Thursday Evening in the Close

Cathedral Close, Exeter after a light meal at Cote, my current favourite brasserie. We crossed towards the cathedral, just because, and had a peep at this view.


Then turned along the green.

cl2The lovely building on the left is Mols Coffee House, dated 1596.

cl3We were heading back to the car, but I lingered long enough for some pics in the early evening light.

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Then over the cobbles and away home.

cl7With the Royal Clarence Hotel, supposedly the oldest hotel in England, in the background.

Gentle Urban Art

Paula has a weekly challenge where she invites us to post an image on a different them each week and I’m joining in for the first time. I’ve been lurking for a few weeks but this time I couldn’t resist as I love street art.

This is a bit different, subtle instead of bold, it’s subdued colours portray a time when Topsham was a busy fishing port.


Paula can be found here if you’d like to join in.

In Blue Jay Way

Stands a unusual tribute

bluejay way

to George Harrison.Yes, it really is a wheelie in. Last year two guys campaigned for a little lane close to their home to be named, Blue Jay Way, after the George’s song. As well as the bin, they had a street sign made, and they’ve put pots of plants to cheer the area up.

The bin may be a mundane object, but I saw the beauty and thought I’d post for Phototrablogger’s Mundane Monday

Weekly Photo Challenge: Seasons

The word “seasons” can also describe a period or phase of your life. If this context resonates with you, share an image that expresses the seasonality of life itself or the present season of your life.

This is Jen’s prompt for the weekly photo challenge over at the Daily Post. Everything I see outside my window is grey, and dank. Maybe this weekend there’ll be some sunshine. Meanwhile on Tuesday I went out for supper straight from work. Lots of you know that in summer, I often head to the coast after work for fish and chops and Pimms, I’m really looking forward for that season to begin.
This week was supper in town, in a lovely restaurant,
What can we see through the window, maybe a closer look.
The Cathedral looking beautiful at dusk.
The restaurant was nice, I wondered what it was like in the Christmas season.
After delicious food, we wandered up through Catherine Street, where the ruined chapel is lit up in the gloom.

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We walked along Egypt Lane, past this colour changing window gap.
and a whole row of restaurants, with lots of outside seating, but it’s not the season for al fresco dining is it now?

Walking the Goat to the Bowling Green

Today I took the dogs for a favourite walk at Topsham, one of those places I never tire of, if you keep your eyes open there’s always something to see.

We started off by checking Vigilant’s progress, you may remember her?It’s a slow and expensive process but she’s looking healthier. 1420114202

We headed off down the Strand, a pretty street with the river to the right and houses of all shapes and sizes, some with a Dutch influence, to the left.

Some have gardens across the road that lead to the river, I love having a sneaky peep.
They can even grow Housetrees here!
The tide was right out today so the old girls and I scrambled down the steps at,
where Daisy just couldn’t resist the mud.
I pootled with Dido to see what we could find,

Stood on my toes to see into a garden,
where the sculpture seemed to mirror the pudding bushes – but I couldn’t photograph them because the wall was too high. So we walked on to the end of the road,

where the Goat Walk begins. There are benches all the way along, but the sun was hiding under the clouds so we didn’t linger today, except to listen to a young boy telling his little sister about the solar system and illustrating it in the sand.
I think that in days gone by there must have been a big estate behind the wall, with this gate to the path so that they could go goat strolling. There are several big, old houses across the fields.

We turn left and the end and leave the river behind for a few minutes.
Bowling Green Marsh is a nature reserve with an abundance of wildlife, and a rest stop for thousands of migratory birds. Let’s walk up this path,


Wildlife only on the left, but here’s the view.


Not too bad is it? If you have sharp eyes, you can see the train. If you’re ever down this way, check the tide is low and catch the train from Exeter to Exmouth, even Michael Portillo featured it recently on his Great Railway Journeys.

We’ll pop up to the viewing platform,


In case we lose our bearings this might help,


This is the point where the river Clyst flows into the Exe.

Exmouth is on the horizon. I went back to the main path and headed for the bird hide, as usual I forgot to bring binoculars, but  a kind RSPB volunteer let me use his to see some Snipe out on the mud. No photos, I only had my phone, but I doubt that my camera would have helped at this distance.


They are there though I promise, and the chanting was wonderful.


I’ll leave you with this last view, and walk up Bowling Green road to complete my circular walk by the railway bridge where I left my car.

I’m sharing with Jo, she’s probably feeling the chill this week!



