Jo’s Monday walk : Rievaulx Abbey

Gazing heavenwards at Rievaulx Abbey

Gazing heavenward at Rievaulx Abbey, North Yorkshire

It was quite hard to decide which walk to take you on this week.  The weather’s been so unseasonably kind and I’ve been out and about a lot.  I will be missing next Monday and I wanted to leave you with some beautiful images.  It’s probably hard to find anywhere more beautiful than Rievaulx Abbey in North Yorkshire.

Spring was just beginning to tap on my door, and the Abbey was newly opened for the season when I made my visit- the first in many years!  I had quite forgotten the majesty of the place.  In the silence, I could almost hear the monks at prayer.

Approaching the abbey

Approaching the Abbey

I hate to mention it, but that's a nice-looking bench

I hate to mention it, but that’s a well-situated bench

I just know you want a close up!

I just know you want a close up!

Founded in 1132, Rievaulx Abbey was the first Cistercian abbey to be built in the north of England.  Situated just 3 miles from the village of Helmsley, in the North York Moors National Park, still it feels remarkably remote.  The location, sheltered by hills in the valley of the River Rye, was ideal for the Cistercians, who valued a strict life of prayer and self sufficiency with little contact with the outside world.

Looking through into the Infirmary Cloister

Looking through into the Infirmary Cloister

An exquisitely shaped doorway

An exquisitely shaped doorway

The Cloister Green, seen through the Arcade

The Cloister Green, seen through the Arcade

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In order to have enough flat land to build on, the monks diverted part of the river several metres west of its original channel.  It astounded me to find that during the 12th century, they diverted the course of the river three times.  Such was the ingenuity of the monks, who over time built up a profitable business mining lead and iron ore.  They reared sheep and sold the wool throughout Europe.  Rievaulx grew to be one of the wealthiest abbeys in England.  With 140 monks and many more lay brothers, it was a far cry from its devout beginnings.  By the 15th century the strict observance of Cistercian practises had been abandoned in favour of a more comfortable lifestyle.

The South Trancept

The South Transept

Henry VIII was, of course, delighted to take advantage of this prosperity when he dissolved the abbey in 1538.  The 72 buildings alleged to have been in existence at that time were stripped of their assets and rendered uninhabitable. Today the still substantial abbey ruins are in the care of English Heritage.  High on the hillside overlooking them sit two Grecian-style temples.  These were added in the 1750s by Thomas Duncombe, and are now in the care of the National Trust. Just a glimpse is visible on my walk.

You might well want to linger in the Visitor Centre, which has a pleasant cafe (with good cake!) looking out on the ruins.  Picnic tables will make this a popular spot in Summer.  It’s much too early to return to the car so I’d like you to accompany me on a circular walk, along the river to Bow Bridge.  A website I have used before Where 2 walk will provide you with a little map, but the 2 and a half mile route is quite straightforward.  We can eat when we get back- I promise!

Walk towards Rievaulx village to a signpost on your left

Walk towards Rievaulx village to a signpost on your left

Here it is!

Here it is!

The river is down to your left

The river is down to your left

And Bow Bridge is not too far ahead

And Bow Bridge is not too far ahead

Follow the tidy hedge and here we are

Follow the tidy hedge and here we are

Cross over the bridge and take the footpath to your left and you will initially be following the opposite bank of the River Rye.  A signpost saying ‘Ashberry’ points the way across a field, and the path begins on a gentle incline.

A handsome bare branched tree

Past a handsome bare-branched tree

The path climbs a little steeply for a short stretch and, through the trees, you can just make out the outline of the Abbey down below.  As we start to descend, a bench catches my eye.

Looking back, above the trees, you can just make out a Rievaulx Temple

Looking back, above the trees, you can just make out one of the Rievaulx Temples

One more bridge, a pretty riverside garden and, around a bend in the road, the Abbey.  The cafe’s in sight.  I feel a need for Yorkshire curd tart.  I did promise, didn’t I?

