Jo’s Monday walk : to Infinity and beyond!

Just a hint of blue sky through the Infinity Bridge

Just a hint of blue sky through the Infinity Bridge

One of the hardest things about my Monday walks is deciding where to take you next.  I have easy access to both coast and countryside where I live in the north east of England.  Add in a healthy dose of curiosity and restlessness and the sky’s the limit!

Last week’s visit to the Glass Centre is a hard act to follow, but I’m going to take you a little way south of me today, to the River Tees. The lovely curves of the Infinity Bridge have added grace and beauty to another quite industrial part of my world.  This weekend the Stockton Riverside Festival was taking place.  I hope a deluge or two didn’t dampen the enthusiasm for the music.

Our start point will be the parking lot behind the White Water Centre.  We’ve walked around the Tees Barrage before but this time we’ll be heading towards Stockton-on-Tees.

The White Water Centre and cafe

The White Water Centre, and cafe

There are usually canoes taking to the water

There are usually canoes taking to the water.  Tees Barrage is in the distance

Walk towards the Infinity Bridge

Walk towards the Infinity Bridge

And underneath!  Don't worry- we'll come back to it.

And underneath! Don’t worry- we’ll come back to it.

It’s a popular cycle track too, so you’ll need to be alert.  Some cyclists sound their bell in warning, but more often they just loom up.  You don’t want to drop your camera!

Stockton is an Anglo-Saxon name, the ending ‘ton’ meaning farm or homestead.  There is little in the way of agriculture to be seen on this stretch of the River Tees.  The town used to have a thriving outdoor market where fresh produce was readily and cheaply available.   The life and character that this brought has sadly vanished.

Stockton’s main claim to fame is tied to the advent of steam travel in 1822.  The first rail of George Stephenson’s Stockton and Darlington Railway was laid locally, on Bridge Rd.  Stephenson drove Locomotion no.1 himself on its first journey, on 27th September 1825.  In recent years the riverside has been developed to make a focal point for the town.

George Stephenson's Locomotion

A tribute to George Stephenson’s Locomotion no.1

The riverside and Teesside Millenium Bridge

The riverside and Teesquay Millenium Footbridge

Have you spotted something beyond the bridge?  Something with tall masts?  My main reason for walking this way, and one of my favourite things.  Wait just a moment.

First we need to pass beneath the bridge

First we need to pass beneath the bridge

And here we have it!

And here we have it!

Isn't she a beauty?

Isn’t she a beauty?

Here's a small clue

Here’s a small clue

I love these tall masted beauties!

I love these tall masted beauties!

James Cook was a local lad and is widely feted in this part of the world.  HM Bark Endeavour took him on the first of three voyages of discovery in the Pacific Ocean.  He sailed thousands of miles of largely uncharted waters, mapping New Zealand, Australia and Hawaii for the British Navy.  He died in Hawaii in 1779, leaving behind a huge legacy of scientific and geographical knowledge.

HMS Bark Endeavour has the company of some smaller craft

HMS Bark Endeavour has the company of some smaller craft

And a whole load of swans!

And a whole load of swans!

So hard to resist boat shots!

So hard to resist boat shots!

Not so sure about the mural

There’s a mural disguising the multi-storey car park

But now it's time to cross over the bridge

But now it’s time to cross over the Millenium bridge

Looking back at the boats and Thornaby railway bridge

Looking back- the Princess river cruiser and Thornaby railway bridge

Those clouds are still lurking!

While the clouds lurk overhead!

We’re heading back towards the Infinity Bridge.  On the far shore of the Tees there are numerous office complexes and we thread our way through them, passing poorly maintained canals.

Under bridges and over bridges

Under bridges and over bridges

And here we are again

Till we burst into the light again!

You could play with the angles all day

You could play with the angles all day

But look behind you.  A storm's a-brewing!

But look behind you. A storm’s a-brewing!

One last look to the heavens

One last look to the heavens

And it's time to quickly cross!

And it’s time to quickly cross!

You know your way back from here, don’t you, and it’s not far.  Maybe a coffee in the White Water Centre, or there’s a pub along at the Tees Barrage.  The easiest access is undoubtedly by car, but you could do the walk from Stockton, which is well served by buses and trains.

