Sunday, 17 December 2017

Chopwell woods and Christmas dinner

The blogger was away doing other things so did not join the walk this time. A short stroll around Chopwell woods took place. I understand it was somewhat slippy underfoot. . There is a place outside the centre for Life if you want that sort of thing you know!

A pic from Dennis.

In the evening we dined at Petros once again and had a suitably festive time despite a few absences due to winter bugs.

Hurray to Peter & Anne for organising it.

I like to use the candid camera approach
Oh dear- sorry Mary.

Andrea was busy shining light on Frankenstein at the People's theatre but joined us for a quick drink at the end. I'm sure her dress was not that colour!

Next walk is Jan 6th, Craster- a bracing walk to start the new year. I wonder if we will get sea foam again.

Saturday, 25 November 2017


A small band of us today after winter bugs took their toll. Apologies for the quantity and  quality of  the photos- the camera was on the wrong setting (amateur!).

We arrived in a sunny but Frosty Felton. A splendid array of hats kept our heads cosy. There was a blue tint to the picture so I got rid of the colour. Don't ask me what caused the artistic effect around John's head.

The walk took us by the river Coquet for a while then past Acton Hall and Acton Dean. We investigated some derelict buildings-nothing to see here folks.

The obligatory lunch photograph

Jackson doing what dogs generally do. He did need carrying over a stile but I failed to capture that - perhaps just as well!

 No- we didn't see any

But we did see this!
It was a pleasant start in the sun but turned chilly when the clouds rolled in. Jackson was grateful for his ceremonial robes.

We finished up at the Northumberland Arms, which was very agreeable. Next walk is Chopwell on Dec 16th.

Stop press...
Some pics from John

Sunday, 22 October 2017

Slaley and annual dinner

Yesterday we repeated a walk we did 11 months ago - see Nov 19th 'Blanchland Moor in the snow'. This time it was windy and a bit wet in places but otherwise OK.

Peter suggesting we take the long way round.

Wonky horizon. I blame the wind.

Pennypie house in the background + dog (not Jackson)

That's Jackson (and Andrea). Note the view for our lunchbreak.

The rest of the pics are from Anne's phone...

Rainbow over Blanchland. It started raining soon after we made it home.

In the evening we went to Petros - the Greek/Italian place near Winlaton Mill. People enjoyed the food and had a great old time.

Saturday, 19 August 2017

Fontburn Reservoir

Our August excursion took us to the lovely Fontburn Reservoir, within sight of the Simonside hills. It was nice to have Fred back with us.

Again the weather was fine but there was an unseasonably strong wind whipping up a few waves.
Fearns. You just cant escape them at this time of year!

Anne-Marie took the camera off me and decided I should be in the blog. I do like jumpers.

This is where we stopped for lunch. Ken was more than ready, as  Andrea is pointing out.

Jackson after being offered (and accepting) various lunchbox items.

Things got quite precarious.

Whatever happened, Margaret thought it was quite funny...

Wind and Wuthering...

This looks a fairly ordinary photo but seconds later there was great drama as Mary and Fred tumbled into a hidden stream. If I was a proper photographer I would have caught the action!

It was a good but tiring walk with some rough terrain. Even Jackson was weary by the end!
We stopped off at the Highlander Inn near Ponteland on the way back and planned our next walk (16th September).

Tuesday, 8 August 2017


This month the blog is one year old!
Ten of us plus three dogs had an 'unofficial' summer walk from Ford near the border. The weather was better than these photos suggest - the photographer should have worn a hat and suffered for it afterward.

A fine view of the Till valley and the Cheviots for our picnic spot, we just had to watch out for the cow pats!

This was Willow who was our guest today- he was thrilled to see the sheep.

More canine friends.

The walk was about 5 miles there and back and we passed the Ford Moss nature reserve which is on the site of a former coal mine. Further on we came to the 'secret' waterfall Roughting Linn. This is hard to find if you do not know it and involves negotiating a path that is not user friendly!

Sorry this ones is a bit fuzzy. Ken and John trying to do themselves an injury.

There were a few neolithic rock markings to look at and we then retraced our steps (sort of) and headed off home via a teashop. The heavens opened on the way back so once again Stella Strollers had all the luck with the weather.

Monday, 10 July 2017

Saltburn part 2

A few extra pics courtesy of John & Marie.

This was a well composed shot on the Saturday walk

We had lunch at the trig point

This was the car mentioned earlier, whilst it was still dry!

One of the parishioners kindly took our photo after mass

A short breather for some on our Sunday outing

This was taken at the start ...

and finally Neptune blowing his trumpet!

The next walk is on August 12th....

Sunday, 9 July 2017

The Saltburn weekend

This year our annual weekend away was based in  the charming Victorian seaside resort of Saltburn. The weather was outstanding, the hotel excellent and a great time was had  by all.
I will try to gather some more pics and do a second post but here are my offerings for now.

After coffee and scones at the hotel we climbed upward- Saltburn pier with Teeside industry and wind turbines on the horizon.

This was a fair climb although it does not appear that way in the photo

I think that I saw St Mary's lighthouse

Did you remember your sunscreen Ken?

After we finished a circular walk we had a rest but when this pic was taken a little drama was starting to unfold. Notice the back of the grey car just to the left of the man in the green shirt (not the car with the yellow plate). This was parked on the beach. A small crowd was gathering together with some concerned coastguards because the tide was coming in with no sign of the owner. Soon the waves were splashing over the bonnet. We heard later that the driver returned and the car had to be winched away.

Terry is keeping an eye on the car situation whilst we enjoyed a drink from a good vantage point.

After mass in the Victorian church in Saltburn ( our lady of Lourdes - quite appropriate considering where some of us are off to soon) we returned to the hotel. It was the Brockley Hall hotel, a 'boutique' establishment with some interesting decor. Here was my room...

The staff were excellent and the evening meal and breakfast much to our satisfaction. Here we are awaiting the first course.

The quirky decor had the theme of jackets. At our end of the table Ken was rather taken with his cushion! Apologies for the quality- the flash would not fire!

Some of us had fine ales to help us off to sleep..

The next day after a fine breakfast we did a short walk to Skelton and found this delightful garden .

The statue is of Frank Wild who was a Skelton lad. He was the leader of the group that stayed on Elephant Island whilst Shackleton and others went in search of rescue in South Georgia.

The trip was rounded off with a walk along Saltburn pier with these wonderful knitted sea creatures displayed along much of the pier by anonymous knitters.

And that was our weekend away. The weather was so much better than our previous weekends so the choice of a seaside location was perfect. Personally I cannot wait till next year. Well done Andrea/John for an unforgettable weekend. If only Jackson could have come!