Category Archives: Pets

Latest Weekend Wanderings.

When I haven’t been to the caravan for a couple of weeks, I’m always amazed at the changes in the garden. Not being a gardener at all, I struggled to identify this latest blossoming shrub. Any ideas?

My poor pansy pot has been used by a moth to lay their eggs in the flowers. The culprit is below. I think it’s an Angle Shades Moth. Oh well! It’s good to give back to nature. ๐Ÿ˜ƒ

Saturday morning in Melmerby and the church was all decorated for a wedding with pretty white wildflowers.

And there’s always something to see on little walks round about the village.

In the afternoon we went to Honister Slate Mine where Wil would be going to Infinity and Beyond! His Birthday present from me this year was an Infinity Bridge Experience at Honister. Rather him than me! Scroll down for Wils photo of the bridge. Meanwhile Hugo and I explored around the site. There are some cool slate sculptures. ๐Ÿ˜š

Wil was buzzing after the Infinity Bridge.

I had noticed several people heading up the fells from the Honister Car Park. Has anyone done a Wainwright from there?

We then went for tea at Mary Mount Hotel near Keswick. The terrace has wonderful views. ๐Ÿฅฐ

How was your weekend?

Bell Sykes Coronation Meadows Walk ~ Slaidburn.

I was looking for a short ( hopefully cow free ) local hike and I came across this 2.3 Mile Wildflower Meadow Walk , starting from the pretty Lancashire village of Slaidburn. Not sure the mileage mentioned is quite correct ,we ended up doing twice that amount! The directions took us on a wild goose chase a couple of times. Or maybe we just get lost easily. ๐Ÿ˜ƒ

We arrived in Slaidburn about 9-30am on Sunday morning, unaware that we had visited on the day of a Vintage Steam Fair . The village car park was still quiet at that time though , so we found a space and set off to the cenotaph, the start of our route.

Slaidburns War Memorial erected in 1923 on the site of the former market cross ……and whipping post.
Sign at the entrance of the Silver Jubilee Garden.

We turned right at the War Memorial and headed over the bridge and then through a kissing gate into a field on the right. Keeping the brook on our right , we headed across the field in completely the wrong direction. So best to ignore my instructions and follow the route link yourself, if you don’t want to get lost. ๐Ÿ™ƒ

Ford over the brook.

We saw several hares in the grass and it was also a privilege to hear and see lots of flying curlews and lapwings.

Resting Hare.
Alert Hare.

A stone track took us over another bridge and on the right we saw a farm gate with a purple Coronation Meadow Sign on it. Coronation Meadows is a Wildflower Meadow Restoration Project started by HRH The Prince Of Wales. Since the Queen’s Coronation ,Great Britain has lost a huge percentage of its naturally farmed meadows. This initiative started in 2013, aims to protect remaining wildflower meadows, create new ones and get people interested in them. There are now ninety Coronation Meadows in the country with Bell Sykes Farm representing the Ribble Valley.

Approaching a cattle grid.
Over the bridge.
Coronation Meadow Sign.
Bell Sykes Coronation Meadows.

Bell Sykes Farming methods have changed little over the years, hence their inclusion in the Coronation Meadows project. Seeds from the ancient pastures have been used to create new meadows, some are on the farm and others are elsewhere in Lancashire.

A solitary marsh orchid.
Buttercups.
Yellow Rattle.

The meadows were looking resplendent, in them were thousands of buttercups and clover, ribwort plantain, self-heal and yellow rattle. I also spied one orchid, maybe there are more. The diversity of wildflowers encourages bees and butterflies. It was however very breezy on Sunday , so we didn’t actually see many.

Barn.
Bell Sykes Farm.
A path goes through the farmyard and up.
Old Grindstone used for sharpening scythes.
Looking back at the view.
Umbelifers at Lower High Field Farm.
One of many high Stiles.
Yes what Ewe looking at?
Tumbling Lapwing.

Toward the end of the walk we passed through a couple more of Bell Sykes beautiful Coronation Meadows.

Boy in Buttercups.
Eyebrights.
Bistort.
Flower Power.
Heading back to Slaidburn.
Pendle Witch Trail Tercet Waymarker in Slaidburn Car Park. The verse on this one mentions a Devil Dog.

Once back in Slaidburn we had a coffee and piece of cake ( of course! ) sat outside the cafe that looks over the Village Green. By this time the Vintage Steam Fair was in full swing, rousing tunes piping from beautiful fairground organs. ๐Ÿ˜Š I shall leave you with a few photos.

