Malham Safari Trail.

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Every year in May, a small  village in The Yorkshire Dales is transformed into a cartoon themed animal trail !  From The Teletubbies to The Wind In The Willows, The Gruffalo to Sponge Bob Square Pants,lovely  Malham has become a menagerie of colourful fun for all the family. As a big kid, I was happy to join my god daughter and her Mum, Dad and Gran on this super safari. πŸ™‚  Prepare for a picture heavy post !

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Well you can certainly see we had plenty of fun, and I haven’t managed to photograph half of what you can see there. The trail includes a quiz , where entrants have to find various cartoon characters and count mini televisions. Other activities included live music, magic shows, pond dipping, face painting, archery, birds of prey and a duck race.  Malham is a very pretty village anyway and the Safari can be combined with a walk up to Malham Cove and Janet’s Foss Waterfall.

For more information check out malhamdale.com

The Safari is on until the 31st May. πŸ™‚

May Links & Likes.Β 

It has been a week that has been particularly hard on many. Life must go on and we must live life to the full, God knows, life is short. Here are a few blog posts I have enjoyed in May.

Mrs Bertimus and family stay in this very quirky and eclectic seaside Guest House at the Whitby Goth Festival.  I have actually spent a night here too…many moons ago. πŸ™‚

Grenson the dog is always on holiday! This time in ‘Mostly’ dog-friendly Yorkshire…

Ever thought of  ‘Gin tasting’ or visiting the ‘Wild West’ in Edinburgh? Lucy shares her  alternative Guide to this beautiful city.

Speeking of beautiful cities, our hearts go out to everyone in Manchester at the moment. City Jackdaw has been writing about the incredible generousity of spirit in his home town.

Laura has been admiring Japanese Cherry Blossom….in Kent.

And Christine found a Secret Valley Of Bluebells.

Duck in a Dress  shares her Geocashing Adventures!

Here’s a nostalgic glimpse into one bloggers magazine reading history. Remember Bunty anyone? From Bunty to Betty on ‘Typewriter Girl’.

And this lady has nostalgia in buckets! Am happy to have discovered Forties@Heart here on WordPress, where Julie, a Mum in the Outer Hebridees ,atempts a 1940’s inspired Lifestyle.

Cumbrian Blondie has been walking the beautiful Ullswater Way. πŸ™‚

And here’s a blog from my little corner of the world. Lovely recipes and beautiful interiors ~ My Grandma Taught Me To Cook. 

Can I show you a few snaps from beautiful Brotherswater I took only yesterday.  This is one of the smaller lakes in The Lake District and is situated in the eastern region of the Lakes.

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The Lake.

 

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A Nesting Swan.
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Bogbean, I think..
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Pied Wagtail.
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Hawthorn blossom.

 

 

There’s still time to join in with #30dayswild in June. If you fancy signing up and doing something wild every day next month, go to action.wildlifetrusts.org and join in with the challenge.  Here are a few ideas for your Random Acts Of Wildness.

Sow some Wildflower seeds.

Identify a Bird Call.

Collect some Elderflowers and make a cordial or champagne.

Tell the time with a Dandelion Clock.

Read a Nature Book outdoors.

Go Barefoot in the grass.

Play Pooh sticks in a stream.

Record the birds who visit your garden.

Visit a Nature Reserve.

Make a Bee Hotel.

Thanks for dropping by.  Let me know if you are joining in with #30dayswild.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Heysham and Half Moon Bay.

The recent sunshine is making me long for the seaside. I shall have to make do by collecting my pictures together of a lovely coastal walk in Lancashire.  πŸ˜‰

When I think of Heysham, I basically picture it as a Ferry port and the home of Heysham Power Station.  I actually had no idea of how pretty the old part of the village is, and how full of history.

We parked up in the spacious village car park ( Β£1.40 for five hours)  and passed a few pretty tea rooms and shops on our stroll towards the start of our walk, St Peter’s Church.

