Category Archives: lancashire

Early Autumn.

September, a month where Summer’s warmth lingers on as Autumn brings in nippy mornings and changing colours. These past couple of weeks I have definitely been feeling the Autumn vibe. Nuts and berries are abundant on the trees, sycamore helicopters are spinning in the breeze and the path through a nearby woodland is carpeted with acorns and conkers.

Woodland walk.

I am feeling especially Autumnal lately as I actually won this lovely Autumn themed Giveaway over on Paula’s ‘Typewriter Girl’ blog. What a wonderful surprise! I opened my parcel yesterday to find it filled with gorgeous gifts. There is a beautiful fabric covered notebook, a rather jaunty journal, four Fall themed notecards ( the photos taken by Paula herself) and even a bar of Green & Black’s Dark Chocolate, velvet edition. I feel utterly spoilt! Paula writes about her native Ireland, her glorious flower garden and her adorable Basset Hound Boris, amongst other things. Bob by her blog and say Hi. 🙂

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A parcel of goodies 🙂
More Treats at The Chocolate Works.

A combination of sunshine and showers today sent me ducking into a local café for coffee and a treat. I couldn’t resist. 🙂

What films remind you of Autumn?

I have been searching on good old Pinterest for films that get you in the mood for Autumn. Movies where you can snuggle cosy under a blanket and watch characters crunch about on golden leaves or get their hands on a book of spells. Here is a list of ~

Autumn Inspired Films.

You’ve Got Mail ( 1998), The Fantastic Mr Fox ( 2009), Practical Magic ( 1998), Dead Poets Society ( 1989), St Elmo’s Fire ( 1985), When Harry met sally ( 1989), Rushmore ( 1998), Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (2004), Far From Heaven ( 2002), Beetlejuice (1988) and Hocus Pocus ( 1993).

What plans have you this Autumn?

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Ten fido-friendly Country pubs you can walk to from Clitheroe.

Over the past few months we have been checking out lots of local pubs, all in the name of blog research, of course. 😉 I actually have the #walk1000miles challenge to thank for this post. If it wasn’t for hearing about this great walking incentive from the lovely Christine , I probably would never have given my walking boots such welly…or discovered how easy it is to reach all these lovely Ribble Valley hostelries on foot, from my home town of Clitheroe. As you probably know by now, we do have the perfect pub dog, a certain bouncy black lab called Hugo. He has definitely enjoyed some longer weekend walks recently….as well as a few extra treats!

As ever if you are walking in the countryside, please keep dogs on lead where there are livestock, shut gates behind you securely and always pick up after your pooch.

The Aspinall Arms, Mitton. Book in advance for a table with your dog, and he will be saved a place, brought water and given a saucer of dog biscuits at this attractive former Coaching Inn . Yep the Aspinall Arms is one very pooch friendly pub! Even though we have only visited here with Hugo for morning coffee ( the bar opens at 10.30am) or afternoon drinks, Hugo was still brought water, treats and made a fuss of. The Aspinall makes the most of it’s enviable riverside location and has a large beer garden, looking over the Ribble. There is a handy muddy boots & dog wash in the courtyard outside and every last Sunday of the month, an organized 3 mile dog walk starts from the pub, with complimentary bacon butties and brews. www.aspinallarmsmitton.co.uk Walk. 4 miles there and back. Head down Henthorn rd, through Shuttleworth farm and follow the Ribble Way to Mitton, where you will see The Aspinall Arms on the riverside.

