February Links & Likes. ♡♡

♡ Image Via Pinterest.

Hi folks I’ve been reading quite a few blogs recently but haven’t written any posts myself. To be honest I could do with some inspiration!  Any hew,  here are some of my favourites. ♡ Hope you enjoy. 

Naomi has shared all her lovely Glamping Adventures from last year in one post. I must say I’m quite jealous ! 

Bekki has made up some pretty Knitted Heart Kits for her shop ‘Dartmoor Yarns’. If you enjoy knitting ,take a look at her blog. 🙂

Sarah enjoyed  Kitty Cuddles at  The Cat In The Window Cafe in Aberdeen. This post inspired me to book myself and a friend into ‘Cat Cafe ‘ in Manchester. Can’t wait! 

♡ Image Via Pinterest.

What would motivate me to run a marathon?  Well, maybe The Hot Chocolate 5K as tried out by  Charlotte. 🙂

Rebecca has reviewed sweary self – help Book  ‘The Life Changing Magic of Not Giving A F**k’ and it has some useful ideas. 

♡ Image via Pinterest.

Have you seen any Snowdrops in flower yet?  Here is a list of The National Trust’s  Top Spots For Snowdrops. 🙂

 The Helpful Hiker has compiled a list of  the Best Outdoor Dates For Valentine’s Day. ♡

Ever considered  Greenland for a City Break ??  Ellen says Ilullisat  is one of her favourite destinations. And I can see Why.
 

Nina is celebrating 2 years of being a Mum to little cutie Lana. 🙂

I might have to try this tasty looking low fat Flapjack recipe on Fred The Thread Blog.

Need to know what Galentine’s Day is all about. Read this article here and arrange time out with your Besties. 🙂 

 

Image via Pinterest.

Happy Valentine’s Day ! Let me know how you will Celebrate?  I’m doing ‘The Galentine’s ‘ thing on Friday night with some girl friends. A cocktail masterclass at ‘Escape’ in Clitheroe. I will let you know how it goes. 🙂

A Pet-friendly Break in Keswick.

When planning a break with your four-legged friend , it is always handy to know that one particular Lake District resort has been voted ‘Uk’s Most Dog Friendly Town’ by the Kennel Club for four years on the trot. Lovely Keswick has it all. Stunning countryside with miles and miles of walks, a beautiful lake ( Derwentwater), cosy pubs and cafes, eclectic  shops , several dog-friendly parks and a  variety of accommodation  and visitor attractions that welcome waggy tails.  It seemed the ‘Pawfect’ place for a January Break with our labrador Hugo. 🙂 Here’s what we got up to….

Where we stopped.   We booked  Butterfly Cottage through Sally’s Cottages  who are based in Keswick. They have over 230 pet friendly holiday cottages in The Lake District and Cumbria. Our bijou retreat was so cosy with its Wood Burning Stove ( a must for a Winter Break), open plan downstairs space, fully equipped kitchen and beautiful bedroom with comfy King Size Bed. The location was really handy for everything in town and it was super useful to have an enclosed back yard with a muddy boots and paws wash.

Where we walked.  Every morning before breakfast we headed to Crow Park on the banks of Derwent Water. This is one of three Dog Friendly Parks in Keswick that we noticed. The others are Hope park and Fitz Park.  Each morning depending on the weather, the scenery changed. Sometimes the mountains were bathed in gold, sometimes they were an angry slate blue. It was peaceful there and Hugo had a great run around.

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There is a ten mile circular walk around Derwent Water itself which we hope to try on our next visit. We did however revisit a Railway walk which we enjoyed  whilst camping in Keswick a couple of years ago.  The Keswick to Threlkeld Railway Path is now partially destroyed due to last Winter’s storms but what remains, still makes for a pleasant stroll or bike ride. The walk starts from the Swimming Baths near Fitz Park.

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We also walked up to  Castlerigg Stone Circle situated just outside of Keswick off Castle lane. With the mountains of Helvellyn and High Street as a backdrop, the stone circle is among the earliest in Britain, dating back to 3000 BC.  On a clearer day the views are stunning.

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Castlerigg Stone Circle.

Places to  Eat & Drink.   Keswick is great for dog friendly pubs and cafes.  In fact  all the pubs in Keswick welcome dogs except for the Wetherspoons.  Of course we made it our mission to try out as many as we could !  My favourites were The George Hotel with it’s cosy seating area by the fire, The Wainwright Pub, The Packhorse  Inn,  and of course The Dog and Gun famed for it’s ‘Homemade Goulash’ and doggy treat menu. 🙂

I don’t know about you but for breakfast on holidays I love pancakes. 🙂  Keswick has that sorted . We loved  Merienda  on the main street. It’s a fab Cafe Restaurant open for Breakfast, Brunch, Lunch and Dinner.  With an 8am opening time Mon-Sats and 9am on Sunday it is the perfect place to refuel before yomping up those hills. Another great venue for early starters is Cafe Bar 26 on Lake Road which does amazing Full Spanish Breakfasts. And both do make delicious  pancakes. 🙂

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Merienda
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Bar 26.

