Jo’s Monday walk : Along the Clyde

Underneath the arches

Underneath the arches

It’s Monday again and you know I’m bursting to share a little of Saturday’s day trip to Glasgow, don’t you?

Now you may think that it’s a long way to go to take a walk, but if I tell you that the four and a half hour coach trip in each direction was totally worth it… well, I wouldn’t disagree if you thought I was crazy.  It’s a city that I’ve wanted to see for many years and the opportunity just never comes up.  So, I made it happen.

What a city!  Despite leaky grey skies I thoroughly enjoyed it.  Perhaps because of the switchback of streets and the endless vistas, or maybe the feistiness, it reminded me in many ways of Barcelona.  And that was truly a love affair.  Glasgow architecture was an exhilarating mix.  I’m a long-time fan of Charles Rennie Mackintosh and I managed a fascinating glimpse into his world, but I’m going to start you off gently.

I hope you have a sturdy pair of shoes (I ruined mine!) and a waterproof with you.  It’s another wet one!  Straight down the hill from Buchanan Bus Station I came upon George’s Square, where quite a vocal gathering was taking place.  I told you they were feisty!

Gladstone knew a thing or two about debate, too!  And stormy weather.

Gladstone knew a thing or two about debate, too!  And stormy weather.

It was peaceful enough

It was peaceful enough

And well supported, despite the weather.

And well supported, despite the weather.

The lion was keeping a watchful eye

The lion was keeping a watchful eye

The locals have a sense of humour too!

While the locals maintained a sense of humour!

I nipped through the arches at the Royal Exchange and found myself on Buchanan St.  Shopping heaven, I’m led to believe, but today I’m on a mission to walk beside the Clyde.  The sound of pounding drums waylaid me for a while.

But the street life was compelling!

The street life was certainly compelling!

Rounding the corner I was on famous Sauchiehall St.  Striding along, I encountered the Willow Tea Rooms.  Pinch me, somebody- am I dreaming?  My first glimpse of Rennie Mackintosh.

The original tea rooms!

The original tea rooms!

A little butter for energy?

I succumbed to a little slice of whisky and sultana cake

An excuse for a peek at a Rennie Mackintosh building

Got to keep my strength up, and I needed an excuse to see inside

I was wondering if I had time for a tour of the Glasgow School of Art, just round the corner on Dalhousie St.  I stuck my head inside and gazed with longing.  As I stood, looking up, the door behind me swung open and cracked me on the head!  The young students were highly apologetic, but laughing too.  A stupid, but very understandable, place to stand.

This was just the entry way

Pain on the threshold!

I admired a plaque or two on the walls

But I soon recovered when I saw inside.

I had intended to follow Sauchiehall St. all the way to Kelvingrove Park and the Art Gallery, then down to the river, but the rain was quite persistent.  I don’t quite understand why squelching along the riverbank seemed a sensible option but I was determined to see the Clyde Arc.  The hill dropped away and I with it.

Splashing downhill, this building intrigued me.

Splashing downhill, this building surprised me.  It was to let!

And then I was on the river bank

And there I was, at the river bank.

I wasn’t totally alone but there weren’t too many misguided souls, I have to confess.  My shoes were feeling a bit squelchy and as I walked west, scanning the horizon for the Arc, I realised that the riverside walk was being renewed.  Diggers in lime green lay forlorn and abandoned in the rain.  As the traffic hurtled overhead on the M8, some swimmers brought a little smile.

Swimming might be a good idea

Something for  the builders to admire in their lunch hour

Or breathing clouds!

Is she breathing clouds?

But then I had my reward- a first glimpse of the Clyde Arc

But then I had my reward- a first glimpse of the Clyde Arc

A little soggy, but still, rather grand

A little soggy, but still, rather grand

The views beyond, even better!

The views beyond, even better!

Though these were a sad reminder of unhappy lives

But sad memories for some

At this point things went a little awry.  I had intended to cross the bridge and follow the opposite bank of the river back to the next bridge, but the footpath appeared to be barriered off.  Two cheery cyclists explained that the residents of this smart housing development at the water’s edge did not appreciate people wandering past.  I thought it a little selfish but I imagine they pay high rates for the view.

