and occasionally rides a bike.
A word of warning. The walk descriptions are not detailed enough to guide you - please take a map. The batteries never run out, and you always have a signal. Oh, And don't take left or right as gospel!

Sunday, July 21, 2024

2024 May10/11 - Aurora Borealis - the Northern Lights

 An ideal place to see the display - very little light pollution.

Photos taken by Harry.


2024 May 10th - Vindolanda and Hadrian’s Wall

 Friday 10th May

Harry took a brilliant  video of bats flitting around at about 4.30 am.

Glorious day once again.

First we went to the Vindolanda site and museum, and called in at the cafe, of course.

We started from The Sill centre, heading north along the minor road until we met the Hadrian’s wall trail, and headed more or less east.

There was some steep walking and grand views as we went 
past Sycamore Gap, milecastles 39 and 38, and above Crag Lough.

At the end of the lough we followed the trail as far as
 a farm (marked Hotbank on the OS map), where we turned left, and a shortish distance afterwards we turned left again.

We were walking just south of west, parallel to our walk out, and a gentler return route to the Sill centre and car park, back at Once Brewed.  Just under 5 miles, and the first half was pretty strenuous.

We saw two hares on the way over and swallows/ martins back at the house.

Then the Northern Lights display showed up!

Saturday, July 20, 2024

2024 May 9th A day in Carrshield

 Thursday 9th May 2024

We had a relaxed day, and it was lovely and sunny - perfect for sitting around outside for coffee.

Then a short stroll along the road to the spot we have named Curlew Cleugh, where we saw and heard curlew, lapwings and oystercatchers.  

We returned for lunch, and later there were swallows and martins flying over the house, and a pair of curlews.

Sunny and warm for most of the day. 

Out to Allendale to shop for food essentials.

No cafe open so late (4.30!) though.

In the evening we had another stroll through Carrshield - we saw some bats near the house.

May 2024 - towards Carrshield, mainly driving…

 Wednesday 8th May 2024

We  managed to set off by 10.30, and wonder how the hell we are taking so much stuff!

Downtown services are quieter than we often find them. We stop for coffee at 11.15, and eat Maureen’s scones from Monday. The range of EV charging points has increased now.

The toilets are clean and for once, you don’t have to walk through rows of shops and fast food outlets to reach them. 
it is actually warm enough to hang around in the open without huddling in windproof clothing.

Onwards and northwards, and we decide to make use of our English Heritage membership to visit Brodsworth Hall, near Doncaster. We had stopped here once or twice before - the first time we ate lunch in their cafe, but didn’t explore the grounds. The second time the hall was closed and we used the car park on a very chilly damp day to eat lunch in the car. On our third attempt, earlier this year, we couldn’t access the grounds at all, so found an alternative place.

Today we ate our own lunch, and then walked around their lovely, well-tended gardens. We hadn’t realised either the extent or the beauty of them. It’s not a famous place like Chatsworth or Belton House.

High points - the bed of tulips in softish colours; the people playing croquet; The viewpoint on an artificial mound; the ‘target house for archery, with the ‘eye catcher at the end to help with target practice; and of course the sunny courtyard.

There’s also the church, but we couldn’t find a way in - nearby there was a wooded area with wild garlic and bluebells.

The woman in the cafe where we bought an ice-cream had something of a retired primary school teacher air!

We left Brodsworth just after 3pm.

The next stretch involved a congested section of the A1 - bridge repairs near Darrington.  Not quite as bad as we feared, so we simply stayed on the road and crawled along for a short time.

At almost 5pm we stopped in Barnard Castle - cue for the odd joke as ever, and after failing to get a coffee in the coffee shop, we went into a pub - quite old fashioned and male oriented, where the barman made us a decent coffee, and we chatted to a couple who were viewing a house in the area, and a little nervous about having to make a rapid decision.

The final stretch over the moors to Carrshield, where we settled in and ate the frozen stew we’d brought with us.

We had a quiet comfortable night.

May 6th 2024 Gretton to Spanhoe Lodge

Walked Monday 6th May

With Norma, Kate, Maureen and Harry - we walked to Spanhoe Lodge, after arranging to have coffee and teacakes there.

We heard a cuckoo on the way over. There were also bluebells, cowslips, dandelion clocks. 

 Returned via path through Spanhoe Wood, and Harringworth Lodge and lake,  Saw a herd of deer, and heard the cuckoo again. 7.25 miles.

Warm and dry, though slightly muggy. 

30th April 2024 - Geddington to Fox and Peony

 Out at 9.15. Drove to Geddington, where Marta suggested a local walk, to Weekley and then to the Fox and Peony cafe. 

A large field starred with cowslips. 

Walked back the usual (longer ) way through the wood to Geddington.

Just over 7 miles in all.

29th April 2024 -Cottingham and Middleton

 A four-mile meander,

with Maureen and Norma from East Carlton to Middleton and Cottingham, with a stop at Cottingham’s cafe for coffee and teacakes.