Jo’s Monday walk : Lumiere 2015


Are you ready for a little evening stroll?  I can’t promise you moonlight, but I think you will still enjoy the sights we’re going to see.  I’m taking you to the historic city of Durham, where Lumiere 2015 has been lighting the streets with enchantment.  This is the 4th event of its kind to take place here, and it attracts an international crowd.

I have my map in hand, and I’m starting off with light installation no. 1, but I may well deviate from the route shown in the programme.  There are so many distractions!  I’m on Framwellgate Waterside, beside the River Wear, which winds through the centre of the city.  Cloud, the work of a Canadian pair, is an interactive sculpture built from 6000 light bulbs.  Tugging on one of the dangling switches turns them on and off.  Rapt faces glow with pleasure as they look upwards and smile.

IMG_0583Behind me, flying the flag for the USA and swirling in the breeze like a merry kite, 1.26 Durham, installation no.2, is vying for my attention.  Such was the strength of the 2010 Chilean earthquake’s vibrations that it momentarily sped up the earth’s rotation and shortened the day by 1.26 microseconds.  Data sourced from NASA was used to turn this phenomenon into a 3D image, the basis for this sculpture.  Strong but delicate, it asks us to consider the interconnectedness of our world.  A specially designed app was created by a local company to enable you to change the light projected.  How amazing is that?  Far beyond me, I’m afraid.



It billowed about gleefully and I scarcely noticed the rain that was beginning to fall.  Not a good time for sitting on benches, but no. 4 in the programme, a German installation called Lightbench offered one in lilac and one in electric green.

Not a soul in sight!

Not a soul in sight!

Where is no. 3 you might be asking?  Over Milburngate Bridge and dangling on the side of a building, Big Knitting is a UK entry for which drain pipes had to be utilised as jumbo knitting needles.  Ever heard of ‘magic’ knitting?


Through Market Place and around the Castle and Cathedral a directional flow was in operation to control the crowds, but there was nothing to stop you lingering to admire a French entry, Les Lumineoles.  The gracefully gliding fish were one of my favourite installations.


I managed to capture a video of these sinuous and wonderful creatures, but alas, I can only display it sideways!  Lesson learnt for next time I use my phone camera?  Perhaps!  A short walk from here, across Elvet Bridge, you will find The Red House, created by France. The Old Shire Hall has been illuminated in warm shades of orange and yellow, with rainbow windows.  A pretty red brick building by day, at night it radiates colour.

Silver St. was all aglow with lanterns, but my next destination was Fowler’s Yard, where I hoped to see something rather special.

I first heard about Stu Langley’s Wave a few months ago when he contacted my husband for assistance in bringing his project to fruition. A giant wave, fully clad in sea glass, was designed by Stu as a tribute to East Durham’s industrial heritage.  Seaham, on the north east coast, was once home to Europe’s largest glass bottle works.  Waste from this was dumped into the sea, and continues to be washed ashore today in the form of sea glass. An artist who works in stained glass, Stu was enormously enthusiastic about his project, and the involvement of the local community.  Soon we too were gathering sea glass to cover this 2.9 metre high wave.


The sea glass had to be affixed to the wave by hand.  Definitely a labour of love.  Stu was standing there proudly beside ‘his baby’ when we arrived. He was so pleased that Seaham are interested in buying his creation for display after Lumiere. One more step in the regeneration of this former mining area, which suffered large scale unemployment with the closure of the pits.  Stu has another installation on display in North Rd.- Wheels of Industry, a Robin Reliant with themed stained glass windows.  Sadly, in all the excitement, we didn’t get to see it.

The lanterns lure us on towards Palace Green and the Cathedral, not quite sure what to expect.  The previous two Lumiere’s had featured the Lindisfarne Gospels, marching with great drama across the front face of the cathedral.   This year the son et lumiere was to be The World Machine – the story of the birth of modern cosmology from 12th century until the present day, and a collaboration of UK and Mexico.  I really can’t do it justice with photographs,  but there is a short video at the end of my post to give you a better idea.