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St Peter’s has windswept tombstones and uninterupted views of the sea. It has been here since Saxon times.
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The Coastal Walk is looked after by The National Trust.
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We headed through a patch of woodland and emerged onto a cliff top. Here are the 8th Century ruins of  St Patrick’s Chapel.
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St Patrick is said to have been shipwrecked here in the 5th Century.
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The Chapel looks out over ‘Half Moon Bay’.
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Definitely the most unusual burial ground I have seen.  Rock cut graves carved out of the headland.

The Rock- Cut Graves that surround St Patrick’s Chapel are actually not unique.  There are apparently similar graves in Hexham, Northumberland and in Ireland.  The body shaped hollows were carved for the VIPs of the eleventh century, mostly kings and priests.  I hope they had lids on!

We continued along the cliff footpath , heading towards the Ferry Port in the distance. It was quite a bracing day in May , so when we spotted the Half Moon Bay Cafe ,we warmed up with a hot drink.

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The beach allows dogs all year round. πŸ™‚
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Looking towards the Ferry Port.
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The Half Moon Bay Cafe is bright and friendly.  It sells a small selection of local art and doggy treats too. πŸ™‚

After a welcome brew we made our way back to Heysham, following another criss- crossing path over the cliff tops, an area known locally as ‘The Barrows’.

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Flowering Gorse.
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Campions.
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A pretty cove.
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Wil and Hugo.
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Bluebells.

Back in the village, I picked up a fantastic and quirky map of The Morecambe Bay and Heysham area from the Heritage Centre .  The ‘Seldom Seen’ series of maps , ‘map the hidden assets of Morecambe bay’ and are full of interesting facts. I especially like the phrase ‘ Beyond This Place Lie Monsters’. πŸ™‚

Seldom Seen Map.
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The newly refurbished Royal is a great place for lunch.
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Look out for ‘The Spirit of Heysham’ sign…..and a viking!

Vikings came to Heysham over 1000 years ago and today this is celebrated when the village holds  it’s annual  Viking Festival. This year’s event takes place 15th ~ 17TH jULY.

By all accounts I was very surprised by Heysham. Now I have my map , I’m sure I will be returning soon. πŸ™‚

 

Photo An Hour Sat 20th May.

Yesterday I joined in with #photoanhour on Instagram, organized as always by louisa and Janey
 
, I think its been going a good few years now. My posts always seem to contain a picture of Slinky ( the cat) on the bed , and Hugo ( our dog) out on a walk. Nothing changes then! 

 

8am ~  the day started out quite bright and warm with the sun streaming through the bedroom window, so it seemed right to get up and out , despite slight hangovers. πŸ˜‰ 

9am ~ As always here is Slinky , making the most of an empty bed! 

10am ~ Housework done , so settled with my latest photo album. I kid you not, I have millions! Putting a few photographs in and…… considering building an extension for them. πŸ˜‰

11am ~ Doing a few jobs in town and find a man with an owl outside the New Inn. Turns out he is advertising a Bird Of Prey charity , that has an exhibition on the market today. I bob by and donate a few pennies.

12 Noon ~ We bought a few plants off the market for our back yard. 

1pm ~ We have lunch at the wonderful Cheesie Tchaikovsky cafe in town. Sadly it is closing down as the owner has become deeply allergic to bread and baking bread. 😦 . I will miss her amazing cheese scones. 

2pm ~  Back home and find some postcards from postcrossings in the post! Including these cute kittens from Germany. πŸ™‚

3pm ~ Out with Hugo in the rain. Wil spots this tiny glistening green beetle on a leaf. Could possibly be a flea beetle. Not sure.

4pm ~ A bit later than 4 actually. Got absolutely soaked in the rain so warming up with a brew indoors.

5pm ~ Weather brightened up again. Off to Homebase for some compost and pass these pretty cottages. I love the blue flowered bush , but not sure what it is.

