I’m joining in as ever with Hawthorns Photo Scavenger Hunt this month. For this one I did look into my archives for a couple of pictures.
Houseplant/s ~ I have a few cacti and succulents dotted around the house. Heres my favourite planted in a stout can which I got a few years ago from a Makers Market in Manchester. So happy it’s still going strong. 🙂
Ring/s ~ It’s The Singing Ringing Tree over Burnley way. A metal pipe sculpture of a twisted tree. When the wind blows through the pipes ,eerie tunes are played. Hugo was mesmerised on our visit a few years ago. 😅
Harbour ~ Staithes on the Yorkshire coast , a November visit some 5 years ago. A lovely picturesque place to amble round.
Window ~ I love this office window in town, with the town literally stenciled onto the glass. A picture perfect view of Clitheroe.
Sky ~ This was my front passengerseat vista on our journey home from the caravan in October. It felt like we were driving into those puffy white clouds.
My own choice ~ I have noticed quite a few white and black & white crows around Clitheroe recently. No photos yet, but here’s one of a bonnie blackbird with white feathers I have seen too.
Although the literary Bronte family lived in Haworth in Yorkshire, it was not uncommon for the siblings to walk over the Pennine moors to the secluded hamlet of Wycoller
in Lancashire. As Sunday promised some rare dry weather ,we headed to the village of Trawden for a Circular Walk that takes in some of the rugged Pendle countryside that may have inspired their writings.
The walk starts from the Trawden Arms in the village,so we found some roadside parking nearby. We then made our way up some old tram tracks to the right of the pub, crossed a main road and then followed a route through many boggy fields, moorland and woodland. It was very wet under foot, but there was lots to see. We passed several farms and smallholdings around Trawden, home to various pets and livestock.
We followed Trawden Brook up to Lumb Spout , once a popular Victorian beauty spot.
The route then follows the Pennine National Bridleway Trail over moorland for a way. I saw a couple of stonechat but didn’t manage to get a photo. The skies were big and the ground was sodden.
Eventually we found outselves off the rugged moors and entering the serene Wycoller Country Park with its greenery, woodland, winding brook and stone bridges.
Wycoller is a former handloom weaving settlement, the villagers took their cloth to the drying ground above Wycoller Hall. Folk moved away to find jobs after the introduction of the powerloom in Lancashire’s industrial towns.
The Bronte sisters visited Wycoller and it is said that in Charlotte’s novel Jane Eyre , the hall was her inspiration for Ferndean Manor where Mr Rochester lived.
We ate our sandwiches here and set off to continue our walk back to Trawden, totally forgetting to go and see The Atom Panopticon sculpture which is a short stroll away. Oh well, a reason to return!
All in all this walk was about six miles long, though at quite a slow pace because of all the mud. Unlike the Bronte sisters we didn’t need to wander the soggy terrain in long gowns and petticoats! I wonder if any of the siblings ever did catch a glimpse of Pendle Hill ? It would be nice to think so….
The weekend saw us head to the Ribble Valley village of Ribchester for a 5.5 circular walk, taking in squelchy fields and country lanes. Ribchester was the site of the Roman fort Bremetennacum and there are ruins of a Roman Bath House in the village. Take your wellies if you do this walk. 😁
We left the village by following the private road to Parsonage farm , where a bridleway took us into waterlogged fields.
After squelching through the fields there was some country lane walking. We kept Hugo on his lead, though we didn’t see any cars. Hothersall Lane eventually joins the Ribble Way.
Hothersall Lane winds its way down to an Outdoor Centre and then Hothersall Hall. Apparently just past the entrance of Hothersall Hall Farm there is a stone head wedged in a tree. But we couldn’t find it!
We climbed uphill to some trees and there were great views over the Ribble.
We followed The Ribble Way back to the village. There are lots of interesting old buildings in Ribchester ,so it’s definitely worth a look around.
It was good to visit a village less than ten miles from home, that we have rarely spent any time before.
Find this walk in Guide to Lancashire Pub Walks by Nick Burton.
My sister, niece and nephew and I ( and Hugo, of course) had planned to do the Walking With Witches Trail , a 4 mile loop starting at Barley Car Park. The pretty villages of Barley, Newchurch and Roughlee lie in the shadow of Pendle Hill. The area is famed for its spooky associations with The Pendle Witches , a group of individuals who in the 1600s were sentenced to death for witchcraft. Of course the day we set off on our witchy wander it was chucking it down with rain and the foreboding bulk of Pendle Hill was enveloped in mist.
We only managed to follow the trail from Barley to nearby Newchurch over boggy fields, before calling it a day and turning back. I didn’t take many photos, but still thought I would share with you what we did see between showers. The scarlet and yellow waxy cap mushrooms we spied along the way are a fairly good indicator of ancient meadowlands.