I looked at the path along the river bank and debated.  I could get back to the river around the estate or retrace my steps.  Best foot forward, you know the choice I made.   And it resulted in some interesting architecture along the way.

Kingston Halls- a former library, or functioning still?

Kingston Halls- a former library, or functioning still?

But I was relieved to see the bridge ahead

But I was relieved to see the bridge ahead

And to cross back over it

And to cross back over it

It's a beauty, isn't it?

It’s a beauty, isn’t it?

Looking back along the river

Looking back along the river

Under the railway bridge the reflections were epic!

While under the railway bridge the reflections were epic!

More bridges lay ahead and Palace Green with the People’s Palace, but I dare not walk too much further.  The coach departure was imminent.  Just time for a look at one more bridge then it was all the way back uphill to my start point.

A wistful look at one more bridge

A wistful look at one more bridge

Tiptoeing past the fiery tiger

And a tiptoe past a handsomely fiery tiger

Glasgow’s  graffiti was something else, and I have many more shots to share, but for now I expect you’re ready for a cuppa?

You know I love to walk but I could have wished for better weather.  I hope that if you take this walk someday you have sunshine, and the roadworks along the riverside will certainly be completed.  There’s so much to see!  A Tall Ship and the Science Centre- doesn’t that sound wonderful?  Of course, I could have used the hop-on, hop-off sightseeing bus which departs from George Square, where we started.  There you are- you have an easy option.

Meantime I’m hoping you’ll find some photos of a walk that you can share with me.  I’m ready to sit back and admire.  Just post a link in my comments, or link a post to me.  Any way and any day you want to do it.  I’ll always find time for a walk.  I hope you enjoyed this one, and many thanks to everyone for sharing.

The shares for this week are below, starting with a stunner from Paula :

Six word Saturday


Day trip to Glasgow- early start!

Isn't this a lovely Coat of Arms?

Isn’t this an amazing Coat of Arms?

Clyde Arc, or "Squinty Bridge"

Clyde Arc, or “Squinty Bridge”

Kelvingrove Art Museum

Kelvingrove Art Museum

Amazing what you can find on Wikipedia, isn’t it?  Big thanks to them for all of these images.  I hope to see these and much more, but I don’t know what time I’ll get back.  I probably won’t be able to link to Cate at Show My Face early doors, but hope to catch up later.

Don’t forget to find six words for Saturday, will you?  Have a great day!



A little side trip to Spain


I never like to have things hanging about in my ‘Drafts folder’.  I’m not an organised, scheduling sort of person though, heaven knows, it would be an improvement!   But this little side trip keeps smiling sadly at me from it’s lonely position in there.  Unfinished, until now.  So, with a flourish, let me present Ayamonte.

Remember my kings, strolling through the streets of Vila Real de S. Antonio on the Algarve’s eastern edge?  They were smiling and throwing sweets to their loyal subjects, as any good king should at Epiphany.  And then they boarded the ferry for Ayamonte, in Spain.  Just 10 minutes on the ferry, but a lifetime apart culturally and in temperament.

Ayamonte, seen from the ferry, is a simple whitewashed Spanish town.  At close quarters it reveals its medieval side in narrow streets and historical buildings.  This is Huelva province, and there is no shortage of Andalucian flamboyance.

The approach, by ferry

The approach, by ferry

Such pretty tiles around the fountain

Such pretty tiles around the fountain

Life is so colourful

Life is so colourful

Even under a cloudy January sky

Even under a cloudy January sky

The bronze dome pierces the clouds

The bronze dome pierces the clouds

I love the colour and the tiles yet it always surprises me how very different Ayamonte feels from Portugal, just a wave away, across the water.  The road bridge over the River Guadiana now links the two, for speedy access, but I prefer a gentler approach to the culture change.

A canal runs away from the Guadiana, around the old side of town and past a park at which I don’t look too closely.  There are animals caged there in an environment I would never choose for them.  A new boardwalk has been laid and there is an air that the town is thriving.  Not the case in much of Spain, nor Portugal, for that matter.

Beyond the canal, the older side of town

Beyond the canal, in the distance, the older side of town

And so I’ve had my little flirt with flamenco.  Back on the ferry now, and home to Portugal (and those crazy, likeable kings).



