Category Archives: food

Weekend Away ~ South Cumbria.

When people think of the Southern Lake District, perhaps they think of Windermere, Amblesde and Grasmere. I love those places but it’s nice to escape to a less touristy part of Lakeland too. I did just that a couple of weeks ago , when Wil booked us a weekend away in Grange-Over-Sands.

Grange – Over – Sands is a peaceful town, somewhere to stay if you really just want to relax and take life slowly. Without Mr Hugo ( our bouncy black Labrador was on his own little holiday) ,we planned a quiet time. Grange is on the coast , but I don’t think I’ve ever seen much sand. Salt Marsh stretches out towards Morecambe Bay , far into the distance.

Grange~over~sands.
Twinkly lights of Grange.
Grange Plant Centre is a handy little place for plants, pots and gifts. Grange Plant Centre.
Salt Marsh.
The promenade.

Whilst in Grange we had bracing walks along the promenade ( Winter Woolies were needed) , looked for Christmas presents, ate out once in a bay view bistro, once in a little Indian restaurant ( take your own booze) and we also had a couple of drinks in the towns two pubs.

The Estuary Bistro is a nice place to dine on Main Street.
Chocolate Heaven in Choco – Lori on Main Street. This Chocolate Shop is also a Chocolate Bar and Chocolate Cafe!
Chocolate Martini.
A toasty fire in The Keg & Kitchen Sports Bar.

Our accomodation for the weekend was in a lovely B&B on the outskirts of town. Wil had found us a room at Corner Beech House , which was such a relaxing and homely place to stay. The interiors were bright and fresh, the owners were friendly and helpful and the breakfasts were delicious. Not bad considering the couple who run it had only been doing so for 3 weeks!

Corner Beech House.
Loved our sea view.
Bright and fresh room.
Breakfast Room.

On our way to Grange-Over-Sands , we had dropped into RSPB Leighton Moss Nature Reserve at Silverdale. I had dragged Wil around looking for a Winter Visitor, Bearded Tits. These darling little birds can be seen amongst the reeds or pecking at grit ( it aids their digestion) from the specially provided trays. Unfortunately they were a no show for us, though we did see a Marsh Harrier hunting over the water.

Reeds provide a home for Bearded Tits.
An obliging comerant.

The inland village of Cartmel is not to far from Grange, so we bobbed there on the Saturday morning for a little look around. Cartmel is famous for its race course, it’s priory, it’s rather nice restaurants and it’s Sticky Toffee Pudding.

The Village Store is the home of Cartmels famous Sticky Toffee Pudding and other good stuff.
Bridge over the river Eea.
A 17th century pub.
Norman Priory.
Another lovely pub.
Delicious Apple & Parsnip Soup in The Square.
I loved this gifts and interiors shop.
Cartmel is home to The Friesian Experience , you can actually pay to have a sleepover with these gorgeous black horses.

On Sunday we said our goodbyes to South Cumbria, though not before calling at Levens Hall Deer Park for a Riverside walk, sadly the hall and grounds themselves are closed over Winter. We caught a glimpse of the parks herd of Dark Fallow Deer , though missed out on seeing the local Bagot Goats.

Gnarly trees.
Dark Fallow Deer females.

All in all we had a very relaxed weekend , though we were certainly happy to be reunited with a certain black Labrador. 😁

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October ~ Round Up. 🍁

Time for an October Round-Up of my life lately. I have been enjoying Autumn colours, reading about a psychopath serial killer, eating left overs and finding funky fungi !

Reading.

Presently still reading books at a crawl, though I am enjoying ‘ How to kill your family’ by Bella Mackie. Frustratingly thrown into jail, for a murder she didn’t commit, Grace Bernard is busy writing her memoirs ( whenever her nosy cell-mate isn’t watching), for though she might be innocent of that particular murder, Grace has actually done away with…her entire family. Yes Grace might be a cold hearted killer, but she does have her reasons. A dark but amusing read, so far.

Emma Mackey is brilliant as Emily Bronte in ‘ Emily’.

Watching.

The Empress is a glorious romp through Austrian Royalty history, specifically the beginnings of the reign of Empress Elisabeth. A reluctant Royal , her new hubby The Emperor Franz Joseph had previously been engaged to Elisabeth’s sister. The usually independent Elisabeth or ‘ Sisi ‘ finds life at court full of frosty traditions, plots and intrigue. On Netflix. Subtitles.

I also enjoyed watching medieval coming of age comedy Catherine Called Birdy, which can be found on Amazon Prime. 14 year Lady Catherine ( Birdy to her friends ) is of marriageable age, and with a charming gambler for a father, her families only hope of remaining solvent, is for young Birdy to marry. Determined to thwart all her suitors, the mischievous heiress has other ideas.

