All posts by shazza

My name is Shazza and I live in a small town in North west England with my boyfriend and our black lab Hugo and black cat Slinky. I work in a supermarket full time and in my spare time i enjoy reading,film,food( mostly eating it,I am a terrible cook!),taking photos,travel,camping,wildlife,spending time with my mates and hunting in car boots and charity shops for vintage teacups.This blog is hopefully going to be a collection of my fave things and musings on life,the universe and everything.Xx

Into The Woods. 🌳

Skipton Castle Woods is a lovely place to wander whatever the season. I always seem to be drawn here in the Winter , when it is easier to spot birds busy in the bare branches of this centuries old woodland.

Spirit of the Medieval Huntress by Anna & the Willow.

The Woodland is looked after by The Woodland Trust. Eller Beck runs through the valley and Skipton Castle is nearby. You don’t even have to imagine the medieval hunting that went on amongst the shade of ancient oaks. Anna Crosses evocative willow sculptures give you a glimpse of what it was like here all those years ago.

Stag by Anna & the Willow.
Treecreeper.
Stalking Horse by Anna & the Willow.

After a saunter around the Woods a Hot Chocolate was a welcome treat. The Chocolate Works on the High Street ( there’s one in Clitheroe too) was a great choice. πŸ™‚

The Chocolate Works.
I took this photo purely because of all those smart doggys in the window. Looks quite a specialist shop though!

Skipton Canal.

Do you have a favourite woodland you like to have a wander in?

Paythorne Walk.

We got out for our first longish walk this year, a year which we started off by catching covid. Oh joy! Luckily for both Wil and I, our experience of the virus was pretty tame. We both had colds, runny noses and sneezed alot. We watched alot of Netflix. The End. Though I must admit, it was good to take our boots off when we finished this hike, it tired us out more than we care to admit….

Again I dipped into Nick Burton’s Lancashire Pub Walks guide for inspiration.

Paythorne is a small village ( well more of a hamlet really) between Gisburn in the Ribble Valley and Hellifield in North Yorkshire. Theres not much there except a pub, a tiny Methodist church and a large Caravan Park. At the moment there is definitely some sort of dispute in the village regarding a proposal to extend the caravan park. Everywhere you look there are orange signs saying ‘ Say No To More Caravans ‘ , I think there are more signs than houses.

We parked in the village car park opposite the pub and set off. The walk is one of bridleways, fields and country lanes and is 6 or so miles long.

The Buck at Paythorne.
Sign for the large Caravan park at Paythorne.
A Bridleway through twisted thorns and Holly trees. I have decided to call it Hey Holly Lonnin. 😁
Gorse can flower all year round.
I do love an old freight train carriage. Growing up my sister, cousins and I were lucky enough to have one to play house in, until our Grandad gave it to the chickens!

Quite a bit of road walking.
Just liked the name. 😁
Another farm ~ with chickens.
Curious Shire Horse.
The cutest πŸ™‚
The Cockiest.
Hen Harrier Sign for The Forest Of Bowland.
I – Spy ~ a white pheasant. It is possible that these white coloured birds are bred for pheasant shoots as markers, to identify the whereabouts of other pheasants. Therefore they are usually safe from the bullet, unlike their more common cousins.
View of the River Ribble.
Sham Castle 🏰 ruins. These were once the kennels that housed the Lords Ribblesdales hounds.
Hugo saying that living with us is much nicer than living in a sham Castle. Really!
Gisburne Park estate is used for weddings and other events, hence the light bulbs everywhere.
Fields.
Woody path.
Paythorne Bridge.
Back into the village.
Tiny Methodist Church. Grade 2 listed dating from the 1800s.
The Route.

Thanks for dropping by. ☺️

Silverdale Saunter.