Let’s continue into the cathedral itself.  Complex Meshes is another French installation, clinging colourfully to the ribbed vaulted arches, whilst music floods the vast space.  This was an opportunity to take a seat, and simply wonder.  IMG_0675

The cloisters , for me, are one of the cathedral’s most beautiful features.  I was spellbound by them during Lumiere 2013, but this year it was my husband’s turn to get excited.  Litre of Light is a replica of the cathedral’s own rose window, made from thousands of plastic bottles.



Leaving the cathedral, further delight awaits.  Garden of Light, another French installation, brings a hint of fantasy.  Giant illuminated plants bring a tropical vibe to a wintry English November.  Smiling faces abound, and selfies too!




From this garden of delight, you are directed down to the river bank.  At Prebend’s Bridge you find Rainbow River, a prism casting coloured patterns over the Wear.  Crossing to the far shore the path rises quite steeply and you are treated to a view across to the cathedral.


20151113_222637Just for Lumiere, fog swirls mysteriously above the river, rising through the woods .  Fogscape #03238 is a collaboration of the UK and Japan, conjuring up the spirit of St. Cuthbert in the mists.

South St. takes you past some lovely old Durham houses and back to the centre.  There are other installations in the surrounding area if time and your tired legs permit.  When I passed by Elvet Bridge early in my walk the crowds were quite dense, and so I came to miss one of the stars of the show, Mysticete by France.  This company was responsible for Elephantastic in Lumiere 2013 and amazed all of Durham.  Unfortunately the last showing was at 10.45, and unaware of this I barely managed to see the flip of the whale’s tail from the riverbank.

Durham can be subject to flooding and on the last night Mysticete had to be cancelled due to rising water levels.  I do recommend that you watch this short video, which brings to life all the 3D effects and drama that I cannot hope to replicate.

What more to say other than ‘hope you enjoyed the show’?  Terrible to think that, whilst I was there, horrific events were unfolding in Paris.  The last couple of days have been harrowing.  I would like to end on a positive note though.  The future looks bright for young Stu Langley.  He will be featured on the “One Show” in early December.

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That’s it for another week.  I’m exhausted, aren’t you?  But exhilarated too.  Please find time to visit all these wonderful walks I have to share, and huge thanks to all my contributors.  If you’d like to join me with a walk, details can be found on my Jo’s Monday walk page. The logo takes you there.  I will not be posting walks for the next two weeks however, as I take myself off to the Algarve.  Kettle on and here we go!


Gilly has out-bedazzled  all of us with her Autumn scenes this week.  Don’t miss!

A Stourhead Stroll

Elaine found a few leaves to kick too, and a companion!

Wendover Woods

Why not share a few beautiful moments with Drake, at St. Pancras :

Started with a kiss

Back to the South of France, where Phoebe finds some leaves in the loveliest setting :

A (short) walk for all seasons

An upbeat neighbourhood stroll next, with Amy for company :

Monday Walk : SoCo, Austin

What do trees and the Spanish Armada have in common?  Visit Jude to find out!

Ancient trees and the Spanish Armada

And you can never have too much of a good thing, can you?  Jude’s other blog :

Garden Portrait : Croft Castle Walled Garden

Jackie finds some more interesting spots to show us :

Monday’s Walk- Toronto

From Toronto to Montreal seems a natural progression, doesn’t it?

Four Cities and an Island… Montreal

In Tasmania, Ruth finds us ‘another’ Richmond :

The oldest bridge in Australia

Join the energy debate with Anabel!  Do you like wind turbines?

A walk at Whitelee

I always like a touch of the exotic.  You’ll never believe what Kaz found me for ‘lunch’ :

Summit Gardens, Vanuatu

Here we go, scaling the heights again, in Snowdonia!

