Ten things I enjoyed in Silverdale.

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Limestone chimney, Jenny Brown’s Point.

I’ve recently got back from a few days away on the coast. I decided I needed some refreshing sea air and as my other half loves the Lakes we compromised and chose to stay  just outside  the lovely village of Silverdale. Silverdale looks over Morecambe Bay and the coastline is rocky , the tree’s twisted into windswept shapes. I loved it there. 🙂  The village is actually in Lancashire, though quite close to nearby Arnside, which is in Cumbria. Here’s a wee list of some of the things I enjoyed in Silverdale. 🙂

1. Camping at Gibraltar farm.  The perfect campsite to pitch your tent  Gibraltar Farm  is a family run site on a working farm with stunning coastal views. There’s good hot showers, a little shop and miles of countryside walks on your doorstep.

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Windswept trees at Gibraltar Farm.

2. Breakfasting like a king.  Just across from the campsite  The Wolf House Gallery Cafe is somewhere you should definitely treat yourself to brekkie one morning. But don’t expect plain old bacon and eggs. How about Harissa roasted pepper,potato hash,fried eggs and honey pickled jalapenos or Buttermilk & Blueberry pancakes with bacon & maple syrup, to tempt your tastebuds. Yes we treated ourselves twice. 🙂

3. Local art and gifts.  The Wolf House Gallery ( legend has it the surrounding area was home to England’s last living Wolves) sells beautiful pottery, prints, ceramics and jewellery so after breakfast I just had to have a browse. And in the village itself there’s a lovely vintage shop called Vintage and Country , both are well worth a look.

4. Wildlife Watching. Silverdale and nearby Arnside are a designated Area Of Outstanding Natural Beauty. I loved nothing better than heading out with my camera to snap the various wildlife that considers this gorgeous habitat home. Below are a Little Egret, Common Spotted Orchid, a Shelduck and and a tiny orange butterfly.

And if you want to see Bitterns,Otter, Birds of prey and even more varied wildlife, RSPB Leighton Moss is just up the road. 🙂

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The Woodlands is a bar in someone’s House. 🙂

5. Find the Local’s Pub.  Silverdale has two very good pubs that serve really nice food. It will be easy enough to find the warm and welcoming Silverdale Hotel  and the recently reopened and refurbished Royal  in the village. But if you fancy hanging out with the locals , sampling good ale ( at very cheap prices) in 1970’s decor then why not hunt out THe Woodlands ( known as Woody’s ) on Woodlands drive. Not a food serving pub but they do do sandwiches and bags of crisps!

6. Walking to Arnside.  Nearby Arnside is a picturesque village that looks over the river kent estuary, it’s pretty promenade of shops and cafes face the Arnside viaduct. The village has two pubs and a train station. There are several ways to walk here including over the limestone fell of Arnside Knott but we chose the coastal path from Silverdale.I would say it’s probably a six mile hike through coastal woodland and over cliff tops. Breathtaking!

7. Buying plants for the garden. Ok a bit of a strange one, but I was kind of spoilt for choice in Silverdale. A couple of houses as well as The Woodlands were selling garden flowers on their door steps for charity. Really pretty ones too. I ummed and ahhed and finally chose a Red Hot Poker ( a lilac and pink one!) and a pink lupin. 🙂

8. Sit on Jenny Brown’s Bench and wonder ‘Who the heck was Jenny Brown?’  It’s an easy walk from the village to Jenny Brown’s Point.  Follow the country lane past Gibraltar Farm until you see a National Trust sign for Jack Scout on your right. We passed a lime kiln and criss crossed our way along until we came to a bench with stunning views and a sign. Maybe the mysterious Jenny sat here wistfully gazing out to sea. A whole flock of Shelduck congregated here and samphire grows by the rocks.

9. Walking in the footsteps of Literary Heroines.  I didn’t realise that when writer Elizabeth Gaskell holidayed in Silverdale , she actually stayed at Gibraltar Farm. Nope she didn’t pitch up a tent unfortunately. 😉 Mrs Gaskell resided in Lindeth Tower which is next to the farm house. I spied it through the trees and wondered how she ever got any writing done, with such fine views to distract her……  Another famed author, Charlotte Bronte visited Silverdale too as a young girl.