The Assheton Arms, Downham. We arrived at this historic Grade II listed village pub one Sunday morning for coffee and sat out front enjoying the May sunshine. Inside you can dine with your dog in the relaxed bar area and enjoy the Seafood Pub Company menu. Bagsy the cosy nook by the fire. 🙂 Walkers may be happy to know that the Assheton Arms opens early for weekend breakfasts too. On our visit water bowls were provided and Hugo was brought a sausage . If you wish to stay here with your four legged friend, there are pet-friendly rooms available. www.asshetonarms.com Walk. 8 miles there and back. Cross the A59 and walk to the village of Worston , using the cycleway. After the Calf’s Head pub turn left along a track with a public footpath sign. Continue through fields passing Worsaw Hill on the left and Pendle Hill on the right. Once in Downham the pub is at the top of the village. Retrace your footsteps back, perhaps stopping for a pint in Worston. 😉

The Brown Cow, Chatburn. Newly refurbished with an attractive beer garden, the Brown Cow was our destination for a Saturday walk and lunch with family. Dogs are welcome in the bar area and Hugo was given a treat by a friendly member of staff. We all enjoyed our food which was great value for money. I particularly liked the pudding! Unfortunately I forgot to take any photos here. 😦 Walk. 6 miles there and back. Walk through Brungerly Park, turn left at the otter sculpture and follow the footpath along the river to West Bradford Bridge. Cross over the road and follow the riverside on the right hand side path. Eventually it takes you up through a patch of woodland and fields into Chatburn. The pub is the second of the two pubs on the left. Retrace your steps back to Clitheroe.

The Buck Inn, Grindleton. Since our walk to this friendly village pub, I think it may have temporarily stopped serving food. But business as usual when it comes to enjoying a pint of good real ale and the Buck has a roaring fire to snuggle next to on cold days. Walk. 6 miles there and back. Walk through Brungerly Park, turn left at the Otter sculpture and follow the footpath along the river to West Bradford Bridge. Cross over the road and follow the riverside on the left hand side path. Eventually it will take you into the village of Grindleton where you will find The Buck on the main road out of the village. Retrace your steps back into town.

The Calf’s Head, Worston. The large beer garden complete with stream and views of Pendle Hill is definitely a big draw for this popular watering hole and eaterie. On a Winter’s day walk with Hugo however, we enjoyed sitting by the roaring fire in the bar area. One of the friendly staff brought Hugo an ice cream tub of water and there are dog treats available at the bar. www.calfshead.com Walk. 4 miles there and back. Cross the A59 , turn left and use the cycle way to walk into Worston. The pub is a short walk through the village on the right. Retrace your footsteps back.

The Dog Inn, Whalley. Originally this traditional village Inn was called The Spotted Dog! Having a canine name pretty much guarantees a warm welcome to four-legged friends and their humans. Hugo was given lots of fuss and attention by the bubbly bar attendant and we enjoyed a delicious and great value light lunch and refreshments. www.dog-innwhalley.co.uk Walk. 9miles there and back. Head out of Clitheroe up Whalley Road, turning right after Barraclough house. Walk along the country lane until you reach a small hamlet, bear left round the side of a cottage and go through a gate. Follow a trodden path through Standen Hey, crossing over the railway and walk through fields until you cross Barrow Brook and enter a small wooded area that brings you to Mitton Road. Cross the road , turn left and walk a short way before turning right up a track. From there follow the footpath signs to Whalley, eventually going under the busy A59, Whalley Viaduct and through the abbey gatehouse. The Dog is on the main street in the village where you will find other pubs, bars and shops. If you fancy a few pints you could always cut this walk short and catch a bus or train back to Clitheroe. If not, retrace your steps back to town.

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Edisford Bridge.

The Edisford Bridge, Clitheroe. Clitheroe is surrounded by lovely pubs and Inns in the neighboring countryside. However, if you don’t wish to venture to far, The Edisford Bridge sits on the outkirts of the town, looking down towards the river and the bridge that it is named after. Why not combine some splashing time in the Ribble with a pint or meal here. Although dogs are allowed in the bar area, there are only two tables that you can dine at with your dog, so booking is advisable. Outdoor seating at the front and beer garden at the rear. Walk. 3 mile circular route. Walk to the end of Woone Lane then bear right past a new housing estate and down a track towards fields. Head under the railway bridge and follow the stream down the fields until you get to Henthorn road. Cross over and continue straight ahead and join the Ribble Way. Follow the river towards the bridge. You will see the Edisford Bridge Pub over the bridge and up the hill on your left. To return, walk down the hill, over the bridge and follow the road into Clitheroe.