Flashback Walks : Tryfan 15/11/2014

Pauline is briefly home, with some more deliciousness in tow :

New Zealand Highlights

And lovely Lisa is enjoying all that Sydney has to offer :

Bondi Beach and Sculpture by the Sea

Still Down Under, I meet a Queen’s Tree, in Perth :

A Walk in the Park

That’s it for now.  Once again my thanks to everybody.  I don’t leave until next weekend so I will still be scurrying about visiting you all till then.  In the Algarve I switch off from the world.  Take good care of yourselves, please.

Jo’s Monday walk : sea glass at Seaham

The outlook at Seaham Beach

The outlook on Seaham Beach

This week I’m taking you back to the north east coast of England, with a bit of a purpose.  I’ll explain more later but I need you to keep your eye open for sea glass.  The beach at Seaham is one of the best locations I know for finding it.

Between 1853 and 1921 Seaham was home to Europe’s largest glass bottle works, supplying millions of hand blown bottles.  Enormous amounts of waste glass were left at the end of each day, and this was generally thrown over the cliffs and into the sea.  More than a hundred years later, scrubbed smooth by the power of the water, we have sea glass in many shapes and colours.  Are you ready to hunt?

With more pebbles than you could ever want

With more pebbles than you could ever want

And among those pebbles, the precious bits of sea glass.  You can follow the beach round to the small harbour and the lighthouse, if you like, but I’m going in the opposite direction- north towards distant Sunderland.

There's a lot of beach to examine!

There’s rather a lot of beach to examine!

Rusted groynes litter the shore

Rusted groynes litter the shore

Filling up with pebbles too

Filling up with pebbles

Incongruously, some have been mended

Rather incongruously, some have been mended

Overhead, the cliffs menace!

While overhead, the cliffs menace!

Let’s get up close and personal with a few stones.  You never know what you might find.

We're looking for a hint of glitter

We’re looking for a hint of glitter

Unconcerned, a man walks his dog

Unconcerned, a man walks his dogs

What's this?  Look at the shimmer!

What’s this? Look at the shimmer!

I simply love the textures

I simply love the textures

You might remember we did something similar just south of here on Crimdon beach, a while ago, and ventured into some caves beneath the cliffs.  I’m drawn on along the endless beach, intrigued by my surroundings.  Dog walkers pass me by, with a nod and a smile, and occasionally children ferret on the beach.

Mindful of the dangers these crumbling cliffs can pose, still it’s hard not to be lured closer.

The cliff formations fascinate

The cliff formations fascinate

Torn and twisted as they are

Torn and twisted as they are

And here a table, nicely laid

And here a table, nicely laid

You know that I’m not going to be able to resist some close ups, but I treat the cliffs with due caution and the respect they deserve.  So should you!

I know that some of you are claustrophobic so I won’t linger.  The fascination of the shapes and vistas can keep me endlessly there on the shore, forgetting my purpose.  That morning a lady was standing, her dog patiently at heel, gazing out to sea.  After the briefest of smiles, I carried on my exploration.  As I turned to retrace my steps, she spoke to me.  “Did you see the dolphins?”

Crestfallen hardly describes it!  I would have loved to see them and wished she had spoken sooner.  We stood a while, hoping for a return, but they had gone.  And so I climbed, regretfully, back up the steps.

Depending on the tide, this walk can be as long or as short as you want to make it.  If you are free the next few Sunday lunch times, you will assuredly have company on the beach.  My husband, who designs gardens, does most of his work with CAD (computer aided design).  He was more than pleased to be contacted recently by Stuart Langley, a local artist, in connection with a light installation to appear at this year’s Lumiere, in Durham.  It’s an imaginative and exciting event, and Stuart has been a previous contributor with his Stained Glass Cars.  The project he is working on requires a substantial quantity of sea glass, and so he’s hoping for some help in gathering it.

If you can help in any way the Lumiere site gives details.  The event itself takes place from 12-15th November, and if you can be there I can promise you a delightful evening.  It takes place on alternate years, and this was my post for 2013.  It was a magical occasion.

