In The Summertime. โ˜€๏ธ

We are having some amazingly hot weather currently here in the UK. Too hot sometimes! With possible thunderstorms forecasted today though, it’s going to feel a little more refreshing for my upcoming holiday to Scotland. Whoo hoo !

Meanwhile I have been enjoying my days off with mostly early morning walks and meet ups with friends and family. After seeing a lovely Wildflower Meadow at Stonyhurst College on Facebook , I met my sister, niece and nephew for a walk nearby. After viewing the flowers and seeing lots of butterflies we headed for the river. Lots of splashing was done! Our walk included a little of The Tolkien Trail . The Lord Of The Rings author often stayed at Stonyhurst and the surrounding countryside inspired his writing.

A hot day is always better at the beach! Last Thursday St Anne’s summoned us and a happy few hours were spent lying on blankets on the sand and paddling in the sea. A wonderful cooling breeze was very welcome. I am really excited to be heading up to North Ayrshire in Scotland soon and spending lots more time on the coast. ๐Ÿค—

Thanks to everyone who wished me a Happy 10 Years Blogversary recently! As promised the winner of my little giveaway is revealed. Judy from http://walmermeadows.co.uk it’s you. ๐Ÿ˜Š I will be in touch ! Judy blogs about her beautiful woodland in Kent and the wildlife that visits is nothing short of amazing. All thanks to Judy and her husband’s conservation and woodland management skills. Pop by for a read.

I may be a little quiet on the blogging front in the next two weeks as I intend to enjoy that sea air in Scotland before a lovely long weekend break at the van. X

July Round-Up. ๐Ÿ’›

Well July has bound by! So hopefully now I can relax a bit , I’m one of those lucky people that get a whole month off work in the Summer. Here is my July in a nutshell.

Reading ~ an actual book! It happened, I picked up a book and persevered. Maybe my reading mojo has returned. ‘The Tsarina’s Daughter’ gripped me from the beginning. Its a tale of indulgence, trechory, lavish luxury, dastardly plots and deadly revenge. Who is friend and who is foe in the Russian Royal Family? The young Tsarevna Elizabeth Romanov has to keep her wits ( and her head! ) in order to survive and gain what is rightfully hers. A sweeping piece of historical fiction that I thoroughly enjoyed.

The Tsarina’s Daughter.

Watching ~ another Channing Tatum film. Yep , he seems to be everywhere at the moment. Not that I’m complaining! Also Sandra Bullock ( who looks amazing) and Brad Pitt ( still got it) star in The Lost City . Definitely taking inspiration from ‘ Romancing The Stone’ and ‘Indiana Jones’, except with Sandy B in a figure hugging purple sequinned number, this is an amusing and rip roaring watch. Buy in the popcorn!

Sandra in a sequin catsuit ~ The Lost City.

Sipping ~ a Candyfloss Cocktail ๐Ÿ’“. Yep this was definitely my favourite tipple of the month, and you can read all about my experience at Cloud 23 Here! The Cocktail is called a Metropolis if you fancy trying it yourself.

Metropolis in the Metropolis.

Touristing ~ and generally wandering in the general direction of Hadrian’s Wall which is about 45 minutes drive from our caravan in Melmerby. The most iconic site on the wall is probably Sycamore Gap , where a lonely Sycamore Tree sits majestically in a dramatic dip. Not sure if there is a more photographed tree in the country! We spotted The Sill Visitor Centre and walked up from there. I recommend The Sill for a mooch around the lovely gift shop and a walk up and around their wildflower meadow roof.

We also discovered Talkin Tarn near Carlisle. I wondered if this body of water was man-made, but actually it is a natural glacial lake. It was a bit damp and drizzley on our visit, but still very popular with sailing boats, paddle boards and other watersports. There’s a footpath around the tarn and a small cafe, gift shop and gallery in the boat house. โ›ต

Sycamore Gap.
Talkin Tarn.

Celebrating ~ lots in July! Of course there is the fact that England won the Euros ..at last! I am not a sporty person ,but it is brilliant that such an amazing win will inspire all the young girls out there who love to play football. That includes both my god daughters who are eleven and twelve, they play for their local teams in Clitheroe. My niece too had a wonderful moment in July, she played Matilda in her drama group play. And smashed it! Proud family moment. โค๏ธ

Lionesses Bring It Home!
10 Years !

