Category Archives: lancashire

30 Days Wild ~ Days 10 to 16.

Back to my own neck of the woods  now, the lovely Ribble Valley in Lancashire. Here are my wild moments from the last seven days. 🙂

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Day 10 ~ The Running Hare. I have started reading this charming book by John Lewis Stempel. It is  the story of how a farmer attempts to transform a bare ,almost barren meadow , into a haven for the kind of wildlife that would frequent a field, if it wasn’t for the intensive farming methods used  today. This book takes me back to my own childhood, growing up on a farm, when  hare and partridges, lapwing and field mice were much more commonplace  than they are today. I hope he succeeds…

 

Day 11 ~ Wild Rose-Petal Jam. The hedgerows are full of fragrant Wild Rose shrubs , so I thought I would follow this recipe and make Rose- Petal Jam.

2 Cups Wild Rose Petals.

2 Cups Caster Sugar.

1 tbsp Orange juice.

1 tbsp Lemon juice.

Half a cup of Water.

Dissolve two cups of caster sugar in half a cup of water mixed with one tablespoon each of lemon juice and orange juice. Stir in the rose petals and put the pan over a very low heat. Stir continuously for 30 minutes, or until the petals have ‘melted’. Cool the mixture and pour into a small glass jar and seal. Rose-Petal jam is popular in the Middle East , especially with yoghurt.

The recipe worked, though took an awful lot of stirring. Also the jam is incredibly sweet, so I think if I make it again, I would lessen the amount of sugar used.


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Day 12 ~  Feeding the Birds.  Wil very kindly made this hanger for the bird feeders at the weekend. Much less precarious than having them swing about on the washing line! One visitor has taken to the Coconut shell filled with cooked fat and seeds.A bluetit ! Hopefully more will follow. 🙂

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Meadow Cranesbill.

Day 13 ~  Wildflower Count. My blogger pal  Christine has posted on Facebook about an online Wildflower survey organized by Plantlife  , so I thought I would give it a go on today’s dog walk. Hugo and I followed Mearley Brook through the fields and then on to the River Ribble. I ticked off only 7 of the suggested flowers, which  was a little disappointing . But there were a few I spotted that were not on the list, such as Red Campion, Crosswort, Silverweed and Water Forget-me-not. I also saw the shiny copper coloured beetle below. Let me if know you take part…


 

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Possibly a Garden Chafer.

Day 14 ~ Meadow Grasses.  Flowers are beautiful, but have you ever noticed how pretty wild grasses are?  On an early morning walk with Hugo, I passed through a farmer’s field, which I think is waiting to be mown. Here are just a few of the different grasses that I very quickly took pictures of with my phone. Hugo loves racing trails through this meadow. We ended up soaked with dew and covered in grass seeds. 🙂

 

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Day 15 ~ Wildflower Seedlings. It looks like the seeds I received in my #30dayswild pack from The Wildlife Trusts are sprouting in my flower bed. Either that or a variety of weeds. I am intrigued to see what we end up with!

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Day 16 ~  A walk in the centre of the Kingdom.  Did you know the exact Centre of the UK is in Lancashire?  National Grid reference SD63770 56550 Hanging Stones , to be exact!  The nearest village is the pretty Bowland settlement of Dunsop Bridge. We parked our car in the village car park and walked up the track adjacent PuddleDuck Tearooms, past the playground and into the Dunsop Valley. Here are a few photos of the wildlife we saw on our walk.

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A Willow warbler, I think.
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Thistle.
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Heath Bedstraw.
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Pied Wagtail.
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Mallards.
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Elderflower.
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Common Spotted Orchids.
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Grey Wagtail.
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Foxglove.
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Eyebright.
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Mistle Thrush, I think !

After our ramble we had earned coffee and cake at Puddleducks!  A tearoom complete with ducks on the Village Green. 🙂

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Puddleducks , Dunsop Bridge.

Whoo I think that means we are just over halfway through ’30 Days Wild’ now. I just need to think of some ideas for the next 14 days!  All suggestions welcome. 🙂
 

 

 

 

 

Heysham and Half Moon Bay.

The recent sunshine is making me long for the seaside. I shall have to make do by collecting my pictures together of a lovely coastal walk in Lancashire.  ðŸ˜‰

When I think of Heysham, I basically picture it as a Ferry port and the home of Heysham Power Station.  I actually had no idea of how pretty the old part of the village is, and how full of history.

We parked up in the spacious village car park ( £1.40 for five hours)  and passed a few pretty tea rooms and shops on our stroll towards the start of our walk, St Peter’s Church.

