River Wear

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.

walking logo

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.


Reflections of Autumn

Yes, that's my shadow on the stone pillar. Careless me!

Yes, that’s my shadow on the stone pillar. Careless me!

This time of year always has me in reflective mood.  No matter how bright the sunshine, I always know that Winter is waiting, just around the corner.  But we have had the occasional sparkling day in this last week or so, and I have been determined to make the most of them.  Come stroll with me in my Durham gallery of sunshine and shadows.

And another Durham day is done.

And another Durham day has flown away.

Cee has given me the perfect opportunity this week to share a few Reflections and Shadows.  Please click on the link to see some wonderful photographs.

I’m hoping your week will have more sunshine than shadow.

Black and White weekly photo challenge : Bridges

A romantic view of Durham

A romantic view of Durham

Durham is a city of many bridges.  The River Wear threads its way backwards and forwards between the historic houses, and it’s quite hard NOT to take a photo of a bridge or two.

Here we have two bridges for the price of one.  Agree?

Here we have two bridges for the price of one. Agree?

County Durham is known as the Land of the Prince Bishops and gets a small mention in the Wikipedia link.  The “Prince Bishop” river cruiser has been tootling up and down a short stretch of this river for as long as I can remember.

Under the road bridge, looking back at the Cathedral.

Under the road bridge, looking back at “Prince Bishop” and the Cathedral.

I rarely visit Durham without strolling along the riverside path.  The bustle of the Market Square and always busy Cathedral seem a world away.

This is the classic view, seen on numerous postcards.

This is the classic view, seen on numerous postcards.

The river has paths on both banks for some of its passage through the city, so you can meander like the river, and choose which bridge you want to cross.

Milburngate Bridge with castle and cathedral above.

Milburngate Bridge with castle and cathedral above.

Some years the weir is filled to the brim.  Sadly, this year, erosion has affected the riverbanks in a few places.  Part of our constant battle with nature.

There are always rowing boats tethered by Framwellgate Bridge.

There are always rowing boats tethered by Framwellgate Bridge.

Durham has a famous university, and for much of the year students can be seen sculling rapidly along the water’s surface.  In June the regatta gives them the chance to show off their skills, and it’s a fun day out.

I’m normally very much a Summer person, but there is one event that takes place in Durham every second November that I hate to miss.  During “Lumiere” many of the bridges are spectacularly lit.  You can see this in full colour in my recent post Water under the bridge, but for this challenge I have to stick with black and white.

Trying to find the best vantage point to take the shot.

Trying to find the best vantage point to take the shot.

How about this one?

How about this one?

So that’s my take on Sonel’s Black and White photo challenge this week.  I hope you enjoyed wandering the riverbanks of Durham with me.  Let’s do it in colour another time, shall we?

I’m off to check out the other entries to the challenge.  Sonel has given us quite a wide brief.  The main stipulation is that we work with black and white only- no shades, which means my sepia friend is not allowed.  The button below will take you to the home page of the challenge.