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No putting the kettle on today!  I will still be in Bristol for the Hot Air Balloon festival when you’re reading this, and not back till very late in the day.  As usual, I will catch up with you all as soon as I can, and apologies to all those who are sitting unattended in my Inbox.  There’s plenty to keep you busy till then because once again I have some wonderful walks to share.  Many thanks to all of you who have joined me and, if you would like to do so next week, details are on my Jo’s Monday walk page.  Just hit the logo above.


Gardens with rhodies have always been irresistible to me.  Bogs, not so much!  Thanks, Anabel!

Geilston Garden and Tom na h’Airidh

Hitting the heights with Drake!  Don’t we always?

Mountain high

A revelation for me about Toronto! Totally changed my thinking…  thanks, Jackie!

Monday walk

More city madness with Pauline!  The inevitability of change :

Gold Coast Icons

If you’ve come to expect beauty from Amy, you won’t be disappointed here either!

Monday Walk : Banff Rocky Mountains

One of the best things about blogging is sharing magical posts such as this.  Many thanks, Suzanne!

Killarney x 2

Too good at speaking my mind, sometimes!  Hugs, please, for Jude :

The Levant Mine

A little bit of fairy dust, anybody?  Sure to find some with Violet Sky!

Wishes and dreams 

While anyone seeking inspiration should surely make a visit to Lucile :

The Quest for Inspiration

And anyone wanting to recapture childhood only needs to visit Gilly!

I Wish I was Ten Again

Debbie’s back from exotic Singapore with some cracking good sights!

Arty Stroll along Orchard Road

And to finish, from Laia, what could be better than?

A beautiful, pleasant walk in Abel Tasman National Park

Fantastic, aren’t they?  Nothing more to say than ‘have a great week’.  Hope to see you on the beach at Seaham, or failing that, at Durham in November.



Six word Saturday



What to do when seeking inspiration?

For me, it usually means a trip to my photo files

For me, it usually means a trip to my photo files

On a recent visit to Durham, I decided to seek out Old Durham Gardens.  I had known of the existence of these 350 year old gardens for a long time, but they’re a little off the beaten track. When I arrived, on a warm and sunny Wednesday morning, I discovered that the gardens only open between 2 and 4pm on Thursdays and Saturdays in Summer.  After initial disappointment (and a peer through the gates), I discovered that there was more than enough to keep me happy from the outside.

Fragments of colour were everywhere

Fragments of colour were everywhere

The old walls themselves are full of characterful whirls and sworls, causing the eye to drift from the gentle planting.  The place has a past and the walls reflect that.  In the 12th century this was a rectory.  The walls were added in the 1700s to enable the cultivation of south facing fruit trees, and in the 1750s music concerts were held within.   Glamorous times were ahead when the gardens were owned by an artist and icecream maker, Victor Mazzini Walton.  The gardens were described in 1921 as having tennis courts, putting green, running track and a tea garden, and dances were held at weekends.

After the Second World War, Mr. Walton sold up and the gardens fell into decline.  Happily, in 1985, Durham City Council purchased Old Durham and began a programme of restoration.  When this lapsed, Friends of Old Durham was born and the gardens today are run by this group of volunteers.





After wandering the boundaries, it’s down the steps, and a gentle meander back to the river.


Always a source of inspiration!

Always a source of inspiration!

I hope you enjoyed my Saturday amble.  Next weekend I’ll be in Bristol for the Hot Air Balloon festival and I suspect I’ll be too busy to join you.  I hope so, anyway!

Meantime, there’s Cate at Show My Face to visit with your six words.  I was browsing my photos wondering what to show you today and looking for inspiration.  I think I found it.