The English Heritage website will give you full details of opening times for the Abbey and how to get there.  Rievaulx is a charming village too, but very steep!

You might already have guessed that I’m linking this walk to Jude’s Bench challenge. This month’s theme is ‘a bench with a view’ and I think that I found a few.  Sorry, Jude, but I don’t have time for a separate post because on Wednesday I’m off to the Algarve.

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I won’t have a Monday walk for you next week, but please feel free to share your walks.  I will include them on 20th April, when I hope to be posting about the wild daffodils in Farndale, planted originally by monks.  Details of how to join in are on my Jo’s Monday walk page.

After that, I’m off to Poland again, with Dad, but that’ll be another story (and a whole lot more photos!)  Surely time to get that kettle on and enjoy these posts!  Many thanks to all my wonderful contributors.

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I didn’t manage to do this on my Paris trip so many thanks, Debbie :

A stroll around Montparnasse

A little bit of Spring magic with Gilly next :

The Chalice Well Garden in Glastonbury

Amy takes us to a perfectly manicured park (and there’s Easter eggs!)

Monday Walk

Drake tickled my fancy with boats.  Knows the way to my heart, that one!

Idyllic Harbor Blues

Back to old Holborn haunts, with Geoff :

My kinda town

I have a new word for Spring.  Frivolicious!  :)  Thanks, Jesh!

April Frivolicious

Urban planning seems to be an issue at Violet Sky’s :

Street Signs- Old 

But beauty abounds at Paula’s place!

A scene from Hyde Park

I refuse to take a walk with an alligator for anybody- even Yvette!

Windows and Doors in RVA

We’ll end with Tobias’ interesting outlook on Hamburg  :

2/3 Faces of Hamburg

Don’t forget- I won’t be here next Monday!  Hope to see you on 20th April.  Meantime, lots and lots of happy walking! (and please take some bench shots for Jude)

 

Six word Saturday

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 Come  with me, to the caves?

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Sometimes it’s hard to stay away from the sea.  The weather these past few days has been incredible and, as always, I was drawn like a magnet.  In Panorama I mentioned the caves shaped by the motion of the waves on our north east coast.  Today I thought I’d take you down there.

Beautiful, isn't it?

Beautiful, isn’t it?

It's a strange landscape

It’s a strange landscape, legacy of a mining past

A scramble across the rocks and we're there

A scramble across the rocks and we’re there

At high tide the caves are cut off

At high tide the caves are cut off

As the tide creeps in

As the tide creeps in

Viewed from outside they're less intimidating

Viewed from outside they’re less intimidating

Especially the 'wedding arch'!

Especially the ‘wedding arch’!

I don’t think it’s a place I would loiter on my own.  At each visit the shapes have changed a little and there is new evidence of erosion.  Just time to show you a few of the rocks in detail.  Their colours fascinate- burned by the mines and bruised by the sea!

An endless array of haggard beauty

An endless array of haggard beauty

Or a lunar playground

Or a lunar playground

They speak for themselves, don't they?

They speak for themselves, don’t they?

I hope I haven’t tried your patience this morning?  I do tend to get carried away with the camera.

You’ll be delighted to know that you can have a little rest from me next Saturday.  I’ll be in the Algarve, but I’ll try not to bring back too many photos!  Have a wonderful week ahead and please don’t forget to visit Cate at Show My Face with your six words.

See you on Monday, if you fancy a walk.

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Panorama

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Just yesterday I looked at Paula’s Scheduled Challenges and thought, ‘I don’t have anything panoramic’.  Funny how life sometimes supplies what you need without even being asked.

The day dawned bright, beautiful and empty of plans.  A phone call later and I had walking company.  The coastline north of me is rugged, former mining territory.  The magnesium limestone rocks are steadily eroding and at low tide you can enter the resulting caves.  The shore is littered with reminders of the past, washed and washed beyond recognition.

