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

Sunday Sevens ~ 20th August.

A week off  work, so a good way to summarise it, would be to join in with Sunday Sevens I think.  Its been a pretty great week, despite the very unpredictable weather!  Here are 7 pictures of what I have got up to over the last 7 days. 🙂

1. We took Hugo on a walk from Cleveleys to Blackpool. Here he is on the wonderful Comedy Carpet , in front of Blackpool Tower. Wonder which joke or catchphrase has caught his eye? Boom, Boom ! maybe. 🙂

2. Wil treated me to lunch at a new eaterie in Skipton called Alexander’s. It was a rare dry sunny afternoon and we shared this delicious platter outside on their lovely sun terrace. He definitely did treat me as it cost him £32. Yikes! 

3. Last weekend we were camping with friends in Ingleton , in the Yorkshire Dales. We walked the Ingleton Falls trail and got our hands muddy knocking ten pence pieces into this money tree. 🙂

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4. Yesterday we went a walk round Ribblehead Viaduct ….and it was bloomin freezing! Felt more like November than mid August.  Seen in the black comedy film ‘Sightseers’, Ribblehead has 24 arches and is the longest viaduct in Europe.

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5.  You may have heard the story of how Ribblehead was built in the 1800s. One Hundred railway workers ( Navvies) lost their lives building the iconic structure, which carries the Settle-Carlisle Railway over Blea Moor. The Navvies also built  shanty towns on the moors , where they lived whilst constructing the viaduct. I quite like this shot of a train journeying accross. 

6.  We visited Northern England’s Book Town ‘Sedbergh’ which is also in the Yorkshire Dales National Park.  There are 7 or 8 book shops here, most selling other products too ,such as outdoor gear or gifts and toys. I picked up some pretty postcards, an Observer’s book of Wild Animals from the fifties and a couple more RSPB pins for my collection. As I flip through my Observer’s guide, I am definitely picking up clues to the demise of some of our beloved wildlife. Badger Hams were apparently a ‘thing’ back in the day. What!!

7.  This week has been National Afternoon Tea week in the UK, the perfect excuse for booking a sublime afternoon tea at The Cake’Ole in Skipton. My friends Arwen, Gill and I tucked into the treats. I will blog about it very soon! 

Natalie at Threads and Bobbins organizes Sunday Sevens. Anyone can join in on a Sunday with 7 ( or more ) pics of their week.

 

Sea Air ~ Cleveleys & Blackpool.

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Sea Holly, Rossall Beach.

The merest hint of sunshine and dry weather, and we headed for the coast.  I had done a little research into Lancashire beaches, the ones where you can walk your dog all year round, and Bispham beach came up as an option. Set between Blackpool North Shore and Cleveleys, there are no dog restrictions on this quiet stretch of sand.  However, we somehow ended up parking at the Rossall Beach side of Cleveleys instead, which turned out fine, as there were plenty of dog walkers there too!

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Confused in Cleveleys.
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Mary’s Shell.
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Sea Swallow.

Once you arrive at the shiny new promenade at Cleveleys, pop your dog on a lead. There are the usual dog walking beach restrictions here between May and September, but the sea front is definitely worth a look.  A children’s story book called ‘The Sea Swallow’ has been brought to life by several interesting sculptures. Look out for a giant curved shell on the shore , an ogre on the beach and the ogre’s giant paddle on the prom. Apparently the book is based on local coastal myth and legend.

 

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Curved promenade.

 

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Ogre on the Beach.
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Ogre’s paddle.

 

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Hugo on the beach.

It seemed a good idea to continue walking to Blackpool. After all distant views of Blackpool Tower beckoned!  Unfortunately ( or fortunately) there is a lot of work being done on the areas sea defences at the moment, so much of our walk was along the promenade.  At Bispham the famous Blackpool Illuminations start, so I couldn’t help but join this Mad Hatter’s Tea Party. 🙂  Feeling peckish we bought Fish and Chips and continued with our journey.  The walk between Cleveleys and Blackpool North Shore is a bracing 4 miles.

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Illuminations in Bispham. 