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St Peter’s has windswept tombstones and uninterupted views of the sea. It has been here since Saxon times.
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The Coastal Walk is looked after by The National Trust.
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We headed through a patch of woodland and emerged onto a cliff top. Here are the 8th Century ruins of  St Patrick’s Chapel.
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St Patrick is said to have been shipwrecked here in the 5th Century.
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The Chapel looks out over ‘Half Moon Bay’.
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Definitely the most unusual burial ground I have seen.  Rock cut graves carved out of the headland.

The Rock- Cut Graves that surround St Patrick’s Chapel are actually not unique.  There are apparently similar graves in Hexham, Northumberland and in Ireland.  The body shaped hollows were carved for the VIPs of the eleventh century, mostly kings and priests.  I hope they had lids on!

We continued along the cliff footpath , heading towards the Ferry Port in the distance. It was quite a bracing day in May , so when we spotted the Half Moon Bay Cafe ,we warmed up with a hot drink.

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The beach allows dogs all year round. 🙂
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Looking towards the Ferry Port.
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The Half Moon Bay Cafe is bright and friendly.  It sells a small selection of local art and doggy treats too. 🙂

After a welcome brew we made our way back to Heysham, following another criss- crossing path over the cliff tops, an area known locally as ‘The Barrows’.

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Flowering Gorse.
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Campions.
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A pretty cove.
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Wil and Hugo.
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Bluebells.

Back in the village, I picked up a fantastic and quirky map of The Morecambe Bay and Heysham area from the Heritage Centre .  The ‘Seldom Seen’ series of maps , ‘map the hidden assets of Morecambe bay’ and are full of interesting facts. I especially like the phrase ‘ Beyond This Place Lie Monsters’. 🙂

Seldom Seen Map.
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The newly refurbished Royal is a great place for lunch.
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Look out for ‘The Spirit of Heysham’ sign…..and a viking!

Vikings came to Heysham over 1000 years ago and today this is celebrated when the village holds  it’s annual  Viking Festival. This year’s event takes place 15th ~ 17TH jULY.

By all accounts I was very surprised by Heysham. Now I have my map , I’m sure I will be returning soon. 🙂

 

Photo An Hour Sat 20th May.

Yesterday I joined in with #photoanhour on Instagram, organized as always by louisa and Janey
 
, I think its been going a good few years now. My posts always seem to contain a picture of Slinky ( the cat) on the bed , and Hugo ( our dog) out on a walk. Nothing changes then! 

 

8am ~  the day started out quite bright and warm with the sun streaming through the bedroom window, so it seemed right to get up and out , despite slight hangovers. 😉 

9am ~ As always here is Slinky , making the most of an empty bed! 

10am ~ Housework done , so settled with my latest photo album. I kid you not, I have millions! Putting a few photographs in and…… considering building an extension for them. 😉

11am ~ Doing a few jobs in town and find a man with an owl outside the New Inn. Turns out he is advertising a Bird Of Prey charity , that has an exhibition on the market today. I bob by and donate a few pennies.

12 Noon ~ We bought a few plants off the market for our back yard. 

1pm ~ We have lunch at the wonderful Cheesie Tchaikovsky cafe in town. Sadly it is closing down as the owner has become deeply allergic to bread and baking bread. 😦 . I will miss her amazing cheese scones. 

2pm ~  Back home and find some postcards from postcrossings in the post! Including these cute kittens from Germany. 🙂

3pm ~ Out with Hugo in the rain. Wil spots this tiny glistening green beetle on a leaf. Could possibly be a flea beetle. Not sure.

4pm ~ A bit later than 4 actually. Got absolutely soaked in the rain so warming up with a brew indoors.

5pm ~ Weather brightened up again. Off to Homebase for some compost and pass these pretty cottages. I love the blue flowered bush , but not sure what it is.

6pm ~ A selection of bits and bobs for tea including samosas off the market. 🙂

7pm ~ Settleing down to watch Doctor Strange on dvd.

8pm ~ Hugo does not seem impressed with Doctor Strange. Neither does Wil, but I quite like it. Keep thinking Mr Cumberbatch is Sherlock though! 

9pm ~ The money plant I obtained recently has not sprouted fivers. 😦 But I did get it a pretty new pot, so you never know…..

10pm ~ Yep I’m in bed. So Rock N Roll ! Jotting down ideas for #thirtydayswild in June. Looking forward to getting my pack! 

Well thats it for a pretty quiet Saturday. Let me know if you joined in too. 🙂

Camping and a walk in the Forest Of Bowland.

