Watergate Forest Park ~ October 2022

Sophie and I had our last outing for a while at the end of October, and we went to visit a park in Gateshead to see some Autumn colour, hopefully at least.

The Watergate Colliery pictured at the top there, started out in the 1800’s, and was finally shutdown in 1917. Unlike Washington, which as we saw last week got it’s own museum, Watergate was left alone until reclamation work began in the 1990’s, and the site was transformed into a recreational park having a series of trails and paths that take you through woodland, around the lake and through wildflower meadows.

It was a bit chilly, but still a nice day with some sunshine now and again, and we did get some autumn colours. I had my Fuji and my contax with me but have yet to finish the roll on that, so here are the few I took with the Fuji.

Details of a memorial to the miners.
a deer on the edge of the forest
Sunshine and doomcloud!
“Dancing of the autumn leaves on a surface of a lake is a dream we see when we are awake.” Mehmet Murat Ildan
“There is a harmony in autumn, and a luster in its sky, which through the summer is not heard or seen, as if it could not be, as if it had not been.” Percy Bysshe Shelly
“Autumn mornings: sunshine and crisp air, birds and calmness, year’s end and day’s beginnings.” Terri Guillemets

Be like a duck. Calm on the surface, but always paddling like the dickens underneath. Michael Caine

“Look with open eyes, and you will see the beauty of the waterfall.” Anthony Hincks
How beautifully leaves grow old. How full of light and color are their last days. – John Burroughs

So there we are. Not sure if Autumn has gone and Winter arrived yet, I can’t tell because of all the bliddy rain we’re having, and the forecast is for 2 weeks of it!

Stay tooned dear reader!

📷 😊

Richmond ~ August 2013 ~ part 2

Following on from seeing Richmond Castle in Part 1, Sophie and I went into the market place

The market place from the top of the Castle keep.

The church in the market place is the former Holy Trinity church. The tower is 14th century, and was originally detached from the nave, but they are now linked by a more modern, possibly Victorian block. At the east end shops and houses are built against it. Since 1938 it has been home to the Green Howards Regimental museum, tracing the history of that regiment, which was inaugurated back in 1688. As well as other stuff it houses 3700 medals awarded to members of the regiment and includes 16 Victoria Crosses.

Green Howards Museum/Holy Trinity Church

The obelisk you can see in the centre of the market place was put up in 1788 to replace a medieval market cross. Would rather they hadn’t but the 17th & 18th centuries marked Richmond’s Hey-Day and new elegant Georgian housing and buildings replaced many of the older medieval buildings. Argh!

reflection of the obelisk in the Golden Lion’s window.

We visited the 18th century Millgate House, a building on the south side of the market place known for it’s beautiful garden arranged in terraces below the house.

We also had a look inside the Market Hall, which was open 7 days a week.

Market Hall

And then it was such a nice day we went to see the River Swale waterfalls, which would have been more beautiful without the stupid boys.

A herd of numpties

Not everyone jumped in.

After this we went to visit Easby Abbey so we’ll have a trip there next week! Stay tooned folks!

Watersmeet & The River Tyne

Any Geordie native will tell you he/she has the waters of the River Tyne running through their bloodstream, and I think it’s conceivable that after 15 years of drinking the tap water up her, that I have too. The Tyne has been romanticised in many a song, who can forget Jimmy Nail & Big River, or Lindisfarne’s Fog on the Tyne, or the beautiful Sailing to Philadelphia by Mark Knopfler and James Taylor. It’s even mentioned in a song by the country singer Gretchen Peters, in her song England Blues.

When I first moved up here 15 years ago, I lived just over the road from it and it was part of my daily existence.  I loved walking by it, camera in hand and fell in love with it as much as any regular Geordie.  I started travelling the North East for work, and one day, on my way back from Haydon Bridge where I had a clinic, I looked at the sat-nav and saw a blue line running by the side of the road line, South Tyne it was labelled.  I googled it when I got home and discovered there was a North Tyne and a South Tyne, and they converged at a point near a village called Warden.  I determined one day to see if I could find where they met, but time/work/life and all that never lent itself to the task.

So back in May, after Sophie and I had finished in Haydon Church, we decided to go and look for the convergence on our way home. We followed a little road off the A69 that looked like a dead-end on the Nav, and we were pleasantly surprised to find it’s a ‘proper’ area, with walks and wildlife information.

There’s an old railway bridge to go under to get to the river.

Going under towards the rivers

Back the other way.

There was wild garlic everywhere, (no bluebells though!)

No vampires here.

The South Tyne rises on Alston Moor in Cumbria, 1000ft above sea level, and flows down through Haltwhistle and Haydon Bridge in a valley known as the Tyne Gap, whereas the North Tyne rises on the Scottish Border north of Keilder Water.  It flows through Keilder Forest and winds in and out of the border, then passes through the village of Bellingham where you can take a walk to see the beautiful Hareshaw Linn waterfall.

Hareshaw Linn

The combined Tyne flows from the convergence point at Warden Rock, which is an area where barbel (some sort of fish thing) were introduced in the 80’s and are now thriving in the Tyne. It then flows on to Corbridge then out of Northumberland and into Tyne & Wear where it divides Gateshead and Newcastle for 13 miles, in the course of which it is spanned by 10 bridges.  On it goes eastwards dividing Hebburn and Jarrow on the South  bank, Wallsend and Walker on the North, finally flowing between Tynemouth and South Shields and into the North Sea.