Many of the pubs serve great food ( try the Royal Oak for their amazing Cheese Boards & Platters) and there are plenty of cafes and restaurants in Keswick that welcome dogs. As well as Bar 26 and Merienda look out for The Square Orange Bar/Cafe, Java Chocolate & Coffee Shop, Lakes Bistro & Bar, The Filling Station, Little Chamonix, Laura in The lakes, Kat’s Kitchen ( Veggie ) and Mrs F’s Fine Food emporium, to name but a few.

Shopping.  Plenty of shops in the town don’t mind you being accompanied by your four legged friend. I find the best thing to do is always ask first. Lots of the Outdoorsy shops are dog friendly and so are many others. Hugo visited lovely gift emporiums Cherrydidi  and Love The lakes  on St John’s Street, for holiday souvenirs. He also bobbed into Keswick’s well loved Pet Store Podgy Paws which is a great place to visit for advice on local walks and dog friendly places, activities and attractions.

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My picture of Cherrydidi Shop Dog Zak, taken last Summer. He has his own range of Zak merchandise and is a complete babe. 🙂

Visitor Attractions.  Here is a quick list of pet friendly things to do and places to visit in Keswick and the surrounding area. 🙂

Cumberland Pencil Museum. Carding Mill Lane. Journey through the history of pencils and pencil making. Home to the biggest colouring pencil in the world! pencilmuseum.co.uk

Keswick Launch Company. Derwentwater. See the gorgeous scenery of Derwentwater on a lake cruise. keswicklaunch.co.uk

A Puzzling Place. 9 Museum Square. An exhibition of optical illusions and trickery. puzzlingplace.co.uk

Keswick Climbing Wall. Goosewell Farm. Indoor and Outdoor Adventure Centre. keswickclimbingwall.co.uk

Castlerigg Stone Circle. Near Goosewell Farm.

Whinlatter Forest Park. England’s only true Mountain Forest with walks, trails and adventure play. forestry.gov.uk

Mirehouse & Gardens. Stately Home and gardens on the shores of Bassenthwaite Lake. Dogs welcome in the gardens and grounds. mirehouse.co.uk

The Lingholm Kitchen and Walled Garden. Portinscale.  Beatrix Potter often holidayed here and the garden was the inspiration for Mr McGregor’s garden in The Tale Of Peter Rabbit. Reachable via a lake jetty or car. thelingholmestate.co.uk

 

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Hugo by Derwentwater.

I shall certainly take a look at the list on our next visit to Keswick. Hugo cannot wait to go again…and nor can we. 🙂

Can you recommend any dog friendly destinations?

 

 

 

Rydal Hall Sculpture Trail.

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Rydal in the Lake District is forever linked with poet William Wordsworth and the stunning scenery here , including Rydal Lake and his impressive residence  Rydal Mount. Also worth a visit is nearby 17th Century Rydal Hall and Estate. 40 acres of park and woodland, free for all to explore. Here you can find an interesting Sculpture trail amongst the Woodland, pretty gardens with ornate statues, ancient trees and a fairytale Waterfall. Take a look around with me. 🙂

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The Sculpture Path weaves its way through the Woods and starts at ‘The Old School Room Tea Shop’. Apparently it is the first permanent outdoor exhibition of textile sculpture in Britain.

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The art on the trail is made from recycled and sustainable materials and each season brings changes to the sculpture’s , as they interact with nature and the elements.

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There were lots more textile sculptures including the above ‘Jubilee Figures’ made from chain links.  They are meant to highlight the effects of third world debt.

After we had walked round the woodland and spied some Shepherd’s Huts through the trees…

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Herdy Huts in their new setting at Rydal Hall.

we went to the Tea Room for a brew, as it was quite a cold January day. The Old School Room Tea Shop is open  all year round and welcomes Dogs and Muddy Boots. Perfect!

After warming up we headed out to explore the grounds. You can pick up a little map  from the cafe which will give you an idea of what to look for. Or you can just stumble upon some hidden delights. 🙂

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Look out for this old gnarled Sweet Chestnut Tree which at  400 plus years old, is one of the oldest in Cumbria. I would love to see this abundant with Chestnuts in the Autumn.

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The beautiful Grot and Waterfall can be found via a path leading from The ‘Quiet Garden’. Built in 1668, the Grot is one of the earliest examples of a viewing station. It’s window perfectly frames a vista of the lower Rydal waterfalls tumbling into a serene pool.

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A room with a view.

As you walk round the grounds you will come across plenty more beautiful things to see.

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The Angel.

 

In the ‘Quiet Garden’ there were some lovely bird spheres including a ‘Barn Owl’ and lots of signs of Spring.

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Head towards the Formal Gardens and you will find impressive views, follies and fountains.

