A walk up Ingleborough.

Readers of this blog will probably realise that hills are not my natural environment, never mind mountains! At 723 metres, Ingleborough is definitely a mountain and one of the three highest in Yorkshire. Together with nearby Whernside and Pen-y-ghent , they are known collectively as The Yorkshire Three Peaks. Some people set themselves the challenge of walking up all three in one day. Mad or what! On a camping trip last year , I managed to talk some friends out of dragging me up Ingleborough ( we walked the less daunting Ingleton Falls Trail instead), such is my horror of heading up into the clouds.

The day would come however ( and that day was a glorious Bank Holiday Monday), that I would reach the top of my first mountain…

We set off from The Old Hill Inn , just above the village of Ingleton, 4 adults, 2 children, 2 bedlington terriers and 1 black labrador. The weather was warm, but fortunately a cooling breeze helped us on our way. This route is the shortest one you can attempt apparently. A 2.5 mile walk up to the summit.

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Ingleborough.

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Heading for the hills.
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Limestone.

The scenery as you walk towards Ingleborough is varied. Plenty to look at including limestone kilns, limestone pavements and wild flowers such as Cotton grass and Early purple orchids.

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Looming nearer.
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Stairway to heaven. ๐Ÿ˜‰

So why do I not relish climbing hills? Well despite the fact that I enjoy walking, walking up hill always makes me feel like my heart is going to shoot out of my chest. ๐Ÿ˜• I know getting your heart pumping is meant to be a good thing, but I tend to convince myself that my death is imminent. I also hate it if anyone is behind me ( incase I am holding them up) and tend to stop to let them pass. I therefore find myself way behind everyone else in no time, stopping for breath every couple of minutes. Happily I don’t really feel any aching leg pains on the way up, because I am to busy hyperventilating. ๐Ÿคฃ

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Top of Ingleborough.

But hey I did make it!! And that has to be one of the best feelings in the world. I made it to the summit of Ingleborough. ๐Ÿ˜

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A good place to stop for lunch.
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This mountain top is vast and very flat.
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Craggy pathway.

After eating our packed lunches we tentatively retraced our steps back down the mountain. As you can see , it would be handy to be a mountain goat on both the ascent and descent.

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Rocky descent.
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Sheep in Cotton grass.
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Cooling off. ๐Ÿ˜

Our afternoon was topped off with a celebratory drink in the Old Hill Inn beer garden, with views towards the mountain we had just conquered. ๐Ÿ˜Š

And would I walk up another mountain? We are already planning on Whernside in a couple of weeks, so watch this space…….

Hawthorn’s Photo Scavenger Hunt ~ May.

Hi and welcome to this months Photo Scavenger Hunt. The words that Kate/Hawthorn chose for May are Cool, Movement, Disaster, Fence/Fencing, Prickly/Spiky & My Own Choice. So in no particular order, here are my photos for each prompt.

Cactus Buds. ๐Ÿ˜
My terrarium is home to a tiny cacti and an air plant.

Prickly/Spiky ~ It was very fortuitous that two of my friends and I actually went to a Terrarium making class a couple of weeks ago. ๐Ÿ˜. I have become quite fond of cacti in recent months, so it seemed a nice idea to create a home for some. The two hour course was part of The National Festival Of Making, which was held in Blackburn recently. If you fancy learning how to make a Terrarium for your prickly pals, check out Salvaged Gardens for workshop dates. They are based in Leeds.

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Bassenthwaite.

Cool ~ The best way of keeping cool in the recent hot weather? Paddling in a lake. This photo of me was taken at Bassenthwaite last week on a Camping Trip in The Lake District. The water was chilly!

Moo!

Fence ~ This picture was taken whilst out with Hugo yesterday. I tried to make him pose in front of a fence, but he was more interested in the cows . : b

On the hunt for crumbs!

Movement ~ Canada Geese hot-footing it past some rowing boats next to Derwentwater. The Lake is home to gaggles of Greylags and Canada Geese, honking away at the tourists and each other.

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I had my cake….and ate it !

Disaster ~ This was a tough prompt as I can’t think of any recent disasters that have happened ( touchwood!) , so when in doubt, post a picture of cake! I put on 3 1b in the Lake District…which I suppose is a bit of a disaster.

Manchester Street Art.

My Own Choice ~ I love this colourful Blue tit mural , found in the Northern Quarter area of Manchester. There is lots of unusual street art here, so its fun to grab your camera and go on a hunt. ๐Ÿ™‚

Thanks for dropping by. X

Postcard From The Lakes.