Back to the beach again! But this time it’s a saunter round Silverdale, a Lancashire village ( but only just ! ) on Morecambe Bay near the Cumbria Border. We visited here last Summer whilst staying in nearby Arnside. In fact we have camped in Silverdale before too, but these photos are just from an afternoon saunter in August. For one reason or other I didn’t take as many pictures as usual. Darn!

The Arnside and Silverdale AONB is a breathtakingly beautiful place. I follow a blogger from the area ~Β  Beating The Bounds regularly walks & cycles the meandering lanes and rocky limestone outcrops that make this little coastal corner so special.

But back to our visit. It was a warm but quite grey August day,  showers too I think. There was a summertime vibe in the village, pops of colour from yarn bombing and bunting.

Silverdales Millennium Clock in its vibrant yarn bombed jacket.
Yarn bombed!
Busy day at the Blossom Bird cafe. 🐦

Hugo seemed to know where we should take him ( he is after all  ‘ The Most Important’ ) and pulled us toward the shore. We walked along the sands a while,  finally coming to a little inlet behind woodland at Gibraltar Farm Campsite. We probably weren’t meant to cut through the site, but thought we could get away with looking either lost/ confused / campers. πŸ˜‰

Shoreside cottages.
Morecambe Bay.
Rocky cliffs.
Inlet.

We found ourselves at The Wolf House Gallery opposite Gibraltar Farm and stopped here for a takeaway lunch.

Honesty box eggs & jams ( and wellies πŸ™‚ ) at Gibraltar Farm.
Wolf House. The last Wolf in England was said to be hunted near here.
Outside the gallery.

After lunch we continued up a quiet lane to two local landmarks. Jenny Browns Point is a beautiful viewing point with wide reaching vistas over the bay. There is a lovely looking house here that is said to have been home to Jenny Brown herself. But who was she? It is said she may have been a nanny who tried to save her charges from the waves. Or more romantically, was she a lovelorn maiden waiting for her mate to return , feared lost at sea. No one knows for sure.

Cottage at Jenny Browns Point.
Lime Kiln at Jenny Browns Point.

Nearby is Jack Scout Nature Reserve , managed by the National Trust. We weaved our way through the gorse and other windswept shrubs to find a rather grand stone seat. If your ever around Silverdale be sure to sit on The Giants Chair and enjoy the views.

The Giants Chair.
View from Jack Scout.

Phew! Caught up at last on posts from our week on The Cumbrian ( and Lancashire) Coast in August of 2021.

Bye for now. 🐚

A Dog Who Inspired A Poem. 🐾

Anyone who has a dog will probably identify with the words below. πŸ™‚ Although my Labrador is incredibly sweet, he’s also a bit of a monster. I’m under no illusions there!

Looking back at walks we did last Summer made me think about the poem my niece and nephew made up whilst we were out and about in the countryside with Hugo. On one particular walk he ended up emerging from a hole ( which seriously looked like some kind of freshly dug grave), crunching on a bone. Not his finest moment!

Happily my family seem to adore Hugo despite his bad habits. πŸ™‚

Those Poets!

Poo Sniffer

Stick Biter

Grave Digger

Bog Monster

Breath Stinker

Ice cream licker

Slob Drooler

Bone Cruncher

Ear Flapper

Crap Muncher

Mud Roller

Toy Biter

Teddy Chewer

Fart wiffer

Trombone Trumper

Treat Eater

Hugo.

Is there such a thing as a totally angelic dog??

Lovely Lytham.

It’s been a couple of years since I visited the Fylde Coast, Bank Holiday Monday seemed the perfect day for a bracing beach walk. My was it cold! Luckily we wrapped up. The wind was determined and even whipped away our Parking Ticket ( probably into the North Sea! ) so another had to be purchased. Despite that, it was a pleasure to be in Lytham once again….

Lancashire’s Fylde Coast is home to Seaside resorts such as Blackpool and St Annes. Lytham is the one with the Windmill on the Green, looking out over the Ribble Estuary. Just in case you weren’t aware. The town has changed a little I think, even since my last visit two Winters ago. There are a wealth of new independent shops and cafes on the tree lined wide pavemented streets, away from the chilly seafront. A Summer trip is much overdue.