The Lower Buck, Waddington. All three of the pretty village of Waddington’s pubs welcome dogs , so be prepared to be spoilt for choice. The Lower Buck has three open fires and serves good hearty food. This is a proper family friendly and dog friendly pub that embraces muddy paws with open arms…..or at least plenty of friendly warmth and a couple of treats. Lots of fuss from the locals too. www.lowerbuck.com Walk. 6 miles Circular. Wander down Back Commons fields and walk along the Ribble, Waddow Hall is across the river on your left. Walk across Brungerly Bridge and along the road 1.5 miles into Waddington village. The Lower Buck is past St Helens Church on your left. Head back using the back roads to Clitheroe, cut through the grounds of Waddow Hall, cross Brungerly Bridge and retrace your steps along the river.

Three Fishes, Mitton. One of the welcoming Ribble Valley Inns group, this flagged floored country pub has colourful contemporary interiors , crackling log fires and a good selection of local cask ales. Having eaten here with family before , I know that the food is pretty good too. On our visit with Hugo , we were given a very warm reception. I’m not sure he has ever had so much fuss and attention! There again, our naughty Labrador now seems to take it as a given, that bar staff are there especially to give him a treat. 🙂 The nearby medieval All Hallows Church with its alabaster tombs is well worth a visit. And just down the road is another pet friendly pub, The Aspinall Arms. www.thethreefishes.com Walk 5 mile circular. Setting off from Edisford Bridge, walk along the road for 800 yards , turn left onto a farm lane ( with a sign for holiday cottages) and follow the footpath signs that lead you over stiles, through fields and eventually onto Church Lane in Mitton. Turn left at the church and you will see The Three Fishes. To return, turn right as you leave and head over the bridge to The Aspinall Arms pub. Cross a stile to the right of the pub, head up through the fields and follow the Ribble Way signs back to Edisford.

The Waddington Arms, Waddington. James Places pubs in the Ribble Valley are all very welcoming to four-legged friends. The Waddy Arms in the centre of the village is no exception.Boasting outdoor seating to the front and rear, flagged floors and roaring fires, this warm country Inn serves good food & ales and has dog-friendly rooms. Hugo loved the crunchy bonio biscuits he was given by the chatty bar staff. www.waddingtonarms.co.uk Walk. 6 miles Circular. See Lower Buck, Waddington Walk.

I’ve walked 1000 Miles. 😁😁

You may remember that at the start of 2018 I decided to join in with the #walk1000miles challenge. There’s a great group on facebook, full of inspirational people who are doing/have done, just that! My hope was to walk 1000 miles by the end of the year. And amazingly I hit that milestone, this weekend. 🙂

My Brother In Law found a great little walk for us to do, starting and finishing at The Inn at Whitewell in the Forest of Bowland AONB. It took in a 19th century cheese press, river stepping-stones, about a thousand pheasants ( no exaggeration!) and of course a good dog- friendly country Inn.

Don’t worry though, I intend to keep on walking and am now aiming to walk another 500 miles by the end of December. Although I have always enjoyed a good walk ( and you kind of have to , as a dog’s human) , I have definitely shyed away from longer routes and hills. The #walk1000miles challenge has absolutely made me more enthusiastic about grabbing my walking boots and getting out there!

Also its a really fun thing to do with friends and family. You never know what you may come accross. 🙂

And every walk should end with a drink at the pub, or cake, or both….😁

Sea Air ~ Heysham.

On Sunday we found ourselves on the Lancashire coast, sipping Nettle Beer and surrounded by vikings!

We drove to the sea, passing through the brackened moorland of the Trough Of Bowland.

Heysham Power Station.

Then on through Lancaster and toward Heysham, an ancient fishing port, now more widely known for it’s ferry terminal and power station.

We had decided upon Heysham as a dog-friendly beach destination. One that hopefully would not be too busy with daytrippers. Fellow blogger Christine had mentioned that the area has a Wildlife Trust Nature Reserve, so we used it’s small free carpark and went for a wander.