My favourite watch this month was on the Big Screen. A friend and I went to see Emily, the new biopic of the life of reclusive writer Emily Bronte. Notoriously private, little is known about Emily in comparison to her siblings, much of what we do know about Emily’s thoughts and feelings are through Charlotte, some of which is probably sensored. This film is a reimagining of Emily’s life, as if she herself experienced some of the darker, some of the more passionate moments , that she wrote about in Wuthering Heights. And whose to say, really, that she didn’t……. A heart wrenching , clever, passionate and sometimes humorous picture about an unconventional and inspirational writer.

Eating.

A friend told us about the Too Good To Go Ap, which lets you know about food that shops and cafes are selling off cheap. For a fixed price you get a carrier bag full of goodies that are nearing their sell by date, known as a Magic Bag. The surprise is you don’t really know what the bag will contain, I was certainly surprised by the amount of stuff in this one from our local garage shop, Londis. For Β£5 we got 2 Sandwiches ,a loaf of bread, broccoli, bag of salad, Mr Kipling cakes, Manchester tarts, cooked chicken pieces, 2 chicken fillets and some butter. Participating places near me include Spa, Morrisons, Subway and Starbucks. Some independent businesses are signing up too. Have you used the ap before? I suspect I’m a bit late to the party. πŸ˜€

Too Good To Go?

Creating. A pumpkin flower arrangement! My friend Fi and I made these at a class in Whalley. Mines the more messy one on the left. Basically you need to hollow out a pumpkin ( happily already done for us), put in some cellophane and a wet piece of water absorbing oasis. Stick flowers, cones etc into the oasis to create an arrangement. And Voila!

Pumpkins.
Robin Hood’s Bay. A place to explore tumbling narrow streets and look for fossilized Monkey Puzzle Tree bark ( Jet) on the beach.

Holidaying. As it is Half Term Holidays we managed to get away to the Yorkshire Coast for a couple of days. Fortunately we have another caravan in the family, Wils brother and his wife own a static on a site half way between Whitby and Robin Hoods Bay. Both are such atmospheric places to visit, especially at this time of year. Anyway we made the most of our location, walking along the cliffs to Robin Hood’s Bay oneday and catching the bus into Whitby on the other.

Whitby. October sees Whitby come alive with spooky goings on and a Goth festival. The Abbey walls are illuminated and you might just see a few corpse brides amongst the gravestones.

Finding Fungi. πŸ„

A day trip to Bolton Abbey and a woodland walk showcased a few fungi finds. Not quite sure if my IDs are correct, but here goes….

Funnel Fungi.
Fly Agaric.
Trembling Crust.
Bonnets.
Shaggy Mane Ink Caps.

Thanks for dropping by and enjoy the rest of October. Let me know if you are watching any spooky films or dressing up for Halloween πŸŽƒ in the comments. X

On Holiday ~ North Ayrshire.

Back in August we spent a week with family in a Castle. Yes a real Scottish castle! Our holiday was in Ayrshire on the South West Coast of Scotland.

Where We Stayed. 🏰

The whole family stopped in a delightfully quirky 14th century Castle in the grounds of the owners much larger Victorian Castle. Not that our holiday home skimped on fairytale charm or cosy comfort, Knock Old Castle has both in abundance. Situated just outside the coastal town of Largs, Knock Old Castle has been carefully renovated by its present owners, to provide a charming home away from home with lots of colourful and characterful touches. There are four bedrooms, a dining kitchen, living room and snug, as well as a look out tower, sauna and hot tub. The perfect family retreat. 😊

Exterior view of Knock Old Castle.
We were greeted by Gorath the Springer Spaniel who likes to check out any new holiday makers.
Castle 🏰 interiors.
View of the turret look-out.
A foxy chair. 🦊
Piggy stained glass.
Hot tub. The turret above houses a sauna.

We made ourselves very much at home at Knock Old Castle, using all the facilities, especially the hot tub and the sauna. We played table tennis, rounders and croquet on the lawn and sat out for meals at a long oak table with views over the Firth of Clyde. When can we go back??

Eating Out. 🐟

To be honest we cooked most of our meals at the Castle, but there were a few occasions that we ate out in nearby Largs.

The Fish Works.

Wil and I had a very nice Fish & Chips lunch at The Fish Works on the promenade. We sat outside and enjoyed the views of the Calmac Ferries setting off and returning from The Isle Of Cumbrae. You can’t beat fish & chips at the seaside. 😊

Scotts Bar & Restaurant.

Wil loves his seafood, so he was most impressed with this bucket of mussels and other tasty morsels , that he ordered from the menu at Scotts . Situated at Largs Yacht Haven, Scott’s is a relaxed dining experience . Steaks and seafood are their specialties.

Nardinis Ice cream.

The whole family couldn’t get enough of the delicious ice cream from Nardinis, a fabulous art deco ice cream parlour and restaurant on the seafront. Nardinis has 32 different flavours to choose from, I had 3, they were all scrumptious! 🍦

Castles, Castles Everywhere. 🏰

Certainly we were never very far from a Castle on this holiday. 😊 According to Google, Ayrshire has 198 Castles, towers and fortified buildings.

Croquet at Knock Old Castle.

