Number 20 on my 50 Before 50 list is Take part in a charity walk. I thought it would be good to get Archie involved in this one so we signed up for Bark In The Park. The last time we did Dog Walking For Charity was back in 2011 when Archie was less than a year old and that time it was held at Golden Acre Park in Leeds, this time it was at Temple Newsam. The walk raises funds for St. Gemma's Hospice in Leeds.
The forecast for the weekend was freezing temperatures but it was bright enough when we woke up on Sunday morning, they were right though, it was mighty cold. Registration was between 9am and 10am and there were plenty of people signing in when we arrived.
We had a choice between 1, 3 or 6 miles. Archie has been limping a bit lately on his back left leg so we decided we wouldn't walk him too far and went for the 3 mile option. As it turned out, those walking both 3 and 6 miles followed the same route, with the ones walking 6 miles completing it twice.
The first part of the walk took us out of the grounds of Temple Newsam and through Elm and Oak Wood, Wilderness Wood and Avenue Wood. There were some very muddy patches but overall it wasn't too bad.
I used to ride these paths and tracks on my bike as a child and the last time we walked them was when Daniel and Eleanor were young, it's a part of Temple Newsam that we don't often visit.
Many parts of the walk were uphill but it made for a lovely view when you looked over your shoulder from where you'd come and saw Temple Newsam House in the distance.
Once out of the woods, you come to farmland. This area is just over the road from where I lived as a child and it's a miracle that it's still there as much of the surrounding land has now been developed and now houses stand where sheep once grazed in fields.
Archie had a great time, he loves mixing with other dogs and there were lots of new friends to make on this walk.
As we neared the end of the circular walk we passed houses in the old village of Colton. Mentioned in the Domesday Book as Coletun, it was originally a medieval farming village. In recent years, developers have built many new houses in this area.
We came round the back of Temple Newsam's walled garden and greenhouses, there's lots of bare earth to be seen at the moment but I'm sure that will soon change.
Old buildings which were part of the old Temple Newsam estate, they may be ramshackle but I think they look rather pretty covered in ivy.
I stopped to take a photo on the bridge as we were crossing the lake and Archie disappeared. He's a really good dog when he's not on his lead and never strays so this wasn't like him at all. It turns out that one of his doggy friends who he walks with at home was in the area and he'd gone off to see him. He wasn't within sight so I can only assume that he picked up his scent. Dexter's a Labrador Alsatian cross and looks like a huge black bear but he's as soft as anything and Archie loves him.
The sun was shining as we returned to the check in point and Archie was given a certificate for taking part, though he was more interested in the goody bag he was presented with which contained lots of doggy treats.
We always used to take Archie out on a Sunday morning, often to Temple Newsam or Lotherton, but as he's getting older he's quite happy to take things easy on a weekend morning these days. It was good to get back to this old routine though so I can see some more Sunday morning walks in our future, perhaps when the Beast from the East has passed, it's thick of snow here today and more forecast.
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