Well, we couldn’t have picked a better time for our first camping trip of the year! This very un-British like weather is having its advantages. ๐Ÿ™‚

Last week we spent four nights at Scotgate Holiday Park in Braithwaite, near Keswick.

Hugo chilling at ScotGate.

The campsite ( although a little overlooked) is

more or less perfect. Surrounded by a mountinous back drop and boasting a well stocked shop, cafe and shower block with underfloor heating ( No Less!) , Scotgate has a village location and good bus links to nearby Keswick and Cockermouth. Braithwaite itself is a lovely village with 2 pubs, a tea room ( opening soon) and a friendly village shop.

Here are a few photos of what we got up to on our break away.

Buttermere.

A lake we have always wanted to visit ‘Buttermere’ is a six mile drive from Braithwaite. A scenic route passes through the Newlands Valley and once in Buttermere village , there is parking near The Fish Hotel.

The Fish Hotel ~ once home to famed beauty Mary Robinson, known as the ‘Maid of Buttermere.’
There is a four and a half mile low-level walk around the lake.
Beautiful views everywhere you look.
Herdwick sheep and new borns.
My favourite view of Buttermere.

We loved our meander round Buttermere and I can’t wait to visit nearby Crummock Water and Loweswater.

Braithwaite is surrounded by mountain fells, so one morning we decided to bag another Wainwright ( mine and Hugo’s second! ) and walked up ‘ Barrow’ , one of the more diminutive Wainwright fells. At 1,494 feet , it still felt enormas to me!

A very rewarding view from the top! Both Derwentwater and Bassenthwaite can be seen from the summit.
Hugo enjoying a mountain breeze. ๐Ÿ™‚
Wil and Hugo.

We started our walk from the top of the village ( near the Coledale Inn) and the ascent is a gradual one , there is a clearly defined path up through the bracken. Once at the top, the views all around are stunning! The descent is quite steep. We soon realised we had actually done this walk before!! About 10 years ago, before I even really knew about bagging Wainwrights. So what was to be my second,is actually my first, done twice. Doh! Still, the hike up Barrow is definitely worth a repeat performance. ๐Ÿ˜

Keswick Launch , Derwentwater.

The nearest town to Braithwaite is Keswick, on the shores of Derwentwater. Known as Queen of the Lakes, Derwentwater has a scenic ten mile waymarked path around it, which we walked on our last visit in January. This time however, we thought we would take advantage of the Keswick Launch , whose pleasure boats have transported tourists around the lake since 1935. Its a hop on/hop off service , so fantastic for taking to a certain point then walking back…or vice versa.

We walked from Friars Crag to Ashness Gate , passing The National Trust Centenary Stone at Calfclose Bay. I have wanted to visit the most photographed packhorse bridge in The Lake District, Ashness Bridge since seeing its iconic image on a postcard. A short hike from Ashness Gate, and there it is!! A little further and another wonderful photographic opportunity is Surprise View, where we had a vast uninterrupted vista of Derwentwater.

Doggy Paddle. ๐Ÿ˜‰
The Centenary Stone.
Ashness Bridge.( Wil’s photo).
Bugles.
Surprise View.

It was beautiful up there and so tranquil. Imagine clumps of pretty Wild flowers, curling ferns and the sounds of cuckoos calling. :). A cooling boat trip back and a delicious tea at The Square Orange in Keswick. Bliss…

Pigging out at The Square Orange.

Our last full day of our holiday was also the Royal Wedding day. During the day we visited Dodd Wood where there are two Osprey viewing points , trained over Bassenthwaite Lake. Unfortunately the Osprey were in hiding, but these magnificent raptors nest nearby every year and are often seen flying over the water. Opposite the Dodd Wood car park is the entrance for Mirehouse & Gardens , a beautiful historic mansion and grounds , open to the public. Dogs are allowed in the gardens and grounds, so I persuaded Wil, that we should take a look. ๐Ÿ™‚

Mirehouse & Gardens
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In the Walled Garden.
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The Wall Garden provides shelter for Bees.
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A surprise find ~ A Snuff Garden. Atchhoooo!
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Pretty pink. ๐Ÿ™‚
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Fancy sitting on this throne?
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Lots of colour in the grounds.
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Bluebells.

Mirehouse’s gardens are a riot of colour and there is lots to explore including a Heather Maze, Fernery, Herb Garden, Bee Garden, Poets Walk and nature trails. The grounds reach as far as the lakeside and there are woodland walks with surprises at every corner.

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The Coledale Inn.

