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Jo’s Monday walk : Hetton Lyons Country Park

The choices this week were another boring beach walk in the sunny Algarve, or a quick romp in the frozen north east of England.  Well, it’s no contest, is it?  Grab your scarf and mittens, and no loitering, please!  Except to feed the swans.

There’s a crisp beauty to it, as the frost nibbles at your ears and glistens on grass and fences.  Distant dog walkers embrace the morning air.

Out past the barn, I head towards the windmills, on a narrow lane.  A public footpath crosses the fields, the frozen earth firm underfoot.  Patterns abound, all etched in white, whilst solid puddles of ice line the path.

Despite the sun, the ice persists, tingling the toes, yet some of the fields are surprisingly green.  The blades whirr noisily above my head.

Fronds of bracken huddle beneath the hedge, the occasional, lucky one gilded by sunlight.  A forbidding, firmly-locked gate denies access.  No matter, as the country park lies straight ahead, just beyond the farmhouse.

The small pond is frozen solid, but most of the lake is clear and sparkling.  A path skirts the shore and the swans glide hopefully forwards.

There is a small cafe if you need a warm up afterwards.  As we drove through Hetton I saw a sign for homemade broth.  Sounded like a good idea!

I think the sign was on Market Street, but I was distracted by the mural.  Hope you didn’t get too cold walking with me.  I still have a few warm Algarve images that I may get to share with you before I go, but this is my last walk for a couple of weeks.

Many thanks for all your wonderful shares.  Please take a little time to read the following walks, especially if it’s someone you don’t know.  You may find a new friend.  There are lots this week but I’ll be in the Algarve for a few weeks, so you can make them last.  Once I get settled I hope to be back out with you again.

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Let’s start with a little stunning alpine scenery from Drake :

From a peak

And here’s a fair bit of the white stuff from Anabel too!

The Birks of Aberfeldy (and other walks)

You birders will love this!  Take a walk in the wild with Lisa :

In Search of the Endangered Slaty Becard- (and finding so much more!)

Dom hosts a regular walk feature on Wandsworth Radio.  Why not have a listen?

Walking Wandsworth Episode 6- Battersea Arts Centre

And you could munch along with Jackie while you do :

Comfort foods

“One of the most glorious landscapes I’ve ever been fortunate to have hiked in”, says Nicole :

A Magical Hike in Chile’s Parque Andino Juncal

Kathrin’s in a very happy place and I think you’ll like it too :

Hopfen am See aka my Happy Place

‘There’s gold in them there hills!”  Well, there was once, wasn’t there, Carol?

The Ten Dollar Town

You can just picture Pauline and Jack, having fun with all these folks!

Meandering in Uki Market

Lady Lee is back from her holidays.  You might be jealous!

New Year’s Eve and Day in Manila

Cornwall can still compete with most places, if the weather behaves.  In French, and English :

Hike around Lizard Point, England

And while we’re down that way, a sort of revisit, from Jude :

Garden Portrait : The Lost Gardens of Heligan Part 1

This time last year I was getting very excited about a trip to Tuscany.  Thanks for the memories, Woolly!

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This year I’m just days away from an extended stay in the Algarve.  Thanks for a lovely reminder, Becky :

There’s a pig loose

And just to thoroughly spoil you, here’s that warm beach walk I know you fancied, courtesy of Meg :

An early morning walk and an act of gross disloyalty

Lovely skies here this morning but still slippy stuff on the ground.  Take care out there!  I’ll be keeping an eye an you, and I’ll let you know when I’m walking again.  Bye for now!

 

Jo’s Monday walk : A crisp day at Stockton Riverside

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Subtitled, a bevy of swans.  Recovering from a back problem, I needed a gentle, level walk. The Riverside, at nearby Stockton-on-Tees, seemed a likely candidate.  The sun was bright in the sky but the temperature skimming zero, so strolling really wasn’t an option.  Semi-briskly, let’s go!

It’s surprising the variety you can find within a short distance along this river bank.  A replica of ‘The Endeavour’, a glut of bridges and an impressive whiteness of swans. Today, rivaled by the whiteness of frost on decaying timbers.