Jo’s Monday walk : Finchale Priory

The ruins of Finchale Priory

The ruins of Finchale Priory

My walk this week, much nearer home, takes me along the banks of the River Wear, four miles from the city of Durham.  I hear that a heatwave is forecast and you might be glad of a little shade.  I was dodging showers on my walk, so the trees proved extremely useful.

The Grade 1 listed ruins of Finchale Priory began life in the 13th century as a Benedictine priory. Today they are managed by English Heritage.  The only details I could glean from their page are that the Priory was founded on the site of a retired pirate’s hermitage (!) and was later used as a holiday retreat for monks from Durham Cathedral.

The approach is through peaceful countryside, covered in rapeseed early in the season

The approach is through peaceful countryside, covered in rapeseed early in the season

The clouds are a little menacing so we need to be quick!

The clouds are a little menacing, so we need to be quick!

We might just make it!

We might just make it!

St. Godric of Finchale was an English hermit, merchant and medieval saint who was born in Norfolk.  After many pilgrimages around the Mediterranean, he spent the last 60 years of his life as a hermit in these idyllic surrounds.  To find that same peace and serenity you need to visit out of season, as today a caravan park adjoins the site.

As so often, I turn to Wikipedia for my knowledge.  For instance, I had no clear idea what a piscina might be, though I was assured that there was a double one on the south wall.  It’s a shallow basin, placed near the altar of a church, used for washing the communion vessels. Hunting through my photos, I discover that I have some evidence.

A scilla

A double piscina

A view through the ruins

A view through the ruins

But this is the sight that intrigues me most

But this is the sight that intrigues me most

I cannot seem to find a reference that explains this ‘chimney’ with a conical point, and I can’t recollect seeing one before.  If any of you can help me on this, I’d be grateful.  Now, you remember that we are beside the river?

Click on a photo for a closer look

The ruins with the farmhouse/cafe alongside

The ruins with the farmhouse/cafe alongside

And a closer look at that 'chimney'

And a closer look at that ‘chimney’

While the sky is blue I think we should cross over the bridge.  Got your brolly, just in case?

In places the River Wear flows swiftly

In places the River Wear flows quite swiftly

Across the bridge, you can look back at the Priory

Looking back, a view of the Priory

Choices next, for a short, circular walk through Cocken Woods.  You can climb the steps, rather steeply, or follow the river bank for a short distance and then climb, a little more gently, up through the woods.  No contest, really!  Just past bluebell season, there was the thickest carpet and a deafening aroma of wild garlic!


It had to happen!  Just about then the skies opened and the rain battered the river.  My back pressed close to a tree trunk, I watched the steady tattoo and inhaled deeply.  When the rain eased a little, there was just time to cross the bridge and slip quickly inside the cafe.

You’re probably thinking that that’s enough for the day, but I never want to waste an opportunity. Beyond the picnic benches, a path follows the river, on the same shore as the Priory but in the opposite direction.  There’s a little climb before it levels out so I won’t make you walk again.  Stay here and I’ll just show you a couple of photos.

Just one last look at the Priory, before it’s time to go.

Probably my favourite shot

Loving the shapes and the shadows

And a surprise beneath the Priory!

And one last surprise, beneath the Priory!

I hope you enjoyed my ‘traces of the past’.  I’ve included the English Heritage link for directions and opening times, and the other links for history and background.  There is a special link too. Many of you will have seen Paula’s traces of the past, in Slovakia.  I hope I’m not too late with my offering of Finchale Priory.

One cup of coffee down, two to go?

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For any of you not used to my ramblings, can I direct you to my Jo’s Monday walk page or the logo above?  It will encourage you to join me.  For all you other lovely people, can I just say a huge thanks, both for your support and your wonderful contributions.  Please make time to visit the posts below.  You won’t regret it!


Drake’s always a winner- in more ways than one!  First with his contribution again last week :


Back on home turf with Anabel, in Scotland.  Do you know this one?

Loch Ardinning

Jude apologised for ‘another flowery walk’.  Is she mad?  Good old King George V!

