Category Archives: lancashire

A family friendly bike ride ~ Lancaster, Hest Bank and Morecambe.

It’s been a good few years since I’ve got on a bike, never mind atempted to ride one, so when our  friends  suggested a family friendly cycle route between Lancaster and Morecambe, I was a little apprehensive to say the least. But after borrowing one of Wil’s bike helmets, my sister’s bike ( Thanks Sis! ) and my 7 year old niece, I was good to go. πŸ™‚

We began our cycling adventure in Lancaster, parking on a small pay and display car park , not far from the Millenium Bridge. The route , which was mostly flat ( hurrah ! ) and part of the Lancashire Cycleway  took us along an impressive expanse of car free cycle paths. It meandered through woodland, clung to canal side, dodged the crowds on Morecambe Sea Front and followed and crossed the River Lune , before arriving back at our beginnings 20km later. 

The kids were nothing short of impressive on this bike ride. πŸ™‚  It’s perfect for families though, with only a couple of roads to cross and various refreshment stops.  My friend Jo and I decided we would have to invest in some padded cycling shorts for our next outing!  Boy am I sore today. Ouch! 

I didn’t manage to take as many photos as I would have liked, due to my rather precarious bicycle balance. So a few  of these pics were taken by Jo and Fi. The one of Lune Aqueduct, I pinched off Pinterest.

Ready ! Steady ! Go !
We crossed the impressive Lune Aqueduct that carries the Lancaster canal over the river Lune.

The Hest Bank Inn is a great refreshment stop.
Fish & Chips in a Basket. Nom Nom.
Look out tower , Morecambe.
Big Bird…..and small bird. Ha Ha. πŸ™‚

Colourful seating outside The Midland Hotel.
The Millenium bridge crosses The River Lune in Lancaster.

We all really enjoyed our bike trip. Any recommendations for fairly easy … and flat routes, in the North West , let me know. πŸ™‚ 

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Hawthorn’s September Scavenger Hunt.

I wondered if I would manage to complete this months challenge in time. I’m still on holiday in the Lake District and recently realised I had better get snapping away ! Apart from 3 photos, most of these pictures were taken on my camera phone , over the past few days. 

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1. Shut ~   This butterfly’s wings stayed resolutely shut when I took this photo at The Butterfly House in Williamson Park, Lancaster.

2. Copper ~ There’s a copper  tinge to the days here in the Lake District at the moment. Autumn has arrived! This picture was taken on the banks of Wast Water a couple of days ago. The bracken is copper coloured, the foilage is changing from green to reds and golds. 

 

3. Wrist ~  I would have loved to have worn a pretty bracelet for this prompt, but as I don’t have one here with me, here are my Wristbands from a visit to Muncaster Castle.

4. Quarter ~ At Quarter past six yesterday I was contemplating tucking into this bad boy! Needless to say , I only made a small dent in it, even with my humongous appetite! 

5. It starts with a C ~ Here are Hugo and I outside Muncaster Castle , which is a short drive from where we are staying.  The castle is supposedly haunted by the spirits of a  White Lady, a crying baby and a mischievous fool. Jeepers! 

6. Foam ~  Sorry this prompt was a bit of a disaster for me! I’m trying to convince you here, that the green moss on the rocks in Ravenglass,  feels like Foam when you touch it. A-hem! 

7.  Scarf ~ You can just about see I am wearing my Autumn coloured Scarf , which I bought in Fat Face last September.  I am looking for an abandoned Japanese Garden in woodland near Eskdale Green. It was so abandoned, it took ages to find it! 

8. Line ~ Yesterday I bagged my first Wainwright!  This is the view of Wastwater from the top of Buckbarrow. The skyline is dominated by the Western Fells. It was wonderful up there, but I don’t think I will become addicted to climbing mountains! 

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9. Nostalgic ~  The Art Deco Midland Hotel in Morecambe adds a touch of  Nostalgia to the Lancashire Coast.  I quite fancy staying here one day. πŸ™‚

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10.  My own Choice ~  Love this piccie of my nephew and niece eating their lunch in the back of our car, but can you see who is eyeing up their sarnies. πŸ™‚

Thanks to Hawthorn for arranging the Scavenger Hunt. X

 

Bowland Food Hall at Holmes Mill.

