Category Archives: lancashire

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. πŸ™‚

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.  πŸ™‚

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I loved my salad but it was a bit to healthy for me. πŸ™‚  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. πŸ™‚

 

Photo An Hour ~ Sat 22nd April.

Yesterday I joined in with Photo An Hour on Instagram so I thought I would put the pictures on my blog too. It was quite a sunny warmish Saturday and I went for a  walk with my camera in the morning. Later though the day turned into hours at the pub, so I didn’t post as many photos as I intended . Oooops! 

8am. Wil went out with Hugo and I am lounging about in bed reading this great book called Tiny Islands. Its about all the relatively small islands off our coast. I never realised that there is a tidal island called Hilbre off West Kirby in The Wirral. Might be worth a visit sometime. Slinky thinks so. πŸ™‚

9am. Shower time.

10am. I’m up and about. Have gone for a walk and am noticing the abundance of bluebells in flower.

11am.  Cuckoo flowers and Dandelions are everywhere in this meadow. Lots of butterflies too.Spend a good while chasing them with the camera.

Noon. Heading home now. These wellies are about the only ones that have not split on me in my history of adult wellie wearing..

1pm. Wil has been a star and made lunch. πŸ™‚

2pm. And he has hung the mirror in the spare room.Which means it is officially finished !  Further decorating this year includes the kitchen and the living room. But lets make the most of Summer first!

3pm. A brew and a read of my Wildlife Trust Magazine. Despite being in The Wildlife Trust, I don’t really make the most of my membership. But I am glad just being a member helps a bit.

4pm. Sat outside a Cafe Bar with Wil and Hugo. This is where my photo taking goes a bit pear shaped as we meet friends and I forget to take any pics.

8pm. Yep still out and the pack of Chilli Nuts is in danger of becoming tea ! 

10pm.  Luckilly we are now home and the planned chicken fajitas are happening. πŸ™‚

Thanks as always to louisa and Janey  

for organizing Photo An Hour on Instagram.   

Sunday Sevens April 16th.

Hugo finds a beach !

Sunday Sevens this week seems to include lots of pub walks!  Last weekend we picked up Hugo from the kennels after our London adventures. It was good to be reunited!  Happily he seems very chilled in kennels and when we picked him up he was lounging around in his bed as usual ! We took him to Burnsall in The Yorkshire Dales and walked along the river to nearby Appletreewick, where we had a pub lunch.  We certainly enjoyed the sunshine and Hugo had a good dip. 

Hugo looking handsome. πŸ™‚
Good Friday Walk.

Fast forward to Good Friday and our friend’s traditional Good Friday Walk dawned wet and grey. Despite this it was apparently the Best turn out ever. Yay !   We had a good amble over to the village of Mitton , where we tried to get all the dogs together for  a picture and had an easter egg hunt in ‘The Aspinall Arms’ beer garden. That was for the kids, not the dogs! πŸ˜‰ 

Red Berry & Hibiscus Tea.

Yesterday morning did a few jobs in town and enjoyed a delicious Red Berry and Hibiscus Tea and a chocolate dipped granola bar in Escape Coffee Bar. Was soo yummy. 

We also went for a pub walk ( surprise! ) to Pendleton and found that the village pub ‘ The Swan with two Necks’ was all decorated up for Easter.

Easter decorations.
Easter Bunny. πŸ™‚
Spring scene in Pendleton.

Sunday Sevens is a collection of 7 or more photos from the past week and was devised by the lovely Natalie at Threads And Bobbins .

Hope you are having a Happy Easter. πŸ™‚

Toilets Of Manchester Tour.

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The bridge next to The Lass O Gowrie was the site of the Oldest ‘Pissotiere’

Can you think of a more unusual way to spend a few pennies ( Tee Hee )  than booking a walking tour round the old toilets of Manchester??  My friend Fi decided to do just that for her Birthday recently…..and it proved to be a very interesting way to while away a couple of hours. πŸ™‚  Billed as the cities ‘ most convenient tour’  this guided walk explores the history of Manchester’s use of toilets, from the Industrial Revolution onwards.