 

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Old Sea Cliff Lift.
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North Pier.

As the oldest of Blackpool’s three Victorian piers loomed in front of us, so did Blackpool Tower, which was first opened to the public in 1894 and at 518 feet , is the 120th tallest freestanding tower in the world.  In front of the tower is the remarkable  Comedy Carpet , a wonderful homage to the work of over 1000 comedians and comedy writers, all of whom have performed in Blackpool. A great place for a stick of rock and a chuckle. 🙂

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Blackpool Tower and the Comedy Carpet.

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We took a walk along the North Pier . Crumbling and gentile, there’s life on the old pier yet. A children’s miniature train, a vintage carousel, old fashioned sweets and Dirty Dancing playing in the theatre.

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On the North Pier.
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Sweet Shop on North Pier.
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View of Blackpool Tower.

As it started to drizzle, we decided to catch the Fleetwood Ferry Tram back to Cleveleys.  The trams are a quick and inexpensive way to get around.  Once there we enjoyed coffee and cake sat outside a local cafe, before walking back along Rossall Beach to the car.

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Cream cake in Cleveleys.
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Icecream Van in Cleveleys.

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Young Gull.
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Mary’s Shell.

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Rossall Beach.

It was a nice experience exploring a bit of coastline that we have never ventured to before. Have you ever been to Cleveleys? Are you a fan of Blackpool? Where do you go for some Sea Air? 

Ingleton ~ Camping and Waterfalls.

Oh British Summertime where are you? Oh wait, this is British Summer Time!!  We have just returned from a camping weekend with friends ,in the Yorkshire Dales. We donned our wellies and waterproofs and didn’t let the continuous downpours spoil our fun. 🙂 Happily we found a really good campsite just outside of Ingleton village, which definitely catered to all our needs.

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Meadow Falls is kid and dog friendly.

Meadow Falls is a proper family friendly campsite. Along with the usual campsite facilities, Meadow Falls has the additional benefits of a small shop selling essentials, a children’s play area, fire pit hire, a games room converted from an old barn (great for rainy days ~ there is also a fridge freezer and microwave in there)  and a fairy trail , which proved popular with the youngsters in our group. 🙂

The site also welcomes dogs and has an enclosed dog exercise area ,plus there is even a warm water dog shower!  A recently refurbished family and dog-friendly pub, The Marton Arms, is only a 5 minute walk away. And Ingleton with it’s host of shops, cafes and pubs is about 15 minutes walk.  Pretty much the perfect campsite then for our band of five adults, two kids and two dogs.

 

 

The weather did not play ball on this trip, for a splash around in Ingleton’s  Open-air swimming pool , so we decided to have a splash around the Waterfall Trail instead!  The  Ingleton Waterfalls Trail   is a four and a half mile waterfall wonderland and is well signposted in the village.  There is a charge for the upkeep of the trail. Adults £6, Children £3 and a family ticket costs £15.

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The trail winds its way through woodland , following the River Twiss and the River Doe. It also covers rugged moorland and as a geological site, much of the trail has been designated a Site of Special Scientific Interest.  Here are a few pictures from our walk.

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Muddy hands and a Money Tree.
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Bridge over the River Twiss.
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Mushroom carvings.
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Pecca Falls.
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The refreshment hut at Pecca Falls makes great hot dogs.
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The sun came out at Thornton Force.
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It is possible to stand behind the waterfall.
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Heather in bloom.
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Bridge Buddies. 🙂
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Swaledale sheep.
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A Wheatear .
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Beezley Falls.
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Rival Falls.
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Emerging Ghyll Scramblers or Canyoners. Brrr , must have been cold!
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Snow Falls.
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Limestone.

Our walk was interlaced with sunshine and showers, but we all agreed it was great fun. It almost looked like the sun was here to stay…….then a sudden downpour sent us scurrying to a pub in Ingleton, for refreshments and card games. 🙂

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Drying off in The Wheatsheaf.

Luckily later on it stayed dry enough for a barbecue and the kids showed us how to make marshmallow toasting sticks, with the aid of potato peelers and gardening gloves!