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Gatekeeper.
Common Blue.

Heysham Nature Reserve covers 17.00 Hectares of various habitats, leading down to a rocky beach, lorded over by a whopping big power station. Beauty can be found in industry. Numerous butterflies fluttered busily around the reserve, the shore was a sea of pretty purple, and snowy white egrets pecked for tasty morsels on the strandline.

Stunning Sea Lavender.
Little Egret.
Lighthouse near the ferry terminal.

Popular with dog walkers ,the nature reserve has walking trails, plenty of dog waste bins and even provides drinking water for thirsty hounds. There is a dog-free portion to explore too, for those of you who prefer to wildlife watch in relative peace. 😉 After our walk we ate a packed lunch at the small picnic area by the car park.

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Picnic Area at Heysham Nature Reserve.

We then decided to drive round to Half Moon Bay on the other side of the ferry terminal. The car park here was very busy. It soon became apparent we were visiting Heysham on it’s annual Viking Festival Weekend! The cliff top walk into the village was teaming with tourists, admiring the far reaching views over Morecambe Bay. You can’t tell from my pictures how busy ( or warm! ) it actually was..

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The coastal walk to the headland with views over Morecambe Bay.
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Next to the ruins of St Patricks Chapel are six coffin graves cut into the cliff. An image of them appears on the Black Sabbath album ‘The Best of Black Sabbath’.
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Relaxing on the headland.
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Small Copper Butterfly.

Heysham’s Viking history dates back 1000 years , with the grounds of St Peter’s Church in the village containing both Saxon and Viking remains. I wrote more about the area on a previous visit ~ Heysham and Half Moon Bay.

Once in the Village it was obvious that everyone had embraced the Viking connection!

Feeling rather thirsty at this point, I decided to try a glass of the local delicacy ‘Granny’s Home Brewed Nettle Drink’. After Wil and I visited Heysham last year, I was telling my Mum all about our day there, and it turns out Heysham holds many happy childhood seaside memories for her. One of those was drinking a non-alcoholic tonic called Nettle Beer. It turns out a well known local personality called Granny Hutchinson used to brew the drink in her cottage, using nettles found round and about. Today the old recipe has been passed down through the generations and is still on sale in Heysham’s cafes. Keen to sample this traditional fare, I bought a £1 glass of the unassuming brown liquid. It definitely has the Famous Five ‘lashings of ginger beer’ factor!

Below are a few photos from the Viking Festival.

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Spirit of Heysham sculpture.

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We did not stop to long at the festival as it was incredibly warm, especially for Hugo. I’m not sure how the people in Viking costumes fared in the heat!

Have you ever been to Heysham?

Sunday Sevens 22nd July.

Having had a whole week off ( oh yes! ) , I thought I would share some of what I have been up to, in the form of a Sunday Sevens. Sunday Sevens is 7 ( or more) pictures from your week and was originally devised by Natalie at Threads & Bobbins

Fun With Family. Last Sunday my brother stopped over, so we headed to our sisters and had an afternoon out at Beacon Fell Country Park, looking for all the sculptures on the trail. Woodpeckers, Owls, Hare and Dragonflies…to name but a few. You can read about a previous visit to the park here.

Before losing my sandals!

Sinking Sandals. Also this week my lovely friend Lou visited us on route to her graduation in Liverpool. Before dropping her off at Crosby Station ,we paid a visit to the Art installation Another Place at Crosby Beach. 100 Iron Men stand looking out to sea, over 3 miles of coastline.

Lou squelching her way over to one of the 100 Iron Men.

We were very stupid and decided to head out over the wet sand to examine one barnacled specimen. Don’t try this at home folks! Lou was fine, but I ended up losing my sandals to the squelchy Mersey mud. 😦 I know it could have been a lot worse. :/ After that we stayed close to the promenade!

Big Butterfly Count. Heres something I was excited to join in with! Every Summer the Big Butterfly Count asks that you take 15 minutes of your time to sit and watch butterflies. 🦋 I decided to count the butterflies we saw whilst relaxing by the dunes at Crosby Beach. It was a great location as I spotted Peacocks, Tortoishells, Whites, Six-spotted Burnets, a Painted Lady and a Common Blue. Why not give the count a go and submit your results here.