I’m not going to be walking with you next week.  I hope to be on a different riverbank- the Seine. I could schedule a walk but I prefer not to.  The joy in my Monday feature comes from sharing, and responding to your lovely comments, and I won’t have time to do that in Paris.  Feel free to explore a little without me, but report back, won’t you?

Two more things before I go.  I noticed that my friend Marianne, from East of Malaga, is featuring Bridges in her CBBH challenge this month.  We’ve been friends for the longest time but I seldom have time to visit.  I’m hoping she won’t mind if I include a link to my walk this week.  It certainly features bridges, doesn’t it?  A condition of the CBBH challenge is to introduce 2 of your friends to Marianne.  I will certainly do that with my links below.

Speaking of friends, and I’ve made so many of you on here, I know that I will be walking in the footsteps of Christine at least some of the time next week.  I couldn’t go without one last tribute.

 

walking logo

I hope you’ll find some time to visit my lovely walking friends now.  Put that kettle on!

Jude has found me a mill and a lovely public garden in Gatehouse of Fleet   :

The Gatehouse of Fleet

The Travel Bunny, Suzanne, has gelato on her mind.  It must be the weather!  :

Pisa- Much more than a Leaning Tower

Drake found some long haired cattle to walk with us this week.  He always has fun!  :

On the West  (not the Wild West!)

It will be very tempting to sit down on Amy’s walk this week, but you might need a cushion  :

Spanish tiles

That’s it for now!  See you in two weeks time.  Happy walking!

Six word Saturday

6ws-participating-in-banner

‘Seaton celebrates’ was a big success!

The sand pies were quite big too (and happy!)

The sand pies were quite big too (and happy!)

A certain lady was hard at work

A certain lady was hard at work on the sand sculpture

And there were a few other crowd pleasers too!

And there were a few other crowd pleasers too!

I loved these ladies so much!  Maybe a new Gravatar?

I loved these ladies so much! Maybe a new Gravatar?

Meanwhile my t'ai chi group 'worked the beach'

Meanwhile my t’ai chi group ‘worked the beach’

And there was all the usual 'fun of the fair'

And there was all the usual ‘fun of the fair’

These were my daughter's favourites when she was small

These were my daughter’s favourites when she was small

There were 'goodies'

There were ‘goodies’

And craft stalls galore!

And craft stalls galore!

And it was great weather for kites!

And it was great weather for kites!

And look what this little girl got to take home on the bus!

Just look what this little girl got to take home on the bus!

All in all, a good day!  The sun shone gently down.  Mike led the t’ai chi group into the water and my ‘crops’ got soaked!  A good time was had by all.  Just one omission!  I forgot to go back for a ‘finished’ photo of the sand sculpture.  It must have been the lure of the icecream.

Have a happy weekend, won’t you, and don’t forget to visit Cate at Show My Face.  You only need six words!

6wsButton

I’m lingering again!

Newcastle Rail Station gets a makeover

Newcastle Rail Station gets a makeover

I’ve not done too much lingering by windows lately, but a railway station is often a place for hanging about.  Usually I arrive at Newcastle-upon-Tyne by bus, so the recent improvements, blocking out those draughty spaces, have crept up on me.  But I like them.  A lot!

It's a piece of artwork, in itself!

It’s a piece of artwork, in itself, don’t you think?

And from inside the impact is even more dramatic.

Like most cities, Newcastle has its share of windows, in all shapes and sizes.  I was meeting a friend for coffee and we stopped to admire The Gate- a cinema and restaurant complex.

Could be my kind of film!

Could be my kind of film!

We rode up the escalator for a look out

We rode up the escalator for a look out on the street

I was very taken with this structure

And I particularly liked this structure

Not exactly a window, but you can definitely see through it.  Then Waterstones upstairs cafe delighted me.  A cafe in a bookshop- perfection!  But I did have to wonder about this window.

Is the bike for sale?

Is the bike for sale?

A little strange, don't you think?

I’d rather have a view with my coffee!