6pm ~ A selection of bits and bobs for tea including samosas off the market. πŸ™‚

7pm ~ Settleing down to watch Doctor Strange on dvd.

8pm ~ Hugo does not seem impressed with Doctor Strange. Neither does Wil, but I quite like it. Keep thinking Mr Cumberbatch is Sherlock though! 

9pm ~ The money plant I obtained recently has not sprouted fivers. 😦 But I did get it a pretty new pot, so you never know…..

10pm ~ Yep I’m in bed. So Rock N Roll ! Jotting down ideas for #thirtydayswild in June. Looking forward to getting my pack! 

Well thats it for a pretty quiet Saturday. Let me know if you joined in too. πŸ™‚

Camping and a walk in the Forest Of Bowland.

No need to dust down the old leaky tent for the first camping trip of the year ! Happily We  Wil had bought a nice new one a few weeks previously . This tent was meant to be the same model as our original. But it seems a whole lot bigger. Erm it’s practically a marquee !

Anyway we didn’t venture to far from home. We chose Fell View Park near the pretty village of Scorton. Perched on the edge of the Forest Of Bowland AONB , Fell View is adjacent to the owners farm and is surrounded by meadows full of bleating lambs and nesting lapwings.

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Hawthorn Hedge.

The campsite has plenty of EHU points, good hot showers, an undercover washing up area and a small fishing lake , which is home to lots of ducks and geese.  We stayed in the non electric tent field and had it all to ourselves for the first night.  The hedges were heavy with the scent of hawthorn blossom and the resident Greylag Geese were happily honking away.

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Mama and brood.

There’s a little Local Information Room on site with maps of nearby walks , so we took a leaflet for a Circular Route taking in ‘Nicky Nook’. The fell top is a relatively easy walk ~ about 215m to the top.

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Spot the Lapwing.
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Bowland Fells.
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Nicky Nook Summit,
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Cotton Grass.
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The Tarn.
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Descending Nicky Nook.
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Golden Gorse Blooms.

As you can see ‘ The Forest Of Bowland’ is not actually a forest in the traditional sense. The name Forest was given to Royal Hunting grounds in ancient times. Bowland is made up of  ruggedly beautiful moorland and gentle lowlands. The AONB actually covers 312 square miles of rural Lancashire and neighboring Yorkshire.

After descending ‘Nicky Nook’ we found ourselves on a country lane and followed the signs to the Apple Store Cafe  in Wyresdale Park.  The cafe set in a sheltered walled garden in the grounds of Wyresdale Hall, is the perfect place to drop by for a brew and a cake. πŸ™‚  We sat outside , though it did look lovely inside, the glass house interior felt a little stuffy even on quite a drizzley day. The lovely waitress served our refreshments on mismatched vintage crockery, and even brought out a sausage for Hugo! 

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The Apple Store.
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My tea came in a Henry viii adorned teapot. πŸ™‚

 After tea and cake we explored the grounds a bit ( I never saw the estate peacocks 😦 ) and then decided to deviate from our route and headed into Scorton itself for a wander. On the way we spied this cute cottage with it’s quirky garden signage.

 To get to Scorton we had to cross the M6. Who knew that such a tranquil place is so close to the motorway. The pretty village  has  a Bar Restaurant, spa shop and a cafe/gift shop. We had a couple of drinks in the lovely and dog friendly Priory Stout Bar. 

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The rare Hen Harrier is the symbol of The Forest of Bowland.
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A Scorton Doorway.
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Typical Village transport. πŸ˜‰

 

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Hugo looking sorry for himself. The Priory is a friendly place to unwind with a drink or enjoy a meal. Pets welcome! 

 After a drink or two we continued on our way. We headed back through Wyresdale Park, across the fields and onwards to the campsite. It was a beautiful walk. πŸ™‚

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Bluebells.
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Friendly horses.

 

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Cheeky lambs.