Our hosts at Knock Old Castle lived at nearby Knock Castle, we were holidaying at the bottom of their garden really. On the first two days of our trip, they were holding a ‘Crictoberfest’ ( a cross between their love of cricket and their love of Octoberfest? ) and there were a few people camping on their front lawn, as well as lawnbots efficiently speeding around keeping the grass short. We later saw a golden retriever chasing one of the lawnbots and I swear I saw a gigantic penguin at their front door, maybe the butler perhaps? Yes our hosts were certainly eccentric. 😁

Knock Castle was built in the 1800s by the Steele Boat Building family.
Knock Castle.

We did visit a couple of other castles whilst in Ayrshire. A castle that my Scottish cousin recommended was Portencross Castle , somewhere my Aunt & Uncle would take him for beach days as a child. Legend has it that this 12th century scheduled ancient monument housed several of the Great Kings of Scotland. Though they wouldn’t remember much as Portencross was where they lay in state,on their way to their final resting place on the island of Iona. The Castle wasn’t open on our visit, but we still enjoyed the surrounding scenery and peering into rock pools.

Sea Asters and Portencross Castle.
Portencross Castle.
Kelburn Castle.

A very colourful Castle , just outside of Largs, is Kelburn Castle. Just look at the brightly painted turret ! The graffiti tower was painted in 2007 by Brazilian Street artists, it’s quite the focal point. The castle dates back to the 1500s and is still lived in by the Earls of Glasgow. An unpretentious place, Kelburn has an estate of forest and glen to wander in, with plenty of quirky things to see.

Little Museum in the grounds of Kelburn Castle.
Inside the museum that chronicles the travels and explorations of the 7th Earl of Glasgow.
Can you see the invisible Man?
Graffiti Castle.

Let’s head to South Ayrshire for our final castle visit. Perched high on the cliffs near Maybole , Culzean Castle is an impressive stately building owned by The National Trust for Scotland. Happily we are NT members so entry was free. 😁 Having Hugo with us meant that Wil and I didn’t go inside, there is much to entertain in the grounds though. The estate stretches 120 hectares and includes sandy coves, woodland and gardens.

Culzean Castle was completed in the late 18th Century.
I love this Kraken sculpture, it actually cleverly hides a refuse bin.
The Deer Park plays host to Red Deer and llamas.
Labrador with a gigantic pear.
Who is this in the Swan Pond…
Walled Garden at Culzean Castle.

Largs.

The nearest town to Knock Old Castle is Largs, a pleasant seaside destination that looks out over the Firth Of Clyde. Largs is known for its role in defeating Norse Invaders, hence the yearly Viking Festival held every August. A giant Viking statue stands looking inland on the green.

Erm, is that a Viking behind us??
Magnus The Viking.
Giant Ferris Wheel.
The Pencil ✏️ Monument.

If you fancy a walk along Largs attractive esplanade head toward the marina for a glimpse of The Pencil Monument , it commemorates the Battle Of Largs in 1263 , when the Scots ( and the bad weather! ) defeated the Viking army. And don’t forget to head back to Nardinis Ice Cream Parlour for a well deserved treat afterwards. 😊

Nardinis.
Viking Longboat.

Fairlie.

If our Labrador had only behaved and not taken a liking to licking jellyfish, I think we would have spent more time on the beach. The seaside village of Fairlie just South of Largs is a nice place for a wander, especially along the Ayrshire Coastal Path. Oh and The Village Inn does a very nice take-out Cream Tea too.

Fairlie.
Fairlie was once renowned for its yacht building.
A street in Fairlie.
Fairlie flowers. In the background a huge floating oil vessel from Shetland is being decommissioned off the Ayrshire Coast.

Fairlie Beach.

Knock Hill.

When the Castle your staying in is named after a hill ( or vise versa) ,then someone is bound to say ‘ let’s walk up that hill ! ‘ Off we all trundled , and I have to say, the views from the top of Knock Hill are pretty impressive. The Cumbraes, Arran and Bute are all included in the stunning vistas.

Approaching Knock Hill.
Knock Hill Summit.
Trig Point, Knock Hill.

Isle of Cumbrae.

I have to include The Isle Of Cumbrae in my post even though I have already devoted a Blog to our day out there. This was definitely my favourite outing on our North Ayrshire holiday.

The island is easily accessible from Largs, there are ferries every 30 minutes from the mainland. Pedestrians, Cyclists and Cars can take the short journey over. Dogs are welcome too.

Many people go over to Cumbrae, specifically to ride a bike around the perimeter of the island. There are 2 Cycle Hire Shops in the small seaside town of Millport. Bicycle hire for the day starts at Β£10.

Watersports are popular on the island as are trips over to it’s little cousin Wee Cumbrae. I recently found these great new eco friendly cabins at Jack’s Alt Stays , which look an interesting alternative to the usual camping, cottages and b&bs.

Calmac Ferry from Largs.
The iconic Crocodile 🐊 Rock.
Rocky shoreline.
On a bike ride.
One of Mapes Of Millports more unusual cycles.
Millport.