Thanks for dropping by. ๐ŸŒผ

A Walk From Shap. ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿฎ๐Ÿฅพ

Bank Holiday Weekend ( also platyjubes of course! ) , we escaped the celebrations for a while, choosing a less obvious Lakeland area for a countryside walk.

Shap is a long grey stoned settlement in the North Eden District. It has a couple of pubs, a shop, cafe, chippy and an open air swimming pool, the highest heated outdoor pool in England. The steady A6 is the main road that meanders through the village, it used to be the principal thoroughfare for the Lake District & Scotland.

Not far away is the busy M6 , but to the West of Shap it is picturesque and remote. I had downloaded this Walk from the Eden’s River Trust. Part of the route is on the Coast To Coast footpath , though we didn’t see one other human being out walking. It was so peaceful.

The hike starts at the Northern end of the village, following a country lane signposted Bampton and Haweswater. We then turned right through gates into a field with a footpath sign saying Rosgill. Lots of ewes with lambs in the fields.
A large boulder in a farmer’s field called The Thunder Stone. โšก
Cow Parsley aka Queen Anne’s Lace adorning a quiet country lane.
An old disused Lime-Kiln.
There were a few bleached white sheep skeleton remains here. Look at this Skull which I placed on a rock.
Hugo had whizzed off with a bone. We decided to ignore him and he dropped it after a bit of crunching.
Cooling off time.
The weather was warm, the sky blue. A cooling breeze did make it perfect conditions for walking though.
View of Lakeland mountains in the distance. Here is a field where lots of gap walling needs to be done.
This walk does have alot ( alot ! ) of stone Stiles like this one.
A waymarker featuring a Golden Eagle, there used to be a couple nearby in Riggindale. Maybe oneday they will venture South from Scotland again. ๐Ÿ™

We headed through fields towards the small village of Rosgill.
And down to the River Lowther where we sat by the water for a while.
We veered off a tarmac track to follow the Coast to Coast Footpath through a field.
Bonnie bovines or Cow culprits??

Things then got a bit scary , a family of cattle that we hadn’t noticed at first started to take a bit too much interest in us as we tried to cross the field. They had a Bull with them and youngsters, but it was the cows themselves that started kicking up a fuss , fairly galloping towards us. We managed to scare them away , though not before Wil got knocked off his feet and Hugo got butted. I’m not sure how but we legged it into a solitary farmhouse garden with the cattle at our heels. Definitely a hair raising encounter, we were a bit shuck up!

To make matters worse we would have to sneek past the herd again to continue with our walk. We waited until they had calmed down and ambled away, an unconcerned resident of the farmhouse didn’t seem to care that we had hotfooted into their garden or that the cows had chased us there…

We breathed a sigh of relief once we had crossed this packhorse bridge.
Looking back to Fairy Crag, the cows are just behind it.
The remains of some farm buildings.
Following the Coast to Coast to Shap Abbey. The Coast to Coast Footpath was devised by Alfred Wainwright.
A very late blossoming Blackthorn tree.
These lambs look like just the one , with two heads.
Approaching Shap Abbey.

The Preminstratensian Order of Monks from France settled in Shap in the 13th Century and built beautiful Shap Abbey from local stone. The monks became known as The White Cannons because they wore robes made from undyed sheep fleeces.

Here was a lovely place to stop for a while by the river Lowther again. I must admit we had lost our thirst for continuing the planned route , which would take us through the hamlet of Keld and on past another large standing stone called The Goggleby Stone. Instead we made our way back to Shap through a couple of cow free fields and along a country lane.

Shap Abbey.
River Lowther.
A bit of a tight squeeze.
Dry stone walls on the way back to Shap.
Time for a brew in Shap.

We ended up having a delicious cheese scone and a cup of coffee each at the Abbey Kitchens cafe in Shap, the perfect place to sit and watch the world go by. I’m so glad Wil and Hugo were non the worse for our ordeal. We will definitely be keeping our distance from any cows in the future. Although apparently there are some handsome looking Highland Cattle in Swindale………..

May ~ Round-Up. ๐Ÿงก

My goodness these months are whizzing by are they not. May seems to have come and gone in a flash! I am currently off work as it’s the Spring Bank Half Term Holiday ( advantage of being a school cleaner) so it’s a good time for me to do my May Round-Up Post.

Reading ~ not that much to be honest. After recently extending my hours at school with five earlies a week, I find myself frankly too knackered to pick up a book. Wrong I know! I have bought The Lake District In 101 Maps & Infographics to take to the caravan. And I shall learn all about Haunted Cumbria, Cumbrian Film locations and quirky Cumbrian place names, amongst other things. Should keep me going for a while!

