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" Our Pre-Christmas Grand Tour "

Date & start time:    22nd to 29th November 2016.

Location of Start :   The red phone box, Loweswater , Cumbria, Uk ( NY 143 211 )

Places visited :         Sheffield, Bytham (Stamford), Camberley, Keyworth (Notts) and home.

Holiday Details :       A grand tour of family and friends prior to Christmas. 

Highest point :          Seeing everybody.

Walked with :             Our dogs, Harry and Dylan . . . et al.

Weather :                    Good but generally poorer than the Lake District while we were away.

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After last weekend we now complete the quadruple (i.e. see the three other children) and more as we take a quick trip

"down south" to see family and friends on a pre-Christmas Grand Tour of our address book. 

Presents exchanged, meals and company enjoyed then we returned home.

An urban landscape makes an unusual start I must admit,

but we've travelled over to Sheffield to see Jenna at her flat in the city.

During our stay Jen took us out to the KoKo Japanese Restaurant on Ecclesall Road . . . hardly a knife or fork in sight.

She's at home today so while Ann stays back and chats to Jenna, my walk in the park is 'dogs only'.

Her flat is opposite the park so it can be a walk without a car journey for me.

The Grand Pavilion at the top of this lovely urban park.

Bright colours on the trees here as well as at home.
The staff are busy cutting back plants and clearing autumn leaves.


One of the nice things about formal parks

is the way they often label the flowers and the trees.


This one caught my eye

as it was different from our local oaks.



Ours are more this variety

and have a subtly different shape.


From the Woodland Trust : The sessile oak is so-named because, unlike the English, or pedunculate oak, its acorns are not carried on stalks (peduncles) but directly on the outer twigs (sessile).

The  English oak (Quercus robur) is arguably the best known and loved of British native trees. It is the most common tree species in the UK, especially in southern and central British deciduous woods.


The Sheffield Air Pollution Garden . . . indicating possible pollution not creating it hopefully !

Click here or on the picture to read a full size version of the information board.

- - - o o o - - -

We pack our bags, those that we had opened,

and said our goodbyes to Jenna

then headed south to see Angie and David.



Down at the end of the leafy driveway

we are met by Moss who is out in the back garden.

The dogs are delighted to be out and playing.

A late pick of apples sit on the table in the garden.


Harry takes advantage of the one and only dog bed

as Dylan and Moss are racing around the garden together.


I get the feeling that he's a little large for this particular model.


After lunch Angie takes us for a walk around the local woods.

The overcast nature of the day didn't stop Dylan taking to the water.

( he went in off the bank not from the bridge)

Towards the centre of the woods the colours are still good despite the recent heavy leaf-fall.

Walking through the woods . . .
. . .  enjoying the colours and the moment.

On the way back we cross the local fields where the farmer is cutting up a fallen horse chestnut tree.

- - - o o o - - -

In the evening we all met up with Sherran and Bill at The Bluebell pub restaurant in Helpston.

It was only a few weeks since we had seen them but the conversation flowed well nevertheless.

- - - o o o - - -

Next day the weather is better and we take another stroll through the woods.

" Smile Ladies "

David joined us on the walk today.

He's spotted something in the undergrowth.

Maybe it was this bright sapling . . .
. . . or was it the fine spider's webs that spanned the trees ?

. . . or was it the two deer that scurried away at the sound of out passing.

A thick floor covering of russet brown

but there's still leaves on the beech to hide the blue skies above.

As we cut round in a circle to the bottom of the woods

the deer that had run down to the lower slopes ran back up, across a clearing at speed !

" Beech Avenue "
" Down by the waterside "

The lake was constructed many years ago and survives due to that small weir.

The recent clearing and cleaning work with a JCB has now become naturalised and looks so much better.

The land owner has built a summer house next to the lake and there's scope for rowing or canoes . . . 

but summer was a while away now and it has been several months since they've been used by the look of the leaves on them.

David walking back after playing sticks with the dogs.
Dylan (and Harry) by the summer house.
The oak tree has kept its leaves and looks spectacular.
David points out a new owl box high up on a tall ash (?) tree.

Back to the house once again after a lovely sunny walk through the woods.

- - - o o o - - -

On the road now and heading south to Camberley . . .

A drive full of cars greets us at Catherine and Richard's house.

Richard is away for ten days and the boys are at school or college so Cathy has the house to herself . . . till we arrive !

. . . except for Gareth and Rhian of course, who have travelled up from Swansea for this small family get-together.

- - - o o o - - -

Dogs will be dogs . . . and they insist on making sure their owners get a walk each day.

Sometimes I think they insist on getting wet in some muddy stream each day too !

Heart throb . . . none of our doing . . . blame Kim's boyfriend.
Brown from bracken not beech.

- - - o o o - - -

Next day , a second walk found us heading down to the lakes in the grounds of Sandhurst Academy.

Harry has slowed down for the speed bumps !

Gareth and Rhian admire the horses in the paddock.

Staff College House behind, clean and dry dog on the fishing platform in front . . . not for long . . .

Dylan and Harry . . .
. . . joined by Boris and Bilbo.

Two mallard ducks paddle slowly past the winter water lilies and colourful birch.

There are some fine old trees in the woods

but do you get the feeling that

some of them may be watching you walk by ?




Have a Berry Merry Christmas.


" Autumnal Woodland Floor "

The happy couple . . . and Ann.

Boris is a great one for rushing about the woods . . .
. . . the fence stops him going too far !

Treats are on hand for those that have run around and come back when called.

A woodland meeting hut used by the army personnel.
The view across Lower Lake to the Academy.

The white and green structure is temporary seating for the Sovereigns's Christmas Passing Out parade next week.

Overcast and looking as cool as it felt.

It's them again !

The boathouse across the lake.

The two mallards have returned after their journey to the upper lake.

( They could be a different two of course . . . I forgot to ask ! )

Lovely reflections of the trees . . .
. . . still nice but something has disturbed the water !

Could have guessed !

As we won't be seeing everyone over Christmas we dined out in style in Bill's Restaurant

We passed on the "quiet booths and seating areas" preferring a larger sharing table.

- - - o o o - - -

After three nights at Cathy's there was just one more stop planned on our return trip.

We drove to Pat and Mike's at Keyworth

and with son Ian, we took a late afternoon walk around Rushcliffe Park.

This is a return trip to this open country park which has plenty of space for the dogs to run.

The third one here is now Tada, Ian's cockapoo . . . a lovely dog.

Autumnal colours of Nottinghamshire too . . .

Helped along by clear skies and a setting sun.

This is adjacent to the terminus of the Loughborough to Nottingham Heritage Railway.

From the same bridge we turn to see the last of the sunset colours before returning to their home for the night.

Tomorrow we'll have the rest of the drive home to the Lakes.

- - - o o o - - -


Technical note: Pictures taken with either Ann's new Panasonic Lumix TZ60, or my Panasonic Lumix Gx8a Compact System Camera.

Resized in Photoshop, and built up on a Dreamweaver web builder.

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Previous walk - 19th November 2016 - Paula's Family Weekend

A previous time up here - 27th November 2010 Camberley Lake Walk

Next walk - 4th December 2016 - Sunrise and Sunset Before the Rain


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