today it’s all just memories.  God bless, Dad!

 

Thank you all for your company.  I hope you can find a little more time to visit these walks that people have kindly contributed.  If you’d like to join in, details are on my Jo’s Monday walk page.  I’ll make you very welcome.  Time to put the kettle on now.

……………………………………………………………………………………………..

Let’s start with an introduction.  Melodie lives in Manchester and she loves tea :

Hike around Edale, Peak District

You’ll enjoy Jude’s stroll in the YSP.  I certainly did!

Yorkshire Sculpture Park : Part Two

Maybe you should bring a blow-up boat for this walk with Violet :

The Fishing Islands

Jackie’s raring to go, as ever!  And well supplied :

Chuck Wagon

Fitbits are all the rage, aren’t they?  Marsha has it under control!

How to Get an Easy 10,000 steps in Sedona, AZ

Sometimes you can simply overdo it.  Believe me, Liesbet, I know!

Day Trips around Santa Fe, NM- Sandia Mountains, Albuquerque

Petroglyph National Monument, Albuquerque

Janet shares some fascinating details of this National Park :

The Badlands 1

The Badlands 2 

While Lady Lee is living the good life!

Being pampered in Das Kranzbach

You have to get up early for peace and quiet in Singapore, but you’ll be welcome to join Ju-Lyn :

Running to stillness on Orchard Road

Kathrin’s planning on some physical hiking in Yosemite.  I’d love to join her :

Places in California : Q is for…

While Woolly has some fun with the birds :

Jo’s-Monday–Walk-Wk38_Balyang-Sanctuary

I’m ending today with my lovely friend, Gilly, showing us yet another side to beautiful Firenze :

A walk in the Oltrarno

Many thanks to you all, and wishing you a great week!

Jo’s Monday walk : Coverham Abbey

Coverham Abbey lies on the edge of the Yorkshire Dales in a serene and beautiful spot.  This 13th century former monastery was home to the Norbertines, but was badly damaged in an attack by the Scots in 1331.  Despite this monks remained in residence until 1536, when the abbey was dissolved and converted to a private residence.   In the 18oos Coverham Abbey House was constructed, incorporating some of the monastic features.  The original gatehouse partially survives, along with church ruins around which the garden has been sympathetically designed.

The drive swerves around to a grand entrance, and there you are, looking through the ruins of the church.

The charming knot garden was designed in 2003, but based on a  simple knot drawing in a locally discovered book dating back to 1484.

Not sure what more to expect, you round the corner to be confronted with a pair of carved stone effigies.  The knights are thought to be likenesses of the sons of Helewisia, the foundress of the abbey.

Beyond these, a sequence of delightful garden rooms, with a backdrop of sheep and fields.  A ‘faux’ wall divides opinion.  I quite like it, but my designer husband shakes his head in disapproval.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Guarding the front of the house, two slender, alert hounds, nose deep in a thrilling concoction of cosmos and tobacco plants.

And around the corner, dining ‘al fresco’, with a colourful touch, and the most perfect of views.

Did you spot the old gatehouse, over the fence, or were you too bedazzled by the sunflowers? They were the most spectacular shades!

I’m going to finish with a flourish, because I like to.  Beyond that ‘faux’ wall lies a vegetable garden with an old conservatory.  Remember my dahlias from Six word Saturday?  I found a few more!

Not too much walking involved this week because it’s a garden visit, but there are ample opportunities in the surrounding hills and vales.  My visit was through the Open Gardens scheme, and there you’ll find all the details you need.

I don’t know if you’ve been counting squares lately?  I needed another 9 to take me to the end of September, and I believe I’ve exceeded that.  Go and have fun with Becky!  She’s loving Square in September.

Just got time to thank you all for your wonderful contributions and support.  Please do find time to read these if you can!  You may make some new friends.  I’m going to pop the kettle on now.  Join me next week?  Details are on my Jo’s Monday walk page.

………………………………………………………………………………….

First this week, I’d like to introduce you to a lady called Candy.  Please do say hello :

A circular walk around Le Quillio

You know I love a marina!  Come and join Violet for a lovely little stroll :

Following the PE&NS RR!