And I can’t go on without mentioning this little blogs 10th Birthday! Can’t quite believe that in July I had been blogging on WordPress for ten whole years. I have loved documenting the good things in my life, sharing places I’ve enjoyed visiting and of course reading all your lovely blogs. The blogging community are such a supportive and interesting bunch!

To celebrate my 10 Year Blogversary, I am hosting a little giveaway. To be in with a chance of winning the above box of Extra Long Matches ( they are certainly super size! )in a beautiful box adorned with swallows, just leave me a comment below. I will put all names in a hat/teacup and pick one out at random , when I write my next post.

Thanks for reading. ๐Ÿ™

Alston & The South Tynedale Railway.

Just to confuse you ( and myself ! ) this post includes photos from two separate visits to Alston and The South Tynedale Railway. We were there in the Spring ( I included a brief update in my April Round-Up) and also more recently in July. The weather was actually better in April! Anyway I’ve mixed the best photos together , so you get an idea of what the area is like. ๐Ÿ˜Š

The top of this North Pennines town is 350 metres above sea level, making it England’s highest Market Town. However I haven’t actually stumbled upon a market happening yet !

There are plentiful old buildings in Alston, many have been recently renovated by the Alston Townscape Heritage Scheme. The olde worldy look of the town has been used in the past to its advantage. It was transformed into a Victorian fishing village for a 1999 BBC adaptation of Oliver Twist.

Once upon a time Alston was connected to the Northumberland town of Haltwhistle by rail. The 13 mile track was closed in the seventies , but part of it has been preserved as a Narrow Gauge Heritage Railway. On both our visits we headed to the railway for walks along the adjoining railway footpath.

There’s a fantastic cafe at the Station called Hickins@thecrossing’scafe which is the perfect pitstop for a lovely lunch. It’s so welcoming , I wouldn’t have a problem waiting there a while. ๐Ÿ˜š Also at Alston Station is a museum, toilets , shop and ticket office.

Walking the South Tyne Trail ,which runs adjacent to the railway ๐Ÿš‚ is a pleasure. There are bridges, views and wildlife along the way. Springtime saw Lapwings nesting in the fields, undisturbed by passing walkers and trains. Summer blooms such as Orchids and Melencoly Thistles adorn the trackside from June. In April we walked to Kirkhaugh Station and caught the train back and in July we continued on to Slaggyford ( 5 miles ) , which is currently the end of the line.

There are both Steam and Diesel Locomotives in operation and the railway is run by a friendly group of volunteers.

Between Alston and Slaggyford you can hop on and off at both Kirkhaugh and Lintley. Various local Walks leaflets are available from Alston Station.

On our second visit we arrived at Slaggyford Station in perfect time to catch the train back, after a quick brew at the buffet car. Dogs aren’t allowed inside the buffet car, but the pretty waiting room is open to all, including four legged friends.

We didn’t get time to explore the Northumberland village of Slaggyford on this occasion. It’s unusual name possibly derives from the Old English for dirty muddy ford, referencing a fast moving part of the River Tyne that dredged up river mud.

The journey back from Slaggyford takes about 30 minutes on the train. The carriages are more spacious than that of The Ratty Narrow Gauge Railway at Ravenglass & Eskdale.

We ended both our excursions with a pint at the Turks Head Pub in Alston. I had first thought the pub was named after an actual Turkish Man’s bonce, but a Turks Head is actually a decorative knot !

Thanks for reading. Enjoy your Sunday! ๐Ÿ˜Š

Afternoon Tea At Cloud Twenty Three ~ Manchester.

Way up high in Manchester’s Beetham Tower, it is almost possible to indulge in Afternoon Tea……….in the clouds. With 47 floors this landmark skyscraper on Deannsgate is the highest building in Manchester. Comprising of 219 luxury apartments and 16 penthouse suites, the tower is also the tallest residential building in Europe. Floors 1 to 23 are occupied by the Hilton Hotel, and it is indeed on the twenty third floor that it’s Cloud 23 Bar is located. Two friends and I caught the train to the big city last Friday for shopping, cocktails and of course Afternoon Tea. ๐Ÿ˜Š

We had ordered the Cocktail Afternoon Tea as one friend had recently celebrated a special birthday. I was immediately struck by the view in the photo above, now that too is special!

