Leeds

Jo’s Monday walk : Lotherton Hall

I’m still in garden mode today.  That’s what inevitably comes from a visit to England.  At the suggestion of two good friends a jaunt out to a rather wonderful Edwardian country estate took place.  Celebrating 50 years of being open to the public, Lotherton Hall is a pleasant ride out of Leeds City Centre on the number 64 bus.  Amazing how quickly you can leave the city behind and be surrounded by rolling English countryside and pretty villages.  And wonder of wonders, the sun was beaming down!  Gardens first, in case the weather changed its mind.

The hall was once owned by the Gascoigne family and the formal gardens were designed between 1893 and 1914.  The rose terrace is overlooked by a remarkable bronze sculpture, ‘Peony Priest’.  I didn’t take as many photos as I normally would because I was in excellent company, and there was much catching up to do.  As well as that, a Vintage Fair had taken pride of place in the gardens.  Stalls with all manner of garments, glassware, china and books filled the lawns.  A little browsing and, to save the contents of our purses, you understand, it was into the Coach House for coffee (and a scone with jam and cream  🙂  ).

A tiny chapel in the grounds is dedicated to St. James and dates back to 1170.  It was restored during the First World War for the use of soldiers recuperating at Lotherton.  The serenity must have seemed a boon to them.

Elsewhere in the grounds a Beatles Tribute Band was tuning up.  Serenity destroyed, but there were lots of toe tappers.  Our visit to the hall was accompanied by the familiar strains of ‘It’s been a Hard Day’s Night’.  It was all I could do not to join in the chorus as I looked through the window.

The hall itself truly captured my imagination.  It brings to life another era, and tells the stories of the Gascoignes and the families that worked for them, in an ‘Upstairs Downstairs’ fashion.  Sir Alvary Gascoigne had a highly successful diplomatic career and this is reflected in the exquisite furniture and fabulous chinoiserie throughout the house.

I’m sure that many people would enjoy this step back in time, but the Lotherton Hall experience doesn’t end there.  An enormous range of birds, many of which I have never seen before, inhabit the aviary.  Moving from one compound to the next presented continuous surprises.  I’m not a fan of zoos in general, but there were lots of happy children and their parents in the park.

We’d done a lot of wandering and it was time for a substantial meal.  My friend’s suggestion of the ‘Crooked Billet’ pub, just 1.6 miles away, was a huge success.  The proof of the pudding is in the eating, isn’t it?  And surely Eton Mess can’t be fattening!

Their only son is getting married this Friday.  I wish him and his bride a wonderful life together, and hope they’ll be as happy as his Mum and Dad.

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More walks to share this week.  Thank you all for contributing and for reading.  Join me any time you like, here on Jo’s Monday walk.

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I’m stealing from a master this week.  I’m sure most of you will know the work of Lignum Draco :

Le Mont Saint-Michel

And, just over the water, Jude focuses on what she does best- a Cornish garden :

Trelissick Garden in Summer

While Margaret does her best to cheer us, with a dash of ‘je ne sais quoi’ :

Le Jardin Extraordinaire : a late summer treat

This lady never ceases to amaze me with the places she goes, and the resulting photographs :

A stroll around a stadium

While Lady Lee has the best holidays ever :

Kinkaku-ji (Temple of the Golden Pavilion)

A challenging walk from Cheryl, but well worth it, I know you’ll agree :

Hyangiram Hermitage Hike in Summer

While Irene takes us to some stunning heights in Hawaii :

Top of Diamond Head

And Teabee reminds me of the beauty of English heather :

Randonée/Hike to High Rigg, St. John’s in the Vale, Cumbria

Alice’s turn to take us through some locks this week  :

Lockport Flight of Five

Drake shares another snippet of his fascinating life :

Not bad but Baden-Wurt..Berg

And Janet demonstrates her fondness for animals :

Jo’s Monday Walk…the dog days of summer

If you’re just feeling lazy, Sandra has the answer :

Afternoon Tea at the Empress, Victoria, BC

But Cathy strides on with determination in every step :

(Camino day 33) Hospital de Orbigo to Astorga

Nothing left to do but wish you all a great week.  See you soon!

Jo’s Monday walk : Kirkstall Abbey to Leeds City Centre

What could be finer, on an almost sunny day, than a little piece of English Heritage, topped off with a canalside walk?  Numerous times I have passed by the ruins of Kirkstall Abbey, with a backward look and a sigh.  Founded in 1152, over 800 years ago, this Cistercian monastery is surrounded by greenery and sits on the banks of the River Aire.

All summer long Leeds City Council have provided activities to keep youngsters active and entertained.  Kirkstall Abbey was one of the venues, in case you were wondering about the terrier.  He was watching me with curiosity as I read the signboards and imagined how life must have been, back in those draughty days.

A short, sharp shower forced us across the road and into the Abbey House tearooms.  Excellent timing for a huge slice of carrot cake.

I was astonished to learn that the main road into Leeds had once passed through the Abbey.  Today it buzzes and hums alongside, but a far quieter route into town can be found just a few hundred metres beyond, along the Leeds-Liverpool canal.

Leaving the Abbey to its own devices, I meandered across the grass to join the riverside path.  Youngsters were trying to span the river, with whoops of laughter, at a narrow point among the trees.  Beyond the weir it wasn’t immediately obvious how to reach the towpath, and I ended up on a rugby pitch, with some rusty containers.  Big hint- it is necessary to cross over the river to access the canal.

You never know what you’ll find on, or in, a canal.  Discarded gaiety from the day before, an old lad and his equally old boat, nuts and bolts and bridges, and a dad, wheeling the pushchair in search of peace and quiet.