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Hugo eyes up the BBQ.
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After a stick hunt, the girls make them pointy with potato peelers. Will double up for vampire stakes I expect! Future Buffys in the making.:)
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Toasting on the cobb. We will definitely hire a fire pit next time!

Have you ever done the Ingleton Waterfall Trail? I thoroughly recommend it, even in the rain. 🙂

Annie & Betty’s ~ Grassington.

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On our way home from our Appletreewick camping trip, we decided to call in at nearby Grassington for another walk to Linton Falls and a hearty breakfast. Grassington is a bustling little village, jammed with  gorgeous  gift shops and quaint cafes.  I had spied Annie & Betty’s  Vintage Emporium and Tea rooms the day before, so  marched my other half in before he could object. 😉 Wil is not one for pretty pastels and Cath Kidson fabrics, but see, he is smiling in the picture below…and Hugo has been brought a dish of water.

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I love how Annie & Betty’s has been done out , and of course it being a Vintage Tea Room, I had to order a pot of tea. There were lots of refills from this baby blue teapot, and of course I appreciated the floral teacup and saucer. 🙂

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It is to be expected , that  Annie and Betty’s is an amazing place to go for Afternoon Tea , but as we were morning visitors, I had to settle for Baked Beans on toast instead. No complaints though!

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Adjoining the Tea room is a very girly Vintage Shop. Definitely one for the ladies, wouldn’t you agree? There are lots of mannequins, wearing jaunty little hats and plenty of frocks, doilies and tea sets.

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I had to steal a cake picture from Annie & Betty’s facebook page. A slice of this would definitely entice me to visit again. 🙂

We found Annie & Betty’s to be very friendly and relaxed, a must visit if you are ever in Grassington. X

Parcevall Hall Gardens.

Tucked away in stunning Wharfedale, the colourful yet tranquil Parcevall Hall Gardens are an almost hidden gem, which we visited whilst camping at  Howgill Lodge near Appletreewick.  An easy walk from the campsite, through the fields into the hamlet of Skyreholme, brought us to signage for the gardens and tea room. Having heard that dogs are welcomed ( on lead) , we thought we would take a look. There is a £7 entry fee for this English Heritage registered delight. You can also buy a map of the gardens and grounds.

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We decided to follow the suggested route on the map and one of the first places we came across, was a little tarn, which we let Hugo take a dip in. 🙂 There are twenty four acres of formal and woodland gardens to explore, which include many trees and shrubs, collected from West China and The Himalayas.  The then derelict Hall was bought in the 1920s by Sir William Milner ( 1893-1960) , who used his  horticulture skills to create the gardens.

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There are plenty of tranquil resting places to admire your surroundings. One such place is the Rock Garden, where there is a little pond. Also look out for the scattering of turkeys, who peck skittishly round the grounds.

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The Hall itself is not open to the public, and is used as a retreat by the Diocese of West Yorkshire. However the garden terraces in front of Parcevall welcome wanderers. 🙂 Parts of the building date back to the 1600s and the estate itself, once belonged to Bolton Priory.

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From the terraces there are stunning views over Wharfedale and toward Simon’s Seat, a rocky outcrop on the surrounding fells.

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Other areas in the grounds include a camelia walk, a herb garden, a rose garden, a chapel garden and an Orchard.  There is also an additional 8 acre woodland, which is separate from the main gardens. Tibet Wood was originally planted in 1944 by Italian prisoners of war and includes a mixture of Conifers and Bird Cherries.

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I was quite taken with the gardens as they really compliment the house and the marvelous Yorkshire views.  Our only bugbear was the tea room closed early that day, and we would have really appreciated a brew, after our wander round. Not to worry, we walked to the Craven Arms in Appletreewick instead..

Have you ever visited Parcevall Hall Gardens? 

Hawthorns July Photo Scavenger Hunt.

Its the end of the month already, so time to join in with Hawthorn’s Photo Scavenger Hunt. If you fancy a bit of a photo challenge next month, check out her lovely blog . Here’s the Link up page. 