Newchurch is named after its ‘ new church’ of St Mary’s consecrated in 1554. The west side of the churches tower is unusual for its Eye Of God. Can you see it? Maybe the eye was there to watch over the locals, more likely it was used as a window by the bell-ringers, so they could view approaching service goers. Whichever, it is a little bit spooky on a grey Lancashire day.
To the right of the churches porch is a Nutter family grave, inscribed with a skull and crossbones, athough it is unlikely that Alice Nutter herself was buried here. Alice Nutter was a land owning gentlewoman from nearby Roughlee. She had been involved in a boundary dispute with her neighbor , local magistrate Christopher Nowell. Maybe the dispute was easily solved when Alice herself was conveniently found to be one of the 12 people in the area sentenced to death for witchcraft.
Although the superstitious times of the 17th century are thankfully over, there is a little shop in Newchurch that sells all things witchy, so we couldn’t resist a mooch…and shelter from the rain.
Inside Witches Galore there is certainly plenty to look at. My sister purchased a painted Pendle witch pebble and as for myself? An ornamental toadstool. 🙂
If only we could have used Pendle Transport ( broomsticks!) for our journey back to the car. We settled on walking to Barley along the road instead of through the muddy fields. Another time we will do the whole Walking With Witches Trail. There is so much more to explore!
It does feel like all I post about is walking this year. I suppose that is very true! Before this Sunday morning hike from the Nick O Pendle , we also enjoyed a tasty breakfast at the super cute Nest On The Hill , a newly opened little cafe in a cabin at The Wellsprings restaurant. Wil had a sausage butty and I devoured yummy french toast with melted chocolate and blackberry compote. Hugo was made a fuss of by the lovely young couple who run this quirky bruncherie ( hope bruncherie is a word! ), that serves warming food & drinks before the main restaurant opens for lunch. The Nest is also packed with locally sourced gifts and crafts. Lots of present ideas. I even started my Christmas shopping!
After our food and my purchasing , Hugo for one was busting for a walk. I could have curled up on the cosy sofa in front of the toasty log burner for a while longer ,but fresh air beckoned…. We took the owners recommendation of a bridleway walk through the fields, thus avoiding the crowds who park nearby to make their way up Pendle Hill.
We walked up the road and down a little , then through a gate on the right, following a farm track/ bridleway over rugged Lancashire countryside. To be totally honest I’m not really sure what this area is called, maybe Wiswell Moor. Some map perusing is needed! Anyway we basically walked as far as a field of llamas, then turned around and made our way back. A muddy 4 miles or so.
The weather was bright and breezy, a perfect Pendle day. More from Pendle Hill coming soon hopefully. 🥾
We joined my sister and kids for a walk along the river Hodder into Dunsop Bridge, a village that claims to be at the very centre of the UK. Lots of Autumn colours and plenty of fungi finds too. We parked by the stone bridge over the river just outside Whitewell.
This walk was a very enjoyable 4 miles, with a brew and biscuits bought from Puddleducks Tea Room in the village,which is presently operating as a take away. I think we will return 🙂
Sunday was a sunny day surprise, so a walk from home beckoned. The suggestion of a wander to the nearby village of Waddington …and lunch, was an attractive proposition. We set off late morning, passing through the grounds of Clitheroe Castle, by the River Ribble and then along the road to our destination.
Apparently Waddington is named after its founder, an 8th century Anglo-Saxon chieftain called Wadda. This pretty village has probably won the accolade of Lancashire’s Best Kept Village, more than any other. The picturesque coronation gardens might have something to do with it.
There are three pubs in the village, my personal favourite being The Lower Buck, which is a friendly welcoming independent watering hole. Does delicious pub grub too, so a perfect place for lunch. It was warm enough to sit outside in the sunshine.
After dinner we headed home via the country lane to Low Moor and back into Clitheroe.
In recent days I have written about a village with a movie connection and two villages visited by vampires. This next one has an association with members of perhaps England’s most famous literary family ‘ the Brontes’ .
I have passed through Cowan Bridge numerous times as it sits on the busy A65 in between Ingleton and Kirkby Lonsdale, our usual route up to the Lake District. In days gone by it would have been much quieter, the continuous traffic noise definitely distances the imagination away from the 1820s , when siblings Maria, Elizabeth, Charlotte and Emily attended The Clergy Daughter’s School in the village.
We had decided to stop off for lunch on the way home from Cumbria on a busy bank holiday Monday. I must admit I suggested Cowan Bridge because I thought it may be easier to get lunch there than its more touristy neighbors. I have also always been curious about where on earth the Bronte school is……
It turned out the Tea Room was busy inside, but there was space outside next to the noisy road with the traffic whooshing by. 😅 We just decided on coffee and prepackaged sandwiches and ate them in the pretty seating area.
Afterwards we pottered about the village in totally the wrong direction. Eventually a kind local pointed us toward the original bridge that Cowan Bridge takes its name from. After crossing it we came to a row of old stone cottages. These are what remain of The Clergy Daughter’s School.