The Danish pastries were very nice though.  Quite a few people have asked about the green glass structure so I’m belatedly including a link with information on the sculptures in Newcastle.

Got to see which windows Dawn has been lingering by this week.  Click this link and come too?

1 Day 1 World Project : 12.00- 1.00am

imageedit_7_8710078231

Can you read the time?  It’s just after midnight and I’m feeling a little tired.  Can’t go to bed though, till I’ve found something interesting for Lisa’s 1 Day 1 World Project.

How about this?

How about this?

The cellphone is very old and battered so it needs a little spicing up.  It’s sitting on a postcard Viveka sent me from Istanbul.  I hope she doesn’t mind.

The watch?  Well, I only have skinny wrists so I often wear a child’s watch.  This is my current favourite and it too has an exotic location.  And the time?  Definitely, time for bed!

If you’re a night owl, Lisa would love your company.  She’s taken to late night visits to the icecream parlour!  Me, I just play with Lunapic.

Jo’s Monday walk : City of Sunderland

Looking out at the quay, from the National Glass Centre

Looking out at the quay, from the National Glass Centre

You might remember, before I started my regular Monday walks feature, the post A Promenade to Roker?  It started from the National Glass Centre and followed the River Wear out to the beach at Roker, north of Sunderland.  I always intended to try a walk in the opposite direction, following the river through the city.  Since I promised you a level walk last week, I thought this might be a good one to try.

It’s an industrial area and the National Glass Centre is like a jewel at its centre.  I’m like a kid with a new toy if I get to visit, so we’ll be popping in later, but right now it’s time to start walking.

We'll start on the quayside, outside the Glass Centre

We’ll start on the quayside, outside the Glass Centre

A number of boats are casually moored

A number of boats are casually moored, waiting for an owner

This pretty blue one, a favourite

This gently blue one’s a favourite

But I took my eye off the boats for long enough to look at this

But I took my eye off the boats for long enough to look at this!

We’re walking alongside the University of Sunderland, and in term time the grass is strewn with students.  This morning the sun was glinting prettily on the medieval book, outside the university library.  There’s a wry sense of humour in the placement of giant nuts and bolts on the quay.

And the inevitable graffiti, of course

And the inevitable graffiti, of course!

Compensated for by this willowy creation

Compensated for by this willowy creation

We're walking towards the bridge over the River Wear

We’re walking towards the road and rail bridges over the River Wear

And beneath

And then beneath them

To a short pretty stretch of river

To a short, pretty stretch of the river

Not a ripple disturbing the peace

Where barely a ripple disturbs the surface

There are many reminders of the pitheads and the harsh life that miners and their families lived.

On the far shore, a crane building factory

Today a ‘crane building’ factory decorates the far shore

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Looking back at the wall plaques

Looking back at the wall plaques (and at Sunderland FC )

Soon after this the riverside path runs out, and we have the choice whether to retrace our steps or to see a little more.  Curiosity always takes me onto unfamiliar ground so I followed the curve of the path.  It loops up to join the Coast to Coast cycle route, which runs from the east coast all the way across to Whitehaven in Cumbria.

This results in a closer look at the Stadium of Light

This results in a closer look at the ‘Stadium of Light’

I head towards the bridges, cross at the busy traffic lights by St. Peter’s Metro stop, and drop back down to the river path within sight of my start point.

A couple of tugboats are just completing their business

A couple of tugboats are just completing their business

For you and me, a treat awaits

For you and me, a treat awaits

Inside the Glass Centre

Inside the Glass Centre

A crab sandwich?

A crab sandwich?  Don’t mind if I do

And a bit of a browse

And a bit of a browse

Aren't these gorgeous?

Aren’t these simply gorgeous?

Linger as long as you want.  There’s always something going on.  I noticed on my table a leaflet for ‘Hen Night Heaven!’  Only in the north east!  You can learn to blow a glass bauble followed by a delicious afternoon tea, with champagne.  Details of all events, and how to get here, are on this link to the National Glass Centre.

Before you leave, take a look up!  You’ll probably see people wandering across the roof.

Hello!  Can you see me down here?

Hello! Can you see me down here?

Don't worry!  It's reinforced glass.