‘M’ is for Monsaraz


I’m going to struggle for photos for this post, because I visited Monsaraz on a damp, if not soaking wet, day!  Seems to be a recurring theme on here lately, doesn’t it?  But such was the impact it made that I loved it anyway.  Some day, I hope to return and see it like this.

So will you excuse me for borrowing from Wikipedia?

So will you excuse me for borrowing from Wikipedia?

It must have been an anniversary or a special occasion, because I was sitting at a table in “A Ver” when I first heard about Monsaraz. This Tavira restaurant is named for its view down over the rooftops and the prices are more than we would normally pay.  But treats are treats, and so I happened to be sitting at the next table to a couple whose evening was interrupted by the wife’s mobile phone. The wife excused herself and was gone for some considerable time.

I can’t remember what prompted me to start the conversation, but before too long the husband was telling me about this beautiful place that I must see for myself.  The fact that it was a 4 hour drive or more seemed insignificant to him.  And so Monsaraz nestled in my imagination until I could make it a reality.

The town square and pillory on a sparkling day- @ Wikipedia

The town square and pillory on a sparkling day- from Wikipedia

The “Rough Guide”, always my bible, confirmed what I wanted to hear.  Monsaraz is a tiny, hilltop, walled village with sweeping views across the Guadiana to Spain.  It’s name comes from the Iberian word for Cistus landifer, the Gum Rockrose.  Xaraz thrives in dry, acidic slate-based soil, thus Monte Xaraz was a hill surrounded by Rockroses.

Monsaraz is one of the oldest settlements in the South of Portugal, and there are many menhirs and neolithic remains in the area. Due to its strategic location, there was certainly a fort there before Roman occupation.  Then came the Moors, and in 1232 it became a stronghold of the Knights Templar.  In 1640 it was refortified, during the Portuguese Restoration War and the border struggles.  Then land reforms and the growth of farm estates heralded change.  These days Monsaraz is no longer embattled, but there are still signs of the past.

The castle and keep- @ Wikipedia

The castle and keep-  from Wikipedia

In late October 2009 I journeyed north from the Algarve, across the wide, empty plains of Alentejo.  My destination lovely Evora and proud Elvas, but on the return leg I knew I would visit Monsaraz.  The weather was autumnal this much further north.  Leaving Elvas I headed directly into a rainbow and travelling south the weather steadily deteriorated.  I clung tenaciously to the hope that I would be blessed with a patch or two of blue sky, but it was not to be.

I stepped out of the car under leaden skies and looked up at the castle walls, and then out across the Guadiana.  Nothing could prevent an idiot grin settling on my face.  I grabbed Mick by the hand and started up the slippery damp cobbles, and through the narrow archway in the walls.

Looking out from beneath the town walls, across the Guadiana

Looking out from beneath the town walls, across the Guadiana

Medieval Monsaraz has only one main street, Rua Direita, with the village square at its centre.  The Inquisition House and the pillory point immediately to troubled times.  I was more intent on escaping the chill as I slipped inside the Chapel of Sao Bento, with its serene warmth and frescoes.  The main church, Nossa Senhora da Lagoa, was closed.  Climbing up to the castle walls, in a light drizzle, I felt I had reached the summit of a watery world.   The plains below had been flooded by the creation of the Alqueva Dam, boating heaven in Summer and a vast body of water.

The castle is topped by the Witches Tower (Torre das Feiticeiras) and within, the unexpected sight of a bullring, complete with tiered seating!  Currently it’s used for Festivals and fireworks, so no sad bulls.  As the rain increased its pace, tiny Cafe de Cisterna provided shelter, warm turkey pies and a slab of delicious cake.  Despite all that water outside, a drinking supply for the villagers had required a huge cistern to combat the blazing summer sun.  It was just visible through a barred window and then the weather really did drive us away.

A castle in spades!

I had planned a leisurely route back, crossing over the dam by a bridge to Mourao, but visibility was so poor that I had no choice other than to agree as Mick pointed the car due south.  In a couple of hours I was back under the blue skies of the Algarve.

I’ve found a site with some lovely atmospheric photos of Monsaraz, if you click on this link.  And you can get a better look at the whole trip on my E is for Elvas, and Evora.  It wasn’t all rain!