Fell View is definitely a campsite we will return to I think ,as there is so much nearby countryside to explore and the area is indeed one of Outstanding natural beauty.  πŸ™‚

Sunday Sevens 14th May.

 

Hi here is my Sunday Sevens ~ a collection of 7 photos from the last seven days. πŸ™‚ Last Sunday I found myself mooching round my local town of Blackburn, which was playing host to ‘The National Festival Of Making’.  This was a free family festival devised to showcase British making and manufacturing , with workshops, art installations and markets.  Now I’m not much of a maker myself, but I did enjoy the craft fairs and art aspects of the festival. And it was good to see good old Blackburn all spruced up for the occasion!  Hopefully it was a mighty success and has helped bring prosperity to the area.

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A bit of yarn bombing in Blackburn.

At the moment I am reading ‘The Essex Serpent’ by Sarah Perry. I have only just started it , but so far so good.  Set at the end of the nineteenth century, this gothic tale involves an Essex village terrorised by a dragon like creature and a young fossil collecting widow ,who  attracted by the tales of this ‘ mythical’ beast ,sets her heart upon finding it. No doubt the real monsters will be the ones inside the characters heads. We shall see…

 

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The Essex  Serpent.

On Friday we packed the car for a spot of camping.  We didn’t venture very far on our first camping trip of 2017. We stayed just outside of the village of Scorton, perched on the edge of the Forest Of Bowland A0NB.  Despite it only being about 45 minutes away, this is an area of Lancashire we have never really visited before.

 

We had a camping field all to ourselves , which was good as we had some trouble putting up our new tent!  Nothing more embarrassing than being stared at whilst wrestling with a bunch of awkward poles…. πŸ™‚

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The road to and from Sunderland Point.

I will be blogging about our trip so I won’t include the lovely walks we found or our couple of hours in the coastal village of Heysham. Instead here is a photo of my big regret. Our extremely brief visit to Sunderland Point !  This is a tiny settlement by the sea, that gets cut off by the tide twice a day. Unfortunately I had done no research on tide times and left my phone back in the tent. So after driving warily across the tidal causeway,  we almost immediately got spooked, and practically raced back !  Sigh. We will return someday I’m sure.

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Beacon Fell Sculpture.

Today on our way back home from Scorton we decided to take Hugo on a walk round ‘Beacon Fell Country Park’ near Chipping.  Much to my delight we happened across a Sculpture Trail. πŸ™‚  I’m sure I will be blogging about that too !

Our trip got us in the holiday mood. We have now booked a week away in Norfolk. Can’t wait !

Sunday Sevens was devised by the lovely Natalie at Threads And Bobbins.

Clapham Nature Trail and Ingleborough Show Cave.

The village of Clapham in the Yorkshire Dales is a delightful place to visit.It contains a  handful of pretty stone cottages, a pub, a couple of cafes ,a village shop,  an eclectic vintage store and a Mountain Rescue base for nearby Ingleborough,  one of the Three Peaks. If you don’t fancy a spot of hill walking or climbing , then I recommend the pretty nature trail through Ingleborough Estate and a tour of Ingleborough Cave instead. πŸ™‚

We parked on the National Park’s Car park in the village, which is quite expensive so bring plenty of change. From there we walked past the church and followed the brook to the beginning of the nature trail, which is well sign posted. There is an honesty box for contributions toward its upkeep.

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Trail Entrance.

 

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One end of the lake.

There is a slight incline before you get to a lake. The lake is man- made and was created by an ancestor of the family who own the Ingleborough estate. Reginald Farrer was a renowned botanist and explorer. He collected many new species of rhododendrons, shrubs and alpines in China, Burma and Tibet in the early 1900’s.  Most still survive today. His unusual gardening technique of firing the seeds with a shotgun at a cliff face to distribute the rock plants , seems to have worked. πŸ™‚

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Lords & Ladies.
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Rhododendrons.
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Bluebells.