We met up with our tour guide and  the rest of the group ( which included a band of  poo enthusiasts !  )  at The Lass O Gowrie  Public House on Charles street , just off Oxford Road.  This old tiled Real Ales pub is situated on the site of  the oldest ‘Pissotiere’ in Manchester. A pissotiere is a much pleasanter sounding word for public urinal. It was a public toilet ( with no privacy ) , where gents could relieve themselves into the river below. As you can imagine the river Medlock soon became a very smelly cesspit.

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The Lass O Gowrie and nearby The Sailisbury are situated in a part of Manchester known as Little Ireland, a former slum area in the city. Anne ( our guide )  told us  that Irish immigrants moved here in the 1820s to work in the factories and mills.  Conditions were dyre with inhabitants living in crowded squaller in back to back terraces with  

whole streets sharing  just one toilet.  And that toilet was little more than a  big  bucket that was emptied once a week.  πŸ˜¦  With the smog and pollution and insanitary filth , it must have been one hell of a miserable life here. 😦

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Temple  Of Convenience !

On a more cheery note our next stop on The Toilets of Manchester Tour, was  a former public toilet which is now a subterranean bar !  The Temple Of Convenience  on Bridgewater Street was one of the Victorian-era lavatories  originally built for businessmen and gentlemen visitors to the city. I don’t think ladies went to the toilet in those days, not public ones anyway!  It would have been fun to bob inside the Temple for a quick half, but alas a drink in a former loo was not part of the  tour. ; (

 Anne regaled us with more tales and information about Manchester’s toilet history as we walked round the city in the wind and rain. It was therefore a nice surprise when she led us into an impressive  Neo Gothic building that looked like a church, but is actually John Rylands Library. 

John Rylands Library was completed in 1900 and was founded by Enriquita Rylands in tribute to  her late husband, a Manchester textile mill owner and millionaire. Enriquita wanted the best of everything in the library , including the latest in modern flushing lavatories. πŸ™‚

 

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Inside the magnificent  John Rylands  Library.

 The original  Victorian  toilets ( the oldest working loos in Manchester! ) can be found in the library basement.  Fortunately by 1900 Ladies could use public conveniences too, so Fi , Jo and I trundled off to spend a penny. πŸ™‚

 

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The imposing ‘ King Of King Street’.

Our last stop on the tour was  ‘ The jamie Oliver’ Restaurant !   It resides in an imposing  1930’s  Art Decor building , formerly the Midland Bank at 100 King Street , known as The King Of King Street.  

 Whilst the top floors house  a swish boutique hotel called  Hotel Gotham , the former bank vault ( which can be hired out for parties)  is adjacent to the rest rooms, which contain reproduction Thomas Crapper lavatories .  

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Flushed Away!

Thomas Crapper was a renowned Victorian plumber and inventor whose flush toilets had the Royal Seal of Approval!  His name lives on in potty mouths everywhere. πŸ™‚

We found this walking tour at manchesterguidedtours.com

Β£8 per person.

Can you recommend any unusual walking tours? 

Spring has Sprung.

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Chaffinch.

Today was glorious and sunny. The kind of sunny that actually feels warm. πŸ™‚  I went for a walk down through the fields to the river. This is one of our usual dog walking routes, but I let Wil carry on ahead with Hugo ,so I could get a few piccies without a black labrador crashing through the undergrowth. πŸ™‚

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Delicate Blackthorn blossom.
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Blackbird.
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Barren Strawberry Flowers.
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River Ribble.
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Male Mallard.
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Robin.
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Ivy.
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Male Bullfinch.
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And another shot….just because it’s very rare that I manage to photograph a Bullfinch.  πŸ™‚
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First Butterfly sighting. A Small Tortoiseshell amongst the celandines.
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Wild Garlic Leaves.
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Wood Anemone.
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Spring Lamb.
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Mistle Thrush.

I also saw Sand Martins , back to reclaim their sandy nesting holes in the river bank, a male and a female Goosander flying down the Ribble and a tiny Goldcrest. I think I may do one post a month,following my wildlife sightings in this tiny corner of the world. πŸ™‚

Ribble Valley Sculpture Trail.