Everyman Cinema trip to See Top Gun Maverick. As soon as I heard the original soundtrack music I was hooked!

Watching ~ it’s all about good old nostalgia for me at the moment. I’ve been to the movies! We Clitheronians are very fortunate in that we have a fabulous Everyman Cinema in town and May has not disappointed on the film front. I have enjoyed both Downton Abbey A New Era and Top Gun Maverick , they are both appearing on the big screen right now.

On the box my go to show is Grace & Frankie. I am as usual a bit late to the party with this one. Not sure how a witty comedy series starring Jane Fonda & Lily Tomlin escaped my attention until now but I am loving the pairing of uptight Grace and Kooky Frankie. ๐Ÿ™‚ Other shows I have returned to in May include Ozark , Bosch Legacy and of course Stranger Things.

A lovely meal at Roundthorn Country House near Penrith.

Eating ~ It is rare that Wil and I spend time up at the caravan without our Black Labrador Mr Hugo, but we did have one weekend in May when we were there without him. It seemed a good time to book a meal out somewhere where you wouldn’t usually take a dog. Roundthorn Country House on the outskirts of Penrith is one such place, there wasn’t a four legged friend in sight. Which was strange for us, though also kind of liberating not eating in front of a drooling hound, eyes transfixed on our dinner. The food was yummy but I couldn’t help missing my boy.

Lowther Castle.
A walk through Cow Parsley.

Exercise ~ Our pet free weekend was all because we actually won a prize! We won half a days E-Biking at Lowther Castle In the Lakes , it was great fun. However I still felt like I had done some proper exercise even if it was power assisted cycling. ๐Ÿ™‚ There haven’t really been many notable walks this month, just my normal dog walking routes. I have loved seeing the wild flower displays, the lacey blooms of Cow Parsley have been beautiful lately.

Relaxing at the van.
Lilac Time. ๐Ÿ™‚

Enjoying ~ Relaxing at the caravan ~ My favourite area at the van is probably the front bit of decking, which is a real sun trap and perfect for lounging about on a deck chair with a brew. I especially like to look up and watch all the Swift’s whizzing about the sky, now they have returned from Africa. The scent of a lovely lilac bush in the garden there was a real treat too.

~ Friends Reunited ~ On the last day of May it was great to meet up with some friends I haven’t seen for two years. I love how normality has returned at last, I’m not taking it for granted.

Catching up in Holmes Mill.

Thanks for dropping by. Hope your May has been a good one. ๐Ÿงก

Woodland Garlic.

It’s the time of year when English woodlands come alive with Spring flowers. Bluebells of course and another indicator of ancient woodland, Wild Garlic. White starry globes carpeted the ground admist a sea of fresh green leaves when Hugo and I visited a local woods.

A tweet by Nature Writer Robert McFarlane ~ “Buckrams” — one of many common names for Allium ursinum, aka wild garlic, bear-leek, ramsons; filling forest floors with millions of white stars & forest air with garlicky scent. Ancient woodland indicator, bluebell co-conspirator, soup-makerโ€ฆ

Wild Garlic is a foraging food. I did in fact once collect the leaves to make some Wild Garlic & Cheese scones. Click Here for a baking post. It doesn’t happen often. ..

The plants Latin name is Allium Ursium. Ursium is Latin for Bear. Brown Bears once roamed our forests and wild garlic bulbs were a favourite meal of theirs. Wild Boars love them too and the flowers are popular with pollinators.

I adore Bluebells of course, Woodlands of Wild Garlic are a little bit special too.

Which woodlands do you like to visit for their floral displays?

Temple Sowerby Walk. ๐Ÿฅพ

Today’s walk is one from the weekend. A gentle saunter starting at NT Acorn Bank and taking in the pretty village of Temple Sowerby in the Eden Valley district of Cumbria. The route can be found on the Acorn Bank Website. Because we are members of the National Trust we parked on the car park at Acorn Bank. Non members may have to adapt the walk a little.

Shepherds Hut at Acorn Bank entrance.
Walk Map.
Beautiful Bluebells.
Pear Blossom and Daffodils.
Walking through Wild Garlic.
Crowdundle Beck, a tributary of the River Eden.
We passed under a railway viaduct.
What Ewe Looking At?
Bridge over the Beck.

We passed through a small village called Newbiggin , one of several Newbiggins in Cumbria. I love the rosie coloured sandstone that the buildings are made of. Here it was taken from Crowdundle Beck.