10. Biryani on the Beach.  On our last night we treated ourselves to an Indian take away from Silverdales only restaurant. Cinnamon Spice  does a delicious biryani and what better place to enjoy it than down by the shore watching the sunset  with a bottle of cider. Who says Romance is dead !

Have you ever visited Silverdale?  Hope my blog has inspired you . X

The Queen’s Ninetieth Birthday.

On Sunday Her Majesty the Queen celebrated her Official 9oth Birthday. Her actual Birthday was in April, but you know ,Queen’s are definitely allowed more than one. 😉

Above ~  Elizabeth at the beginning of her reign …..and at one of her 90th Birthday celebrations this year.

All over the country her subjects celebrated with her. Street Parties, Tea Parties and Picnics galore. Luckily for us we didn’t need to picnic in poncho’s to protect us from the drizzle. I met up with some friends and their children at the local Church Hall for Tea, Cake and family fun. 🙂

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Bronte, Jasmine & The Cake. Photo C Marsden.

In the absence of the real Queen, the Queen’s Birthday Cake was cut by a lady whose 9oth Birthday it was too.

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Lydia and Bronte nearly fell in the cake. 😉

I wish I could show you photographs of the lovely cream teas we enjoyed but I hopelessly forgot to take any. The clean plates obviously mean they were good!

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Cream Teas and Union Jacks  ~ Photo  C Marsden.

What do you think of the kids crowns, made from paper plates. Good idea hey.  There was a Guess the Royal Baby picture competition, a Birthday Card to sign, Birthday Cake to pass round and we all sang a rousing ‘God Save The Queen’….. though not the Sex Pistols version. 😉

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Signing the Queen’s Birthday Card.

The Queen herself actually turned up at the last minute. HRH is very well travelled !

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Lydia is mesmerised by Her Majesty. 🙂 Photo J Blackburn.

Did you celebrate the Queen’s Ninetieth Birthday?
Thanks to the St Mary’s Centre for organizing the event.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sunday Sevens ~ 12th June.

So it’s Sunday again and time to join in with Sunday Sevens devised by Natalie at the fab blog Threads and Bobbins. The Sevens are Seven photographs of our personal weeks. Here goes….

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1). Finally got some baskets and tubs planted in the back yard. We’ve also sorted out the flower beds. So although it’s not quite a garden, it’s almost a yarden. 🙂  Thanks Christine for introducing me to that word!

2 & 3). Last Sunday was just gorgeous and we made the most of it by enjoying a day out in the Dales. We went to Malham which is known for several natural beauty spots such as Janet’s Foss ( a waterfall that features a fairy cave) and Malham Cove , an iconic curved rock formation  where Falcons nest. You can read all about them in my post here.

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4). Do you like my seahorses?  My friend Lisa creates quirky and colourful ceramic tags and jewellery and I fell in love with these guys. In fact I’m thinking of doing a little giveaway next month , to celebrate 4 years of blogging. So watch this space! And meanwhile check out Lisa’s lovely Etsy Shop. 🙂

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5). Ha I forgot to post this picture of Hugo on my Malham blog , but it does make me chuckle. 😉 He’s listening intently to the bird sounds on this interactive display in the National Trust Barn. I think he particularly liked the Lapwing. 🙂

6 & 7). These were taken Saturday morning before the heavens opened. I was enjoying the peace and tranquility down by the riverside. The air was filled with the fragrance of Wild roses and Elderflower. Sand Martins sped busily by. Hugo was busy doing his doggy stuff. Our walks always make me feel good. Fresh air, Countryside and an enthusiastic hound ,what a joy. :))

Catch you soon! X

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Atrium Picnic at Clitheroe Castle.

A couple of weeks ago Wil and I had a day off work so we decided to go out for lunch. Where better than somewhere local…. just a short walk in the park away, in fact. 🙂 The Atrium Cafe at Clitheroe Castle has just got a new chef and a brand new menu. We thought it might be worth a look.

The Castle Keep was looking a wee bit mean and moody that day. Luckily the Cafe itself is a light and welcoming space with attentive staff. We decided to try the Picnic Lunch which I had lusted over on Facebook a few days earlier. 🙂 After ordering our drinks ( The Atrium grounds it’s coffee beans on site and the Coffee Exchange in Clitheroe supplies their loose leaf tea), we took a seat by the window and admired the drizzly but historic view. 🙂

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Tempting treats.