A Mussel Shell 🐚 Sculpture on the site of the old Mussel Tanks , near the RNLI Lifeboat Station.
Up until the 1940s freshly caught Shellfish were cleaned in the Mussel Tanks. The site has recently been preserved for history.
Adorably kitch Wreath.
Too cold for ice cream.
However , Chells on Clifton Street is a great place for lunch.
My Lunch.
On Clifton Street.
Newly opened Pie & Sausage Shop.
Old favourite ~ Tom Towers Tasty Cheese Shop.

The seafront at Lytham is actually an estuary front , with a 800 metre promenade that links the resort to its nearest neighbour St Anne’s. There are views over the River Ribble towards the twinkling lights of Southport and even to Wales. The marshes are home to thousands of migratory birds. I should have brought a pair of binoculars!

Shipwreck!
Looking towards the marshes.
A White Wagtail. A migratory species whose cousin is the more common Pied Wagtail.
Marshland.
A Kestrel finds a perch.
Lytham Green and Windmill.

Lytham Windmill is undoubtedly the town’s most iconic landmark. Built in 1805 it stands proud on the Green, looking out over the marshes. It was a flour mill but ceased trade in the 1920s. Today it houses a museum, though I have never ventured inside.

Lytham Windmill and old Lifeboat House.
Anchors. These were restored after being caught the nets of a Fishing Trawler called ‘ Biddy’ in the 1980s.
A boardwalk to the sea.
My purchase. Half price Christmas cards from the RNLI shop. I have put them away ‘ somewhere safe’ for this year.

Have you been to the coast this Winter?

2021 ~ My Year In Photos.

2021 is a wrap folks! Here’s my usual yearly round-up in photos, of what has been another very Up and Down twelve months.

Snow up Pendle.

January ~ We started the year still in lock-down , the rare snow in my hometown certainly made folk here completely giddy, everyone seemed to head up Pendle Hill for fun in the white stuff. There were sad times too as I lost a family member to covid.

Resting on a Bolton By Bowland walk.

February ~ From what I remember the first few months of 2021 involved lots of chilly local hikes and tramping through lots of mud. But as a certain Black Labrador loves his walks, this didn’t bother us too much. πŸ™‚

A friends Birthday πŸŽ‰

March ~ This photo was taken on my friend Fi’s Birthday. We were still in lock-down and I’m not even sure that 3 people from 3 households were supposed to meet up actually. We took cans to a local beer garden and celebrated outdoors, not another soul in sight! Fi says it was one of her best birthdays!

Worsaw wander.

April ~ I remember how good it felt in April when we were officially allowed to meet up for walks in larger groups. An Easter walk took us to Downham via a wander up Worsaw Hill. Also in April we could start using our caravan in the Eden Valley again.

Miles of golden sand , Wells Next The Sea.

May ~ Hurrah, restrictions over and a holiday happened! A week in sunny Norfolk with Wil and Hugo, in a cottage by the sea.

Llama trekking , Brougham Castle.

June ~ It was good to spend a few days at the caravan with friends in June. A Cat cafe, the Lakes Zoo and Llama trekking were amongst the fun times had.

Afternoon Tea in Skipton.

July ~ Enjoyed the most decadent Afternoon Tea with pals this month. Life was truly getting back to normal.

All Aboard The Ratty!

August ~ We were fortunate enough to spend a lovely long weekend in Ravenglass & Eskdale in August. It’s become tradition to ride the Ratty on these occasions. πŸ™‚

A Wainwright Memorial above Blackburn.

September ~ I think my favourite walk in September may well have been a local one to find Alfred Wainwright’s memorial, in the hills above Blackburn.