Thanks very much for reading. Hope this post inspires you to visit a lovely part of Scotland.

Goodnight from Knock Old Castle.

September ~ Round Up. πŸ’œ

There’s an Autumnal nip in the air as I write this post. Summer is slipping away. Though actually, I am more than ready for cosy throws and candles. πŸ™‚

Although September has had its sadness , with the loss of our monarch, there is much to celebrate about our Queens long life and reign. And it will be interesting to see what changes will unfold in this new non Elizabethan era.

The Bloody Chamber and other stories by Angela Carter.

Reading. A sensual and sometimes disturbing gothic retelling of fairytales and legends, often with a feisty female heroine at the heart of the stories. Angela Carter twists the tales around , recreating a carnival of familiar characters. One for the nights drawing in.

Extraordinary Attorney Woo.

Watching. My favourite BBC comedy series is back for Autumn. And by golly, I’ve binge watched it already. Ghosts sees the return of Alison & Mike ( the only living residents of stately mansion ‘ Button House ‘. ) hoping to transform an estate cottage into an Airbnb. Help ( or hindrance) is on hand from a motley collection of ghosts, of which only Alison can see. I love that the ghosts are all from differing time periods, and each has their own particular life ( and death! ) story. Apparently there’s now a US version of this show. Surely can’t be better than ours. πŸ˜€

I am also loving Korean Comedy Drama Extraordinary Attorney Woo on Netflix. In fact merely writing this blog post is keeping me from watching it right now, I’m becoming addicted ! And that’s no mean feat ,with subtitles and hour long episodes involved. Attorney Woo is an attorney with autism, navigating life at a high ranking law firm. There’s the intricacies of Korean law to contend with ( she’s good at that) and the intricacies of everyday life ( not always so good), an endearing obsession with whales & dolphins and a sweet burgeoning romance with a work colleague. I am adoring this show.

Eating. Gingerbread! Traditional Gingerbread from Grasmere no less. Sarah Nelson’s Grasmere Gingerbread has been made in the village since the 1850s, Sarah herself created the secret recipe and first sold it from a tree stump outside her front door. Eventually moving her business into a tiny old school house , that is still used today. The gorgeous gingerbread smell wafts around Grasmere attracting locals and tourists alike. I got in that queue. Always delicious πŸ˜‹.

Weekend wandering. Speeking of Grasmere, we ended up here by mistake. Our plan had actually been to walk up Raven Crag from Thirlmere, adding another Wainwright to our short list. However we somehow failed to find the carpark, drove right past the lake and ended up at Grasmere. No complaints though, it was a lovely late Summers day, perfect for a stroll around the village and the water.

Pastille coloured rowing boats on the lakeside at Faeryland Tea Garden.
Hot drinks and a Gypsy Wagon.
Traveller Hugo.
Doggy paddling.

Another day we headed over Alston Moor to Garrigill for a hike taking in Ashgill Force. I love the beckside walk , which is usually peaceful, sometimes the quiet is interupted by the odd group of Gill Scramblers! Not sure I would want to try that myself though. We found a lovely cafe for lunch in a converted chapel in nearby Nenthead.

Highland Cattle on Alston Moor.
Ashgill Force.
Distant Gill Scramblers.
The Hive at Nenthead. There’s still an Organ inside.

Wildlife. The amount of times I see Kingfishers is ridiculous ( I realise I’m very lucky) , though getting a photo of one doesn’t happen very often. I was gobsmacked when one of these beautiful birds posed for me, only a few metres away. ❀️

Kingfisher.

Hanging out with. Star Wars Characters! And other supernatural beings at Blackburn Comic Convention. As I have still never actually watched the Star Wars films ( I know, what! ) this might appear a little strange. Blame my friends A and M who love all this kind of stuff. And it was actually fun.

Hanging out

So that was my September. How was yours?

Eleven Things To Do In Clitheroe.

Clitheroe Castle. Photo ~ My own.

It’s time to be a tourist in my own town and write a blog about Clitheroe !

So what exactly is there to do in this vibrant Ribble Valley market town nestled at the foot of Lancashire’s legendary Pendle Hill. Scroll down to find out. ⬇️

1. Wander Up The Second Smallest Castle Keep In England.

Yes! Clitheroe is home to England’s second smallest Castle Keep. Our tiny castle sits proudly on a grassy hill , enjoying commanding views of the town and surrounding fells. Built in the 12th century the Norman Limestone Keep resides over landscaped gardens and parkland. In the grounds there are also a bandstand, skate park and children’s playground. Hugo the labrador and I like to check on the Leaping Salmon sculpture in the former Rose Garden and then head for an ice cream at 3 C’s Indulgence Cafe .

Luscious Lemon Meringue Ice-cream at 3Cs. Photo ~ My Own.