Big, beautiful Wyoming skies from Janet!  How’s this for a sunset?

End of day

Liesbet continues to explore the neighbourhood.  This week it’s down New Mexico way :

Day Trips around Santa Fe, NM – Los Alamos

Jackie’s always ‘full of beans’, it seems :

Cowboy beans

Poor Ann Christine!  Loaded with cold and now the computer crashes.  She needs a soft landing place :

Can I please come in for a crash landing…

Kathrin takes us 2,000ft up to look down on sunny California :

Mission Peak Hike

Have you met the Rambling Wombat?

Bangalley Head Walk

Denzil’s spoiling us this week.  Choice of ten!

10 Woodland Walks

Here’s a lady you all know and love- it’s Jude, of course!

Yorkshire Sculpture Park : Part One

A favourite lady in a favourite city- Becky with some superb views :

Discovering Porto’s panoramic views

And let’s not forget one of my favourite gents.  I’m pretty sure Drake is not a vertigo sufferer :

High line

Surf’s up over at Woolly’s and he’s captured some great shots :

Jo’s-Monday-Walk-Wk37_Surf-Coast

I’ve always had a soft spot for the Italian Lakes.  Find a little peace and sanctuary there with Mari :

Lake Orta’s Walk of Silence & Meditation

Just made it this week!  So many flowers!  Hope you enjoyed it, and have a great week everybody.

 

Jo’s Monday walk : Yarn bombing in Yorkshire

I do love a bit of enthusiasm, don’t you?  Last year, when the Tour de Yorkshire came to Thirsk, the celebrations included a colorful yarn bombing of the market square.  Flushed with success, they did it all over again this year, for Yorkshire Day, on August 1st.

In all honesty, I’d quite forgotten about it.  I was merely entertaining myself with a bit of a walk, my husband being hard at work in nearby South Kilvington.  With a little more foresight I could have chosen one of a number of walks, available through Thirsk Tourist Information.  But, as often happens, I opted to follow my nose, in the rough direction of the town centre.

At a mini roundabout I chose Stammergate over Long Street, and the gentle curve of St. James Green.  A sign in the window, “If you want the best seat in the house- move the dog”, made me smile.  I followed the dog walker down a narrow path and found myself on the banks of Cod Beck.  The name derives from Cold Beck, a beck being smaller than a river, and it runs deep between the banks of the stream, so is always fairly cool.  It flows from Cod Beck Reservoir at Osmotherley, on the edge of the North York Moors, for 22 miles, passing through the centre of Thirsk and finally joining with the River Swale.

It’s unusual to find a young woman, fishing on her own.  Not so unusual to find a small girl entranced by the tumbling waters of the weir.  A signboard tells me that this area is known as The Holmes, where a grove of straight stemmed willows were once used for basket making.  I turned back at the weir, heading for 15th century St. Mary’s Church, opposite The Marage, the site of a former fishpond and recreational area.

Unfortunately there was a service in progress in the church, so I turned into Kirkgate, discovering my first hint of yarn bombing at Thirsk Hall.

Kirkgate is also home to the World of James Herriot.  You may remember the TV series ‘All creatures great and small’, based on the books by James Herriot about the life of a vet in the Yorkshire Dales.  Thomas Lord, founder of Lord’s Cricket Club in London, was born in 1755 in the house on Kirkgate that now houses Thirsk Museum.

Thirsk is built around a large medieval market square, established in 1145, and the market continues to function every Monday and Saturday. Today it’s enhanced by something warm and whimsical.  Sit back and enjoy!

Wonderful, aren’t they?  I expect I’ve missed a few, but traffic and awkward angles didn’t help. The Tourist Information office is in Market Place, but closed on Sundays.  I wandered round into Millgate and found myself surrounded by ducks as I admired the bridge.  Once a corn mill was sited here, fed by a mill race and regulated by sluice gates.  All that remains today is the weir we saw earlier.

But inevitably I’m drawn back to Market Place.  It’s time for a cuppa, don’t you think?

It’s an interesting place and I hope you enjoyed our wander.  Do you have anywhere nearby where the yarn bombers have been busy?  The first place I ever saw it was Hunstanton in Norfolk, but since then I’ve even seen it in the Algarve!  And, of course, my favourite little seaside town, Saltburn, dazzles every year.  Let’s pop the kettle on now!  Time for a read.