Washed clear to the horizon

Washed clear to the horizon

Save for a gentleman and his dog

Save for a gentleman and his dog

From the confines of the caves

From within the confines of the caves

The rich colours of the stones beckon

The richly coloured stones beckon

Strewing the beach as far as the eye can see

Strewing the beach as far as the eye can see

Rough and ready jewels

Rough and ready jewels

Rinsed by the sea

Rinsed clean by the sea

It seems I had a ready made panorama all along!  Perhaps I’ll take you inside the caves next time. Now to see what kind of Panorama Paula has in store.  Whatever it is, I know it will be beautiful.

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Jo’s Monday walk : Regent’s Canal

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You might remember that last week I left Judith from London Walks standing beside Hampstead Road Lock.  We were about to plunge into the cornucopia of wonder and excitement that is Camden Market.  Why don’t you come with us?

Judith in the midst of the market

Judith in the midst of the market

It's all about the stables!

It’s all about the stables!

One of the things that I hadn’t been aware of on my previous visits to Camden Market was the existence of The Stables.  Possibly because I am more drawn to the canal than to market stalls.

Before the advent of the motor car, all of London relied on horse drawn carriages for transport.  A huge number of stables were required to house these horses.  Many were associated with the canal trade, and The Stables Market is located in Pickford’s, the hauliers, former stables and the Grade II listed Horse Hospital.  The latter served sick and injured horses which pulled the distribution vans and barges.  The scale of the enterprise can be seen in this excerpt from Camden Railway Heritage Trust.

Today the vaulted arches have been transformed into a number of chic sales units and some of the former stalls are now a party venue.  The power of the bronze horse sculptures dominate the market in a way that is hard to capture. Despite the crowds that regularly throng the area and the numerous fast food outlets, I would urge you to seek them out if you’re in the area.

One of many proud horse sculptures

One of many proud horse sculptures

The Stables Market

The Stables Market

A moving tableau of horses

A moving tableau of horses

I could have stayed taking photos in The Stables Market all day, but the tour was coming swiftly to an end.  I just had time to snatch a last couple of shots.

When I reluctantly left Judith, I hoped to catch the Waterbus for the next stage of my journey, to Little Venice.  At 1pm the food stalls were all heaving and as I shrugged my way through them, I realised that the crew of the Waterbus had also declared lunch hour.  But the sun was still on my shoulder, and the lure of the towpath simply too strong.

Time to escape the crowds

Time to escape the crowds

A spot of lunch might be nice!

A spot of lunch might be nice!

The Feng Shang Floating Chinese Restaurant did look very appealing, but I hadn’t the time.  I did find a very nice empty bench, though, in prime position to admire it.  I rested my tired back and snacked on some fruit as I looked at my canal guide to check what lay ahead.  Not far along the towpath I could see one of the aviaries of Regent’s Park Zoo.

Regent Park's Zoo

Regent Park’s Zoo

I joined the spectators admiring the antics of the birds, and wondered if perhaps I might make time for a look into Regent’s Park.  It’s many years since I’ve been there but, regretfully, I let it go.  How was I to know that Debbie would take me there this week?  For now, I was approaching Lord’s Cricket Ground and the prime real estate of St. John’s Wood and Maida Vale.

Time to choose a mansion?

The wintry trees reflected in the canal

Time to choose a mansion?

Time to choose a mansion?

Even upside down they look good!

Even upside down they look good!

A bench with a view, Jude?

A bench with a view, Jude?

At this point I have to leave the canal temporarily while it burrows through Maida Hill Tunnel. The way ahead is not immediately obvious, but by dint of a couple of roadside maps and checking with passers by, I manage to rejoin it. I’m now just a short distance from my final destination.

Soon I'm back among the boats

Soon, I’m back among the boats

Life on a canal wouldn't be so bad!