Meantime it’s thanks again to Frizz for prompting me to respond to his Tagged ‘M’ and to Julie Dawn Fox for the Personal A-Z Challenge.  And many thanks to you for reading!


Jo’s Monday walk : Hartlepool Story Trail

Fish Annie's song

Fish Annie’s song

I’ve been promising this particular walk for quite a long time.  I hope you like it!

The Hartlepool Story Trail follows a sequence of 18 signs, crowned by a monkey.  You’ll see why later.  It traces the history of Hartlepool back to AD640, highlighting local landmarks along the way.

It’s a walk that I often do, paying no particular attention to the signs because my eyes are focussed on the sea.  Hartlepool’s history is irretrievably mixed with the maritime and the walk starts midway along the promenade.  Why, I really don’t know!

It all begins with the 'Island of Harts'

No. 1- the ‘Island of Harts’

The hart is a symbol of Hartlepool and appears throughout the town

The hart is a symbol of Hartlepool and appears throughout the town

It will be fairly obvious, I think, that I took some of these photos on different days.  The sea is always a magnet to me, whether it’s thundering against the sea walls or softly licking the shore.

No. 2- Fairy Cove

No. 2-  ‘Fairy Cove’

A calm blue background today

A calm blue background for the monkey

This point marks the north eastern end of the town wall.   The ‘Fairy Coves’ were man-made circular excavations, 5 metres in diameter, about 12 feet above the shore, and intended as ‘places of concealment’ for humans.

No. 3-

No. 3-  Beacon and Town Moor

Today's beacon, on a better day!

Today’s beacon, on a bluer day!

No. 4-  Bandstand & Elephant Rock

No. 4- Bandstand & Elephant Rock

Elephant Rock, which collapsed in 1891

Elephant Rock, which collapsed in 1891

  • The bandstand still exists, though in rather dilapidated condition.  Gone are the days when it witnessed street theatre, boxing matches and even motor bike racing time trials. Elephant Rock, sadly, is no more, but there are still numerous smaller stacks along the shoreline.
  • No. 5-  Lighthouse and Heugh Battery

    No. 5- Lighthouse and Heugh Battery

    The first lighthouse on this site dates from 1847 and was one of the world’s first to be operated by gas.  It was dismantled during the First World War because its position prevented retaliatory fire from the Heugh Gun Battery, in the Bombardment of Hartlepool on 16th December, 1914.

    The current lighthouse dates from 1926

    The current lighthouse dates from 1926

You may have noticed the darkening sky, and my wonky photo, above.  Rounding the lighthouse one day last week, I was met by a storm of hailstones, and this!  Happily I wore a waterproof.

The sea was having fun!

The sea was having fun!

Lots of fun!

Lots of fun!  These photos are not in black and white.

As the sea lashed the promenade, I made a dash for the next sign, no.6- Cliff Terrace.

Some of the signs are quite weather worn, too!

Some of the signs are quite weather worn.  It’s no wonder!

No. 7,  just off the seafront and a little more sheltered, rather strangely comes in two parts- ‘a’ and ‘b’.  Billy Purvis, the subject of 7a and something of a jester, is buried in the grounds of nearby St. Hilda’s Church.

No. 7a-  Billy Purvis

No. 7a- Billy Purvis

7b is, of course, the church itself.

7b  of course, is St. Hilda’s church, dating from 1190.

Pretty in snow, isn't it?

Pretty in snow, isn’t it?

So far this year, there’s been no snow in the north east.  Hush!  Don’t even think about it.  Neither has it been paddling pool weather, but that’s where we’re going next.

No. 8-  the 'Paddling Pool'

No. 8- the ‘Paddling Pool’

One chilly monkey!  What's that saying?  Brass monkeys?

One chilly monkey! What’s that saying? Brass monkeys?

As the sign says, we once boasted a handsome paddling pool set into the rocks beneath this promenade.  I dimly remember it from my childhood, but in 1953 a tremendous storm hit the north east coast, and the damage was irreparable.  There is a much tamer version of the paddling pool set into the lower promenade, and it continues to delight small persons in Summer.