Kerdhva Gov Jori V  (didn’t know I could speak Cornish- did you?)

You can always rely on Paula to find true beauty, even when she’s sleepy.  This is exquisite!

Sing me a lullaby

A guy with a wicked sense of humour, Cardinal’s style is unique :

Fitness and Relax Toilets

I have a cousin in Toronto. Maybe I should pay him a surprise visit one day?

Junkboat Travels: Monday Walks

Will I EVER tire of the beauty of the Grand Canyon?  I doubt it!

Walk on a Timeline (One Long Step= 1 Million Years)

I get to sit alongside Paula while Lucile pedals this week!  Don’t miss this!

Virtual Bike Ride with Jo and Paula

You can always depend on Debbie for variety!  I wonder where next?

A Walk along Berlin’s Landwehrkanal

Laia’s post simply shimmers with colour and beauty (and blue ice!)  Another one not to miss!

Fox Glacier and lake Matheson : do not believe in postcards

And while we’re in that part of the world, here’s a fascinating walk in Tasmania, with Ruth :

Waterworks, pipelines and falls

Jaspa keeps on going back to Venice.  Well, why wouldn’t you?

The Irresistible Lure of Venice

Lots of shares again this week.  I expect you’ve seen a few of them around the blogs, but please make time for any you’ve missed. There are some fabulous contributions.  And if you have any spare time, Monday Escapes are acquiring a steady stream of followers.  If only I could find more time!

Have a happy week and watch out for that heatwave!  See you next Monday?



Six word Saturday


Home in time for the bluebells!

Is anything quite so entrancing as a bluebell wood?

Is anything quite so entrancing as a bluebell wood?

The raindrops glisten in the sunshine

The raindrops glistening in the sunshine

My first walk when I returned home was through the bluebell woods at Durham.  I was a little sceptical when I set out.  The skies were dreary and rain hung in the air.  But by some touch of fairy magic, as we parked the car, the sun burst through.  The river sparkled, the sheep munched away happily, and the greatest joy of all – a sea of bluebells as far as the eye could wander.

Dappled shade played over the sign

Dappled shade played over the sign

There’s no sign of the railway these days.  Houghall Discovery Trail lies behind the Pumphouse Restaurant and Houghall College, off the A177 road into Durham.  The link will give you a lovely bit of background information.  The name derives from Heugh-Halh, meaning ‘hill spur- water meadow’.  I hadn’t realised the meaning of Heugh (pronounced Hyuff), yet I should have done because over on Hartlepool Headland we have our very own Heugh, or hill spur.

But let’s get back to the bluebells, shall we?

This is probably my favourite shot

This is probably my favourite shot

And even a bench for Jude (but not for this month's challenge)

And even a bench for Jude (but not for this month’s challenge)

And some leaf patterns on a tree for Meg

And some leaf patterns on a tree, for Meg

And everywhere, that sumptuous carpet of blue

And everywhere, that sumptuous carpet of blue

Speckled with 'sometime' white

Speckled with ‘sometime’ white

I could have made this a Jo’s Monday walk, but I’m starting to stockpile my walks.  Nice to just share a few bluebells with friends.  I hope you have a lovely weekend, and it’s probably not too late to find some bluebells.

But first you should play Six Word Saturday with Cate at Show My Face.  See you Monday!


Jo’s Monday walk : a Durham footpath


Reflected beauty

Interesting reflections

Often I walk with company, and that’s very nice, but occasionally I get to do a bit of wandering on my own- just me and the camera.  Nobody tapping their toes impatiently while I explore all the angles- ‘what IS she looking at?’  You might know the feeling.  My husband travels quite a lot locally, visiting customers, and sometimes I go along ‘for the ride’.  Durham is a favourite place.

The River Wear twines itself through the city, towing me along behind it.  My sense of direction is abysmal but, with a river to hold on to, I stand a fighting chance.  A bright Autumnal day was just the excuse I needed for an unfettered wander.  I’ll let you look over my shoulder, shall I?