It would have been fabulous to have been seated there, but sadly we were shown into the lounge area. I wasn’t too taken with the carpet, which would look more at home at Manchester Airport. And our first seats were not even by the window, fortunately we were moved on request.

The birthday girl soon got to grips with dancing on the table! Joke. ๐Ÿ˜ƒ She is in fact stood on a glass walkway ( a bit like a mini version of the ‘ Walk of Faith’ up Blackpool tower) where you can see all the way down to the bottom floor. Eye dizzying.

Our Afternoon Teas came served on easy to carry chrome cake stands. And there was a choice of coffees, tea, infusions or hot chocolate. I chose an iced coffee which was very refreshing.

I must say, I really enjoyed the selection of delicate finger sandwiches, petite cakes and decadent desserts. The chocolate bomb was super indulgence. ๐Ÿ˜š

Our cocktails arrived and the one I had chosen was certainly theatrical! Metropolis had the wow factor , it came with a fluffy candy floss topping, rather like a cloud. I loved it. โค๏ธ

The Birthday Girls cocktail didn’t have any flare , though tasted fine, our other friends cocktail tasted…medicinal.

The Cocktail Afternoon Tea at Cloud 23, for me , was a 4 out of 5 stars experience. As it cost an eye watering ยฃ40 , three girls from a tiny town , escaping for the day to the Big City, had high expectations!

Niggles.

. Afternoon Tea high in the clouds should always be situated with a view, when possible. Happily we were relocated.

. The pattern on the crockery made the inside of the cups look stained. They weren’t, though we think a nicer set should be used.

. The cocktails were hit and miss. Mine was fabulous. The others didn’t have the same wow factor.

. Although I had mentioned my friends birthday on the booking form, our server didn’t refer to this at any point.

So I’m definitely not saying I would never go back, but there’s some room for improvment. I did however love the drama of a panoramic afternoon tea.

View from the Ladies. ๐Ÿค—

Have you enjoyed Afternoon Tea in the clouds?

Eleven Things To Do In Clitheroe.

Clitheroe Castle. Photo ~ My own.

It’s time to be a tourist in my own town and write a blog about Clitheroe !

So what exactly is there to do in this vibrant Ribble Valley market town nestled at the foot of Lancashire’s legendary Pendle Hill. Scroll down to find out. โฌ‡๏ธ

1. Wander Up The Second Smallest Castle Keep In England.

Yes! Clitheroe is home to England’s second smallest Castle Keep. Our tiny castle sits proudly on a grassy hill , enjoying commanding views of the town and surrounding fells. Built in the 12th century the Norman Limestone Keep resides over landscaped gardens and parkland. In the grounds there are also a bandstand, skate park and children’s playground. Hugo the labrador and I like to check on the Leaping Salmon sculpture in the former Rose Garden and then head for an ice cream at 3 C’s Indulgence Cafe .

Luscious Lemon Meringue Ice-cream at 3Cs. Photo ~ My Own.

Clitheroe Castle Museum. Photo ~ Lancs.gov.co.uk

2. Take A Tour Of The Castle Museum.

Also within the walls of Clitheroe Castle is the Clitheroe Castle Museum . Situated in the former Stewards House this family friendly attraction displays 350 million years of local history. Little Kids and Big Kids can pick up an Explorers Pack to take on a journey through time then decamp to the museum gift shop. And make sure you take a look in The Stewards Gallery nextdoor. The latest Free Exhibition news can be found here. ๐Ÿšฒ

Number 10 Independent Bookshop. Photo ~ Facebook.

3. Explore The Towns Lovely Independent Shops.

Clitheroe is famous for its variety of independent shops, some such as Cowmans Famous Sausage Shop on Castle Street and D Byrne & Co Fine Wines on King Street are traditional town treasures. Newer foodie retailers have sprung up in recent years too. Check out Georgonzola Delicatessen and Bowland Food Hall for posh picnics and picky teas. And don’t forget to visit the town’s bustling market , which is open every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday.