Life on a canal wouldn’t be so bad, would it?

One last bridge to pass beneath

One last bridge to pass beneath

The sight I have been waiting for

The sight I have been waiting for, Little Venice

Little Venice is a triangular stretch of water, also known as Browning’s Pool, after the Victorian poet Robert Browning, who lived near by.   It marks the junction of Regent’s Canal with the Paddington arm of the Grand Union Canal.  I am delighted to spot the Waterside Cafe nestled at the canal side and even happier to treat myself to an unexpected pastel de nata with my coffee. The Portuguese custard tart was the last thing I expected to find on an English canal.

Satisfied, I cross over the bridge and look wistfully at the stretch of canal lying ahead of me.  My time has run out and I know that I must leave the Puppet Theatre and the floating art gallery for another visit.  But today I have conquered 5 miles of London’s watery world, and enjoyed having Judith broaden my knowledge of Camden Town.

A last look at the sun dappled water

A last look at the sun-dappled water

Doesn't it look wonderfully peaceful?

Doesn’t it look wonderfully peaceful?

If you were with me for To Camden and beyond last week, you’ll know that I’ve been watching ‘Great Canal Journeys’, with Timothy West and Prunella Scales.  The series ended last night, with the Lothian Canal in Scotland. I’m not so very far from the Scottish Borders and I’m now determined to see the Falkirk Wheel and the Kelpies for myself.  If you missed this excellent series you can still find it on YouTube.

You’ll probably find me, walking somewhere, next week.  Please do join me, if you can.

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Our Easter weather’s been pretty good for getting out and about, so I’m hoping you’ll have lots of walks to share with me this week.  Details of how to join in are on my Jo’s Monday walk page or simply click on the logo above.  Time to settle in with a cuppa and enjoy my shares this week. Many thanks to all of you!

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What could be a better accompaniment to this week’s walk?  Perfect timing, Debbie!

Take a Walk in Regent’s Park

The loveliest Robin photo I’ve seen in a while.  Thanks, Drake!  A bird friend?

Out of Nowhere

Lots more street art from Geoff!  Do you have a favourite?

Dulwich Street Art- part 3 

Also featured on last night’s ‘Great Canal Journeys’ was the Antonine Wall.  Many thanks, Anabel! I’d never heard of it before :

The Antonine Wall

Tobias’ offering this week is full of the gravitas of Good Friday  :

Festung Ehrenbreitstein 

And lastly, it’s my very great pleasure to share the amazing graphics of an old friend.  Please welcome Jake!

Roald Dahl

That’s it for this week!  I hope you’ve had a great Easter break and I hope to catch up with you all soon.

Six word Saturday

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Will you be having an

EGGSTRAVAGANZA?

Egg treeMy Easter is fairly quiet, with a few familiar and loved items around me.  Mam always used to make paste eggs and for many years I followed suit.  These days I don’t have anyone to play “jarpies” with me, or hunt for Easter eggs, but I did have a lovely celebration with my lady friends on Maundy Thursday.  Before we met up I had a browse around Newcastle, and couldn’t help but notice that Easter has gotten a whole lot fancier these days.

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See what I mean?

Even Shrek's in on the act!

Even Shrek’s in on the act!

Me, I’m happy with a few flowers, the painted eggs I brought back from Poland a few years ago, and a soap duck and chick bought for me by my late Aunt Anna in Kraków’s Rynek Główny.

Lace

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Framed

And on the mantlepiece, a floppy bunny (with eggs hidden inside- thanks, Kath!) and a few cards.

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How does Easter look in your home?  Wishing you peace and joy, and a happy heart.

It’s Saturday so it’s time to share your six words with Cate at Show My Face.  I hope you have a lovely weekend, and I’ll see you on Monday for my walk.

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Reflections

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Reflections for me almost always mean water.  I have lots of examples, but I don’t like to be too predictable.  This week the opportunity came along to play with a different kind of reflection.