No need to dust down the old leaky tent for the first camping trip of the year ! Happily We  Wil had bought a nice new one a few weeks previously . This tent was meant to be the same model as our original. But it seems a whole lot bigger. Erm it’s practically a marquee !

Anyway we didn’t venture to far from home. We chose Fell View Park near the pretty village of Scorton. Perched on the edge of the Forest Of Bowland AONB , Fell View is adjacent to the owners farm and is surrounded by meadows full of bleating lambs and nesting lapwings.

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Hawthorn Hedge.

The campsite has plenty of EHU points, good hot showers, an undercover washing up area and a small fishing lake , which is home to lots of ducks and geese.  We stayed in the non electric tent field and had it all to ourselves for the first night.  The hedges were heavy with the scent of hawthorn blossom and the resident Greylag Geese were happily honking away.

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Mama and brood.

There’s a little Local Information Room on site with maps of nearby walks , so we took a leaflet for a Circular Route taking in ‘Nicky Nook’. The fell top is a relatively easy walk ~ about 215m to the top.

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Spot the Lapwing.
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Bowland Fells.
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Nicky Nook Summit,
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Cotton Grass.
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The Tarn.
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Descending Nicky Nook.
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Golden Gorse Blooms.

As you can see ‘ The Forest Of Bowland’ is not actually a forest in the traditional sense. The name Forest was given to Royal Hunting grounds in ancient times. Bowland is made up of  ruggedly beautiful moorland and gentle lowlands. The AONB actually covers 312 square miles of rural Lancashire and neighboring Yorkshire.

After descending ‘Nicky Nook’ we found ourselves on a country lane and followed the signs to the Apple Store Cafe  in Wyresdale Park.  The cafe set in a sheltered walled garden in the grounds of Wyresdale Hall, is the perfect place to drop by for a brew and a cake. 🙂  We sat outside , though it did look lovely inside, the glass house interior felt a little stuffy even on quite a drizzley day. The lovely waitress served our refreshments on mismatched vintage crockery, and even brought out a sausage for Hugo! 

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The Apple Store.
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My tea came in a Henry viii adorned teapot. 🙂

 After tea and cake we explored the grounds a bit ( I never saw the estate peacocks 😦 ) and then decided to deviate from our route and headed into Scorton itself for a wander. On the way we spied this cute cottage with it’s quirky garden signage.

 To get to Scorton we had to cross the M6. Who knew that such a tranquil place is so close to the motorway. The pretty village  has  a Bar Restaurant, spa shop and a cafe/gift shop. We had a couple of drinks in the lovely and dog friendly Priory Stout Bar. 

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The rare Hen Harrier is the symbol of The Forest of Bowland.
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A Scorton Doorway.
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Typical Village transport. 😉

 

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Hugo looking sorry for himself. The Priory is a friendly place to unwind with a drink or enjoy a meal. Pets welcome! 

 After a drink or two we continued on our way. We headed back through Wyresdale Park, across the fields and onwards to the campsite. It was a beautiful walk. 🙂

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Bluebells.
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Friendly horses.

 

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Cheeky lambs.

Fell View is definitely a campsite we will return to I think ,as there is so much nearby countryside to explore and the area is indeed one of Outstanding natural beauty.  ðŸ™‚

Sunday Sevens 14th May.

 

Hi here is my Sunday Sevens ~ a collection of 7 photos from the last seven days. 🙂 Last Sunday I found myself mooching round my local town of Blackburn, which was playing host to ‘The National Festival Of Making’.  This was a free family festival devised to showcase British making and manufacturing , with workshops, art installations and markets.  Now I’m not much of a maker myself, but I did enjoy the craft fairs and art aspects of the festival. And it was good to see good old Blackburn all spruced up for the occasion!  Hopefully it was a mighty success and has helped bring prosperity to the area.

Blackburn Cathedral.
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A bit of yarn bombing in Blackburn.

At the moment I am reading ‘The Essex Serpent’ by Sarah Perry. I have only just started it , but so far so good.  Set at the end of the nineteenth century, this gothic tale involves an Essex village terrorised by a dragon like creature and a young fossil collecting widow ,who  attracted by the tales of this ‘ mythical’ beast ,sets her heart upon finding it. No doubt the real monsters will be the ones inside the characters heads. We shall see…

 

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The Essex  Serpent.