We put Hugo on his lead in the woodland and kept to the main path, as he is one for wandering !  I would have loved to have explored a bit more and discovered Reginald’s collection of exotic plants.  Instead we made do with our own beautiful native wildflowers, which are abundant on the trail.

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A throne of stones.. πŸ™‚
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Water Avens.
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Any guesses?
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 The Grotto..

The building above is known as ‘The Grotto’  and was built in the 19th Century to shelter those who wanted to sit back and admire the scenery.

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Wood Sorrel.
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Think this sign is meant to say 400 yards to the cave. πŸ™‚

After the woodland, the landscape opens out onto limestone pastures ,so we let Hugo have a play in the babbling brook. πŸ™‚ As you can see the path is pretty decent and is so all the way along. I would definitely say that it is suitable for prams, pushchairs, wheelchairs etc.

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Path to the cave.
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Limestone Beck..
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Wet Dog !

The Entrance to the Cave soon comes into sight!   I go and investigate the little shop and it seems a tour is about to start in 5 minutes. There are only two other couples putting on hard hats , so we decide to go for it. Hugo does not have to wear a hat , though I think it would have suited him. ;).

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The Cave Entrance.

Our Guide ‘Jude’ was really enthusiastic and regaled us with the history of Ingleborough Show Cave and how it to was first explored in 1837 by members of the Farrer family, after a massive flood revealed it. The intrepid Victorians made their staggering discoveries dressed in tweed and carrying candles! Stalagmites and stalactites galore. Today the cave retains its treasures for  everyone to view and the interesting tour is well worth the Β£9 charge.

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The’ Mushroom Bed’.

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The ‘Elephant’.
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The ‘Sword of Damocles’ 

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 ‘Queen Victoria’s Bloomers.’
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The reflection looks like a tiny city.
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This part of the cave is where Santa has a Grotto at Christmas. Hugo is looking at Jude who took the photo. I think she is saying ‘Biscuits!’

We really enjoyed our exploration of Ingleborough Cave.  The tour is well lit and there is a concrete path to follow. There is quite a bit of head ducking , so be warned if you are pretty tall!  Afterwards we warmed up with hot drinks and made our way back to Clapham, via the trail.  It was wonderful to catch the odd glimpse of dippers darting up  the stream. πŸ™‚  Of course if you want to carry on over the pack horse bridge and up to Gaping Gill ( a natural pothole cave), there is more to discover…….

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packhorse bridge.
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Violets.
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Daffs.

Once back at the trail entrance I happened to glance up at the wall and saw a male pheasant perched there. It was so completely still that I actually thought it was a plastic model at first !  What beautiful birds pheasants are. πŸ™‚

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Cock Pheasant.
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Pug Pups. πŸ™‚

And two inquisitive pugs woofed their goodbyes from a Clapham Village Garden.

 

Lido β™‘Β 

I’m not quite sure how my fascination with Lido’s started. It’s definitely quite a recent thing with me. Maybe it’s their association with vintage seaside fun or in some cases, the glamour of their 1930’s art deco style. Maybe it’s the fact they were often built with pleasing views in mind ,or is it that they seem a safe and only slightly warmer alternative to outdoor lake and sea swimming …. The silly thing is I’m not even a keen swimmer !  And I’ve never even been to a lido.  Maybe I can remedy at least one of those things in 2017.

Lido season is well on it’s way, so I thought I would list a few of the iconic UK outdoor pools that adorn my  pinterest board. πŸ™‚

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The Jubilee Pool ~ Penzance, Cornwall.  A beautiful art deco seawater lido , designed in the 1930’s.  The pool is a gently curving triangular shape and is surrounded by high streamlined sea walls, which are terraced upwards in the interior. Bare in mind the water temperatures can be quite bracing !  But I’m sure the stunning Cornish Coastal views are worth it. There is  a smaller children’s pool on site too and a cafe. This years season starts at the end of May. www.jubileepool.co.uk

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Tooting Bec Lido ~ South London.  One of Britain’s oldest lidos, Tooting Bec was opened in 1906 and at that time was known as Tooting bec Lake.  It’s an unheated fresh water lido and the pool is apparently quite enomas and lined with changing rooms, featuring brightly coloured doors. It is surrounded by parkland and trees and also boasts a small cafe and kids pool. Opens from May 1st. www.visitlondon.com 

Saltdean Lido ~ Brighton.