Thanks, everybody!  Once again I have some wonderful contributions.  You never let me down. Please try to find time to visit these lovely people. You won’t be disappointed.  And if you can join me next week, that’d be great too.  Details, as always, on my Jo’s Monday walk page.

……………………………………………………………………………………………..

Absolutely my kind of walk!  Hell, it certainly isn’t, Jude!

A Walk to Hell’s Mouth

And it’s heaven on the beach, with Meg this week.  Wordlessly!

Wordless walk : Potato Point Beach at sunrise

Who’d have thought inland Australia could look like this?  A truly fabulous post from Miriam!

The Rim of Life : King’s Canyon

Did you know Jesh runs a challenge?  Join in, if you’d like to :

September Changes

Jackie’s off on another jaunt!

Food, Fuel, Lodging, Attractions

I’ve always wanted to visit Yosemite!  Marsha gives us a few tips on the National Parks :

What is One of the Most Popular Destinations in California?

And who hasn’t wanted to walk at least part of the Camino?  Andrew, I hope you’re paying attention?  Good luck to you, Jill!

Day five on the Camino de Santiago : Larrasoana to Cizur Menor

Liesbet gets into some strange places on this one!

Day Trips around Santa Fe, NM- Bandelier National Monument

Some folks are a bit lazy when it comes to walking.  Not you, Becky, of course!

A stroll between Lisbon’s three funiculars

Another post from Northumberland, by David.  And did you find that photo, Sue?

Craster- Dunstanburgh Castle- Embleton Bay & back again

Where’s Drake got to this week?  Take a look!

Down by the corner

Woolly brings us more heartbreak from France :

Jo’s-Monday-Walk-Wk36_Thiepval-2

And finally, are there any better cities for walking in?  Just ask Carol!

London Walking

That’s it for another week!  I’m off up to Durham with the group this morning.  Take care till next time!

 

 

Jo’s Monday walk : The beauty of Bamburgh

Last Monday I left you with one eye on the sky, looking towards beautiful Bamburgh.  Soon after, I was high in the battlements of the castle.  It’s just 3 miles around the coast from Seahouses, and the coach whisked me there in minutes.  You know I would have prefered to walk, but time was of the essence.  I had never before gained access to this, one of the north’s mightiest castles, and was hugely excited to be there.

Bamburgh is a small village, totally dominated by the castle, seat of the former Kings of Northumbria, and the burial place of Grace Darling.  I would have loved to visit the museum to her memory but today I was on a mission.  I had just a couple of hours and it wouldn’t be wasted.

The sky was dark but the flag flying proudly as I climbed the hill towards the gateway, and caught my first glimpse of the dunes.  In the far distance, the Farne Islands, home to a colony of puffins and numerous seabirds.

Inside the gateway a sequence of information boards gives a brief history of the castle, and then you’re approaching the battlements.  A small boy is very enamoured of the tubbiest canon, and I wait patiently while his Dad coaxes him away.  Beyond the battlements an expanse of green stretches out, a roller propped against a wall testifying to hours of work to maintain its pristine appearance.

The castle astounds with its scale, and venturing through the doorway you may well pause in surprise.  The walls are thick, as a castle wall should be, but light flows in from high windows. The alcoves are deep and have been used to display the castle’s many treasures.  I am particularly taken with the clocks, which appear throughout the castle, and there’s a fine collection of Chinoiserie, historic paintings and photographs.

Be prepared to gawp in admiration as you enter the King’s Hall.  Built on the site of the medieval Great Hall, it is a Victorian masterpiece.  The ceiling is made with teak from Thailand. The King of Siam, as it was then known, was a good friend of Lord William Armstrong, the industrialist who was responsible for completing the restoration of the castle.