If I’m looking for gift inspiration I love to browse in The Shop Of Hope for ethical & locally sorced wares, Number Ten Books for reading related gifts and Raffia or Roost for special treats. There are plenty of other lovely shops to have a nosy in as well, we are spoilt for choice. And do break up your browsing with a hot chocolate or coffee & cake in one of Clitheroes many friendly cafes. Check out this POST for ideas.

Toms Table. Photo~My Own.

Did you know that Clitheroe is a top foodie destination? The Ribble Valley as a whole has a variety of renound countryside gastro pubs that regularly appear in Top Ten Best Eaterie Lists. Clitheroe will once again be hosting the areas famous Food Festival on Saturday the 30th of July, bringing the best of Lancashire’s locally sorced produce all together in its bustling streets and market place. I’m all for foodie posts so let’s continue. Read on…..

4. Enjoy Afternoon Tea On The Terrace At Tom’s Table.

On a warm Summers day what could be more decadent than partaking in a sumptuous afternoon tea on a sunny terrace. Toms Table at Lee Carter House is a French inspired bistro with a lovely outside area from where you can enjoy a light lunch or teatime treat. My sister and I loved Toms Afternoon Tea, which of course can be booked indoors too. From ยฃ20 per head. ๐Ÿฐ

Bottomless Brunch at Escape. Photo ~ Facebook.

5. Fill Up On Bottomless Brunch At Escape.

Those inspired folk over at at Escape have exciting plans for Summer! Already noted for their exquisite cocktails and Thursday Pizza nights, this rustic coffee & cocktail bar has recently opened an outdoor terrace. Yep we are definitely loving sun trap terraces in Clitheroe right now! And what better place to fill up on Boozy Bottomless Brunch. ยฃ30 per head.

Brizola. Photo ~ Facebook.

6. Share A Sunday Platter At Brizola Bar & Grill.

Bringing a little bit of Greece to Clitheroe, Brizola Bar & Grill has recently won a Best Medetreanean Restaurant Award at the coveted Food Awards. Serving simple yet tasty Greek style dishes, this bijou eaterie does an amazing looking Sunday Platter. Book me in ! Find Brizola in the Swan Courtyard. ยฃ15 per person for the Sunday Platter.

Corto Bar. Photo ~ Facebook.

7. Discover Clitheroe’s Many Bars, Old and New.

And there are alot! Clitheroe has a fantastic selection of varied pubs and bars, at least six of which only opened in the past two years. The pandemic doesn’t seem to have done our bar scene much harm. Here are a few suggestions.

Good For Real Ale & Cider ~ Settle down for a pint with the locals in a proper old fashioned pub, The New Inn on Parson Lane. Marvel at one of the country’s longest continuous bars at Bowland Beer Hall Holmes Mill , there are 42 handpulls. Enjoy your Craft Beers with Beer Snacks at The Beer Shack . Chill out with a local craft beer/cider/natural wine at Corto. Like your micro bar with live music? Head over to The Ale House .

Good For Gin & Cocktails ~ I love the cocktail menu at bijou bar The Parlour , it’s packed with parlour tricks. Escape are famous for their hand crafted cocktails. Flavourful gins and instagrammable interiors await at The Dispensary. Also on Moor Lane SauceBox know how to conjor up a cocktail. A little out of town, but worth the walk is The King’s Wine & Cocktail Bar.

Good For Other Stuff ~ Grab a comfy sofa and bottle of wine to share with friends at Parisian style brasserie & wine bar The Emporium . Make the most of the sunshine and people watch from the roof terrace at Maxwell’s Cafe & Wine Bar. Popular Brunch venue Jungle on Moor Lane is a lively bar on Saturday nights. Retro feels galore at The Old SchoolRoom. Plenty more pubs and bars in Clitheroe, so enjoy exploring. It’s the perfect town for a pub crawl !

Holmes Mill. Photo ~ My Own.