We were definitely late to the Wedding celebrations, but in the evening I did indulge in a Meghan Markle Mac N Cheese at the Coledale Inn , back in Braithwaite. : b

Thanks for reading. X

A Night Away At The Ibis Styles Hotel ~ Manchester.

Sometimes its good to get away to the big city, especially to see a show or a favourite band. As we were off to the 02 Apollo in Manchester on Sunday night, we thought, ‘you know what, lets stay over’. We found a terrific ( and fun! ) budget option in The Ibis Styles Hotel on Portland street, which is centrally located opposite Piccadilly Gardens.

I booked a Queen room , which was bright and spacious …. and like the entire hotel, had a wacky weather theme. ๐Ÿ˜Š The room was furnished with Queen bed, a sofa , writing desk, television, free wifi, kettle and ensuite bathroom. All the usual amenities for a comfortable city centre stay.

It was ‘ Raining Cats & Dogs ‘ in the elevator, the carpets were covered in Autumn leaves and a production of ‘Singing In The Rain’, wouldn’t have looked out of place in the lobby. ๐ŸŒž๐ŸŒงโ˜‚๏ธ You really couldn’t help but smile at the decor. ๐Ÿ˜

A tasty continental Breakfast is served in the Jamboree Foodfest Restaurant & Bar , which is also a great place for evening cocktails and has a Happy Hour. Of course I headed straight for the pain au chocolat. ๐Ÿ˜

For a budget B & B stay in Manchester , the Ibis Styles is a great choice. We were a 20 minute walk from the 02 Apollo concert venue and the eclectic bars & shops of the Northern Quarter are a 5 minute stroll away.

Street Art in the Northern Quarter.

Have you ever stopped in an Ibis Styles hotel?

A Mermaid in the Trough Of Bowland.

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Langden Valley.

Bank Holiday Monday was a scorcher wasn’t it! I had been working in the morning so was definitely ready for a little trip out. The Lancashire coast was a possibility, but in the end we decided to nip up to The Trough Of Bowland, a valley and high pass in the Forest Of Bowland Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. I was quite pleased with this idea as I had heard that a statue of a mermaid resides in the trough, and I wanted to find her. ๐Ÿ™‚ Because of the intense heat we decided to leave Hugo at home and take him out for an early evening walk instead.

But why on earth is there a mermaid living in an inland Lancashire valley, I hear you ask? I was a bit confused myself. Even though the Trough of Bowland is the scenic route to Lancaster and the coastal towns beyond, this is the only connection to the sea , that I know of. Several babbling brooks do meander through the countryside though and three Water Intakes were built in the 1920’s. Langden Water Intake is the home of our mermaid. Her name is Miranda.

Miranda is quite easy to find. Park at the Langden Car Park by the brook. This site is popular with picnickers on sunny days and at weekends there is usually a mobile hotdog/icecream van parked up. Cross the blue bridge and walk down a tree lined avenue, following the track a short way into the Langden Valley. You will see a cottage and the water treatment works ahead. Peer over a gate at the side and you should see a mermaid perched on the wall of the settling pool. Of course, we somehow totally missed spotting her at first…and walked straight past. I then spied the statue through the trees and got quite frustrated, as I couldn’t get a good photo. ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

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Blue Bridge.
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Behind the Water Intake.

We found ourselves looking over a fence at the back of the property, with lots of No Entry signs. I decided to chance it and climbed over the gate, snuck up to the wall and got a couple of photos. Luckily our camera has a pretty good zoom! Though in hindsight I really didn’t need to do this ( Wil got some pictures from over the gate I mentioned afterwards), it’s great that I now have shots of the mermaid from two different angles. ๐Ÿ™‚

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Miranda sitting on the wall by the settling pool.
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Miranda.

Miranda was sculpted by water engineer George Aldersley in the fifties . She was modelled on his wife Madge and he actually sculpted the water nymph in their front room. She was possibly named after the mermaid in the 1948 film ‘ Miranda’ starring Glynis Johns , in the title role.

You have probably noticed that this mermaid does not have a huge swishing tail. She is apparently a twin-tailed mermaid, the statues legs tucked underneath her, end in flat fins.

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Walking ahead into the Langden Valley.

After my spot of trespassing , we had a short walk into the Langden Valley. The sun was really beating down though, so we didn’t amble very far.

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Looking a bit like the ‘Wild West’ ๐Ÿ™‚
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Brook.
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Oyster Catcher by the water.
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The cottage has a good view of the mermaid.
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Wil’s photo of Miranda.