Don’t worry! It’s reinforced glass.

And that's the way we walked.

And that’s the way we walked.  Good, wasn’t it?

Phew!  Hope you enjoyed our walk today.  It’s time to look at some more, then click on my Jo’s Monday walk logo to see how you can join in.  You’d better get yourself a cuppa first!

walking logo

Jude took me back to Grasmere last week.  I haven’t been for the longest time  :

Circumnavigating Grasmere Lake

I had such fun riding around in the panier on Drake’s bike, but I really should get off and walk!  :

The bike as the stowaways

Bird lovers among you will absolutely delight in this.  Welcome to my walks, Jo!  Please go and say ‘hi’ to Jo everybody  :

I just love birds

Laura’s had back surgery, but has put together a wonderful historical ramble in London  :

Walkabout 2- the Fleet by foot

If I were to find myself in Amy’s Lan Su, I would think I’d died and gone to heaven  :

Lan Su Garden

And finally, Kathryn has brought me the most beautiful light on the Dutch canals  :

Mas en Peel

Please go and give Kathryn a hug.  Things aren’t going so well.  See you all next week, I hope?

Six word Saturday and Summer Lovin’

6ws-participating-in-banner

A fun day at the beach

Sand images 1

Hartlepool council have organised Seaton Celebrates , to mark the completion of major sea defence work and the extended promenade at Seaton Carew.  Activities are to include sand sculpture workshops.  Well, there’s no shortage of sand on our beach! Which is just as well, because world champion sculptress Nicola Wood will be creating a large scale sculpture.

I’m hoping it will be on a par with the amazing themed sculptures which feature each year at the FIESA festival in the Algarve.  To be fair, they have a whole team working on them.  We are also promised a roller skating display, and street theatre, which will include sea creatures and a mermaid.  There’ll be nautically themed craft stalls and the singing of sea shanties too.

How do I know this?  The White Crane t’ai chi group (I’m a member) will be giving a demonstration.  I expect to be there, camera in hand at least part of the time.  It’s on all Saturday afternoon, between 12 and 5pm.

Sand 3

What do you have planned for Saturday?  Can you describe it in six words?  Pop over to see Cate at Show My Face and see exactly how it should be done.  This post is just so Summer, I really think it could find a home in Summer Lovin‘.  Don’t you?

I must stop playing with Lunapic.  It’s becoming a bad habit!  Have a happy Saturday.

6wsButton

1 Day 1 World Project : 11.00- 12.00

It's squeaky clean time!

It’s squeaky clean time!

And I've brought a book

And I’ve brought a book

Or three!

Or three!

And a nice glass of red

And a nice glass of red

And LOTS of bubbles!

And LOTS of bubbles!

It’s after 11.00 and time for a bit of a soak.  I’m just about to climb in so you’d better go and see what Lisa is doing at this hour.  After the midnight hour I’ll probably be sleeping.  Even Restlessjo sleeps sometimes!

The 1 Day 1 World Project has been fun.  Follow the link to see more.  Oh, and I’d better say another ‘thank you’ to Lunapic.

Jo’s Monday walk : Whitby cliff tops

St. Mary's Church, suspended on the cliff top

St. Mary’s Church and Whitby Abbey, suspended on the cliff top

Now, I know what you’re thinking!  ‘This lady is obsessed with cliff tops and water’.  And you wouldn’t be very far wrong.  After the cliffs at Sagres in the Algarve, and last week’s Seaham walk, it’s becoming a recurring theme.  I do try to vary my walks for you, but I can’t help being just a little biased.

This week we’re going down the North Yorkshire coast to Whitby.  Last time I took you there we went window shopping.  It’s a small town that has something for everyone, but my favourite part is unquestionably up on the cliff, looking down.  First we have to get up there.  We’ll tackle the steps pretty soon, to get them out of the way.  Your reward can be fish and chips afterwards. Agreed?

The car park is right next to the marina- a good place to start

The car park is right next to the marina- a good place to start!

And today there's a treat! The swing bridge is opening.

And today there’s a treat! The swing bridge is opening.