No. 9-  'Hartlepool Lifeboats'

No. 9- ‘Hartlepool Lifeboats’

Unthinkable that we could have a town without a lifeboat, and one has been in existence since 1803.  The first cost just £300 to build locally, and was propelled by 10 oars.

No. 10-  'Fish Sands and the Monkey'

No. 10-  ‘Fish Sands and the Monkey’

This is a crucial sign, and the one I started this post with, seen here on a hazy summer’s day.  The sign includes the tale of the monkey-hanging, which no self-respecting Hartlepudlian can fail to know, though it doesn’t reflect well on us.  Allegedly, during the Napoleonic Wars, a severe storm hit a French vessel off the coast of Hartlepool.  Following the wreck of the ship a sole survivor, a nautically attired monkey, was washed ashore on the Fish Sands.  Being unfamiliar with monkeys and naturally suspicious of the French, the people of Hartlepool decided to hang this “Frenchman” as a spy, and have been trying to live it down ever since.

No. 11-  'The Croft and Sandwell Chare'

No. 11- ‘The Croft and Sandwell Chare’, with St. Hilda’s in the background

The Chare- the prettiest bit of the town wall

Sandwell Gate, leading to the beach- the prettiest bit of the town wall

The Croft Gardens now sit below St. Hilda’s Church (but beside Verrill’s Chip Shop- another famous landmark!)  This was the site of the former old town, which was demolished in 1938.

'Chalybeate Spring' was a thriving Health Spa

No. 12-  ‘Town Wall and Chalybeate Spring’

Amazing to think that our pretty Town Wall, which has often been admired as my former header, has stood firm against elements and enemies since 1322.  ‘Chalybeate Spring’ was a thriving Health Spa, said to cure indigestion and other ailments.  Must have been the bracing sea air!

No. 14-  'Middleton & Ferry Crossing'

No. 14- ‘Middleton & Ferry Crossing’

Sadly I don’t remember the ferry, which stopped running in 1952, but I well remember Middleton and the dockland area.

The alert amongst you may have noticed a leap in the signs.  No. 13 is absent because I simply couldn’t find it!  Having got this far, in spite of inclement weather, I decided to terminate the walk.  I already have more information than you can readily digest and I don’t want to bore.

If you are interested and stop to read every one of the signs, the walk will take you no more than an hour or two.  There’s a map at the bottom of each sign so you can’t get lost.  On a nice day there are plenty of spots to linger and just watch the sea, and the boats heading for harbour.  If it rains I could recommend you to Mary Rowntree’s tearooms.  A former chapel, it has been beautifully converted, and you will pass it on your route.  Or you may be lucky enough to find St. Hilda’s open, and step inside.  For background history, if you can’t get here, this is an excellent article.

So what did you think of this week’s walk?  And, more importantly, do you have a walk you’d like to share with me?  If you do, I’d be delighted if you could leave a link in the comments below.  Or even link back to me from your post, if it’s a new one.  I look forward to an evening’s reading.

You can join in too!



Six word Saturday


Windows full of cats and dogs!

It's raining cats and dogs!

It’s raining cats and dogs!

This window display in Middlesbrough completely stopped me in my tracks!  Passers by wore puzzled frowns as I squinted and snapped, trying to get shots without too much reflection.  Fairly difficult because the creatures were quite large.  This is so appropriate for the wild, crazy weather we’ve been having!  Don’t you just love the creativity?

Click on the gallery to follow my little story.

Don’t you just love Saturday?  Especially when you can start it with a smile!

I really have to link this to A Lingering look at Windows, too.  I know that Dawn likes a smile.

But don’t forget to share your six words with Cate at Show My Face will you?


‘L’ is for Loule


The market town of Loule

The peaceful market town of Loule

Loule to me means just one thing.  Carnaval!  This quiet inland market town in the Algarve is no Rio de Janeiro, but it knows how to party. For over 100 years they have celebrated the beginning of Lent with Carnaval, Portuguese style.  No shortage of dancing girls either, though they often have to dance hard to keep warm.

Bring on the dancing girls!

Bring on the dancing girls!