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As an extra treat, the Teesside Princess comes chugging towards us from her dock on the quayside.  Party time upstream, maybe?

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Aren’t they lovely creatures?  I don’t know when I ever saw so many, even in a nature reserve, and this is anything but.  I did wonder if the local council arranged for them to be fed.  We’re now at the back of Stockton High Street and approaching a retail park, so it’s a good time to cross over the Victoria Bridge to the opposite bank of the Tees.

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The path continues alongside newish flats, and a spattering of call centres.  Not a bad working environment, and there are benches for a lunchtime sandwich.  Even in thick tights, you’d think twice today.  Look out for the glimmer of ice on the water as we follow the man-made canals.

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Passing below the Millenium Bridge, the footpath weaves around the canals in a slightly frustrating manner.  Ahead and around the next bend awaits the showstopper bridge, her graceful arcs skimming the blue.

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Intriguingly there are goalposts suspended above the water.  Evidence of summer excitement!  The university buildings back onto this stretch, and the youngsters will row and kayak with enthusiasm.  More sedately, I’m content just to admire the slender lines before me.

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A grand finale, isn’t she?  Crossing over the Infinity Bridge and I gaze skywards, spellbound as ever by her beauty.

The riverside path leads back to our beginning.  You can pop through to the High Street if you’re needing sustenance, and you might catch Locomotion no 1 in action.  Here’s a little bit of bridge history for those who are interested.

Apologies for taking you back to familiar territory, but I know you love a bright walk and this was such a lovely, albeit nippy, day.  I still have some walks to share from earlier in the year and it’s a perpetual dilemma which to choose. Perhaps I’ll have to let a little cloud in next week.  Grab that cuppa, won’t you, and we’ll settle in for a read.

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Thanks all you lovely people.  I so look forward to your company on Mondays.  I have some of the most fabulous shares again this week.  Feel free to join me anytime.  You’ll always be welcome.  Details are on my Jo’s Monday walk page.  Just click on the logo above.

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Lady Lee has been making me envious again.  Such a nice place to have family!

Singapore

If you’re a fan of ‘dressing up’ you’ll like Jackie’s post, with a nice dollop of history :

Day 7- Williamsburg

Jude takes me back to a place where I have fond memories of duck pate sandwiches, Guinness and rain!

Bury St. Edmunds

While Sherri took me back to the sunshine of my halcyon Lake Garda days :

An Italian Journey : Writing and Healing

A good ramble and a yarn from Tish Farrell always brings a huge smile to my face :

Rambling Yesterday On Wenlock Edge ~ “The Holly and the Power Station” 

A smile and a song!  Those are Drake’s specialities too :

Smile for awhile

Or you can have a little birdsong with your stroll, over at Denzil’s place :

3 walks on Mechelse Heide 

Biti can show you lots of Rome’s splendour :

Rome beautiful churches

And poor Carol has a dilemma on her hands on the rugged south coast of England :

Which Shoes to Choose

They’re brilliant, aren’t they?  I have a crispy pink and white sunrise dawning outside my window.  Soon be time to get walking.  Take good care and I’ll see you all next week!

Six word Saturday

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Freezing fog

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Frost

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And Ice Sculptures

Ice Sculptures?  What?  Where?  Sorry, but this is a bit of a tease.

The frost and fog were genuine enough.  Those are some of my Nordic Walking friends, (with reindeer antlers and tinsel, but distant, so as not to embarrass anybody) on the beach on Thursday.  Don’t feel too sorry for them- they scoffed an enormous Christmas lunch afterwards!

The Ice Sculpture photos have yet to be taken.  I’m off to the Festival of Angels in York today, and hope to come back with lots.  Of course, I can’t be certain of this.  I don’t think I’ll be the only one there, so I may end up with lots of photos of the backs of heads.  Wish me luck!

Have a good weekend everybody, and don’t forget to check out the other Six word Saturdays on Cate’s Show My Face.  The links and header will take you there.

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