Pumpkin Patch πŸŽƒπŸŽƒ

October ~ Unfortunately Wil got sciatica which put a stop to our walks together for a while. Luckily he’s much better now. For once I was faster on my feet than my other half for a change! We went ahead with a mini break in Scotland, but kept our explorations to a minimum.

Birthday πŸŽ‚

November ~ Unlike 2020 I got to go out for my Birthday this year. Happy days. 😁

Spot the Slinky.

December ~ Theres been Christmas meet ups with family and friends and so far, touchwood, everyone has stayed safe and healthy. Can you spy my moggie Slinky Malinki in the festive photo above?

Wishing my followers and fellow bloggers a Happy and Healthy 2022.

See you on the other side. X

Tockholes Walk. πŸ₯Ύ

Hi there, hope everyone has had a good Christmas break. On Boxing Day, despite it being a bit drizzly and damp, we were up for a good walk to blow away the cobwebs. Out came the Guide To Lancashire Pub Walks by Nick Burton. We decided to try the last route in this handy little pocket size book, taking in moorland and woodland near the West Pennines village of Tockholes. I am sure parts of this trek have been covered by other bloggers I follow, but it is an area myself and Wil definitely need to explore more.

We parked near The Royal Arms pub, which looks to be a popular ramblers Inn with toasty fires , serves food and is dog friendly. In no time we were walking up Darwen Moor, heading into the mist.

Darwen Moor and a sign for its popular landmark, not a rocket πŸš€ but Darwen Tower.
Moorland horse.
On the move.
And so are we, in the opposite direction.
Back onto moorland by Stepback Brook.
We didn’t head for the tower, which at the moment is obscured by scaffolding anyway, but followed the signs across the fell and back down toward woodland.
Zig Zagging across the Moors, we heard Grouse calling to one another.
Once in Roddlesworth Woods saw lots of Winter Fungi.
Witches Butter Fungi aka Yellow Brain.
Turkey Tail Fungi in the Moss.
In the Woods, the rather spooky remains of Hollinshead Hall, including this old Well House, where pilgrims stopped on the way to Whalley Abbey.
This lovely Pack Horse Bridge was perfect for a pit stop.
A view from the bridge over Rocky Brook.
Tockholes Tourists.
Some kind person had spread bird seed along the opposite bridge wall. Coal Tits, Nuthatch and even Grey Wagtail ( above) were enjoying their Christmas feast.
Nuthatch.
Hugo found an Orange ball which he decided to roll down every little hill he came across.
He also had fun in Rocky Brook.
Pixie Cup Lichen.
We followed the woodland path as far as Roddlesworth Reservoir.
And then turned back on ourselves and found a wooded path back up to The Royal Arms.

This was a good 4 -5 mile walk and I’m hopeful we will make it back to the area soon. Loved all the wildlife seen and the rugged Lancashire landscape.

Wildlife Seen In 2021.

Is it really time for my first Round Up Post of 2021! Before I put this blog together , I had actually forgotten that I have seen quite a selection of wildlife this year. The ending of travel restrictions at home meant holidays in different parts of the UK , therefore different wildlife too. It was so good to spend a week on the Norfolk Coast, where there are an abundance of sea birds such as Avocet and Brent Geese. And of course Seals galore, which are always fun to see ( and hear! ), they do make some funny noises. 😁

Spent quite a bit of time at the caravan too, which has has been a great base for exploring Cumbria and even further North. It was a pleasure to be taken to see a rare Bird’s-eye Primrose by a botany loving lady in Melmerby and to catch a glimpse of Red Squirrels in woodland at Killhope Mining Museum , County Durham.