8. Go Duck Pin Bowling At Holmes Mill.

I am waiting in anticipation for Clitheroes latest addition! Holmes Mill is opening a Duck Pin Bowling Alley in the Old Boiler House. According to the link above ‘ this new attraction will include four duckpin bowling lanes โ€“ similar to ten-pin bowling but the pins and bowling balls are smaller, the lanes are shorter, and the action is even more intense.’ As things stand now the alley is currently behind schedule. Let’s hope it opens soon…

Everyman Cinema. Photo ~ Facebook.

9. Catch A Film At Everyman Cinema.

Also in the popular Holmes Mill Complex, my town is lucky enough to have a fabulous Picture House. If you love the comfort of curling up on a snug sofa whilst watching a film, having your food & drinks orders delivered to your seat and even hiding behind a cushion during a scary movie moment, then you will enjoy visiting Everyman Cinema , an evening there is such a treat! Food and drinks can also be eaten in the bar from The Speilburger Menu.

Platform Gallery. Photo ~ Lancs.gov.co.uk.

10. Buy A Piece Of Local Art.

There are several lovely art galleries in Clitheroe, where you can browse an eclectic selection of art by local artists. My favourite is Platform Gallery & Visitor Information Centre located by the railway Station, I love the cards there and have bought some cute gifts. There’s a list of the towns gallery’s and art studios on the Art Walk Website. Another arty event happening in Clitheroe Draw Clitheroe is a day of fun activities to inspire a love of drawing and art, pencil the 6th August in your diaries! Oh and don’t forget to check out local bar Corto and it’s Bog Art gallery.

Deer Sculpture in Brungerley Park. Photo ~ my own.

11. Get Your Walking Boots On.

Clitheroe nestles at the foot of Pendle Hill , which at 557m is the highest point in the Ribble Valley. If you like a challenging hike, this Route will take you from the town, through fields and up Pendle, a mystical hill , famed for its association with both Quakers and Witches. Clitheroe is also on The Ribble Way, a long distance ramble that takes you along the River Ribble from its source in North Yorkshire to the Irish Sea. Shorter walks in Clitheroe can be enjoyed in Brungerley Park, which is home to a Nature Reserve and a Sculpture Trail , along the river at Edisford Bridge with its miniature railway or around Salthill Quarry Nature Reserve. There are numerous footpaths to explore!

Thanks for reading and enjoy your visit. ๐Ÿ™

June ~ Round Up. ๐Ÿ’—

Another month has sped by and half a year has passed already. Crazy or what!

Reading. The only reading I’m doing at the moment is reading about books I might want to read. Haha. Oh and reading blogs of course. ๐Ÿ˜Š I really need an incredibly short novel to get me started, if anyone has any recommendations…

Watching. Now that I’ve finished 7 seasons of Grace & Frankie ( sob! ) ,I am in need of something else to fill that time in the day between my early morning shift and my late afternoon shift. Of course I do get on with housework and take Hugo out as well, I am not a complete couch potato. Honest! I quickly sped through Russian Doll starring the brilliant Natasha Lyonne , in the first season she gets stuck in a timewarp where she has to celebrate her 36th Birthday everyday. But she also has to die everyday, so not all good. Wil and I watched a film, Dog starring Channing Tatum as a War Veteran assigned to take a War Hero dog to her handlers funeral. Not all runs smoothly on this Road/Buddy movie, it’s an enjoyable ( occasionally hard) watch.

Eating. A Heat-Up to Eat-Up Take-Away has sprung up nearby ,so one Friday night we ordered a yummy platter. Grounded in Clitheroe is hoping to open as a deli shortly too. Can’t wait to buy some more globally inspired nibbly bits soon.

Walking. I have blogged about a walk from Shap in Cumbria and a walk that features wildflower meadows at Slaidburn in Lancashire , this month. Just incase you missed them. ๐Ÿ˜ I find myself regularly doing 25 thousand + steps a day at the moment ,due to walking up and down corridors at work and walking the dog.