An inscription on the end cottage wall reads :
Maria, Elizabeth, Charlotte & Emily Bronte
Lived here as pupils of the Clergy Daughter’s School 18-24 – 25.
The school was moved to Casterton 1833.
Patrick Bronte was a clergyman living in Haworth with six young children. His wife Maria had sadly died a couple of years earlier. Sending four of their offspring to a respected boarding school for clergy children would no doubt have seemed the right thing for this busy man of the cloth to do.
Unfortunately the harsh environment at the school would contribute to the untimely deaths of the two eldest girls. Poor quality food, cold damp conditions and cruel unjust punishments were the norm. Maria, then Elizabeth were sent home suffering from consumption , both would die within weeks of one another. Patrick sent for Charlotte and Emily and they never returned to Cowan Bridge.
For Charlotte , her experiences at the Clergy Daughter’s School were to be drawn upon for her novel Jane Eyre. In the book young Jane is sent to Lowood School where she makes a new friend, Helen Burns. Helens and Jane’s life there mirrors that of her and her sisters harrowing time at Cowan Bridge.
Today one of the remaining cottages is available as an attractive Holiday Let , so fans of the Brontes’ can experience a little part of Bronte history. A short walk and you are away from the road noise and out into beautiful rolling countryside.
I am glad the buildings stand as a reminder of how harsh life could be back then, and also as a celebration of what the Bronte family would eventually achieve.
Have you visited any places where the Brontes’ lived, worked or played? 📖
Another weekend walk from home. On Sunday we decided to venture from Clitheroe to the nearby village of Whalley, via an old Roman road. The route took us 4 miles through muddy fields, eventually passing under a handsome red brick viaduct into Whalley. We found the cafe at Whalley Abbey was open for take away ( hurrah) and ate our lunch on the benches outside.
As I was meeting friends that afternoon I decided to chance it and catch the bus back, whilst Wil walked home with Hugo. Even though Whalley Abbey is practically on my doorstep, I have never actually explored the grounds. Well , they are beautiful. Can’t believe I haven’t taken time to look around this tranquil hidden gem in Whalley before. Unfortunately I only had about 20 minutes to whizz round taking photos before my bus arrived….so I will have to return and take my time. Whalley Abbey deserves a closer look.
I thought the above few photos show the prettiest part of the walk. You can almost envisage the peddlers and horses & carts that wandered between Whalley and Clitheroe in days gone by.
The 49 red brick arches of Whalley Viaduct are a prominent feature in the village. Even these are overshadowed though by the former 14th century Cistercian abbey and it’s pretty gardens.
In 1296 Monks from the flooded Stanlow Abbey in Cheshire relocated to Whalley and work was started on building the monastery on the banks of the river Calder. It became one of the wealthiest abbey’s in the country, eventually dissolved in the reign of Henry VIII.
Below are some images of the abbey grounds. The later Elizabethan buildings are now used as a religious retreat.
It seemed that no time had passed before I had to hurry for the bus. At least I got to admire the beautiful stainless steel sculpture of Three Fishes near the bus stop. The fish possibly represent the three rivers in the area, the Calder, Hodder and Ribble.
Although I’ve posted about The Tolkien Trail on my blog before, I walked it again recently with my sister and family, and thought it worth another look. Undoubtedly this tranquil area of Lancashire inspired J. R. R. Tolkien , he often stayed here whilst visiting his son John who attended Stonyhurst College. The Lord Of The Rings author enjoyed walking in the lovely leafy Hurst Green countryside and local place names and landmarks made it into his writings.
On this occasion we followed the route starting at The Shireburn Arms , the 17th century Inn was named after the rich land owning Shireburn family. A river Shirebourn features in The Lord Of The Rings.
Our walk very nearly got abandoned. At this point we were meant to be following the riverside but a herd of frisky cows showed too much interest in Hugo the Labrador. We made a hasty retreat up a hill and managed to rejoin the river later.
The heavens kept opening ( and the sun shone too! ) as we followed the trail. To be honest the walkcould really benefit from a few Lord of the Rings inspired sculptures or scribbles along the route, I reckon. Anyway above is Hacking Hall from where the Hacking Ferry boat still operated in Tolkien’s time at Stonyhurst. The ferry was possibly the inspiration for his ‘ Bucklebury Ferry’ .
Cromwell’s Bridge over the river Hodder may have been the inspiration for Tolkien’s ‘ Brandywine’ bridge. It is named after Oliver Cromwell ,who along with his troops rode over the skinny stone structure, on their way from Gisburn to The Battle of Preston. We followed the riverside up through shady woodland past Hodder court.
Eventually we ended up in the grounds of Stonyhurst college, though I didn’t manage to get many photos. And then back to the car parked in Hurst Green. The trail covered 6 or 7 miles in total.
I must confess I have never read any Tolkien, though I enjoyed watching The Lord Of The Rings films. When walking the trail you probably need to research the areas connections beforehand, as there is no signage or information on the route. Nevertheless this was an enjoyable hike around a lovely area. 🥾