Carnaval 2012 was a classic, and I made a surprising guest appearance!  Fortunately I was very easily overlooked in the crowd. Numerous photos of the Carnaval floats, of a distinctly political but humorous nature, appear in my post ‘C is for Carnaval’, so I won’t reproduce them all here.  The town’s main street, Avenida Jose de Costa Mealha, is closed for the event and there is a small charge. Don’t miss it if you are in the neighbourhood!

Normally Loule (pronounced Loo-lay, incidentally) is rather more sedate.  One of the most distinctive features of the town is the Arab style market, pictured in my first photograph.  Smaller shops surround the market stalls and it is a treat for both eyes and nose.  On Saturday mornings an open air market takes over the outdoor space too.  Parking becomes no easy matter.

On my first visit to Loule I remember having to search for the remaining fragment of the town walls and the 13th century castle, but I liked what I found. Entrance to the walls is through a small museum, which traces the town’s history back through Roman to medieval times.  It has the vaulted brick ceilings that I love.

The older part of town is fairly compact , and the narrow cobbled streets reveal artisan workshops and some lovely craft shops. Following the twists and turns you will come to a small square containing the town’s main church, Igreja de S. Clemente, and a tiny garden, Jardim dos Amuados, an ancient Arab cemetery.

Loule’s main landmark is visible from the A22 motorway when driving past the town.  Nossa Senhora da Piedade is a dome shaped modern church which sits on a hill to the west of town.  At Easter there is a huge procession in honour of the Sovereign Mother. This must be one of the few things I haven’t yet managed to see in the Algarve.

Nossa Senhora da Piedade- courtesy of Wikipedia

Nossa Senhora da Piedade- courtesy of Wikipedia

The procession to the church at Easter

The procession to the church at Easter

Loule is well worth a look when you’ve tired of the beaches and need a little historical detail, or a shopping bonanza.  A few  parking hints and a lot of photos are available in C is for Carnaval.

For now I’ll simply thank Frizz for his inspiring A-Z series.  With Tagged L this week he is just about managing to keep me on track. Grateful thanks are also due to Julie Dawn Fox, who started the Personal A-Z Challenge a long time ago!  Some day I’ll manage to complete it for both countries.  Join me in the challenges if you can. banner4

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Jo’s Monday Walk: Beaver Creek


Isn’t Amy the sweetest lady? (as well as being a great photographer) Come on- walk with us!

Originally posted on The World Is a Book...:


Beaver Creek used to be one of our favorite ski places when we were living in Boulder, Colorado. Now it’s been a perfect place for us to escape Texas summer heat.


This is such a beautiful village for hiking, biking, and scenery-gazing during summer. Last time, when hubby attended a week-long retreat here, I enjoyed my daily walked/hiked along the trails.

VailBeaver CVail-2BCreekVail-8

The lovely town of Vail is only a few miles away from Beaver Creek. But, both Vail and Beaver Creek have been commercialized and overbuilt, lots of shops, art galleries, condos, and restaurants, besides luxurious accommodations. It does make you wonder where have all the trees gone…


Thanks to Jo for her inspiring Monday WalkHope you will join us and share your walk, thoughts, stories, and/or photos :)

Have a great week!

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Jo’s Monday walk : Crimdon beach


First of all I need to say a huge ‘thank you’ to all of the people who joined in on my Monday walk last week.  I was so happy with the response I got that I really can’t wait to do it again.  Let’s take the walk first, shall we, and I’ll explain a little more later.

Crimdon Beach

This is another local walk, and probably comes in the ‘ugly’ category.  I can’t just show you pretty pictures can I?  It wouldn’t be truthful, or fair to the area.  Crimdon lies just north of Hartlepool, on the north east coast of England.  It is one of my childhood beaches.  A day trip to Crimdon was exciting in those days!  To this day, a caravan park sits atop the beach, and you can wander through it playing the ‘I’d like this one’ game.  Front facing the sea, naturally.

How about this one? A few tubs on the deck and it would be perfect!

How about this one? A few tubs on the deck and it would be perfect!

But I’m getting away from the subject.  This is a circular walk which includes the beach and Crimdon Dene.  Our start point is the cliff top car park.

Here you have it!

Here you have it!

As you can see, it’s part of the Durham Coastal footpath, very easily accessible and with some excellent cliff top walking.  Hartlepool was once a part of Durham County, but that is history.

