Like Gravel Hole, the Country Park around Billingham Beck is only a short walk away from me, and a great escape to nature. It features woodland and marsh areas around water.
Liam drove to join me. He had been to the park with me previously but had never walked right through.
We chose a very rainy day to meet but the rain was much-needed after the long, hot May we had had. So, I popped on my raincoat and got hit by a few hailstones on my journey. Conveniently, by the time Liam arrived, the weather was glorious sunshine.
On the same week, McDonald’s had reopened its drive thru’s and it was fast-food mania in the UK. Thankfully, by the weekend, the queues had died down and the hype was almost over. So, I placed my order with the delivery man (Liam) and I had my first McDonald’s since lockdown. Three chicken selects medium meal with a Sprite and a Malteser McFlurry – perfect. As an ex McDonald’s Crew Member, I have serious respect for the people working in the restaurants during this time. However, when smaller, independent businesses reopen, I’ll make sure to continue supporting them too.
After chowing down and putting our rubbish away, we took a walk through the trees and saw baby ducklings. I’m loving walks by the water during the Spring because there’s so many baby ducks and birds around.
We then headed to a small bridge that crosses the beck and Liam shared a shocking revelation with me. He’s never played Poohsticks!
If you’re also not aware, Poohsticks is a game mentioned in a Winnie the Pooh book. You play it on a bridge over running water (like the one we were stood on.) Each player drops a stick on one side of the bridge and the person’s stick who appears first on the other side of the bridge wins. Am I a big child? Yes. Did Liam love the game? Absolutely, yes.
As he had to take some work calls while we were out, I collected the sticks. Then, in between the calls, we played the game. However, we did find a flaw being that the water on one side of the stream was running faster than the other so the player on that side (me) had a greater advantage. Still, it was lots of childish fun – and it can be played at a social distance.
After some more catching up and a little bit more rain, I was also able to show Liam round Gravel Hole – somewhere he had never been. You can read my thoughts on walking there here.
Find Billingham Beck Country Park at: Billingham, Stockton-on-Tees TS23 1PB