The river bank is a little overgrown in places

The river bank is a little overgrown in places

I’m starting off at Shincliffe Bridge, by “The Rose Tree” pub, on the A177 road, on the outskirts of Durham.  There’s a path either side of the bridge and I linger for a while, contemplating which direction to take.  I cross over the bridge and am lured by a footpath that I don’t know.  It follows the river so there’s a good chance I’ll end up in the centre of Durham.

I don’t get very far when I spot some wildflowers by the path.  The sun is strong for October so I spend some time trying to get a shot that I like.  I catch curious looks from the occasional jogger. Two ladies, strolling, confirm that I can cross over a bridge further along.  Subsidence and falling trees has closed some of the footpath off, but I already knew this.

Sycamore wings

Sycamore wings

This will have to do!

This will have to do!

After a while I come to the bridge which I must cross over.  Now I’m on more familiar territory. There’s a large modern sports facility here, used sometimes for football training by Hartlepool FC. (ssh, sensitive subject- no comments please!)

Approaching the bridge

Approaching the bridge

The treads are made of logs

The treads are made of logs

Looking back across the river

Looking back across the river

Safely over the bridge, the path follows the river on the other bank, through dappled leafy shade. Frequent splashes of oars can be heard as the local rowing teams spin and twirl in the water, to the harsh calls of the cox.  The odd, solitary oarsman glides past too.

I cross over a path which leads to the boat club (members only), and shortcut across a field strewn with the remnants of Autumn.  The wider expanse of river beckons.

Lingering Autumn

Lingering Autumn

The river widens at this point

The river widens at this point, heading towards Durham centre

The bandstand

The bandstand

I take a seat in the bandstand.  I have been carrying with me, since my visit to Nottingham, a postcard destined for Viveka in Sweden.  I exchanged addresses with this lovely lady some time ago, and now I receive ‘surprises’ in the post. (one of which was a Paris t-shirt in black and gold! I don’t know anyone more generous than Viveka)  I have always loved postcards and having one land on my doormat gladdens my heart. Now it’s my turn to reciprocate.  There’s a post office in town and what nicer place to sit and write?

On towards the centre and another bridge

Along the riverbank to yet another bridge!

Durham has such a pretty centre

Durham Castle, beautifully framed

The path follows the river to the bridge with the green railings, shown above. (Baths Bridge) I cross over, approaching the boat hire beneath Elvet Bridge.  This is a popular spot and, in Summer, paintings of the castle and many other Durham views adorn the nearby walls. You might want to pause here for something to eat, or a row on the river.  There are plenty of places to eat in Durham, catering to all tastes and wallets.

I love the boat names

I pause to admire all the boat names

Especially Shirley

Especially Shirley!

I’m going to continue into the centre, to post my card.  Before I go, I’d better give you instructions on how to get back to the start point, hadn’t I?

Climb the steps up onto Elvet Bridge and cross over it.  Turn right onto New Elvet, passing the Royal County Hotel, and continue uphill to Hallgarth St. Following Hallgarth will bring you to a roundabout with a junction signed A177.  About 15 minute’s walk in this direction will bring you back to Shincliffe Bridge, where I began.  I hope you enjoyed our wander.

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Next Monday I will be in the Algarve, but I intend to schedule a walk, just so you don’t forget me. I can’t guarantee that I will be able to respond to your comments, as this will necessitate a visit to an internet cafe.  Not something I often do, but Anazu does have a connection.  Please just link to my post as usual, if you have a walk to share. My Jo’s Monday walk page will give you the details, and I will respond to you as soon as I possibly can.  Meantime, let’s put that kettle on and settle in for some more great reads.