Perhaps it’s time to squeeze a little history in.  There is archaeological evidence that as early as 10,000BC this area was inhabited.  The Romans arrived sometime between 43AD and 410AD, to find a Celtic fort, and knew it as Din Guayrdi.  Written history begins with the Anglo-Saxons, when Christianity was brought to the area by saints Oswald, Aidan and Cuthbert.  The Vikings destroyed the fort in 993, the Norman castle and tower which eventually replaced it being the foundation of the present one.  The Percy family, Earls of Northumberland, were based at the castle when a 9-month siege by Richard Neville, 16th Earl of Warwick, ended the Wars of the Roses in 1464.  King James 1 then gifted the castle to the Forster family.  Somewhat surprisingly it became a surgery and dispensary for the poor and sick under John Sharpe.  Finally, the castle was bought by the first Lord Armstrong in the 1800s, but he died before restoration could be completed.  It’s obviously much more complicated than this, but I’ve brought you full circle.  The Armstrong family still own the castle today.  Now let’s enter the King’s Hall.

Impressive, isn’t it?  Did you spot another clock?  A little too ornate for my mantelpiece but looking fine against the wood panelling.  And so it goes on.  Opulence follows opulence and I spent considerable time admiring.

But that clock was ticking and, after a brief interlude in the kitchens and scullery, I tore myself away and made for the outdoors.  A quick tour of the castle walls, then will I have time to make it down to that beach?

At the rear of the castle I find a narrow pathway down through the dunes.  A sign points it out as the Victorian path to the beach.  I imagine swishing skirts and parasols, and certainly the steadying arm of a gentleman friend.  I follow it most of the way down but it twists and turns and I doubt that I have time to make the return trip.  I retrace my steps to the front of the castle.

A band is setting up on the huge village green and I wish I could hang around for the festivities, but it’s time for my return to the coach.  I hope you enjoyed walking with me in this beautiful part of the world.

The Bamburgh Castle website is a beauty, and will give you many more details than I can provide here.   You can even stay at the castle, if you wish.  Meantime, let’s get that kettle on and visit a few more walks.

Many thanks to all my contributors and to you folks in the armchair too.  You liven up my Mondays beautifully.  If you’d like to join me there are details on my Jo’s Monday walk page. Please do!

……………………………………………………………………………………………

Anabel finds a little incredible beauty of her own :

Kananaskis

Much nearer to home for me, and looking lovely in full bloom :

Simonside Hills – A walk amongst the Heather in the deceptive heat

Jackie’s menu planning and sunshine!

Pot-au-feu

A misty lake and horses!  Nice combination, Janet :

Let’s go the lake

Liesbet has some very interesting formations to show us this week :

Day Trips around Santa Fee, NM : Kasha-Katuwe Tent Rocks National Monument 

And I can always rely on Jude for something beautiful :

Loe Bar Circular Trail through Penrose Estate

Delighted to welcome Madhu here, with some fascinating insights into Brussels :

Brussels – Glimpses of an Eclectic Cityscape

Drake takes us back to his Danish roots, where the living is easy :

Lazy living mood

Welcoming more beauty with Meg’s rock hunting post :

Eurobodalla beaches: Tomakin Cove (north) and Barlings Beach (south)

Woolly’s back on the Memorial Trail this week :

Jo’s-Monday-Walk-Wk35

We all need a little of this, and Annika’s sharing :

Creative energy

And lastly, a wonderful surprise for me-  Gilly playing hopscotch!  Enjoy Florence, hon  :

The High Lands of Orcombe

That’s it for another week!  Fabulous, aren’t they?  Please do find time to visit.  I’m off out walking with my group, if the rain holds off.  Have a happy week ahead!

 

Jo’s Monday walk : A sally round Seahouses

Recently I ventured further up the north east coast than usual, to the little harbourside village of Seahouses.  Over the border and into Northumberland, in fact.  Aside from the beaches stretching north and south, the main attraction of this village is the prospect of a trip to the Farne Islands, a well-known seabird sanctuary.  Boat trips run to the islands year round, weather permitting, and from April to October it is usually possible to land on one of the islands for a closer look at the wildlife.  Puffins are the stars of the show.

I strolled along the pier eyeing the queues, and smiled when I came to the ticket office for Billy Shiel’s.  The Shiel family have been running boat trips to the islands since 1918, just after the First World War.  They started the business to supplement their income from fishing, escorting a few keen ornithologists. Allegedly there are 28 islands out there, but many of them are submerged at high tide.