The best wildlife moments are often those that completely sneek up on you. Like coming across a Sika Deer Stag whilst on a local walk. What an honour…. My personal favourite sighting though might just be that of a Blood Vein Moth. This strange insect was discovered by my niece and nephew in the grass ,whilst we walked in fields near Downham. To see the photo keep scrolling down. Enjoy. β™₯️

Red Squirrel 🐿️, one of three seen at Killhope Mining Museum in County Durham.
Common Seals on a hidden sand bank, Brancaster in Norfolk.
A nesting Fulmar , the stripey red cliffs of Hunstanton, Norfolk.
Brent Goose, there were flocks of these at RSPB Titchwell Marsh in May.
Two Red Legged Partridge in a field in Melmerby.
Sunflower 🌻 Display, Crummock Bank Farm in Cumbria.
Male Eider Duck in Eyemoth Harbour, Scottish Borders.
Golden Plover on Melmerby Fell in April.
Holly Blue Butterfly, Clitheroe Castle.
Turnstone at Hunstanton beach.
A Yellow Iris is home to a 🐌 Snail, Hest Bank, Lancashire.
Sweet Cygnet at Salt House, Norfolk.
More Norfolk wildlife ~ Muntjac Deer 🦌
Vibrant purple Columbine, Haltwhistle, Northumberland.
My first ever Tree Creeper photo, taken at NT Acorn Bank.
Birds – Eye Primrose. Love the colour. In a field near Melmerby.
Avocet ~ Cley Next The Sea, Norfolk.
A Grey Seal waiting for food at Eyemouth Harbour in Scotland.
Blood Vein Moth. Don’t you think it looks like a pair of blood drained lips! Photo taken by my nephew Roman.
Handsome Sika Deer Stag, Gisburn Park, Lancashire.

My vow for next year, is to actually take my Camera out more. Like most people I seem to be relying more on my phone camera, which of course is not good enough to capture that elusive Kingfisher or that cackling Jay.

What wildlife have you been lucky enough to see in 2021? πŸ€—

Ten Places To Enjoy A Hot Chocolate In Clitheroe.

The recent colder weather has made me crave toasty fires, cosy sofas….and hot chocolate! In the interests of this blog I thought I had better go ahead and sample some of the delicious and heavenly hot chocolates that Clitheroe has to offer. 🀩

The Unicorn. Photo Credit ~ Lesley Turner.

Escape Coffee & Cocktails ~ Oh my goodness, have you ever seen anything so crazily colourful as The πŸ¦„ Unicorn. It’s just bound to bring a smile to your face. Escape are renowned for their eye-catching creations and presently feature a Christmas Hot Chocolate and their ever popular Classic Indulgent Hot Chocolate. So why not relax in lovely surroundings and Escape to chocolate heaven.

The Beer Shack ~ If you haven’t realised yet that Craft Ale Bar ‘ The Beer Shack ‘ on King Street opens daily and in the mornings, you probably haven’t sampled one of their cute frothy Hot Chocolates, served with squirty cream and marshmallows. I love the cosy alpine feel of the place and if your lucky you might bagsy the comfy sofa or arm chair in the front room. There’s a home baked cake selection too. Yummy πŸ˜‹.

Maxwells ~ Which festive delight will you partake in before you board the train bound for the twinkling lights of Manchesters Christmas Markets?? Situated near the train station Maxwells Cafe Wine Bar has a Christmas Hot Drinks Menu that includes a fabulous Ferrer Roche Hot Chocolate ( above) and a madly morish Cadburys Chocolate Orange. Both come with a mouthwatering chocolate treat.

Toms Table ~ I must admit I haven’t tried the heavenly Hot Chocolat from French Bistro Toms Table at the time of writing, but I think it may very well find its way onto my Festive Treat List. Ooh la la. 🀩

Take Away Hot Chocolate & Croissants ~ Photo Credit M Fenner.

Fenners Bakes ~ What better way to warm up whilst shopping in the market town of Clitheroe, than a decadent Hot Chocolate from the bustling market itself. Fenners Bakes not only make their own delicious Chocolate Brownies, their continental Hot Chocolate is made from the finest Belgium Dark Chocolate. A real treat , it’s thick and velvety and goes excellently with a warm fluffy croissant. Scrumptious!