On Saturday mornings I usually go to zumba.  I arrived this week to find the floor littered with feathers.  The cause? A Burlesque Night in aid of our local Macmillan nurses.  Jaki, our teacher, regularly fund raises for the hospice and has completed the Great North Run marathon on their behalf for the past several years.  She has an enormous sense of fun and, in the corners of the room, distortion mirrors beamed back at us.  It was quite hard to focus on zumba!

A mirror and a boa, and the reflected blinds

A mirror, a feather boa, and the reflected blinds

Of course, I have to protect the innocent so my shots can’t be too revealing.

Unlike some, Sadie, Jaki’s beloved poodle, doesn’t have any problems being caught on camera.

Putting on the style!

Putting on the style!

Isn’t she a scene stealer?  You can say hi to Jaki and the girls on Centre Yoga’s Facebook page.

Now it’s time for me to go and see what’s special with Paula this Thursday.  The theme is Reflection if you want to join in.  Paula’s duck looks very pensive.

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Jo’s Monday walk : to Camden and beyond!

Isn't this a heart warming sight?

Isn’t this a heart warming sight?

I don’t know if any of you have been watching ‘Great Canal Journeys’, presented by Timothy West and Prunella Scales?  I have a real fondness for this couple and the way in which they are dealing with advancing years and health issues.  For me, they are fulfilling a dream that I’ve always had, to take to a boat and putter away my days.  As near as I’ve come is the towpath so far, unless you count a long ago week in a narrowboat in a permanent mooring at Reading!

It was pure coincidence that last week’s episode featured Regent’s Canal, because that is precisely where I had planned on taking you.  Sadly for all of us, we’re on foot!  Still, as a bonus we can pick up a book before we start, and keep a lookout for a sunny bench.  I begin my journey along the canal behind King’s Cross railway station. With time to spare you could pop into the London Canal Museum, but I need to be in Camden Town by 11.00, so it’s best foot forward.

Goodbye bookshop!  Nice meeting you.

Goodbye bookshop! Nice meeting you.

The boardwalk looks brand new!

The boardwalk looks brand new!

Apparently this gas tower is a listed building

Apparently this gas tower is a listed building

There'd been a spot of overnight rain

There’d been a spot of overnight rain

Super smart canalside living

Super smart canalside living

But no escaping graffiti!

But there’s no escaping graffiti!

More desirable housing

More desirable housing

Lots of it!

Lots of it!

I'd love to do this!

I’d love to do this!

Approaching my first destination

Approaching my first destination

Camden Lock

Camden Lock

I think I’ll have to split this walk into two halves.  My eventual destination along the towpath is Little Venice, but in Camden Town I take a small detour to join Judith from London Walks.

A guided tour of ‘Old Camden Town’ sounded irresistible to me, and so it proved.  Judith, a local artist with a twinkle in her eye, regaled us with stories of characters as diverse as Dickens, Amy Winehouse, George Bernard Shaw and Dylan Thomas.  Better yet, she showed me a London that, in all my years of first living there and then return visits to the capital, I had never managed to find for myself.  Now that’s what I call a good walk leader!  If given the opportunity, do join her. You won’t regret it.

There can be few high streets that look like this!

There can be very few high streets that look like this!

I’ve been to Camden Town several times and it’s a favourite of my daughter.  The mix of quirky shops, outrageous clothing and sparkly things is a magnet to her magpie nature.  It was just 11.00 when I arrived and anxiously scanned the High St., looking for Judith in the Saturday morning swell.  As promised, she was outside the Metro Station entrance, cheerfully rounding up her flock.  Introductions made, we were off at a brisk pace, on our 2 hour Camden tour.

The Town Crier seemed perfectly happy to chat

The Town Crier seemed perfectly happy to chat

Click on any photo to view gallery

We head back towards the canal and cross over Hampstead Road Lock- arguably the most picturesque lock on the canal- about to delve into Camden Market.