Animal Encounters. June was the month I held a snake called April. April is a Milk ๐Ÿ Snake. Milk Snakes aren’t venomous happily , their bright colours fool potential predetors into thinking they are dangerous. I did the Animal Encounters Experience again in Melmerby, this time with friends , who were stopping with me at the van. If you don’t fancy getting up close and personal with snakes and hissing cockroaches, there are also alpacas, llamas, ponies, rabbits and goats to cuddle.

Enjoying. Flowers that resemble insects. A couple of beautiful bee orchids are in flower in the quarry area at Cross Hill Nature Reserve , saw them on a dog walk. So bee ๐Ÿ autiful. โค๏ธ

Friends Becoming 50. No not me! Not quite yet. The first of a group of good friends hit the big 50 last weekend. She had a 70s/80s/90s themed party at her home , with a cheesy disco, We had a really fun time. Happy Birthday Jo!

See you in July. ๐Ÿ’—

Latest Weekend Wanderings.

When I haven’t been to the caravan for a couple of weeks, I’m always amazed at the changes in the garden. Not being a gardener at all, I struggled to identify this latest blossoming shrub. Any ideas?

My poor pansy pot has been used by a moth to lay their eggs in the flowers. The culprit is below. I think it’s an Angle Shades Moth. Oh well! It’s good to give back to nature. ๐Ÿ˜ƒ

Saturday morning in Melmerby and the church was all decorated for a wedding with pretty white wildflowers.

And there’s always something to see on little walks round about the village.

In the afternoon we went to Honister Slate Mine where Wil would be going to Infinity and Beyond! His Birthday present from me this year was an Infinity Bridge Experience at Honister. Rather him than me! Scroll down for Wils photo of the bridge. Meanwhile Hugo and I explored around the site. There are some cool slate sculptures. ๐Ÿ˜š

Wil was buzzing after the Infinity Bridge.

I had noticed several people heading up the fells from the Honister Car Park. Has anyone done a Wainwright from there?

We then went for tea at Mary Mount Hotel near Keswick. The terrace has wonderful views. ๐Ÿฅฐ

How was your weekend?

Bell Sykes Coronation Meadows Walk ~ Slaidburn.

I was looking for a short ( hopefully cow free ) local hike and I came across this 2.3 Mile Wildflower Meadow Walk , starting from the pretty Lancashire village of Slaidburn. Not sure the mileage mentioned is quite correct ,we ended up doing twice that amount! The directions took us on a wild goose chase a couple of times. Or maybe we just get lost easily. ๐Ÿ˜ƒ

We arrived in Slaidburn about 9-30am on Sunday morning, unaware that we had visited on the day of a Vintage Steam Fair . The village car park was still quiet at that time though , so we found a space and set off to the cenotaph, the start of our route.

Slaidburns War Memorial erected in 1923 on the site of the former market cross ……and whipping post.
Sign at the entrance of the Silver Jubilee Garden.

We turned right at the War Memorial and headed over the bridge and then through a kissing gate into a field on the right. Keeping the brook on our right , we headed across the field in completely the wrong direction. So best to ignore my instructions and follow the route link yourself, if you don’t want to get lost. ๐Ÿ™ƒ

Ford over the brook.

We saw several hares in the grass and it was also a privilege to hear and see lots of flying curlews and lapwings.

Resting Hare.
Alert Hare.

A stone track took us over another bridge and on the right we saw a farm gate with a purple Coronation Meadow Sign on it. Coronation Meadows is a Wildflower Meadow Restoration Project started by HRH The Prince Of Wales. Since the Queen’s Coronation ,Great Britain has lost a huge percentage of its naturally farmed meadows. This initiative started in 2013, aims to protect remaining wildflower meadows, create new ones and get people interested in them. There are now ninety Coronation Meadows in the country with Bell Sykes Farm representing the Ribble Valley.

Approaching a cattle grid.
Over the bridge.
Coronation Meadow Sign.
Bell Sykes Coronation Meadows.

Bell Sykes Farming methods have changed little over the years, hence their inclusion in the Coronation Meadows project. Seeds from the ancient pastures have been used to create new meadows, some are on the farm and others are elsewhere in Lancashire.

A solitary marsh orchid.
Buttercups.
Yellow Rattle.