But I cannot always offer you the blue skies!

First drop down the stepped boardwalk and onto the beach

Today a watery sun glints in the rockpools

Today there’s a watery sun, glinting in the rock pools
You'll maybe recognise this view from a previous post?

You might just recognise this view from a previous post where I got wet!

There go the walkers, striding up the beach!

There go the walkers, striding up the beach!

In places the sea is trapped at low tide

In places, the sea gets trapped at low tide
The patterns formed in the dune a mystery

The patterns formed in the dune, a mystery

And looking back, some walkers in outline, at the top

And looking back, tiny walkers in outline, near the top

With the tide out, you can walk right along this beach to Hartlepool.  In the distance you can still see the disused pier that is all that is left of a former magnesium works.  In Summer you might observe protective fencing along the dunes, where a nesting colony of Little Terns make their home for 4 months every year.  They spend Winter in West Africa, lucky things!

But today we are going into Crimdon Dene.  A wooded valley cutting through cliffs of magnesium limestone, it forms the boundary with County Durham.  The Dene’s dominant landmark is the lofty railway viaduct, completed in 1905, over which the north coast railway service periodically rattles.  I remember being hugely excited by it when I was small.

Hartlepool Headland just visible in the distance

Hartlepool Headland just visible in the distance

Safeguard the Little Terns

Safeguarding the Little Terns

Crimdon or Hartlepool?

Crimdon or Hartlepool?

Underneath the arches of Crimdon railway viaduct

Underneath the arches of Crimdon railway viaduct

Leaving the Dene from beneath the viaduct

Leaving the Dene from beneath the viaduct

A steepish climb will bring you back up to the cliff top car park.  The distance is little more than 2 miles but you can extend it as far along the beach as you wish.  There are no facilities as the club house on the caravan park is ‘members only’.  Hard to believe that back in the 50s this was a thriving resort.  A Six word Saturday post from about this time last year will show you the area from a slightly different (and sunnier) aspect.

And now it’s your turn!  Last week I suggested that I would love to hear about walks in your area. I can never cover as much ground as I’d like to, so I would really appreciate sitting back in my armchair for a virtual walk around your neighbourhood.  If you have a post about a favourite walk that you’d like to share, please leave a link in my comments box.  You can do this any day of the week, and it can be a full walk or just a few photos- I’ll be delighted either way.

In return I will tweet or post it on Facebook for those of you who use social media.  I usually share when I like a post anyway, but sometimes I forget.  Age, you know!  I don’t know if you’ve found my Restlessjo page on Facebook, but I’d love to see you there.  Happy walking!

Six word Saturday


This is my last Awards post.

Why, you might ask?  I may never receive another and then the problem won’t arise.  But the fact is that I write a travel blog, and truly love doing it. When I began my blogging adventure, the concept of Awards was an amazement to me.  Then it did what it was supposed to do and introduced me to some wonderful people.  LOTS of wonderful people.

It is a point of pride with me that I respond to and visit every single person who places a like or a comment on my blog.   I will always do this.  And it will lead me to more wonderful people. Trouble is, it has a kind of snowball effect, though I hate to mention that word after the winter some of us have had! So I will wear my Awards with pride, and I will maintain an Awards page to thank those lovely people who have heaped honours on me.  Thank you all so much.  But I won’t be posting any awards acceptance posts after today.








Got to end with killer shoes!  This Seven Awards in One was passed on to me by Sherri Matthews. Talk about go out with a bang!  Sherri is a lovely lady who stays positive and full of warmth despite the difficulties presented by her daughter’s Asperger’s Syndrome.  I’ve learned a lot and laughed a lot alongside Sherri.  She is a pleasure to know.

Shelley at Living with Shadows was kind enough to bestow the Dragons Loyalty Award on me too. Nothing like a bit of fire on a winter’s morning, or even a chilly Spring one.  Shelley has her own health issues, but escapes into fantasy when she can.  If you can find the time, and haven’t met them, please go and say hello.




I couldn’t leave without a few Spring flowers by way of apology.  Enjoy your weekend, and don’t forget to share six words with Cate at Show My Face. My word count says 340.  I must have gone wrong somewhere!