Hampstead Road Lock

Hampstead Road Lock

Judith, recounting a little history to the group

Judith, recounting a little history to the group

And I think that is a good place to leave her.  I hope that you’ll come back next week, when we’ll explore the incredible Stables, and I’ll continue on along the Regent’s Canal.

Many thanks to Jude for reminding me about ‘Take a walk in the park day’, which just happens to be today.  I’ve linked back to Ailsa’s Outdoors.  What could be more outdoors than the canals?

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Time to look at my contributors and to say a big thank you for their kindness in joining me. Details of how to join in are on my Jo’s Monday walks page, or simply click on the logo above.  All you need right now are a cuppa and a comfy seat.

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Debbie first this week!  A boardwalk and boats are just my style.  Thanks, Debs!

Walking the boardwalk at Wicken Fen

Geoff is staying with the Street Art, which seems highly popular at the moment  :

Dulwich Street Art- part two

Amy has some more of her beautiful captures, and guess what?  It’s Spring!

Monday walk : Spring is here…

Gilly has us wandering on the Exe Trail.  The dogs needed a gentle stroll  :

Strolling Route 2

Can you find a dog on Meg’s post this week?

Eurobodalla beaches : Yabbara Beach

Meanwhile, Esther has a tempting proposition?

Walk on Mars

And Anabel has some wonderful tapestry for us to look at  :

New Lanark and the Falls of Clyde

Drake gives us a glimpse of summer time in Denmark.  It’s beautiful!

Walkabout last Summer

Next a delightful surprise from Cloud of Lace in Lebanon.  Byblos is almost as beautiful as her blog.  Please go and say ‘hi!’ to Hiba.

Walking around in Byblos

Tobias uses light and shade brilliantly.  Take a look!

A Walk in Berlin 

Hooray!!!  Jude’s back!  I know you’ll have missed her walks.  I did!

Take a Walk in the Park Day

It will be Easter Monday next week.  I’ll still be hosting my walk, and if the weather cooperates I’m hoping lots of you will be out there walking too.  Whatever happens, I wish you all a very happy Easter holiday.

Ephemeral

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Something I always struggle to capture but can spend endless hours watching!  Sea spray flying through the air. That’s ephemeral for me.

In response to The Daily Post’s weekly photo challenge: “Ephemeral.”

Six word Saturday

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I went looking for reflections, but…

I didn't find many

I didn’t find many

I did find lots of boats

But I did find lots of boats

And you know I like a boat or two

And you know I like a boat or two

This wasn't quite the reflection I had in mind

This wasn’t quite the reflection I had in mind

Isn't it looking pretty today?

Isn’t it looking pretty today?

Just a whisper of reflection

Found a whisper of a reflection

Light patterns play in the water

And the sun playing in the water

The Black Diamond training ship

And around the Black Diamond training ship

Hooray!  A cloud reflected in the window

Hooray! A cloud reflected in the window

The inner harbour is flat calm

Flat calm- fluffy clouds in the inner harbour

At last!  A full on reflection

At last! A full on reflection

Next week’s Thursday’s Special has the theme ‘reflections’.  On a clear bright day this week I thought I’d get ahead of the game.  But there was just enough wind to ripple the water and make my task that little bit harder.  No matter!  I enjoyed playing anyway.

I won’t be going anywhere near Hartlepool marina this weekend.  It’s grey and wet!   Maybe we’re saving the sunshine for next weekend’s long Easter Break.  Wherever you are I hope you have a happy weekend.   And don’t forget to visit Cate at Show My Face to play Six word Saturday.

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Multitude

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It seems to me that nature has a host of them up her sleeve.  Let’s tumble in, shall we?

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Get creative Paula said.  I wasn’t very creative.  I just surrounded myself with a Multitude of flowers.  How will you express “multitude”?

If you’re looking for something Special, just click on the icon below.

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