In all my years, I have rarely seen this sight in the bustling little port.  A crowd gathers to watch the sailboat go by, and as the gates swing shut again, a queue forms to cross over the bridge.  A delightful party of small schoolchildren with cheery blazers were being corralled by their teachers. I’d have loved a shot but they were too fidgety!  Over we go, to be met by a confusion of signs.

There is a confusion of signs! And can you see the bubbles coming out of that box?

I thought these bubbles were with the schoolchildren, but apparently not!

And then it's the steps!

Then it’s the steps!  Only 199 of them

But don't worry!  You can stop to admire the view.

But don’t worry! You can keep stopping to admire the view.

It's lovely in either direction

It’s lovely in either direction

Here's an interesting place to live!

Here’s an interesting place to live!  Next to Caedmon’s Trod

And at the top St. Mary's Church is beckoning

And at the top, St. Mary’s Church quietly waits

Whitby has been welcoming visitors for a long time.  The earliest record of a permanent settlement is 656AD, when an abbey was founded on the East Cliff by Oswy, the Christian king of Northumbria.  Viking raiders destroyed the monastery that followed, and for 200 years the site lay desolate, until after the Norman Conquest of 1066.  The area was then granted to William de Percy who, in 1078, donated land upon which was constructed a Benedictine Monastery, St. Mary’s Church and the town and port of Whitby.

The name Whitby comes from Old Norse, meaning ‘White Settlement’.  It was here, in Whitby Abbey, that the earliest recognised English poet, Caedmon, a former cowherd, lived and worked. The town has a strong literary history and famously features in Bram Stoker’s Dracula.

Set on the River Esk, Whitby has a sheltered harbour, and in the 18th century the port was a thriving centre for shipbuilding, whaling and the transport of locally mined alum and jet.  The jet became very fashionable when Queen Victoria adopted it for her mourning jewellery on the death of Prince Albert.  Whitby jet shops still feature prominently in the cobbled streets today.

The clouds are gathering, so it's time to move on

The clouds are gathering, so it’s time to move on

We pass the entrance to the Abbey ruins

Pass by the entrance to the Abbey ruins

And out on the cliff top, look back at Whitby Abbey

And out on the cliff top, look back at Whitby Abbey and the pier

Ahead of us lies Saltwell Nab

Ahead lies Saltwell Nab

And beyond that, Whitby Holiday Park, balanced precariously on the cliffs

And beyond that, Whitby Holiday Park, balanced precariously on the cliffs

At this point you can turn inland and follow a path back to the coast road, but I wanted to see more.  We are only 1 mile out of Whitby, and 5 miles further down the coast is idyllic Robin Hood’s Bay.  I continue on, along the Cleveland Way.

Whitby is still visible in the distance

Whitby is still visible in the distance

And below the bay glistens

And below, the glistening bay

While colourful Cinnebar moths  flutter at the cliff's edge

While colourful red and black Cinnebar moths explore delicious yellow cowslips

Another treat in store next- a former lighthouse and fog-horn station

Another treat awaits – a lighthouse and a fog-horn station!

‘Hornblower Lodge’ is now a holiday cottage, but was formerly a fog-horn station, fondly known as the Whitby Bull.  The original horn was switched off in 1987 but before that it worked in conjunction with Whitby High Light.  The lighthouse is only 13 metres high but is positioned on the cliff top, 73 metres above high water level, with a range of 18 nautical miles.

The lighthouse also has holiday cottages to let, details included in the link.

High light

Whitby High Light

Wouldn't you like to live here?

Wouldn’t you like to live here?  I would!

Or how about 'Hornblower Cottage'?

Or how about ‘Hornblower Cottage’?

A lane heads inland from the cottage, taking you past farmland, and soon you are back on the coastal road.  You can follow this all the way back to Whitby and visit the Abbey, if you like.  It’s well worth a visit, and there is a restaurant on site.  Or you can save the visit for another day and take the footpath to your left, just past the Holiday Park sign.  This will bring you back into Whitby, threading your way down through the houses to end up almost opposite your start point.

Heading back to Whitby

Heading back to Whitby

Down the steps through the houses

Down the steps, and past the houses

Back at your start point, at the harbourside

Till you’re back at our start point, by the harbour

These are the newest lobster pots I ever saw!