Due to the surrounding coalfields in the North East  the Tyne was a major route for the export of coal from the 13th century until the decline of the coal mining industry in the second half of the 20th century. There is still evidence of that history, especially with the dramatic wooden staithes (a structure for loading coal onto ships) at Dunston, built in 1890, having been preserved.

Dunston Staiths

The Port of Tyne still imports coal, and other goods, as well as operating a daily service between the Port of Tyne International Passenger Terminal at North Shields and Ijmuiden, near Amsterdam since 1995. The lower reaches of the Tyne were, in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, one of the world’s most important centres of shipbuilding, and there are still shipyards in South Shields and Hebburn to the south of the river.

At 73 miles long, there’s plenty to see and photograph, some of which you can see on a previous post HERE.

A couple of interesting facts about the Tyne,

The River Tyne started to cut its course about 30 million years ago. The land mass of Britain was rising from the sea, in which chalk rocks had been laid down during the previous Cretaceous period, providing the eastward-tilting ‘proto-landscape’ upon which the River Tyne began to carve its valley, entirely removing the softer cover of chalk rocks.

Nothing definite is known of the origin of the designation Tyne, nor is the river known by that name until the Saxon period: Tynemouth is recorded in Anglo-Saxon as Tinanmuðe.

So here is the convergence, to the left, the South Tyne, and to the right, The North.

Waters Meet

and that’s the end of that day out! Stay tooned for our next outing, to Raby Castle, and The Bowes Museum!

The Fraggle report ~waterfall edition

I’ve been going through my archives again, and have pulled together all the waterfalls I’ve shot, I never had a ND filter so don’t always get the floaty milky effect that seems to be the in thing, but sometimes I’ve managed it with a long exposure in low light. I actually like water looking like water and seeing the force of it sometimes.


High Force waterfall is on the River Tees in Teasdale, County Durham. The whole of the River Tees plunges over a precipice (cliff edge which is almost vertical) in two stages. In former times flooding created two separate falls, but after the completion of Cow Green Reservoir in the upper Teesdale this seldom happens now. 😦 It was thought to be the highest in England at 71ft (22m) but that’s not the case, there are higher ones in Cumbria & North Yorkshire. It is pretty impressive though. It’s easy to get to as there’s a path down to it from a carpark off the main road, though you have to pay a couple of quid to get there.

Low Force in Winter
Low Force in Winter

Low Force
Low Force

Low Force is about 1 mile down stream of High Force, and at only 18ft not too high, but it’s good enough for kayakers to train on..

Kayaks on Low Force
Kayaks on Low Force


Waterfalls don’t always have to be big and impressive, I like the little ones too, this one on the River Aln in Northumberland was cute

Baby waterfall
Baby waterfall

Also in Northumberland, and not as easy to get to is Hareshaw Linn waterfall. It’s a 3 mile hike from the village of Bellingham, following the stream known as Hareshaw Burn, along the way you see  mini waterfalls..





Hareshaw Burn
Hareshaw Burn

and then you get to the main event..

Hareshaw Linn
Hareshaw Linn

And then you have to trog all the way back!

Richmond in Yorkshire on the River Swale, has a not so high, but really wide waterfall, and in summer, silly boys jump into it.

Richmond & silly boys
Richmond & silly boys

Silly boy leaping
Silly boy leaping

well at least there was eye candy 😉 and it did look refreshing!

When I went to America though, Kathy & Dave took us some places and we had a whole different league of waterfalls.

Rochester High Falls

This might not be the prettiest waterfall I ever saw but its a mighty beast. Part of the Genesee river where it flows through Rochester, it’s a working fall,  and was used to feed various flour mills and industries, today the water is used to produce hydroelectric power.

We visited Watkins Glen State Park in New York State and it is full of eye popping scenery. Lots of waterfalls in deep gorges

USA 2-3

USA 2-11

USA 2-12


USA 2-17

Watkins Glen entrance
Watkins Glen entrance

that was one of our favourite days out and places to visit, beautiful.

And then Kath & Dave took us over the border to Canada, to see the Daddy of them all…

Niagara Falls
Niagara Rainbow ~ Canadian Falls

Niagara Rainbow
Niagara Rainbow ~ American Falls

Located on the Niagara River, which drains Lake Erie into Lake Ontario, the combined falls form the highest flow rate of any waterfall in the world, with a vertical drop of more than 165 feet (50 m). Horseshoe Falls is the most powerful waterfall in North America, as measured by vertical height and also by flow rate. The falls are located 17 miles (27 km) north-northwest of Buffalo, New York and 75 miles (121 km) south-southeast of Toronto, between the twin cities of Niagara Falls Ontario, and Niagara Falls, New York.

Niagara Falls were formed when glaciers receded at the end of the last ice age, and water from the newly formed Great Lakes carved a path through the Niagara Escarpment en route to the Atlantic Ocean. While not exceptionally high, the Niagara Falls are very wide. More than six million cubic feet (168,000 m3) of water falls over the crest line every minute in high flow and almost four million cubic feet (110,000 m3) on average.

The Niagara Falls are renowned both for their beauty and as a valuable source of hydroelectric power. Managing the balance between recreational, commercial, and industrial uses has been a challenge for the stewards of the falls since the 19th century. (wiki)

Golden Horseshoe
Golden Horseshoe ~ Canadian Falls


Niagara Party lights
Niagara Party lights ~ American Falls

I am so glad I have seen Niagara Falls in my life, just an amazing experience to see and hear it. Will never forget standing right there and taking the shots.

laters gaters