St Edmunds Church, Newbiggin.
A farmhouse at the crossroads built in 1695.
And curious cattle.
A bit of road walking. Very peaceful though.
Lots of stitchwort out in the hedgerows.
Distant Hare.
Heading through Borough Fields and on to Temple Sowerby.
Temple Sowerby through a ginnel.
The houses are set around a village green.
St James Church, Temple Sowerby.

Temple Sowerby is an attractive village , once known as the Queen Of Westmorland villages. It was named after the Knights Templar who briefly owned the settlement and nearby Acorn Bank. Temple Sowerby was once a tanning village and other industries in the area included the mini ng of gypsum. There is still a gypsum plant at Kirkby Thore.

Victory Hall.
The House at Temple Sowerby B & B. Cafe for residents and non residents called Temple Velo.
Lunch at Temple Velo.
Heading out of the village.
A short country lane walk and then we are back in Acorn Banks parkland.
Parkland.
Acorn Bank.
Mellow yellow.
Flowers galore.
A peek in the orchard.
Clock Tower.

After a look in the second hand book shop at Acorn Bank it was time to head home. What a lovely walk. ๐Ÿ˜˜

Spring In Melmerby.

Over the Easter Weekend we spent quite a bit of time walking the dog around Melmerby. We are still discovering new footpaths there, it’s a lovely place for a wander, especially at this time of year.

I still love my original What To Look For In The Seasons Ladybird Nature Books , which were first published in the fifties and sixties. Ladybird brought out a new set last year, they are also quite charming. The Spring book accompanied me on my recent walks.

Melmerby is the kind of village , where I often find myself doing double-takes! This Easter I have seen 2 children walking their pet ferrets, a Grandmother taking the little ones bare back riding on a sturdy horse, a man whizzing round a field in a pony and trap and several llamas being led along the Village Green.

Here are a few photos from Melmerby in the Spring.

Daffodils on the Green.
Lungwort.
Melmerby mud and Rosie Sandstone buildings.
Pied Wagtail.
Blossom.
Honesty.
Peacock Butterfly ๐Ÿฆ‹ enjoying a sunny spot.
Little Ford.
Little Lamb.
New Life in the fields.
Dog Violet.
Yellow Hammer.

Thanks for dropping by. ๐Ÿฆ‹๐ŸŒผ

Binsey. โ›ฐ๏ธ

Hey, I’m pleased to report I finally made it up a fell on Good Friday. To a soundtrack of Meadow Pippits and Skylarks, I conquered Binsey. Binsey is my 9th Wainwright and it’s a diminutive one. Still, it is a hill, and that means a walk uphill and that means me wheezing my way up, a bit like the asmatic guy Stevie from Malcolm in the Middle. Except I’m not asmatic. Wil literally always calls me ‘Stevie’ on these occasions…

Seriously though, if you do fancy bagging a relatively easy Wainwright Fell , Binsey is a grand one to do. It’s in a quiet part of North Lakeland and what it lacks in stature, it makes up for in fantastic views.

To get to Binsey we headed Caldbeck way and over Uldale Common , where we were literally surrounded by mountain peaks. We passed through the little village of Uldale and found roadside parking at a crossroads near Binsey Lodge, a private residence at the bottom of the fell.

Binsey Lodge.
Windswept Hawthorn
Trees.
Mountain Views.
Briefly I was ahead of Wil.
Then he was gone…and Hugo too.

You can’t really get lost hiking to the Summit of Binsey. You just head straight up the hill. At the top there is a cairn, a trig point and a wind shelter.

Wil sat on the Trig Pillar.
Finally at the top. Bassenthwaite Lake in the distance.

From the top of Binsey there are views of Lake Bassenthwaite, Overwater and the Solway Coast. Out of my rucksack emerged Little Herdy ( affectionately now also known as Little Binsey) to conquer her first Wainwright Fell.

Little Herdys 1st Wainwright.
Hugo and I are on Wainwright No 9. Wil has one extra under his belt.
Overwater from the Cairn.
Solway Coast.
Heading back downhill.

I am never going to be a big fan of hill walking but looking back on the day I bagged Binsey inspires me , to maybe think about my next Wainwright……. ๐Ÿ™‚

March ~ Round Up. ๐Ÿ’›

So I am finishing off my month with a little Round-Up. March has been a pretty quiet one but I’m not complaining. Spring made an appearance ( hurrah ! ) and of course, I am just thankful that life here in my little corner of the world is relatively peaceful and uncomplicated. ๐ŸŒป

READING ~ Just finished Girl A by Abigail Dean. This is a disturbingly dark tale about a young family who are imprisoned in their home on the Moors by their increasingly erratic parents. ‘ Girl A ‘ herself is the one who got away, the girl who escaped her chains and made it out to find help. Years later the children are left the house in their deceased Mother’s will. Can anything good come out of it? โญโญโญโญ

Julia Garner is not some ‘ Basic B**** in Inventing Anna.