These are the newest lobster pots I have ever seen!

Speaking of lobster, I seem to remember we had an agreement?  Whitby is full of fish and chip shops but ‘Hadleys’ is a favourite of mine.  Always busy, I don’t know how the girls stay so cheerful.  You’ll find it on the corner, just over the swing bridge and before the Whitby steps.

No, I haven't forgotten!  Believe me, they are really good

A little expensive, but very good

Just one last photo, for Jill, who thinks my skies are always blue

Just one last photo, for Jill, who thinks my skies are always blue!

The downpour drove me inside the excellent Tourist Information Centre, right by the car park, but it didn’t last for long.  Or I could have gone shopping for Whitby jet.

What do you think?

What do you think?

My walk is about 6 miles in total, or the shorter version 4 and a half.  I hope you enjoyed it.  If you don’t drive, Whitby is easily accessible by rail from Middlesbrough.  This link will give you lots more information about the area, to encourage you to visit.

walking logo

I’m so lucky this week!  Meg has agreed to be my tour guide to the Wilanow Palace in Warsaw  :

http://morselsandscraps2.wordpress.com/2014/07/20/a-stroll-through-the-gardens-at-wilanow/

And she doesn’t mind a spot of rain, either  :

http://morselsandscraps2.wordpress.com/2014/07/13/walking-in-the-rain/

Drake introduced me to Svendborg in Denmark.  What a beauty!  :

http://ledrakenoir.wordpress.com/2014/07/14/an-old-port-out-to-the-world/

Please don’t miss Jude’s Logan Botanic Gardens.  You will be bedazzled!  :

http://smallbluegreenflowers.wordpress.com/2014/07/14/garden-portrait-logan-botanic-garden/

Sylvia is running out of time for her beach walks, but don’t be sad!  :

http://anotherday2paradise.wordpress.com/2014/07/15/another-nostalgic-beach-walk-for-jo/

And I got deluged at the falls with Amy- and loved it!  :

http://shareandconnect.wordpress.com/2014/07/16/jos-monday-walk-multnomah-falls/

Pauline (you know her as Pommepal) has sent me a post all the way from Canberra, down under  :

http://pommepal.wordpress.com/2014/07/20/welcome-to-cool-climate-canberra/

And I thought I’d just update you on Elaine  :

http://elainemcnulty.wordpress.com/2014/07/16/yorkshire-3-peaks-challenge-the-update/

That’s quite a lot of reading for you so you’ll need a cuppa (or two!).  I promise to find you a flat walk for next week.  If you’d like to join me, just click on the logo for details.

Six word Saturday

6ws-participating-in-banner

An old dog, and new tricks!

One of my old shots, given a new look

One of my old shots, given a new look

Superb effect, isn’t it?  I could bore everybody witless with this one but I think it’s SO clever!  You might have seen the photo on my Thursday’s Special, using the same technique?  It’s done by using a free download called Lunapic.  I think it’s absolutely amazing!

And another oldie, brought to life

And another oldie, brought to life!

The forecast is for storms this weekend so if you’re stuck at home, here’s something to play with. If I can find the time, I will too! Both photos are of Hartlepool Headland.

But first I need to visit Cate at Show My Face to play Six word Saturday.  Have a happy weekend!

6wsButton

Summer Spotlight: Johanna Bradley

Originally posted on Jill Weatherholt:

IMG_1206You know that sense of panic you have when confronted with a blank sheet of paper? Well, I’m experiencing it right now! I’m Johanna Bradley, by the way, and I run a blog called Restlessjo. The blog is my writing space, and I can kick off my shoes and feel totally comfortable in there. I hope my visitors can too.

When I tentatively suggested to Jill that I would be up for a little Friday Fun, it seemed like a good idea. Now I’m wondering whatever possessed me to mingle with so many great writers and high achievers. Maybe I’m hoping that a little inspiration will rub off on me. Words have always been my friends, but occasionally they can be the enemy too.

How did I get into blogging? For as long as I can remember, I’ve had the travel bug. I always kept a diary when I…

View original 876 more words