I don’t receive many walks from South Sulawesi!  Many thanks for this treat, and welcome Noe  :

Walking around Tinabo Island

Jerusalem and Cardinal seem to go together.  This is very beautiful night photography  :


Combine good company with superb night time shots in Bologna, with Paula  :

Music and lights of Bologna

There are lots of things that Drake knows.  How to entertain has always been one of them  :

Knowing its Autumn

Fall in Canada!  Wouldn’t you love to share it with Colline?  :

Familiar Streets

Climbing hills and hopping over stiles in Dorset.  Can this really be Jude?  :

Pilsdon Pen

More beautiful Autumn colour and a little shared knowledge, from Violet Sky  :

A tree walk

Close up and personal with Milkweed Bugs?  I don’t like bugs much, but I do love Amy’s company

Milkweed Bug walk

And finally, stop off at the market on the way to the beach with Pauline.  You may need a sunhat!

A walk along beautiful Burleigh Beach

I hope you enjoy these walks as much as I did.  Many thanks to all my lovely contributors. Happy walking!  See you soon.


Six word Saturday


Five places to go back to

The light cascades down over you

Sagrada Familia in Barcelona

I was invited a while ago by Booked.net to take part in their promotion and maybe have the chance to win myself an iPhone6.  All I had to do was write a post about 5 places I would be happy to go back to.  It’s a tempting idea and it just happens to work well with my Six word Saturday.

Barcelona had to be on my list.  Gaudi’s work left me speechless (and you should know, that’s not easy to do!) and I would be more than happy to revisit Parc Guell.  The main reason for going back would have to be to observe the progress of the incredible Sagrada Familia.  It’s not due for completion for a number of years yet so I shall postpone my revisit a while.

Especially with the swimming pool!

The lovely location of The Vintage Hotel on the banks of the Douro

Somewhere far more serene than Barcelona, the Douro region of Portugal made a lasting impression on me.  Using Porto as a base, I had only a couple of days to explore the natural beauty of this landscape.  The highlight for me was cruising back from Peso da Regua along the Douro River, the vineyards rolling away on either shore.  I am quite determined to return some day and stay in one of the hillside villages where I can savour the pure, clear air. (and maybe sample the grape)  Springtime, with the blossom all around me, would be ideal.  Or Autumn, when all those vines turn wine red!

The frocks shimmered in the dark and then began to change colour

Shimmering frocks at Lumiere 2013, in Durham Cathedral

The city of Durham is right on my doorstep, and I return to it again and again.  The University and student population make it a lively place and there’s always an event of some kind going on. Currently the Cathedral is fund raising via their Buy a Lego Brick campaign.  I did, of course, and it’s fun to return and see the project grow.

If you really want to see something special, you should time your visit for Lumiere.  This event only takes place once every two years, the next being November 2015.  It’s a long way off, but put it in your diary.  I’ll be there!

Theview from the cafe in magnificent Musee d'Orsay

The view from the cafe in magnificent Musee d’Orsay, Paris

How could I not include my new love, Paris, in my list?  I wandered far and wide around the city and found nothing to disappoint. Even sitting on the top deck of an open top bus with the rain streaming down my neck didn’t seem so bad in Paris!  The wonders of Versailles and Monet’s incredible garden at Giverny will stay with me forever but I would love to go back.  I don’t really think it matters how or when.

A place where the spirit soars

The Algarve, a place where my spirit soars

My last choice won’t come as a surprise to anyone who knows me, and I’m returning there on Monday.  The Algarve is where I am at peace with the world.  I have spent endless hours wandering on its beaches, and hope to spend many more.  Tavira feels like home to me, and that’s always a reason for going back.  It’s time for another glass or two of port in this beautiful riverside setting.  I’d love it if you could join me there some day.


I won’t be around for Six Word Saturday next week.  I’ll be wandering on one of those beaches!  But I hope you’ll still join Cate at Show My Face.

One of the entry conditions of the Booked.net promotions was to name 5 other bloggers to participate.  I’m not sure if we’re out of time but my nominations would be Le chic en Roselolawi, Behind the Story, Stranger in USA and Hey Jude.

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