The meadows were looking resplendent, in them were thousands of buttercups and clover, ribwort plantain, self-heal and yellow rattle. I also spied one orchid, maybe there are more. The diversity of wildflowers encourages bees and butterflies. It was however very breezy on Sunday , so we didn’t actually see many.

Barn.
Bell Sykes Farm.
A path goes through the farmyard and up.
Old Grindstone used for sharpening scythes.
Looking back at the view.
Umbelifers at Lower High Field Farm.
One of many high Stiles.
Yes what Ewe looking at?
Tumbling Lapwing.

Toward the end of the walk we passed through a couple more of Bell Sykes beautiful Coronation Meadows.

Boy in Buttercups.
Eyebrights.
Bistort.
Flower Power.
Heading back to Slaidburn.
Pendle Witch Trail Tercet Waymarker in Slaidburn Car Park. The verse on this one mentions a Devil Dog.

Once back in Slaidburn we had a coffee and piece of cake ( of course! ) sat outside the cafe that looks over the Village Green. By this time the Vintage Steam Fair was in full swing, rousing tunes piping from beautiful fairground organs. ๐Ÿ˜Š I shall leave you with a few photos.

Thanks for dropping by. ๐ŸŒผ

A Walk From Shap. ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿฎ๐Ÿฅพ

Bank Holiday Weekend ( also platyjubes of course! ) , we escaped the celebrations for a while, choosing a less obvious Lakeland area for a countryside walk.

Shap is a long grey stoned settlement in the North Eden District. It has a couple of pubs, a shop, cafe, chippy and an open air swimming pool, the highest heated outdoor pool in England. The steady A6 is the main road that meanders through the village, it used to be the principal thoroughfare for the Lake District & Scotland.

Not far away is the busy M6 , but to the West of Shap it is picturesque and remote. I had downloaded this Walk from the Eden’s River Trust. Part of the route is on the Coast To Coast footpath , though we didn’t see one other human being out walking. It was so peaceful.

The hike starts at the Northern end of the village, following a country lane signposted Bampton and Haweswater. We then turned right through gates into a field with a footpath sign saying Rosgill. Lots of ewes with lambs in the fields.
A large boulder in a farmer’s field called The Thunder Stone. โšก
Cow Parsley aka Queen Anne’s Lace adorning a quiet country lane.
An old disused Lime-Kiln.
There were a few bleached white sheep skeleton remains here. Look at this Skull which I placed on a rock.
Hugo had whizzed off with a bone. We decided to ignore him and he dropped it after a bit of crunching.
Cooling off time.
The weather was warm, the sky blue. A cooling breeze did make it perfect conditions for walking though.
View of Lakeland mountains in the distance. Here is a field where lots of gap walling needs to be done.
This walk does have alot ( alot ! ) of stone Stiles like this one.
A waymarker featuring a Golden Eagle, there used to be a couple nearby in Riggindale. Maybe oneday they will venture South from Scotland again. ๐Ÿ™

We headed through fields towards the small village of Rosgill.
And down to the River Lowther where we sat by the water for a while.
We veered off a tarmac track to follow the Coast to Coast Footpath through a field.
Bonnie bovines or Cow culprits??

Things then got a bit scary , a family of cattle that we hadn’t noticed at first started to take a bit too much interest in us as we tried to cross the field. They had a Bull with them and youngsters, but it was the cows themselves that started kicking up a fuss , fairly galloping towards us. We managed to scare them away , though not before Wil got knocked off his feet and Hugo got butted. I’m not sure how but we legged it into a solitary farmhouse garden with the cattle at our heels. Definitely a hair raising encounter, we were a bit shuck up!

To make matters worse we would have to sneek past the herd again to continue with our walk. We waited until they had calmed down and ambled away, an unconcerned resident of the farmhouse didn’t seem to care that we had hotfooted into their garden or that the cows had chased us there…

We breathed a sigh of relief once we had crossed this packhorse bridge.
Looking back to Fairy Crag, the cows are just behind it.
The remains of some farm buildings.
Following the Coast to Coast to Shap Abbey. The Coast to Coast Footpath was devised by Alfred Wainwright.
A very late blossoming Blackthorn tree.
These lambs look like just the one , with two heads.
Approaching Shap Abbey.