I was on a coach trip that day, and had opted to spend more time at Bamburgh, just around the bay, so no boat trip for me.  I carried on around the harbour, in the direction of the golf links. Something to eat, maybe?  Those views across to the islands are very tempting.

There was bunting up in the village, and I like a warm welcome, but I discovered there was to be a bike race the next day.  No matter!  I felt welcome enough as I strolled back through the village.  It’s typical seaside, with buckets and spades, crazy golf and a smattering of knick-knack shops.

Back at the seafront I survey the scene.  It’s a wide and wild vista.  The craggy shoreline and harbour, and off in the distance the mighty bastion that is Bamburgh, my next destination.  Will the weather hold out for me?  I do hope so!

There are lots more details on the National Trust pages about the Farne Islands, including how to get there.  I think they’re worth a trip.

I expect you’re disappointed not to have something to eat?  Fish and chips are a popular choice around here.  You might remember that a couple of Saturdays ago I posed you a question?  I totally forgot to give you the answer.  Did I have chocolate and almond brownie or creme brulé? I could very easily have eaten either, but let me tell you the brownie was delicious!  Many thanks for staying with me.  I do appreciate your company.  Time to put the kettle on now, and share a few walks.  If you’d like to join in, details are on my Jo’s Monday walk page.  You’re always very welcome!

………………………………………………………………………….

It’s a bit shivery, but undeniably beautiful where Amanda is this week :

Walking with Edmund at 760 metres

Bunkers on the beach!  Quite an unusual sight, from our man Drake :

Concrete nature

Come trainspotting in Hamburg with Lady Lee?

Holiday in Hamburg, part 2

You can always rely on Jackie for cake.  And the rest!

Wedding Cake

I love the diversity my walks attract.  How about some quilting with Violet?

263 times 120 feet

Things are looking a little brighter for Denzil this week :

La Foret du Pays de Chimay

I know nothing of Adelaide, but it looks like there’s plenty to know.  Please say hello to Anne-Marie :

Footsteps in Adelaide Walk Seven : Stepping Out along the Beach

And while we’re at the beach, look what Woolly’s found!

Jo’s-Monday-Walk-Wk34-Logans-Beach-Whale-Nursery

Not too many walks today!  It’s been the Summer hols for some of us.  Time to dig the boots out again. Have a great week!

 

Jo’s Monday walk : Carding Mill Valley

I hate to be the bearer of bad news, and heaven knows, there’s been enough of it lately, but I want to dedicate this post to the memory of Kate, who many of you knew as Rough Seas in the Med.  Kate died on 13th August.  I don’t know the circumstances.  This came as an enormous shock to me, and I cannot imagine how her partner, Adrian, is dealing with it.  Kate was a very straight-talking woman, with a very soft centre when it came to animals.  She loved her native Yorkshire too, and would often comment if I featured it. Regretfully we never met, though I once did visit Gibraltar briefly.  My thoughts are with her family and friends.  I’m sorry to start your Monday this way, but Adrian is in no position to pass on such sad news himself.  Rest in peace, Kate.

Last week I brought you with me to Church Stretton, in Shropshire.  I promised that I had something a little special in store for this week.  I hope you will agree with me that Carding Mill Valley justifies that.

My own expectations were high.  Rising to a lovely sunrise and clearing blue skies, I could hardly wait to get started.  I was staying at Arden House, on the very edge of Carding Mill Valley, and the owner had kindly supplied me with map and suggestions.  An 8 mile circular, through the valley, up to the heights of the Long Mynd and back down through Ashes Hollow, was the walk of choice.  I wasn’t sure that I had sufficient stamina for this, but there was the incentive, at the 6 mile point, of a highly recommended pub.  My companion approved.

Church Stretton was known as a centre of the textile industry, using wool from its abundant sheep.  The carding mill was built in the valley in the 18th century, ‘carding’ being one of the 3 stages of processing the wool, followed by spinning and weaving.  Back then carding would have been deemed a job for children, using a hand-card, a wooden block with metal spikes, to remove and untangle short fibres from the wool.  The mill was closed and demolished at the beginning of the 20th century, but the name lives on.