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#walk1000miles.  A riverside walk to a nearby village yesterday, brought my miles walked total for this year so far to 909 miles!  Think my swan friend here was impressed!  Hopefully I should hit 1000 miles in August and then my aim is to walk 1500 miles by the end of the year. That would be pretty awesome!

How are you? Any good plans for today ( Sunday) ?  Hoping to head to the coast again. Will try not to lose my sandals this time……

Salthill Quarry Local Nature Reserve.

To ease my England V Sweden viewing angst, I thought I would write this post at the same time. Ha! I am a very nervy audience…

This morning I had a wander round one of my local town’s two Nature Reserves. Salthill Quarry has appeared on my blog a couple times, but as I haven’t visited for over twelve months, I thought I would drop by for a nosy. The Quarry is a designated SSSI because of its geological formations…but I was there for the flowers…and the butterflies. 🙂

The 7.00 hectare Nature Reserve has grassland and woodland habitats. I was certainly glad of a little shade. The sun beat down as I looked for betony, orchids and scabious. Some of the land was dry and parched. Still no sign of approaching rain here in the North West.

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Roses on the way to the reserve.
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And a Painted Lady on Buddleia.
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Into the Woods.
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A Swallow-Tailed Moth ~ I think..
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Speckled Wood.
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Feeling parched.
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Hmmm Spray painter, if your going to do this , at least do a neat job! This is the Crinoid Seat that looks across to Pendle Hill.
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Lady’s Bedstraw.
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Orchids.
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Almost hidden ~ a blue damselfly.
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Marjoram.
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Scabious.
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Under the Umbels.
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Brown Ringlet.
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Harebell.
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Green Damselfly , maybe?
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Six-spotted Burnett Moth.

Feeling slightly calmer now. …

Thanks for accompanying me on a wander round Salthill Quarry Local Nature Reserve.

Flora, Fauna and a Festival in a Forest.

I haven’t just been spending my time yomping up hills recently. At the weekend Wil and I joined some friends at the annual Cloudspotting Festival in Gisburn Forest, a popular family-friendly Arts & Music festival, set in the heart of the beautiful Forest of Bowland in Lancashire.

As this year’s festival was actually on a smaller scale than usual, with two nights camping and one full day devoted to fun events for all the family plus some great Live Bands, it was called A Break In The Clouds. Being my first ever experience of Cloudspotting, I wasn’t sure what to expect!

Apart from the early evening midgie beasts ( we were in a forest after all) , I loved it. When I wasn’t participating in laughter yoga, noshing on yummy festival food, drinking cider in the Bitter Suite Bar, listening to storytelling by the campfire or dancing along to Sweet Baboo’s psychedelic floor- filling tunes, I was chasing butterflies in the surrounding wildflower meadows. 😁

Our friends daughters ( aged 7 and 8 ) had a wonderful time too. There was plenty going on for kids including Forest School, The Highway Rat Trail and Interactive Theatre ‘ The Sorrowful Stag’ . What was lovely about ‘A Break In The Clouds’ was the chilled friendly vibe. It felt very safe and allowed the kids a rare degree of independence, that children don’t get to experience so much these days.

Here are a few images that myself and my friend Fiona took. 😊

Cloudspotting Hen Harrier.
Wildflower Meadow.
Bronte & Lydia.
Festival Footwear.
Silver Y Moth.
The Sorrowful Stag.
The Sorrowful Stag.
Festival Food.
Common Spotted Orchids.
Holistic Therapy Trailer.
The Green Canteen.
Damselfly.
Small Skipper.
Forest Camp Fire.
Festival Thoughts Tree.
Headliners, Lancaster Band ~ The Lovely Eggs.
A Break In The Clouds. 🙂

The Cloudspotting Festival is set to return in it’s fuller form in 2019. 🙂

Are you off to any festivals this Summer?