The Preminstratensian Order of Monks from France settled in Shap in the 13th Century and built beautiful Shap Abbey from local stone. The monks became known as The White Cannons because they wore robes made from undyed sheep fleeces.

Here was a lovely place to stop for a while by the river Lowther again. I must admit we had lost our thirst for continuing the planned route , which would take us through the hamlet of Keld and on past another large standing stone called The Goggleby Stone. Instead we made our way back to Shap through a couple of cow free fields and along a country lane.

Shap Abbey.
River Lowther.
A bit of a tight squeeze.
Dry stone walls on the way back to Shap.
Time for a brew in Shap.

We ended up having a delicious cheese scone and a cup of coffee each at the Abbey Kitchens cafe in Shap, the perfect place to sit and watch the world go by. I’m so glad Wil and Hugo were non the worse for our ordeal. We will definitely be keeping our distance from any cows in the future. Although apparently there are some handsome looking Highland Cattle in Swindale………..

May ~ Round-Up. ๐Ÿงก

My goodness these months are whizzing by are they not. May seems to have come and gone in a flash! I am currently off work as it’s the Spring Bank Half Term Holiday ( advantage of being a school cleaner) so it’s a good time for me to do my May Round-Up Post.

Reading ~ not that much to be honest. After recently extending my hours at school with five earlies a week, I find myself frankly too knackered to pick up a book. Wrong I know! I have bought The Lake District In 101 Maps & Infographics to take to the caravan. And I shall learn all about Haunted Cumbria, Cumbrian Film locations and quirky Cumbrian place names, amongst other things. Should keep me going for a while!

Everyman Cinema trip to See Top Gun Maverick. As soon as I heard the original soundtrack music I was hooked!

Watching ~ it’s all about good old nostalgia for me at the moment. I’ve been to the movies! We Clitheronians are very fortunate in that we have a fabulous Everyman Cinema in town and May has not disappointed on the film front. I have enjoyed both Downton Abbey A New Era and Top Gun Maverick , they are both appearing on the big screen right now.

On the box my go to show is Grace & Frankie. I am as usual a bit late to the party with this one. Not sure how a witty comedy series starring Jane Fonda & Lily Tomlin escaped my attention until now but I am loving the pairing of uptight Grace and Kooky Frankie. ๐Ÿ™‚ Other shows I have returned to in May include Ozark , Bosch Legacy and of course Stranger Things.

A lovely meal at Roundthorn Country House near Penrith.

Eating ~ It is rare that Wil and I spend time up at the caravan without our Black Labrador Mr Hugo, but we did have one weekend in May when we were there without him. It seemed a good time to book a meal out somewhere where you wouldn’t usually take a dog. Roundthorn Country House on the outskirts of Penrith is one such place, there wasn’t a four legged friend in sight. Which was strange for us, though also kind of liberating not eating in front of a drooling hound, eyes transfixed on our dinner. The food was yummy but I couldn’t help missing my boy.

Lowther Castle.
A walk through Cow Parsley.

Exercise ~ Our pet free weekend was all because we actually won a prize! We won half a days E-Biking at Lowther Castle In the Lakes , it was great fun. However I still felt like I had done some proper exercise even if it was power assisted cycling. ๐Ÿ™‚ There haven’t really been many notable walks this month, just my normal dog walking routes. I have loved seeing the wild flower displays, the lacey blooms of Cow Parsley have been beautiful lately.

Relaxing at the van.
Lilac Time. ๐Ÿ™‚

Enjoying ~ Relaxing at the caravan ~ My favourite area at the van is probably the front bit of decking, which is a real sun trap and perfect for lounging about on a deck chair with a brew. I especially like to look up and watch all the Swift’s whizzing about the sky, now they have returned from Africa. The scent of a lovely lilac bush in the garden there was a real treat too.

~ Friends Reunited ~ On the last day of May it was great to meet up with some friends I haven’t seen for two years. I love how normality has returned at last, I’m not taking it for granted.

Catching up in Holmes Mill.

Thanks for dropping by. Hope your May has been a good one. ๐Ÿงก

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