Bypassing the National Trust centre, which didn’t open till 10, I headed up toward the reservoir.  A little hummock led to a viewing point for Bodbury Ring, Iron Age hill fort where, more than 2,500 years ago, Celtic tribes guarded their sheep and cattle.  The mill pools along this stretch used to feed water down to the carding mill.

You can walk all around the reservoir, catching glimpses through the trees, and even swim in it, if you wish.  Unusually this is encouraged by the National Trust, because it is beneficial to the algae in the water.  Continuing up the valley the walk becomes ever more beautiful, for this is August, the time when the heather blooms in an entrancing purple.

I had taken the top route, referred to as the Pipe Walk by National Trust, with wonderful views down to the valley.  Soon my mountain goat skills were going to be tested as I scrambled up and around the waterfall at Lightspout Hollow.  At this point I could have retreated down the valley, with a 3 mile walk under my belt and the prospect of refreshment on the roof terrace of the café.

The sky was darkening a little and there seemed a serious prospect of getting wet, but by the time I was up and over it had brightened again.  The instructions said to carry on uphill, bearing slightly to the right until reaching level ground. Michael was walking slightly ahead of me and I wondered what had caught his eye.  One of the most magical moments of the walk was about to happen.

Unconcerned mother, and uncertain child

I tiptoed gently past, before breathing out.  This wasn’t our only sighting of ponies along the walk but I had been totally unprepared to see a foal, so close to the path. Soon I reached Dr. Mott’s road, a path built by local people to enable the doctor to visit patients on the west side of the Long Mynd.  A left turn here will bring you to the gravel track of The Shropshire Way.  This is a popular stretch and people often drive up to visit the trig point, a stupendous viewpoint at 516 metres above sea level.  You can see for miles.  Look, there’s the Wrekin, in the far distance!

And now it’s downhill again, following the path signed for Ashes Hollow.  It’s another beautiful valley and it’s good to be alive.  And then I come upon these two young families, communicating with each other.  Heartwarming, isn’t it?

The ponies aren’t the only inhabitants of the valleys but they must be the most endearing.  My feet were getting tired and the end not yet in sight.

Finally, after crossing the stream a time or two, the valley bottom opens out and I am approaching the village of Little Stretton.  A pretty cottage, a camp site and a ford, and I’ve arrived.  And did you ever see a lovelier church?  With thatching too!

Best of all, The Ragleth, some excellent pub grub and a rest for the weary feet.  We won’t mention the evil wasp that turned up uninvited.  Suitably refreshed, the 2 miles back to Church Stretton could be undertaken, either along the road or following the old Cunnery drovers trail.  The other half failed to tell me that the second, more interesting option, climbed a hill almost vertically, to round the back of the village.

Thank heavens for interesting distractions!  The National Trust have a number of walks on their website, with many more details, plus instructions on how to get there.  I understand the café does good cake, too!

Another Monday, another walk!  Well, lots in fact, and I hope you have time to enjoy them.  Many thanks to all of you, for your patience and loyalty. If you’d like to join in, details are on my Jo’s Monday walk page, and you’ll be very welcome.

………………………………………………………………………

Something new to start!  How about a poetry walk with Frank?

Woolshed walk : moss march

Woolshed walk : the splash

Or, maybe, ‘no words’, with Meg?

Wordless walk : Glasshouse Rocks, Cemetery Beach

Hamburg does look an appealing city.  After all, it was good enough for the Beatles.  Thanks, Lady Lee!

Holiday in Hamburg

This lady has a bit of a food obsession, but she’s not alone.  Happy eating, Jackie!

Steakout

Drake does quite a lot of reflecting.  He’s such a thoughtful guy!

Reflecting bike ride

In case you suspected that Denzil might not be a dedicated walker, here’s evidence to the contrary :

Walking around a very wet Virelles

And something I know you’ll all love, from Carol.  No, she’s not meeting royalty!

Hello Harry

I hope that Kate would have enjoyed this walk.  I’m sorry if I’ve shocked some of you with the news.  I think we need to live our lives, before they’re taken from us. Wishing you all a peaceful and happy week ahead!