The Picnic arrived served on a rustic bread board.As you can see it looks scrumdiddlyumptious!  Happily it tastes that way too. The delicious array of goodies include a selection of sandwiches,ham hock terrine ( a favourite with Wil),sausage rolls ( the best I’ve ever tasted 🙂 ), a flask of soup, pate and toasts, mocha frappe with shortbread,lemon and vanilla posset ( to die for), chocolate brownie and homemade  scones with jam and clotted cream.

This was definitely our kind of Picnic!  The food is yummy and locally sourced and it’s actually a clever spin on an Afternoon Tea. 😉  One that the Atrium  at  Clitheroe Castle can proudly call it’s own. And not bad value at £12.50 per person.

Are you tempted?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Janet’s Foss and Malham Cove.

What marvelous hot and sunny weather we are experiencing lately!  The perfect weather for a waterfall walk followed by a climb up an amphitheatre shaped cliff formation, made from limestone? Of course. 🙂 We set off early on Sunday morning and crossed over the border to the gorgeous Yorkshire Dales and headed for the pretty village of Malham. It was before 9am as we walked up through the village towards Gordale Scar and found the footpath sign for Janet’s Foss.  Janet’s Foss is the enchanting name of a waterfall that carries Gordale Beck into a plunge pool below. It’s a pretty enchanting spot as well.mallham 004

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Janet’s Foss is named after a Fairy Queen called Janet ( or Jennet)  who apparently lives in a cave behind the waterfall. Foss is a  Scandinavian name for Waterfall. It is a truly beautiful tranquil place, but we did not have it to ourselves for long. Soon Hugo was joined by a very vocal little staffie called Lill and they enjoyed   dashing about and jumping in and out of the water.  In days gone by the pool was a meeting place for the villagers at the annual ‘Sheep Dipping’ day. It certainly looks very inviting. ;).

We reluctantly left this local beauty spot and followed the path through the woods, where wild garlic bloomed in abundance and the busy songs of dippers and wrens guided us to the buttercup meadows beyond. No wonder Charles Kingsley took inspiration from the area for his children’s novel ‘The Water Babies’. I could almost imagine fairy folk fluttering amongst the trees.

 

 

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Dipper.

Before we left I noticed several of these ‘Book Nests’ in the branches. If we had walked to Janet’s Foss from the Smithy  in the village, we would have seen the sign below, explaining all, before entering the woods. The Bee Library is a collection of bee-themed books converted into nests for wild or solitary bees, installed in ash trees. What an intriguing idea…..

Once back in Malham it was still only mid morning. We decided to take advantage of the sunshine and enjoy a coffee , sat outside The Listers Arms. I was amused to find a pub bearing my family name. Yes I was christened a Lister. And yes I like making lists. 🙂

After our coffees we decided to walk to Malham Cove. By this time the area was getting busier and lots of other folk had the same idea. It was also getting quite hot. Luckily Gordale Beck was always on our right if any of us needed to take a dip! And we took plenty of water with us.

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The farmland on the way to the cove was rocky and covered in sunbathing cows. 🙂

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Malham Cove.
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One of the caves where peregrine falcons nest. 🙂

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Malham Cove is a curved limestone formation just North  of the village. It was formed by a waterfall carrying meltwater from glaciers at the end of the last Ice Age.  It’s wide rock face makes it popular with climbers. Luckily for those of us not inclined to hang around in mid air, there are jaggedy stone steps to struggle up instead. 😉  Something I did not know about Malham Cove, is that it is actually home to a pair of Peregrine Falcons and their two juvenile chicks. The RSPB are at the Cove every Saturday until 31st July, with their telescopes trained on the birds. We were very honored indeed to catch a glimpse of this majestic Falcon family.

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I’m not sure how many steps there are to the top of Malham Cove, but I think I heard some incredibly fast sprinting child count to 400. I could be wrong ,I was so busy hyperventilating my hearing may have been impaired!  But once at the top it is really worth it. There are far reaching views of the dale below and a fantastic limestone pavement running across the top.  Infact the limestone pavement appeared in the film ‘Harry potter and the Deathly Hallows (part one)’, as one of the places Harry and Hermione travelled to.

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Limestone pavement.

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The heat was pretty intense by this point so we headed back down to the bottom where Hugo especially was glad of a paddle in the stream. We then walked back to the village and enjoyed some lunch in one of the cafes there.

All in all we had  a fun morning in Malham. Have you ever been?