 On Friday we bobbed over the road for lunch ,to the  recently opened Bowland Food Hall in Holmes Mill , a popular new eating, drinking & leisure destination, in my home town of Clitheroe.  The mill is already home to Britain’s longest continuous bar, in its spacious Beer Hall , an attractive cafe , gelateria and  of course the Bowland Brewery.  Also set to open in the next few months are the Spinning Block Hotel, Bar & Grill  and The Weaving Shed Gym, Pool & Spa.  Phew!  Thats alot to take in !

Bowland Food Hall is on a mission , to showcase the best of Bowland and Lancashire’s  local produce. It’s a great space to wander round and ooooh and ahh at all the lovely goodies.  There’s honey from Stonyhurst, cheese from Garstang, pies from Chatburn, meringues from Whalley, Bowland brewed ales,  cordials from Rawtenstall etc etc etc. Of course it’s not only Lancs that gets a look in, but the emphasis is firmly on locally sorced food and drink. πŸ§€πŸ 

We did buy ourselves a few treats!  A wedge of Nicky Nook Blue Cheese, A Lancashire Cheese Bomb and a small bottle of Whinberry Gin, also handcrafted in Lancashire. And not to forget Hugo! He has a packet of  homebaked biscuits from Millie & Ruby’s Bakery for Dogs . πŸ™‚  We are currently holidaying in The Lakes and are all  enjoying our purchases , immensely!  Reminding us of home. πŸ™‚

So what is the dining experience like in the Food Hall?  I think Holmes Mill have got the right idea, in keeping things simple.   Bowland Boards are the order of the day. Β£8.50 for a Cheese Board,  Fish Board , Meat Board,  Vegetarian Board or Lancashire Board. Food is prepared in front of you , whilst you enjoy a coffee, tea, soft drink or maybe a glass or two of wine.  You are seated round a raised slate top counter  and the service is friendly and efficient. Wil is a big cheese fan and loved his cheese platter, all the cheeses are produced in where else, but Lancashire. πŸ˜‰ . My Lancashire Board contained Roy Porters Pork Pie, Heritage Piccalilli,  Lancashire Cheese Quiche and Lancashire Crisps.  Mmmmmm delicious!   If you have enough room for dessert, the patisserie menu looks very tempting too. 

Picture credit ~ Workhouse Creative Marketing.  Holmes Mill Layout.

Bowland Food Hall is definitely worth a visit, to pick up a few treats or  just indulge in a Lancashire Lunch fix. 

X

Butterflies, Seabirds & Rock Pools.

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Large Tree Nymph Butterfly.

In my last blog post I was feeling all Autumnal , but then Summer made a reappearance on Sunday πŸ™‚Β  Happily we were put in charge of my niece and nephew for the day ….or was it the other way round !Β  Anyway we decided to head for the coast.Β  First we found ourselves atΒ Williamson Park Β on the outskirts of Lancaster.Β  With 54 acres of beautiful parkland , the impressive Ashton Memorial and far reaching views across Morecambe Bay, there’s certainly plenty to see.Β  But it was the Butterfly House and the Mini Beasts that the kids and I were interested in. Whilst Wil took Hugo for a walk , we got up close and personal with allsorts of cute creatures.Β  πŸ™‚

Tropical Blue Butterfly.

 

Common Garden Skink eating lunch.

The Butterfly House in Williamson Park is a former Palm House which resembles a tropical rainforest.Β  Indeed my camera lense started steaming up as soon as we entered!Β  Colourful butterflies flutter amongst the greenery and there are also various reptiles living here.Β  We were especially enamoured by the Common Garden Skink and a Chinese Water Dragon, who seemed a very friendly fellow.

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Chinese Water Dragon.

 

Meerkats.Β 

As well as The Butterfly House ,there is a Mini Beasts House, an Aviary and Meerkats, so plenty to keep the kids oooohing and ahhing for a little while. We also found an adventure playground, before meeting up with Wil and Hugo in The Pavilion Cafe. And we had to have a quick look in the gift shop too of course!

