Hey, another one of my random walks. This one was more random than most. I was sitting at home not doing much and decided that being out was better than being in and that the weather would hold out. So I looked at the map and planned out a walk and headed out to get the Metro and then the bus. The plan was to walk from Stannington so I carefully looked at the number on the bus to check it was the right one. It was. What I didn't realise was that only half the buses get as far as Stannington. The other half only go as far as Dinnington. My plan failed.
Fortunately I had the map on me so when I got off the bus I was able to form a new plan. Take a little walk to Seaton Burn and then get a bus home from there. It looked okay on the map and was not very far and the clouds were looking ominous. Let's go. See what happens. And if we get wet we can get dry again later. It's okay.
As I walked on I spotted a lake and thought two things:
Didn't I walk past that lake once? (I did) and
Is there a way to get from this track to the lake? (There was)
And so my random walk got more random because half way through it turned into a different walk than the one planned when I'd got off the bus. But I think my replacement random walk was probably a big improvement on the original. Here it is, mapped out, including a diversion to the (locked) bird watching hides. Total distance 4.5 miles.
On the path to the lake I made friends, or at the very least acquaintances, with some cows. There was a reason I didn't touch them - I say that just so a certain person can read it.
I arrived at Big Waters Country Park. The main attraction is the lake that's in the photos to follow. There were deep mine workings on the site and the entire lake was formed in the 1920s due to subsidence into the workings. It's the largest subsidence lake in the area and is a rather beautiful accidental outcome of industry.
The lake. Someone else with a decent digital camera and lenses and tripod was photographing it. I felt jealous. Maybe one day I'll have to invest in something good, assuming I keep enjoying taking pictures. The odd thing is that I do have a digital camera in my pack and it's better in many ways than my phone. But right now I've been taking every picture with my phone and haven't been getting round to editing them. I'm enjoying the immediacy of it but one day it may be pleasing to add some quality and teach myself to be a "proper" photographer.
Here I give you my unedited and improper photographer shots from my phone that day. They're not too shoddy.
It's not a long walk but I dare say I'll be back there as somewhere easy when I need to be outside. And maybe I'll visit another little country park too that's only a couple of miles further on.
It really is easy. I can get to Dinnington in about half an hour from home by public transport. And the lake itself, in a straight line, is less than three miles from home. I'm fortunate to live near pretty places. And fortunate too to have a bus pass so I can get to many of them.
To be able to get out, see nature (even nature formed as a byproduct of coal mining) and breathe the air is a wonderful thing.
This whole walk was entirely the result of failure. Sometimes failure can bring a bigger success than if we had succeeded to begin with. To flow with failure can bring unexpected riches.