On Friday we packed the car for a spot of camping.  We didn’t venture very far on our first camping trip of 2017. We stayed just outside of the village of Scorton, perched on the edge of the Forest Of Bowland A0NB.  Despite it only being about 45 minutes away, this is an area of Lancashire we have never really visited before.

 

We had a camping field all to ourselves , which was good as we had some trouble putting up our new tent!  Nothing more embarrassing than being stared at whilst wrestling with a bunch of awkward poles…. 🙂

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The road to and from Sunderland Point.

I will be blogging about our trip so I won’t include the lovely walks we found or our couple of hours in the coastal village of Heysham. Instead here is a photo of my big regret. Our extremely brief visit to Sunderland Point !  This is a tiny settlement by the sea, that gets cut off by the tide twice a day. Unfortunately I had done no research on tide times and left my phone back in the tent. So after driving warily across the tidal causeway,  we almost immediately got spooked, and practically raced back !  Sigh. We will return someday I’m sure.

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Beacon Fell Sculpture.

Today on our way back home from Scorton we decided to take Hugo on a walk round ‘Beacon Fell Country Park’ near Chipping.  Much to my delight we happened across a Sculpture Trail. 🙂  I’m sure I will be blogging about that too !

Our trip got us in the holiday mood. We have now booked a week away in Norfolk. Can’t wait !

Sunday Sevens was devised by the lovely Natalie at Threads And Bobbins.

Sunday Sevens April 30th.

Hugo A Go Go.

I’m joining in with Natalie’s Sunday Sevens this week, sharing 7 photos from the last seven days. Above is Hugo who has been causing us a little concern recently. He tends to have a reaccurring limp in his front left leg and it has proved a mystery ,as he doesn’t seem to be in  pain. The vets suggested lead walk and restricted exercise and various meds, which we keep trying. He has also had Xrays and everything is fine joint and bone wise. Unfortunately the Xrays also showed a childs dummy in his large intestine ! A week later we are still waiting for it to pass. Dogs eh. Marley has nothing on him! 

 

 This weekend happens to be The Ribble Valley Jazz Festival and yesterday there were quite a few free performances in Clitheroe to enjoy. I’m not a jazz fan but any kind of music that gets people together and having fun is fine by me. 🙂

Pancake Band.
Lydia & Bronte.

My beautiful God daughters were doing a grand job selling Jazz themed cards in Church for charity. Super sales women ! 

Blow Jangles.
BlueFunk Syndicate.

Today I’m actually on a Spa day at Ribby Hall , a continuation of my sister’s 4Oth Birthday Celebrations. We have all enjoyed the ‘Aqua Thermal Journey’ the outdoor hot tub and lunch. Now the girls are having treatments ( I’m wierdly not one for facials and massages) and  I am  lounging around in the relaxation suite, with views over the Zen Garden. Sweet. 

Nice Robes ladies!.

Lovely Hot Chocolate!

 

Ribby Hall Spa.

Its been a very relaxing day…

Enjoy the rest of the Bank Holiday.x

Bluebells and Benedicts.

I’ve seen some lovely Bluebell walk posts recently, both on WordPress and on Facebook, so I just had to find my nearest Bluebell Wood and go for a wander, whilst these gorgeous Spring flowers are still in bloom.  The nearest such place happens to be just outside the nearby village of  Whalley. Spring Wood  was once owned by the monks of Whalley Abbey and is classed as a semi ancient woodland. There is ample parking, toilets, picnic benches and quite often an ice cream van parked at the site entrance.  We took Hugo for a short walk , as he is on restricted exercise at the moment.

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Speckled Wood Butterfly.

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Wild Garlic or Ramsons.

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Spring Wood proved to be the perfect place to admire the many bluebells and other wild flowers that frequent the woodland at this time of year. A friend even saw a deer last week ,so it’s well worth taking a camera. 🙂

After our wander we drove into Whalley and went for lunch at  Benedict’s  which is a lovely Cafe Bar in the Village ,that happens to be dog friendly.

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There is a varied menu that includes a good selection of free from foods.  Wil chose the Farmers Board ( a tasty combo of cheese, meats & pate ) and I had the Chicken & Smashed Avocado Salad.  My drink of choice was a bottle of sparkling Rhubarb Mimosa and Wil enjoyed an Americano Coffee. Hugo was given some treats from Millie & Ruby’s Dog Bakery.  🙂

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I loved my salad but it was a bit to healthy for me. 🙂  So I had to sample the Lemon & Poppy Seed cake!  And I tried a piece of Wil’s Rocky Road too. Both were delicious.

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Have you been on any Bluebell walks ?

Thanks for dropping by. 🙂