Reopening this May after extensive restorations , Saltdean harks back to it’s art deco hey day in the thirties. It is the only grade ll listed Coastal Lido in the country and unlike the above two beauties, it will actually feature a heated pool. πŸ™‚ Phase two of the restoration will bring back the iconic curved buildings to their former glory and include a heritage cafe.  The pool will open on the 27th of May. www.saltdeanlido.co.uk 

Thermae Bath Spa ~ Bath.  The only naturally hot (and  rich in minerals) waters in the UK , can be found in the ancient city of Bath. The Thermae Bath Spa’s Welcome package includes, use of the Indoor Minerva Pool,  Multi-Sensory Wellness Suite and use of the Roof- Top Pool , with its stunning views of the city and hills beyond.  Prices from Β£35 per person. www.thermaebathspa.com 

Pontypridd Lido ~ South Wales. Lido Ponty in South Wales looks like the perfect place to soak up the sun !  There are three heated swimming pools, a Heritage Visitor Centre, Cafe and children’s Adventure Play area. The Grade II listed Lido retains newly restored features , including the 1920’s turnstiles and wooden changing cubicles. Whilst it was a free attraction, 2017 sees a new Β£1 charge per adult.  Swimming commences at the end of May. πŸ™‚ Check out this  website Here. 

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Ilkley Lido ~ Yorkshire.  There are Lido’s up North too !  1935 saw King George V  celebrate his Silver Jubilee and many Lido’s were opened at this time, to commemorate the occasion. Ilkley is one of those and has an unusual shape, like that of a mushroom sliced in half. With the picturesque Ilkley Moors as a scenic  backdrop , this unheated fresh water pool benefits from a cafe, picnic benches and bowling green. There is even an indoor baths for inclement weather.  The 2017 season starts on the 28th of May.  www.bradford.gov.uk 

Stonehaven Heated Open Air Pool ~ Aberdeen, Scotland.  The Uk’s  Northernmost Art Deco Lido has an Olympic Sized (and heated) Sea Water Pool.  There are large sun terraces with free recliners and a cafe on site. Midnight Swims under the stars are apparently very popular at Stonehaven. πŸ™‚ There is also a heated indoor pool and leisure centre next door. The Lido reopens for the Summer at the end of May. www.stonehavenopenairpool.co.uk 

Bude Sea Pool ~ Cornwall.  This semi natural Sea Pool was built in the 1930s to provide safe sea swimming in a sheltered bay at Summerleaze Beach. The pool is a popular base for learning various activities including surfing and sea kayaking.  Swimming here is free. There are colourful beach huts to hire nearby and a cafe. I must admit I have actually seen this idylic attraction, bustling with holidaymakers on a warm August day. I should have ventured in !  www.budeseapool.org 

Tinside Lido ~ Plymouth.  Yet another beautiful example of thirties art deco splendor, Tinside overlooks the sea at the tip of Plymouth Hoe. The Lido is a sea water pool with three fountains and do I spy a lighthouse in the background?? On site is a coffee shop selling snacks and Icecream, but visitors can bring picnics too. There is also a Swim Shop and sun loungers for hire.  The splashing commences on Sat 27th May. πŸ™‚ www.everyoneactivecentre.com

There are plenty more lovely Lido’s and pool’s that I could include, so why not look up your nearest outdoor pool ? London and the South of England seem to have the highest concentration of original Lido’s still in use, while the further North you go, the fewer of these iconic beauties remain. 

Lido’s need our support to stay afloat ! 

Which Lido could tempt you to dip a toe in?