Waterside weeds aplenty, dappled shade, a pigeon under a bridge, looking wary, and a timely reminder of distance.  Today’s walk, just a fraction of that.  Suddenly welcome sunshine flooded the canal with brilliant light, and simultaneously I passed by a small marina.

Close by, the traffic thundered over bridges, but in this watery world all was stillness and calm, with patches of ugliness.  Angled shots seemed to suit the confined space, reflecting the heavy girders with ease.

Approaching Leeds centre many of the old warehouses have been converted, but there are still sad facades with bleak-looking, shattered windows.  A museum peers down from behind railings.  Spare patches of wall host graffiti.  The canal trundles silently, nurturing its wildlife.

The railway joins the canal and the road network, and gradually everything converges on the city.  A sequence of locks steers you through it’s very heart.  The conviviality of the canals always draws people together, and I love this about them.

 

I have to apologise for being a bit ‘all over the place’ right now.  Many of you will know that I am back in my Algarve home, after spending most of August in the UK.  Events have overtaken me, but I have a few ambles still to share from my time in England.

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As always, many thanks to you all for following my wandering footsteps.  I hope you can spare some time to visit my walkers.  I can promise variety!  Join me next time, on Jo’s Monday walk?  You’re always very welcome.

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Jude’s back with us this week, sharing beautiful Cornwall :

A Walk on the Wildside

Denzil’s shifted his focus a little lately, but the details are, as always, excellent :

Doode Bemde, Neerijse

Debbie always finds such interesting subjects for her walks :

An amble in Another Place

A beautifully written walk from Mel, with some great historic background :

Escape Sydney’s Concrete Jungle on the Wulugul Walk

And by contrast, Joanne shares some very English heritage and sights :

Canterbury Tales and Trails

There isn’t any shortage of beautiful cities in Europe, is there?  Thanks, Drake!

The invisible bridge city

Janet shares a lovely picture storyboard this week :

Framing Wyoming: walk with me

While Natalie keeps our fitness in mind, in a beautiful setting :

Fit n Fun Walk: Toronto Music Garden

And Jackie has a very different focus :

But First, Dessert

Ann-Christine reflects on our topsy-turvy world :

Thursday Thoughts – Iceland, Life on Earth and at Sea

Lady Lee’s back from a fabulous holiday :

All Seasons – Our Japanese Holiday

While poor Cathy just keeps right on walking!

(Camino day 32) Valverde de la Virgen to Hospital de Orbigo

There’s walking, and then there’s Lexie!  This is an unbelievable effort.  You will be amazed!

Battling a Mountain

That’s it for another week.  I plan a slow day today as the weekend was hot and hectic.  Whatever you find to do, take good care of yourself.

Six word Saturday

I’m a bit of a dinosaur!

Many thanks to Leeds City Council for bringing so much pleasure to small boys and girls this summer.  And to some of us oldies!  Debbie’s having fun today too.  Join her with six words?  Happy Saturday!

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The textures of life

Complicated things, people, aren’t we?  How is it that I absolutely adore to be surrounded by nature, knee deep in a field of lavender, as in my last post, yet still light up at the opulence of this ultra modern shopping mall?  The shapes and angles had me mesmerised.

So many textures make up a life.  Don’t get me wrong – I’m no shopper!  I simply popped in to Leeds’ latest shopping venue to find a loo.

Why not join me on the Weekly Photo Challenge?  It’s all about Textures.

Jo’s Monday walk : Christmas Magic in Roundhay

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

New Horizon

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

Birthday Weekend in Garmisch

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

Walk the Green Side of Gurgaon, India

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

Exploring the delightful ‘Legends Way’

Where’s Woolly this week?

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

Balboa Park – Japanese Friendship Garden

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

Lights

And then please hop over to delightful Kayserberg with Drake :

Do they know it’s…? 

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

Falmouth – Near and Far 

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

Marseille Colorful Panier

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

December#poem#walking

But Cathy’s still right on adventuring!

West Virginia : The Endless Wall

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

Melancholy is Futile

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

Six word Saturday

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All set for a bright future!

Happy 26th birthday to my son, James!  Yesterday we went to Leeds to kick off the celebrations in style.  His new apartment had been looking very bland and white and needed an injection of colour.  A bit of artwork on the walls, rug, cushion, potted plant… and do you recognise BB8 sitting there on the windowsill?  Happy in his new home.  As we hope James will be.

It hasn’t all been smooth sailing.  Life seldom is, is it?  Leeds is a city busy reinventing itself.  An interesting juxtaposition of old and shiny new. James is a big fan of Asian cuisine, and we ate at Bar Soba in The Light- a new complex for dining and entertainment.  It’s good to be optimistic about the future.  Optimistic and full of hope, as the weekly challenge suggests.

Have a lovely weekend and I hope to see you on Monday for another walk.

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Six word Saturday

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Eye spy with my little eye

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Happy smiling faces in Leeds!  It was hard to hold a camera that night, it was SO cold, but it didn’t stop this family from having fun in their bubble. I was on my way to the Algarve, and that put a smile on my face too.

It was an early start and my son, being only 20 minutes from the airport, had offered a bed for the night.  It was only fair to stand him a decent meal in exchange, wasn’t it?  There were some very tempting aromas in the Christmas market, but a cosy restaurant seemed a much better idea. But not before I played ‘I spy’ on some of the stalls.  Here is one of my favourites.

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I’m home for a couple of days and then I’m off to Nottingham, to pay my Christmas visit to my daughter.  She promises me mulled wine on their market.  To keep out the chill, you understand?  But first I will be posting a Monday walk, somewhere warm.  I hope you can join me.

Have a great weekend!  Play a little Eye Spy with Michelle if you like, and certainly pop in on Cate with six words.

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