Clitheroe Castle Museum. Photo ~ Lancs.gov.co.uk

2. Take A Tour Of The Castle Museum.

Also within the walls of Clitheroe Castle is the Clitheroe Castle Museum . Situated in the former Stewards House this family friendly attraction displays 350 million years of local history. Little Kids and Big Kids can pick up an Explorers Pack to take on a journey through time then decamp to the museum gift shop. And make sure you take a look in The Stewards Gallery nextdoor. The latest Free Exhibition news can be found here. 🚲

Number 10 Independent Bookshop. Photo ~ Facebook.

3. Explore The Towns Lovely Independent Shops.

Clitheroe is famous for its variety of independent shops, some such as Cowmans Famous Sausage Shop on Castle Street and D Byrne & Co Fine Wines on King Street are traditional town treasures. Newer foodie retailers have sprung up in recent years too. Check out Georgonzola Delicatessen and Bowland Food Hall for posh picnics and picky teas. And don’t forget to visit the town’s bustling market , which is open every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday.

If I’m looking for gift inspiration I love to browse in The Shop Of Hope for ethical & locally sorced wares, Number Ten Books for reading related gifts and Raffia or Roost for special treats. There are plenty of other lovely shops to have a nosy in as well, we are spoilt for choice. And do break up your browsing with a hot chocolate or coffee & cake in one of Clitheroes many friendly cafes. Check out this POST for ideas.

Toms Table. Photo~My Own.

Did you know that Clitheroe is a top foodie destination? The Ribble Valley as a whole has a variety of renound countryside gastro pubs that regularly appear in Top Ten Best Eaterie Lists. Clitheroe will once again be hosting the areas famous Food Festival on Saturday the 30th of July, bringing the best of Lancashire’s locally sorced produce all together in its bustling streets and market place. I’m all for foodie posts so let’s continue. Read on…..

4. Enjoy Afternoon Tea On The Terrace At Tom’s Table.

On a warm Summers day what could be more decadent than partaking in a sumptuous afternoon tea on a sunny terrace. Toms Table at Lee Carter House is a French inspired bistro with a lovely outside area from where you can enjoy a light lunch or teatime treat. My sister and I loved Toms Afternoon Tea, which of course can be booked indoors too. From £20 per head. 🍰

Bottomless Brunch at Escape. Photo ~ Facebook.

5. Fill Up On Bottomless Brunch At Escape.

Those inspired folk over at at Escape have exciting plans for Summer! Already noted for their exquisite cocktails and Thursday Pizza nights, this rustic coffee & cocktail bar has recently opened an outdoor terrace. Yep we are definitely loving sun trap terraces in Clitheroe right now! And what better place to fill up on Boozy Bottomless Brunch. Β£30 per head.

Brizola. Photo ~ Facebook.

6. Share A Sunday Platter At Brizola Bar & Grill.

Bringing a little bit of Greece to Clitheroe, Brizola Bar & Grill has recently won a Best Medetreanean Restaurant Award at the coveted Food Awards. Serving simple yet tasty Greek style dishes, this bijou eaterie does an amazing looking Sunday Platter. Book me in ! Find Brizola in the Swan Courtyard. Β£15 per person for the Sunday Platter.

Corto Bar. Photo ~ Facebook.

7. Discover Clitheroe’s Many Bars, Old and New.

And there are alot! Clitheroe has a fantastic selection of varied pubs and bars, at least six of which only opened in the past two years. The pandemic doesn’t seem to have done our bar scene much harm. Here are a few suggestions.

Good For Real Ale & Cider ~ Settle down for a pint with the locals in a proper old fashioned pub, The New Inn on Parson Lane. Marvel at one of the country’s longest continuous bars at Bowland Beer Hall Holmes Mill , there are 42 handpulls. Enjoy your Craft Beers with Beer Snacks at The Beer Shack . Chill out with a local craft beer/cider/natural wine at Corto. Like your micro bar with live music? Head over to The Ale House .

Good For Gin & Cocktails ~ I love the cocktail menu at bijou bar The Parlour , it’s packed with parlour tricks. Escape are famous for their hand crafted cocktails. Flavourful gins and instagrammable interiors await at The Dispensary. Also on Moor Lane SauceBox know how to conjor up a cocktail. A little out of town, but worth the walk is The King’s Wine & Cocktail Bar.

Good For Other Stuff ~ Grab a comfy sofa and bottle of wine to share with friends at Parisian style brasserie & wine bar The Emporium . Make the most of the sunshine and people watch from the roof terrace at Maxwell’s Cafe & Wine Bar. Popular Brunch venue Jungle on Moor Lane is a lively bar on Saturday nights. Retro feels galore at The Old SchoolRoom. Plenty more pubs and bars in Clitheroe, so enjoy exploring. It’s the perfect town for a pub crawl !

Holmes Mill. Photo ~ My Own.

8. Go Duck Pin Bowling At Holmes Mill.

I am waiting in anticipation for Clitheroes latest addition! Holmes Mill is opening a Duck Pin Bowling Alley in the Old Boiler House. According to the link above ‘ this new attraction will include four duckpin bowling lanes – similar to ten-pin bowling but the pins and bowling balls are smaller, the lanes are shorter, and the action is even more intense.’ As things stand now the alley is currently behind schedule. Let’s hope it opens soon…

Everyman Cinema. Photo ~ Facebook.