Another Quay Perspective

I wasn’t intending to post for Jo’s Monday Walk this week, the skies have been so grey that my photos have been depressing! But then yesterday I grabbed a dry hour, took the dogs out, and the light turned out to be quite pretty. I had a lift to Colleton Crescent, from where I could drop down to the quayside, but first I went along to see the view.


If you can see the crescent from the quay the reverse should be possible I thought.

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Here’s the crescent, Georgian and built in 1800, it stands on a sandstone bluff over the Exe and was even painted by Turner in 1827. In 2013 one of these houses sold for nearly 1.5 million, so this is a crescent of privilege.


Time to head on downwards, I like the shapes in this photo, the right fork of water is the canal.


I like these little houses but they must get a lot of passers by.


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I’d usually walk across the wooden bridge but there were lots of swans gathered on it, someone was feeding them and besides terriers and swans don’t get on!
But that’s okay, we walked along Commercial road. This area used to be clubland when I was in my teens, and I haven’t walked that way for years. I’m glad I did because of these two gates.

Back along a footpath to the river and over the blue bridge.


Where the footpath up river is flooded.


The terrace is at the top of this photo and I was picked up again so my short walk is over.

A Boxing Day stroll

It was no good, the clouds would not lift today, so I either had to wallow at home with chocolate or go for some fresh but grey air. The fresh air won and the chocolate wasn’t going anywhere😉 so a stroll in theTaddiforde Valley that runs along the university campus was the choice.

The campus is very quiet out of term and being Boxing Day the car parks were empty. We headed out from the lowest entrance, just off Prince of Wales road.


It’s a popular spot with local walkers, and in summer the odd student has been spotted relaxing on the grass.


Water is present throughout this short walk, the ponds through the valley were created in the 60’s and 70’s to look like natural watercourses, the ponds being fed from the Taddiforde  Brook. There are several varieties of water bird, but they heard Dido and Daisy coming and made themselves scarce.


The Gunnera have given up for this year, but usually this late in the year they would have totally died back.


We walk past a small stand of Silver Birch.


The path meanders gently upwards, it’s a place for slowing down and being mindful.


Sometimes the water rushes down in narrow gaps and sometimes it stagnates. In spring this area will be alive with tadpoles, frogs, toads and newts. The area is managed well to provide habitats for wildlife.


The girls would like to know who lives there.


We’ll cross this little bridge in a moment,


and look back the way we came.


Keeping our eyes open for little treasures.


Grand eucalyptus with leaves draping and bark shedding in harmony. Do you see the tree fern in the background?



The path swoops around, with lots of places for inquisitive dogs to disappear. uni16

The benches are a bit functional, but there are plenty and adequate for dog waiting!


It looks a bit murky, hope they didn’t jump in.


There’s some interesting growth.


I do like a good fungi.

uni17 I don’t know if this is a blue hydrangea losing it’s colour very slowly or a variety that I’ve never seen, but it was a subtle beauty.

We’re going back down towards the first pond now, the wind is gusting quite loudly in the trees, and judging by the bird activity, they’re battening down the hatches in preparation for a storm.

Exeter University is one of the top ten in the country, attracting students from all over the world.The campus and the valley is an arboretum and botanical garden, of some 300 acres, and described by the Independent as ‘sublime’.  There are around 21,000 students in a city with a population of just 125,000, sometimes it feels as if they are taking over. They are certainly contributing to housing shortages, especially affordable ones, and an increase in multiple occupancy properties that are landlord owned. I hope the students appreciate their surroundings and I’d like to see more local people enjoying the grounds. It’s a place where the woods and countryside meets the city, and part of Exeter Green Circle.

I’m sharing my Boxing Day walk with Jo, last Monday she was walking the Algarve hills, I wonder where she’ll be this week.


A City Stroll at Christmas

Exeter has gone to town on the Christmas lights, they look really pretty, so as two of the G-babies are staying we popped down to see them late yesterday afternoon.

We started near Bedford Square.


I knew there was a surprise for the children,

city3polar bears

The polar bears even let you share their space for a photo.


I had to make a quick stop at Carlucchio’s, just along here,


then we walked up the path beside the Roman wall , where every year local charities put up Christmas trees, stretching for about a hundred metres.


Around the corner at the top finds us at the end of the shopping centre, I love the lights projected on the wall.

I walked you down the mall a couple of weeks ago. So this time we went towards High Street past St Stephens.

And a last view of Waterbeer Street before we took the tired girls home!

I haven’t caught up with Jo since she returned form the sun, so I’m not sure if she’s walking this week.