We soon headed back through the trees to the car park and treated ourselves to an ice cream to cool down. I also noticed a memorial to 25 air pilots who crashed in the Forest of Bowland during the second world war. The airmen were from Britain, America, Poland, Canada, Australia and New Zealand.

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Shade on a hot day.
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War Memorial.
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Time for ice cream.

Thanks for reading. If you would like to know more about the Langden Mermaid , I got my information from mermaidsofearth.com

Have you come across any mermaid statues, anywhere in the world?

Wild Garlic & Cheese Scones.

Today I reached a little milestone. I am currently participating in the #walk1000miles challenge , which I started in the New Year. I have just become a Proclaimer. I have walked 500 Miles! To celebrate, I thought I would do a little baking , so I made some Wild Garlic & Cheese Scones. Wild garlic has speer shaped leaves and is abundant in woodland at the moment. In fact it’s white pompom shaped flowers are just starting to appear. I foraged some leaves whilst out walking locally this afternoon.

Wild Garlic & Cheese Scones.

I found this recipe in the Ribble Valley Magazine and it is one of wild food forager James Woods , from www.totallywild.co.uk

Ingredients ( 8 Scones).

250g plain flour.

75g unsalted butter, small chunks.

1tsp baking powder.

1 tsp salt.

50g mature cheese, grated.

15-20 young wild garlic leaves and stems, finely chopped.

150ml milk.

Method.

Place the flour into a large bowl and add the butter. Rub the flour into the butter until it resembles fine bread crumbs.

Add the salt, baking powder, grated cheese, chopped wild garlic leaves and mix.

In the mixing bowl.

Make a well in the middle and add the milk, a little at a time, mix with your hands or a large spoon.

Flatten the dough into a thick round on a floured surface. Ok!

Remove and form it into a ball in your hands, then flatten the dough into a thick round on a floured surface and cut into eight wedges ( I only managed 6). Place on a lined baking tray.

Scones…..that actually look like bannocks. Ready to go in the oven.

Bake in the middle of a pre-heated oven, 180 C , for 15 to 20 minutes until risen and lightly browned.

Happy 500 Miles!

I found the scones to have a subtle garlic flavour. They are really good with butter! I think I should have tried to cut the wild garlic leaves finer, but all in all I am quite pleased with how they turned out. ๐Ÿ˜

Heres to the next 500 miles!

Beacon Fell Country Park ~ Chipping, Lancashire.

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Orme Sight Sculpture.

Beacon Fell Country Park in the beautiful Forest of Bowland area of Lancashire is not that far from where I live, yet it is somewhere we rarely visit. I think that will change this year, now that we have discovered what a fab afternoon out, this popular Country Park is. After picking up my niece and nephew and demoting Mr Hugo to the boot, we set off from Clitheroe to the village of Chipping and beyond, passing Bowland Forest Gliding Club and Blacksticks Lane ~ which immediately made me think of the Lancashire cheese. ๐Ÿ˜Š

The park has several car parks, the main one having a cafe and visitor centre and a small parking charge. After piling out of the car, we set off to explore. There are several sculptures dotted round Beacon Fell. In hindsight we should have bought a 20p map from the visitor centre, as is the usual case with sculpture trails, we failed to spot them all.

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Violets.
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Tree Creeper. ๐Ÿ™‚

Beacon Fell Country Park is a mixture of heather moorland at the summit and spruce woodland ,so is a rich haven for wildlife. There are numerous walking trails and the blue Fellside trail may also be used by mountain bikers and horse riders. The weekend we visited was very busy with families and dog walkers, so we failed to spy the area’s native roe deer. I imagine at quieter times, there is probably lots more to see. I settled for a photo of a camera shy kestrel. ๐Ÿ˜Š

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Camera shy Kestrel.
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Lizard Love Seat.

The views from Beacon Fell’s Summit ( 266m high) are lovely all around. From the Bowland Fells you can glimpse the Lancashire coastline and on a bright day, the skies are generously big.

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The Summit.
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Top of the park.
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Golden Gorse.

On our future return we will be sure to look out for a heron, a walking snake , a living willow deer and a black tiger. We did at least spot a dragonfly, he isn’t on the map! There is also a tarn to discover, which apparently buzzes with real dragonflies….

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After a couple of hours of climbing trees, wildlife spotting and throwing sticks for Hugo ( his ball on a rope ended up tangled round a tree branch as usual ๐Ÿคฃ) ,we had a drink at the cafe and a quick look in the visitor centre. We all agreed a return trip is a must!