If only we had climbed up The Ashton memorial.Β  The views are apparently stunning from the first floor viewing gallery. That’s a definite for next time.Β  The memorial dominates the Lancaster skyline and was commissioned by Lord Ashton, as a tribute to his late wife.Β  Constructed mainly from Portland stone, with a copper dome, the structure was completed in 1909, and is now a popular venue for weddings and other events.Β  But now let’s head to Morecambe, whilst the sun is still shining. πŸ™‚

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Tropical flower.

 

 

 

 

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Ashton Memorial

Morecambe’s Seafront is home to theΒ Tern ProjectΒ , an art trail that celebrates the varied birdlife and wildlife that make their home on the Lancashire Coast. Look out for poems and puzzles, jokes and riddles and lots of birdy sculptures.Β  Many can be found on the long stone jetty in front of the Midland Hotel, and along the promenade.

 

A Bird’s Eye View across the Bay.
Comerants.
Lapwing.
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RingedΒ  plovers.
Magpie.
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Mythical Bird.

When I asked my niece and nephew what they enjoyed the most about our day out, the answer was rock pooling!Β  These two could spend hours looking for crabs and water snails. Simple pleasures eh. πŸ™‚

 

Gone Crabbing !

Here’s hoping for some more summery days to lead us out of September. X

Hawthorn’s August Scavenger Hunt.

Hey there, it’s time for another bash at Hawthorn’s Photo Scavenger Hunt.  Looking at this month’s pictures makes me realise, I have been out and about quite a bit in August. Not that I’m complaining!

1. Relaxed.  A friend’s cute Bedlington Terrier is supplied with her own cushion in the pub , on our camping trip to Ingleton.

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2.  It begins with an M.  This curved sculpture on the beach in Cleveleys is called Mary’s Shell.

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3.  Time For…… a delicious slab of moist ginger cake in a cute cafe bar in Sedbergh called ‘The Three Hares’.

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4.  Tangerine.  Ok this photo is a bit of a stretch!  I am seeing a slight hint of tangerine colour here , in a waterfall on the Ingleton Falls Trail.

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5.  It begins with an O.  The Old Fashioned Traditional Sweet Shop on Blackpool’s North Pier sells all sorts of goodies. πŸ™‚

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6.  Whiskery. Ok he’s not really that whiskery, just scruffy and cute. I met this sweetie in The Three Hares in Sedbergh. His name is Tigger!

7.  Lace.  Cow Parsley in a local meadow. It’s also known as Queen Anne’s Lace.

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8.  Bridge. Well how about this bridge! Ribblehead Viaduct is Europe’s longest viaduct and its in our very own Yorkshire Dales, not far from Ingleton.

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9). Letters.  The letter appears prominently on these colourful Collins hardbacks in a book shop in Sedbergh. Sedbergh is a Book town in the Yorkshire Dales National Park.

 

 

10.  My Own Choice. My two god daughters with their camping breakfasts. πŸ™‚

 Please check out Hawthorn’s Blog for more Scavenger Hunt posts. πŸ™‚

 

 

A countryside walk with some old haunts.

On saturday we decided to leave the car at home and set off on a walk around the places where I grew up. Before I moved to the great Metropolis that is Clitheroe, I lived in the shadow of Pendle Hill on a hill farm called Little Mearley. Nope I never did move to far away…or make my fortune! Not to worry. πŸ˜‰

Our walk took in a few country lanes, a bridle path/farm track and some farm land. I think we walked about 8 miles or so, so not too shabby. I imagine Hugo our labrador covered even more milage, as he definitely runs circles around me….

We started off by walking through the fields toward Standen Hall and then crossed the busy A59 and headed for the pretty village of Pendleton.

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The Swan with Two Necks in Pendleton is a popular Real Ale pub.

The folks of Pendleton have decorative Imaginations!  I’m not sure about the Egg Wreath ,but I do like the Flower Pot Bees. πŸ™‚

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Mearley.

We walked through Pendleton and crossed the Sabden Road , then ambled along a bridle path through the tiny hamlet of Mearley. This eventually turns into a farm track and passes  the farm where I grew up.