9. Catch A Film At Everyman Cinema.

Also in the popular Holmes Mill Complex, my town is lucky enough to have a fabulous Picture House. If you love the comfort of curling up on a snug sofa whilst watching a film, having your food & drinks orders delivered to your seat and even hiding behind a cushion during a scary movie moment, then you will enjoy visiting Everyman Cinema , an evening there is such a treat! Food and drinks can also be eaten in the bar from The Speilburger Menu.

Platform Gallery. Photo ~ Lancs.gov.co.uk.

10. Buy A Piece Of Local Art.

There are several lovely art galleries in Clitheroe, where you can browse an eclectic selection of art by local artists. My favourite is Platform Gallery & Visitor Information Centre located by the railway Station, I love the cards there and have bought some cute gifts. There’s a list of the towns gallery’s and art studios on the Art Walk Website. Another arty event happening in Clitheroe Draw Clitheroe is a day of fun activities to inspire a love of drawing and art, pencil the 6th August in your diaries! Oh and don’t forget to check out local bar Corto and it’s Bog Art gallery.

Deer Sculpture in Brungerley Park. Photo ~ my own.

11. Get Your Walking Boots On.

Clitheroe nestles at the foot of Pendle Hill , which at 557m is the highest point in the Ribble Valley. If you like a challenging hike, this Route will take you from the town, through fields and up Pendle, a mystical hill , famed for its association with both Quakers and Witches. Clitheroe is also on The Ribble Way, a long distance ramble that takes you along the River Ribble from its source in North Yorkshire to the Irish Sea. Shorter walks in Clitheroe can be enjoyed in Brungerley Park, which is home to a Nature Reserve and a Sculpture Trail , along the river at Edisford Bridge with its miniature railway or around Salthill Quarry Nature Reserve. There are numerous footpaths to explore!

Thanks for reading and enjoy your visit. πŸ™

June ~ Round Up. πŸ’—

Another month has sped by and half a year has passed already. Crazy or what!

Reading. The only reading I’m doing at the moment is reading about books I might want to read. Haha. Oh and reading blogs of course. 😊 I really need an incredibly short novel to get me started, if anyone has any recommendations…

Watching. Now that I’ve finished 7 seasons of Grace & Frankie ( sob! ) ,I am in need of something else to fill that time in the day between my early morning shift and my late afternoon shift. Of course I do get on with housework and take Hugo out as well, I am not a complete couch potato. Honest! I quickly sped through Russian Doll starring the brilliant Natasha Lyonne , in the first season she gets stuck in a timewarp where she has to celebrate her 36th Birthday everyday. But she also has to die everyday, so not all good. Wil and I watched a film, Dog starring Channing Tatum as a War Veteran assigned to take a War Hero dog to her handlers funeral. Not all runs smoothly on this Road/Buddy movie, it’s an enjoyable ( occasionally hard) watch.

Eating. A Heat-Up to Eat-Up Take-Away has sprung up nearby ,so one Friday night we ordered a yummy platter. Grounded in Clitheroe is hoping to open as a deli shortly too. Can’t wait to buy some more globally inspired nibbly bits soon.

Walking. I have blogged about a walk from Shap in Cumbria and a walk that features wildflower meadows at Slaidburn in Lancashire , this month. Just incase you missed them. 😁 I find myself regularly doing 25 thousand + steps a day at the moment ,due to walking up and down corridors at work and walking the dog.

Animal Encounters. June was the month I held a snake called April. April is a Milk 🐍 Snake. Milk Snakes aren’t venomous happily , their bright colours fool potential predetors into thinking they are dangerous. I did the Animal Encounters Experience again in Melmerby, this time with friends , who were stopping with me at the van. If you don’t fancy getting up close and personal with snakes and hissing cockroaches, there are also alpacas, llamas, ponies, rabbits and goats to cuddle.

Enjoying. Flowers that resemble insects. A couple of beautiful bee orchids are in flower in the quarry area at Cross Hill Nature Reserve , saw them on a dog walk. So bee 🐝 autiful. ❀️

Friends Becoming 50. No not me! Not quite yet. The first of a group of good friends hit the big 50 last weekend. She had a 70s/80s/90s themed party at her home , with a cheesy disco, We had a really fun time. Happy Birthday Jo!

See you in July. πŸ’—

Woodland Garlic.

It’s the time of year when English woodlands come alive with Spring flowers. Bluebells of course and another indicator of ancient woodland, Wild Garlic. White starry globes carpeted the ground admist a sea of fresh green leaves when Hugo and I visited a local woods.