Chocolate Works Creations ~ Photo Credit ~ Nicola Gornall.

The Chocolate Works ~ Of all the establishments in Clitheroe that serve sensational Hot Chocolate , its The Chocolate Works that inevitably is always the first on everybody’s lips. This lovely cafe always makes me feel like I have been enfolded in the wrapper of a sublime bar of the finest freshest home made chocolate. Indeed the folks here make their very own chocolate and turn it into waffles, marvellous milkshakes, fondues and winter warming beverages. Heavenly.

Moor ~ Once you’ve tried one of Moor’s marvellous marshmallow loaded mugs of Hot Chocolate, I guarantee you will go back for more. Situated on Moor Lane ( of course ! ), this homely cafe with its unique Clitheroe floor map and pretty decor is also very reasonably priced. I am tempted to return. πŸ€—

Bowland Food Hall at Holmes Mill ~ I always find wandering round the Food Hall at Holmes Mill a treat ,especially at this time of year. There are plenty of mouth watering produce on display, much of it from local suppliers in Lancashire. A friend and I enjoyed a warming Hot Chocolate recently, accompanied by a dainty Portuguese Custard Tart. A delightful combination.

The Secret Garden Cafe ~ Tucked away above Clitheroe Market, this Vegetarian/Vegan Cafe is a hidden gem, a welcoming stop off after perusing the stalls. Serving fresh and tasty food including home baked cakes, their menu features both regular and vegan Hot Chocolate.This one was made using Oat Milk and was super delicious. And if your wondering, the cafe includes an adjacent Health Food Shop and Wool Shop.

Exchange Coffee Company ~ Their Three Storey Coffee House , Roastery and Shop on Wellgate has been a Clitheroe staple for many years. And the well established Coffee Company always knows how to jazz up their Winter warming beverages! I relaxed in the lovely William Morris wallpapered dining room on the second floor with a toasted teacake and a delicious white chocacino topped with half a Tunnocks Snowball. Bliss.

Hope you enjoyed my Ten Places Post. I’m thinking of doing a few others for Clitheroe in the future!

One Night In Settle.

My Other Half treated me to the best early Christmas Present this year. A night away in the lovely Yorkshire Dales town of Settle and a gig in its popular Victoria Hall. It was a Sunday and quite a few shops in town were closed but there was still a festive atmosphere about the place. Here are a few photos from our trip.

The gig venue ~ Victoria Hall.
View from the Market Place.
A beautiful Christmas Tree in the centre.
Inside my favourite Settle gift shop ‘ Car & Kitchen ‘.
Talbot Arms pub.
Mulled Wine moment.

We stayed at The Golden Lion on Duke Street which is one of those welcoming Yorkshire hostelries with a cosy wood burner and a good Full English breakfast. πŸ™‚

The Golden Lion.
Golden Lion Room.
Toasty fire.

In the evening we went to Sydney’s Tapas Bar & Restaurant for a meal, followed by Peat & Diesel at Settle Victoria Hall which amazingly is the World’s oldest surviving Music Hall.

Lit up Shop.
Fish & Chips at Sydney’s.
Support act singer ~ Cody Feechan.
Stornoway band Peat & Diesel rocked on the last day of their UK tour.

The next morning we had a leisurely lie in ( for us!) followed by breakfast at the pub. Then there was a small detour on the way home……

Dining room and tree.
Love the Highland Coos.
Golden Lion Breakfast. No egg on mine as I’m not a fan.

It was absolutely pouring it down as we set off back. Still time for a quick visit to award winning Cheese Monger The Courtyard Dairy to finish off our trip. Cheese was tasted and cheese was bought. 😁

Merry Christmas Cow.
Indeed!
Cheese Grommit!
Too cold for ice cream today.
Quite random but , Ski Lifts. 😁

Hope you are enjoying your December so far. β™₯️