1. Crane.  Ok this is not a crane. Epic fail! This is a stork that has made a nest on a rooftop in Marakeche. Up high escaping the madness of the colourful souks and busy squares. It is a few years now since our stay in the vibrant Moroccan city.

 

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2. Ring.  Lots of Giant Bellflowers in bloom at the moment, all over the countryside. Imagine if these pretty flowers could ring around the meadows.

3. Set. Found this prompt quite difficult!  Will a Pea Hen and her set of chicks do? We saw these guys when we were getting rid of some rubbish at our local tip in Clitheroe. There is quite a population of peacocks down there. 🙂

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4. Light.  Took this photo one evening on a walk with Hugo. The sun light created shadows in the hay field ,as Hugo zipped round like a mad thing.

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5. Bow.  A shiny  bow ties at the back of a fifties style dress in Annie & Bettys vintage shop/ cafe in Grassington.

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6. Spring. Saw this spring on a gate when walking a tiny bit of The Dales Way in Yorkshire last weekend.

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7.Open. And heres Hugo sat by an old open door.  Obviously Wil is behind the door with a biscuit, or Hugo wouldn’t be so well behaved…

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8. Grand. The old door was in the grounds of the grand Parcevall Hall near Appletreewick , whose lovely gardens are open to the public. Post coming soon! 

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9. Park. The Yorkshire Dales National Park covers   841 square miles. This lady is admiring a typical Dales view. 🙂

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10. My own choice. My beautiful girl ‘ Slinky Malinki’ named after the storybook cat. She is a little madam …and very vocal. 🙂 

Hope you enjoyed my interpretations of the prompts. See you soon! 


 


 

 

 


Riverside Walk ~ Howgill to Grassington.

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Wil and Hugo, River Wharfe.

The weekend just gone, we packed our camping gear and headed for the Yorkshire Dales and a little site that has featured several times on this blog, Howgill Lodge Campsite near Appletreewick. Even though we have been there several times, we had never walked along the nearby river Wharfe to the village of Grassington before.  In fact we almost always head the other way toward Bolton Abbey. A lovely route, but time for a change!

The Dales Way  is an 84 -mile long footpath from Ilkley in West Yorkshire to Bowness-on-Windermere in Cumbria. Sorry folks I’m not really up for trekking that far just yet, so instead we did 13 miles ( pretty impressive I thought! ) from Howgill to Grassington and back. Here are a few pictures of things we saw on our way. 🙂

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Simon’s Seat up on the Grouse moor. Sadly not a place we can take Hugo, as dogs are strictly forbidden .
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Another lovely campsite Masons at Appletreewick.
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Masons is a great place to grab a coffee and homemade flapjack. 🙂
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This horse wasn’t bothered by us as we trundled by.
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Saw lots of pretty harebells on route. Witches were said to use the sap of these pale blue flowers, to turn themselves into hares.
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The Red Lion in Burnsall is the perfect place for a pint. 🙂
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Here’s an informative board about what kind of people have used the Dales Way.
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Due to heavy rains in the morning , the river was pretty wild past Burnsall.
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And the stepping stones at Hebden had all but disappeared , so we used the wobbly Suspension Bridge!
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Here Goes!
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A couple of miles later and we spy Linton Church.
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Anyone fancy a bit of white water rafting? Linton Falls.
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Pretty spectacular I think.
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Soon we are in the pretty village of Grassington.
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The Forester’s Arms is a good place for a chill.
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And there are some cute little gift shops.
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Walking back and we see these Greylag Geese.
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A typical Yorkshire sign!
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A Heron in a tree.
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And amazingly………a Green Woodpecker!  I was gobsmacked to see one….and actually get a photo. 🙂
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I love this sign for the Craven Arms at Appletreewick.
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They always have a great selection of Real ales and ciders. 🙂
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We head back to the campsite in the evening sunshine. 

Hope you enjoyed our mini Dales way ramble. I’m sure it actually was mini to my other half, but I’m quietly impressed with myself. Of course our pub stops probably cancelled out all the calories we burned!

Another post from the Yorkshire Dales coming up soon. x