A tweet by Nature Writer Robert McFarlane ~ “Buckrams” — one of many common names for Allium ursinum, aka wild garlic, bear-leek, ramsons; filling forest floors with millions of white stars & forest air with garlicky scent. Ancient woodland indicator, bluebell co-conspirator, soup-maker…

Wild Garlic is a foraging food. I did in fact once collect the leaves to make some Wild Garlic & Cheese scones. Click Here for a baking post. It doesn’t happen often. ..

The plants Latin name is Allium Ursium. Ursium is Latin for Bear. Brown Bears once roamed our forests and wild garlic bulbs were a favourite meal of theirs. Wild Boars love them too and the flowers are popular with pollinators.

I adore Bluebells of course, Woodlands of Wild Garlic are a little bit special too.

Which woodlands do you like to visit for their floral displays?

April ~ Round-Up. πŸ’š

It’s a wrap! April is over and here’s what I’ve got up to….

Chasing Lions.

READING. Again I have turned into a real slow coach on the reading front. I downloaded Amanda Marks memoir of her time driving around Africa in a truck for an adventure holiday company. Tiny Amanda worked in finance and after a mugging by a gang of school kids, she decides things have got to change! I am dipping in and out of this book and enjoying finding out about Amanda’s travels and whether she does indeed, find her inner lion 🦁.

Hacks.

WATCHING. Lots! Here are some shows I’ve enjoyed watching in April.

Derry Girls ~ Ongoing on Channel 4 and All 4. Hilarious comedy about five teens attending a Catholic school for girls during the troubles in nineties Northern Ireland. ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Hacks ~ Amazon Prime. An old pro Comedienne and a disgraced young comedy writer team up in this clever slow burner comedy drama. ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

The Thief, His Wife And The Canoe. ITV Hub. The bizarre true story of a man who faked his own death to claim the insurance money, whilst continuing to live in the house next door. ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Killing Eve ~ BBC I Player. It’s officially finished! The serial killing shenanigans of Villianelle take a backseat as the characters get their emotive…. and explosive endings. ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Anatomy Of A Scandal ~ Netflix. Timely courtroom drama about a seemingly happily married politician put on trial for scandalous behaviour. ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Life After Life ~ BBC I Player. Be prepared with your hankies if you watch this incredibly emotional war time drama. Ursula, a girl with an incredible sense of deja vu navigates the pitfalls of her life, again and again and again. Don’t think I will ever be able to look at silently falling snowflakes in the same way. ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Life After Life After Life After Life …….

What have you been watching recently? Any recommendations?

Toms Table.

EATING. Finally went out for a meal to a popular little bistro in Clitheroe, and my, the food was delicious! See above.

Greatest Days Movie ~ being filmed down that road!

FILMING. Ok I have not actually been filming anything, but Clitheroe was taken over by a film crew for two weeks in April. Along with London and Athens, Clitheroe is one of the locations for new Rom Com Greatest Days ! The movie is about a group of Take That Fans navigating their lives, through the nineties until now. To a Take That Soundtrack. The town was rife with rumours that Gary, Mark and co would actually make an appearance. They will no doubt show up on location in Athens πŸ˜‰ instead.

It was raining and blowing a hoolie when this scene was filmed. And it took 28 takes. Photo from The Sun Online.

So what’s it like when your home town becomes a film set? At first I sought out the action, accidentally on purpose walking Hugo where I thought the filming might be taking place. But soon I couldn’t avoid it. Bursts of Never Forget and Could it Be Magic greeted us wherever we went. Oneday I popped to the market, only to find that nothing was for sale, the stalls had been paid to open as film props. Wil was surprised when a new hardware shop appeared , then disappeared a couple of days later. I bet all the Nineties shop signage did confuse a few people. πŸ˜€

Greatest Days will be out in 2023 !

Dodd Fell.

WALKS & Wainwrights. A favourite walk of mine that I did in April was a circuit of Derwent Water near Keswick with my sister & family. I also huffed up a couple of hills. Dodd Fell above ( see exciting exploring collage) and my favourately named fell Binsey, which really should become the moniker of my next pet. What a cute name. 😘

Pink Cherry Blossom.
Lilac.
Laburnum.

ENJOYING. Spring Blossom ~ My local town is adundant with beautiful blossom at the moment. Gorgeous! Which is your favourite ?

Around Alston.

Discovering New To Us Places ~ Alston is only 20 minutes drive from the caravan ,but we haven’t spent as much time there as another nearby town, Penrith. We’ve been trying to remedy that recently! Surrounded by wild moorland, Alston is known as the highest Market town in England.With cobbles and a market cross, I love this description I found online via Sally’s Cottages Guide To Alston ~ Alston is Steep, Unique and chock-full of charm ! Here’s my mini guide to my own personal favourite bits of Alston so far…….

Alston Wholefoods ~ Ethical Grocers and Delicatessen, famous for their large stock of cheeses.

Mellow Yellow ~ Aladdins Cave of clothes, accessories and gifts.

Hi Pennine Outdoor Shop ~ Outdoor clothing, equipment, maps and giftware.

Once Upon A Time ~ Eclectic Second hand book shop situated in The Alston Emporium.