WATCHING ~ For some reason none of the film’s I’ve watched recently have stuck in my mind. Definitely more into TV Shows so far this year. My binge watch faves in March have included Inventing Anna ( Julia Garner is brilliant as scheming New York heiress/con artist/ VIP is always Better Anna Delvey ), Bridgerton Season 2 ( Jane Austin meets Gossip Girl , once again in London’s High Society) and Upload ( comedy drama about a man who yes, looks a bit like a young Tom Cruise, who’m is able to choose his own afterlife after his untimely death). But what can I watch next……..

Afternoon Tea Time.

EATING ~ My first Afternoon Tea of 2022! And hopefully not my last. Enjoyed a sumptuous Afternoon Tea at the impressive Country Manor ‘ Mitton Hall’ in Lancashire. You can read about it here. ๐Ÿฐ.

Tunnel Vision. ๐Ÿ˜ƒ

WALKING ~ Most of my March walks have been on the outskirts of my hometown of Clitheroe. But during a visit to the caravan we did manage to complete the Keswick Railway Walk which runs between Keswick and the nearby village of Threlkeld. Hopefully April will see me getting back into hill walking and attempting some Wainwright Fells. She says………

Sand Martin’s have returned from Africa.

Enjoying ~ Spring Sunshine ~ Yes we were all lulled into basking in actual warm sunshine ๐ŸŒž , then BAM it Snowed! As I turn on the central heating for probably the last time ever ( not out of optimism, but out of dread at April’s fuel cost rises) I will leave you with a few Spring like pics taken when the weather was a little warmer.

Dazzling Daffodils.
Curious Lambs.
Spot the Tiny ๐Ÿฐ Castle.
Red Flowering Currant.
Hugo and Hyacinths.

Thanks for visiting and if you have any Book/Film/TV/ Walk/ Afternoon Tea recommendations, let me know in the comments. ๐Ÿ’›

Keswick Railway Walk. ๐Ÿฅพ

On Saturday after some shopping and lunch in Keswick we decided to walk the Keswick to Threlkeld Railway Path. It’s been a few years since we’ve done this. In fact the trail was almost all destroyed by Storm Desmond in 2015. Happily this mostly flat hike that follows the route of the old Keswick to Penrith Railway Line has been completely restored. It’s a popular link-up between Keswick and the nearby village of Threlkeld and is suitable for cycling, walking, prams and wheel chairs. A great route for all. โ˜บ๏ธ

The Market Town of Keswick.
Lunch at Jaspers ~ a lovely pooch friendly cafe.
River Greta, Fitz Park, Keswick.

The Railway Walk starts from the old Railway Station which is now part of the Keswick Country House Hotel. There is parking close by behind the Swimming Pool ,which sadly looks to have closed.

Beginning of walk from Keswick.
Keswick Old Railway Station.
Decorative Waymarker.

There have been plenty of changes to the trail in the restoration including the reopening of the Bobbin Mill Railway Tunnel which had been buried for fourty years!

Bobbin Mill Tunnel.
Bobbin Mill Tunnel.

Pews with Views have been placed along the route , looking out over the fast flowing River Greta and surrounding fells.

A Pew With A View.
Pods at Low Briery Holiday Park.
Crossing the River Greta.
Trees almost forming their own tunnel.
Perched.

Storm Desmond had whipped away two bridges and most of the pathway back in 2015. The tarmacked road and new storm strengthened bridges are brilliant improvements though.

Bowstring Bridge.
Several Interpretation Boards can be found along the trail.
I Spy an Ice cream Van.
The River Greta’s name comes from the Norse word for stony stream.
Frog Spawn.
Victorian Fence Post.
Another tunnel.
Hugo on the trail.

The path is 5km from Keswick to Threlkeld and 5km back. Threlkeld is a pretty mountainside village with two pubs and a coffee shop.

Threlkeld.
Threlkeld.
Blencathra?
Threlkeld Coffee Shop.

After a coffee we decided to cheat a bit and hopped on the bus back into town. Fortuitously we only had a two minute wait.

We then had enough time to take Hugo down to Derwent Water for a paddle. โ˜บ๏ธ

Have you ever walked the Keswick to Threlkeld Railway Path?