 

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Our time at Rydal Hall was only brief as it was a stop-off point , on our way to a holiday cottage in Keswick. However I think we will definitely return at some point as it would be lovely to see the place in full bloom. There are various walks in the area including an old footpath called ‘The Coffin Route’ which passes through the estate between Grasmere and Ambleside. You can also stay at Rydal hall. For more information go to rydalhall.org

We also found a great dog-friendly pub very nearby.  The Badger Bar  at The Glen Rothay Inn has cosy fires, real ales and great food.

Have you ever been to Rydal Hall?

A Photo an Hour Sunday Jan 29th.

On Sunday I decided to join in with Janey and Louisa’s

   #photoanhour challenge. I think those two had made it a whole weekend of photo’s every hour…but I only managed the one day. Here’s how my Sunday panned out.

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8am.  Having quite a relaxing morning , though I am up and about. Sundays have to start with a strong black coffee I always think. I am enjoying this nostalgic detective story, set in the long hot summer of 1976.

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9am. Outside is looking promising weather wise. This is the view from my bedroom window. You can just about see Pendle Hill in the distance.

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10am. We are in the car on the way to pick up our dog Hugo from the kennels. He has had a practise weekend away to see how he gets on. We are beyond excited to pick him up. It has felt really strange without his bouncy/snoozy presence in the house.

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11am. Having picked up Hugo, we find a nearby canal side walk at Salterforth. I love looking at all the names on the barges. 

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12pm. Heres Hugo on the towpath. As you can probably tell he had a very quick dip in the Leeds & Liverpool.

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1pm.  Its Lunch time and were at Hinderlini’s in Gisburn. This is a Lancashire Cheese and chutney sandwich with Aspen fries. The fries are smothered in pepper, garlic, truffle oil and parmesan cheese. Yes they were yummy. 🙂

 

 2pm. Back home and these two beasties are fire worshippers.

3pm. Headed off to meet some friends down the local.

4pm. As you can see its a very dog-friendly local. 🙂

6pm. Not sure where 5pm went but here are two books I’ve borrowed from The New Inn. 

7pm.  A bit of telly watching. Countryfile.

8Pm. Wil has cooked tea. 🙂

9pm. One snoozy hound.

How was your Sunday? 
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sunday Sevens 29th January 2017. 

Hi this is my first Sunday Sevens of 2017!  Here is what I have been up to in the last week.

Books Read in January.

I have been on a roll reading this month. Three of the above were Christmas presents and all four books I have given solid 4 ☆☆☆☆ on Good Reads. A whimsical romance with books, a quirky story about a young adventuress who doesn’t recall her adventures, a laugh out loud romp with our favourite singleton Bridget and and an interesting novel about the reintroduction of wolves into Northern England. All good.

Derwent Water Morning light.
Castlerigg Stone Circle.

Last weekend was spent enjoying a mini break in The Lake District. We stopped in a cosy cottage in Keswick with our dog Hugo.Keswick has been voted ‘Most Dog-friendly town’ several years on the run. More about that coming soon. The above pictures show reflections in beautiful Derwentwater and the nearby ancient Castlerigg Stone Circle with its mountainous backdrop.

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Stella the Tabby.

On the way home from Cumbria we dropped by a Yorkshire village called Clapham and I met the proprietor of a local vintage shop, who was actually a tabby cat called Stella. 🙂

New Mugs!

 

Whilst I was away I bought two new mugs from a shop in Keswick called  Love The Lakes. Mine is the one with the sheep on. 🙂

 

 

Stairway to heaven. Erm not yet!

This weekends job is lots of sanding and getting the stairs and landing ready for decorating and a new carpet. I can’t claim that I have done much to help as Wil does not trust me with a paint brush! To speed up proceedings Mr Hugo has decamped to a boarding kennels for the weekend. It is really wierd without him. 😦

Happy Chinese New year. 🙂

After lots of decorating prep we stayed in with a Chinese ( do you like my dragon puppet? ) and watched anti-superhero film ‘Deadpool’. Quite amusing!

How was your week?

Snowdrops and Tabby Cats in Clapham.

On the way  home from a recent weekend away in the Lake District we decided to stop for lunch in the pretty village of Clapham. This lovely Yorkshire village deserves a whole day out to appreciate it’s babbling beck, it’s little stone bridges and it’s wonderful walks and nature trails. We will return!  For now, here are a few snaps I took on a brisk walk round. 🙂

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A  Cafe, sadly not open on a chilly afternoon in January.
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Clapham Beck.
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Market Cross.
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Got warmed up in the Local Pub. 🙂
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Village Shop.
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Always happy to see Snowdrops. 🙂
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Let Me In That Brook!
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Fancy a seat.
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Hedge Dwellers.
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Where to next….
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St James Church.
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A Vintage Shop. 🙂
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Treasures !
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I went into the shop and was greeted by….
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Miss Stella. She sold me a dvd of the film ‘Rebecca’.  🙂
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The Millennium Stone in the Car Park.

Thanks for stopping by. More posts about my Lake District trip coming soon. X

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