I have walked through my local park  Brungerley Park in Clitheroe often enough, but Sunday was the first time I had picked up a leaflet for the area’s Sculpture Trail and tried to spot all the different Art works.  The Ribble Valley Sculpture Trail  can be accessed from either West Bradford Road or Waddington Road and takes  you  through woodland, grassland, a quarry and by the riverside. Roadside parking is available and the walk takes about an hour, so is short and family friendly. πŸ™‚

Here are some of the sculptures we saw on the trail, our starting point was the Waddington Road Entrance.

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Common Comfrey by Halima Cassell. A Ceramic representation of a comfrey plant found in the park.
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The Cook House by Helen Calaghan.  This steel sculpture  is of a pan of tripe !  The quarry area is rich in fossils.
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Leaving Touch by Kerry Morrison.  Two leaves carved by a chainsaw.
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Butterflies by David Appleyard.  A Way marker covered in doodles and memories from local school writing groups.

As you can see the sculptures are quite diverse and many are inspired by the local area. It was good fun finding them all. There are free Trail leaflets at the Tourist Information Centre in Clitheroe which is situated inside the Platform Gallery near the train station.

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Sika Deer by Clara Bigger. A pair of life size stainless steel sika deer. I have yet to see any in Brungerley , but apparently live ones have been spotted. πŸ™‚
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Hazel Catkins.

 

The Ribble King by Matthew Roby. Looking over the River Ribble, this majestic Kingfisher is made from copper, steel and recycled materials.
Otter by Fiona Bowley. Limestone otter. The Ribble is home to these beautiful creatures. πŸ™‚
One of several colourful mosaic Way markers by Paul Smith.

Brungerley Park was first opened in 1876 and became the place for Clitheroe folks to enjoy their leisure time. Boating and Ice skating on the Ribble, band concerts, folk tales of River Spirits and Pendle Witches and even Victorian Bathing Huts on the river bank.

Hugo by the River.
Lords and Ladies by Halima Cassell. Ceramic representation of the ‘Lords and Ladies’ plant found on the trail.
Wildlife Ceramic Mosaic by Louise Worrell.
As the Crow Flies by David Halford. Wooden Compass points.

As we neared the river I spotted the first of the Spring Wild flowers that will adorn the trail. Another few weeks and there will be plenty more to see. 

Cheery Celandine. πŸ™‚
Fish Mobile by Julie Ann Seaman. These three fishes look like they are leaping out of the water.
Just a few of the gaggle of geese on the other side of the river.
Two Heads by Thompson Dagnall. Depending on your view point, you will see one or two heads carved into a dead elm tree. I only saw one.
Primroses.
Alder Cone by Halima Cassell. Ceramic representation of the fruit of the Alder Tree, found in the park.

So there you have it. There are a few sculptures I forgot to photograph, including  some more ceramics by Halima Cassell. She certainly gets around a bit on the trail! Also look out for various play areas for the kids and keep an eye out for wildlife. πŸ™‚

Sunday Sevens Sunday 12th March.

Hi there I thought I would gather last week’s pictures together and make a Sunday Sevens post. πŸ™‚

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Last weekend I came upon an Honesty Box selling eggs whilst we were   walking in Rossendale. As one of the entries on my 25 Before 45 ~ A Bucket List. is to make a meal from provisions bought from an Honesty Box, I left the requested Β£1 for six eggs and the following day we made pancakes for breakfast. So yummy but I am not sure one ingredient purchased this way can warrant me crossing it off my list?

Spring is on its way for sure now. πŸ™‚  The snowdrops are almost over but blossoms are appearing on the trees, Daffodils and Crocuses are brightening up the parks and Celandines and Daisies are popping up everwhere. It feels good!

The decorating is over for a couple of months. Upstairs is pretty much done now. All that is needed are some more pictures for the stairs and landing. I am pretty happy with these framed retro Lake District Views we found in card  form from   Love The Lakes in Keswick.

Only a little over 3 weeks until we are off to London for some Birthday celebrations. My little sis is going to be 40! Eeeek ! So we are all booked into ‘The  Big Smoke’ for 4 nights in April. So far we have a theatre trip planned and of course an Afternoon Tea. πŸ˜‰ . Hoping to book The Sky Garden  for amazing and FREE views over the cityscape too. And maybe use a water taxi to Greenwich. Decisions. Decisions.

So I have been scanning my London Guide books for things to do. Any recommendations?

Sunday Sevens was devised by Natalie at Threads And Bobbins.