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Little Mearley Hall.

It felt strange walking past the old place. Little Mearley dates back to 1590. My bedroom growing up, was the mullioned bay window room. The glass has names of past residents etched into it. I might have shared my ivory tower with their ghosts , but I was happily oblivious!  Pendle Hill with it’s legendary associations with witchcraft fades into the mist behind.

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Wil ended up detangling this Tup. He had got his impressive horns stuck in the barbed wire.

We then cut through some fields and passed Angram Green Farm & Campsite and walked into the beautiful village of Downham, where my sister and I went to primary school. I didn’t take many photos here, but If you would like to see more, here is a post I did a while back called Downham delights. πŸ™‚

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Quiet country lane to Downham.

We had lunch in Downham , sat outside a former collegues cute little ice cream shop, that also sells brews, sandwiches, baked goodies and other bits and pieces.

We decided to look for an alternative route back , which would take us through fields ,so Hugo could have a lot more off lead time.  There is a footpath just over the road from the Ice cream shop that took us through some meadows and past the bottom of Worsaw Hill.

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Worsaw Hill.

Even for a non- hill climber like me, Worsaw Hill, which reminds me of a mini volcano, looked far too tempting not to climb.  At 725ft it’s tiny compared to Pendle, but offers gorgeous views of the surrounding countryside.

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Kind of breezy up here!
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Green pastures and Pendle Hill.
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Surveying my kingdom. πŸ™‚

After scrambling down the hill ,we continue through fields toward the village of Worston.  As a teenager I was a saturday girl at the local pub ,The Calf’s Head. On the way  we pass a farm with a movie connection!

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Worsaw End Farm.

Have you ever watched the 1961 film Whistle Down The Wind ?  It tells the tale of three farm children who discover a fugitive hiding  in their barn, and mistake him for , well, Jesus!  Worsaw End Farm is the farm. Local children from Downham and nearby Chatburn starred alongside such acting luminaries as Hayley Mills and Alan Bates.

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A pint of Worston Witch for Wil at The Calf’s Head.

Once in Worston we take refreshment in the Calf’s Head Beer garden before crossing back over the A59 and heading home.

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Heading home , with Pendle Hill in the background.

Thanks for accompanying me on a bit of a journey through my past….

ps It’s Hugo’s 3rd Birthday today. Time is certainly flying by. He will be celebrating later with a bottle of doggy beer from Millie & Ruby’s Dog Bakery. πŸ™‚

 

Photo An Hour Sat August 26th.

Yesterday was Photo An Hour Day on Instagram, organized by the lovely Janey and Louisa.  I joined in so here’s  some random shots from my day. πŸ™‚

8am.  Muesli and blueberries for breakfast. Trying my best to be more healthy at the moment….and have been doing pretty well, so far!

9am.  We are off on a walk, so map and waterproofs packed.

10am.  Walking through the village of Pendleton and say hello to a goat. πŸ™‚

11am.  And now walking past a campsite. It feels strange that we haven’t gone camping ourselves this bank holiday.

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12 Noon. Time for a pit stop. We are in the pretty village of Downham and have lunch at the tea room/ Ice cream shop on the village green. Hugo hoping for titbits as usual!

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1pm.  We walk to the top of  Worsaw  Hill and admire the views across the valley and Pendle Hill.

2pm.  Stopped in a pub beer garden for refreshments.

3pm.  Home now and the sunshine has dried all the washing, except the rag rugs.

4pm.  Slinky is making the most of the sunshine. ^^
 

 

5pm.  The widflower seeds in the flower bed are doing well….though most of them happen to be daisies! 

6pm.  Straightening my hair as I’m off out later.

7pm.  A bit of light reading, from the Bridget Jones era. πŸ™‚

8pm.  In the pub with my friend Jo. Think it’s locals night!

9pm.  We get last minute tickets to a Stone Roses tribute band.

10pm. ‘ I am the Resurrection!’

11pm.  And end the night playing Jenga in the Ale House.

 

Having a lazy day today after yesterday. Hope you are enjoying your bank holiday. Catch you soon!