Saddlers Bakery Bistro ~ Contemporary cafe and craft bakery.

Turks Head Pub ~ Cosy traditional drinkers pub with open fires, Real Ales and dog friendly.

The High Plaice ~ Popular Fish & Chips.

South Tynedale Railway ~ Charming Narrow Gauge Railway to nearby Slaggyford. Run by friendly volunteers. Lovely newly renovated cafe on the platform too.

Thanks for dropping by. 😘

February ~ Round Up. πŸ’œ

Oh my it’s March already so it must be time to write a quick round up of my February. I have seen snowdrops , experienced some Van Time and watched a bit of good telly. Can’t be bad…..

READING ~ I haven’t finished it yet but I am enjoying reading Helen Russell’s ‘ The Year Of Living Danishly’ an amusing memoir of a Brit couples relocation to the land of Lego and Cinnamon Buns ‘ Denmark’. Apparently Denmark still tops the ‘ Happiest Country Polls ‘ 7 years after this book was published. Pass me a Danish Pastry!

The Marvelous Mrs M.

WATCHING ~ I have been in a binge watching mood this February. Blame the horrid weather! I’ve been reaquainting myself with money laundering in Ozark, sinking my fangs into Wolf Like Me, preferring the new Reacher series to the Tom Cruise films and of course adoring all things Midge Maisel in The Marvelous Mrs Maisel. ❀️

EATING ~ I won’t mention my new found addiction to Pot Noodles ( aagh why is this happening! ) but instead share a photo of a delicious curry some friends cooked for us. Quite simply scrumptious.

VAN TIME ~ We did manage a couple of nights away at the caravan in-between Storm Dudley and Storm Eunice. Luckily we felt very safe and cosy inside the van. And managed a walk and a visit to Penrith whilst the weather was calm. Now that Spring is round the corner we are hoping to get away to our bolt hole a couple of times a month.

ENJOYING ~ Going Out Out. Spot Funk & Soul DJ Craig Charles in the background.

~ Signs of Spring. Despite the dismal weather there have been a couple of dry days. The sun came out on Sunday whilst walking round Dean Clough Reservoir near Great Harwood. It was a privilege glimpsing a couple of Great Crested Grebes affirming their relationship with a dazzling Water dance display.

How has your February been? πŸ’œ

January ~ Round Up. πŸ’–

I thought I would do a little round up post at the end of every month. Who else thinks that January has whizzed by!

READING ~ It’s been a gentle month of reading, easing me into 2022. Luckily there has been no need to buy new books or borrow any books, just yet. The first month of the year lends itself perfectly to making a start on lovely Christmas gifts , such as Angela Harding’s beautifully illustrated ‘ A Year Unfolding ~ A Printmakers View ‘. This gorgeous publication is packed full of Angela’s stunning prints of the wildlife she sees from her home in Rutland , her adorable hounds and holidays on the coast. Though late to the party I have also just finished reading Richard Osmons ‘ The Thursday Murder Club’ which I loved too.

WATCHING ~ I have watched quite a few good dramas on the box recently including ‘ Rules Of The Game’ starring Maxine Peake and David Tennant in ‘ Around The World In Eighty Days’ . My favourite show to binge watch in January was the excellent ‘ Afterlife ‘ on Netflix. I couldn’t help but blub at the end though. : ( And as for Guilty Pleasures ~ can’t help it, I’m becoming addicted to The Masked Singer as usual. πŸ˜‹

A Mitton Circular Walk.

WALKING ~ There have been a couple of gentle walks this month, nothing too strenuous though. I blogged about hikes in Lytham, Paythorne and Skipton Castle Woods. Hugo the Labrador always makes sure I get my steps in!

EATING ~ Wil made a delicious Burns Night Pie using Veggie Haggis , which went down well. I can’t find the actual recipe online but theres a similar one Here.

A friend and I had a delicious Belgian Waffle Breakfast at The Chocolate Works in Clitheroe recently. It’s the photo in the post header. All that fruit has got to be healthy, right. πŸ˜‹

ENJOYING ~ Regaining my sense of smell after covid and loving the scents of these Lakeland Lights Candles. Hand blended in Cleator Moor in Cumbria, I fell in love with these gorgeous creations after receiving two off my brother for my birthday in November. I treated myself to a couple more recently too. Ullswater ( Grandeur) and Whinlatter ( Forest ) are my faves. So far. πŸ™‚

Lakeland Lights Company Candles ~ Photo From the Facebook page.

~ Tartan. For some reason I am totally in love with tartan! I own a lovely tartan thermos flask and a snuggly & soft tartan blanket, both presents off my other half. They are perfect for keeping me toasty through the winter months and taking out on walks too.

~ Wordle. Google Wordle and find the online word game that everyone ( it seems like! ) Is becoming addicted to in January. The premise of finding a 5 Letter Word in less than 6 goes is both surprisingly simple yet sometimes frustratingly difficult. Enjoy!

Thanks for dropping by. πŸ₯°