Category Archives: Pets

A Dales Camping Trip. 30 Days Wild ~Days 23 to 25.Β 

Day 23 ~ Set up Camp.  Less than a week to go now, of the Wildlife Trusts 30 Days Wild challenge. It is becoming a challenge to find new things to do in the wild, but a camping trip can surely help with that.  However looking back to my wild moments of 2015 , I can see we went camping then too. And to the same place! Still, you can’t go wrong with a firm favourite, and Appletreewick in the Yorkshire Dales is somewhere we have returned to again and again.  Howgill Lodge Campsite is a 30 minutes walk along the river from the village, and is a great little site, popular with families and walkers. And it’s dog friendly too. πŸ™‚

camping appletreewick 100
The chickens usually arrive whilst camp is being set up. πŸ™‚
camping appletreewick 023
And bunnies play their part at keeping the grass short.

Howgill Lodge tries to do its bit for the environment and encourage wildlife. There are bird boxes around the site, wildflower areas, and solar panels for water, heating and lighting in the shower blocks.

camping appletreewick 026
There is a Wildlife Board near the site entrance.

After setting up camp in the Yorkshire drizzle, we walked along the River Wharfe and ended up in one of the pubs in Appletreewick for a few drinks. Then we got comfy , the rain got worse, so we stopped for tea and more liquid refreshment! If you find yourself in the area I can definitely recommend the Craven Arms and Cruck Barn  for real ales, ciders and amazing food, adorned with wildflowers. πŸ™‚

camping appletreewick 011
Pan-fried Cod with Mussels. Spot the cornflower.

And the walk along the river is always beautiful, even in the rain. Some things reassuringly never change. Lots of glorious Common spotted orchids in bloom and a young Wild Swimmer, forever immortalised by a poignant plaque, as the Wharfe winds it’s way  through the woodland.

Day 24 ~ Wildlife along the River Wharfe.  As is tradition when we visit these parts, we decided to walk to Bolton Abbey and back.  With a lunch break, and me forever stopping to take pictures ( much to the annoyance of my other half, tee hee) , we were probably out walking for about 6 hours. Anyone else would be much quicker!  Here are a few million photos from the day.

camping appletreewick 027
Giant Bellflower.
camping appletreewick 033
You don’t need a wrist watch on this walk.
camping appletreewick 038
Common Sandpiper.
camping appletreewick 052
Not sure about this striking blue flower, maybe a garden escape.
camping appletreewick 054
A lesser spotted Hugo.
camping appletreewick 044
Nuthatch.
camping appletreewick 062
Bolton Abbey.
camping appletreewick 056
Grey Heron.  
camping appletreewick 069
Goosander.
camping appletreewick 072
Great Tits.
camping appletreewick 079
Betony.
camping appletreewick 077
Willow Warbler.
camping appletreewick 066
Hugo has a Wild moment !
camping appletreewick 087
Skippers on Scabious.

Day 25 ~ More from the Riverside.  Before heading home we took Hugo a walk from nearby Burnsall village to Hebden.  There is a choice of wibbly wobbly suspension bridge or stepping stones to cross the river.  Which would you choose?

And look out for these beautiful yellow flowers that adorn the river bank. I have seen them on previous visits, but only just managed to Id them.

camping appletreewick 037
Mimulus aka Monkey Flower.

How is 30 Days Wild going for you? Thanks for joining me in the Dales. πŸ™‚

30 Days Wild ~ Days 7 to 9. Seaside fun.

I am pretty fortunate that my holidays fell at the beginning of Thirty Days Wild , so  I don’t need to think too hard about what to post. I was staying on the wildlife rich  Norfolk coast.  πŸ™‚

Day Seven.  Rock Pools and Sea Holly.  Today we decided to walk along the North Norfolk Coastal Path, from Hunstanton, where we were staying , to Thornham. About six miles or so. The beach at Hunstanton is full of rock pools, so I was hoping to see a starfish perhaps…or maybe a crab. No such luck!  I think these guys had got their spoils before we even set off.

I loved the rocky beach at Hunstanton. I suspect If we had hunted more thoroughly we may have found more, but with a bouncy labrador sniffing out sea creatures, we couldn’t linger for too long.

As we neared the next village along the coast ‘Old Hunstanton’, the scenery changed to a perfect sandy beach, amongst the sand dunes.

norfolk 197
Hugo amongst the dunes.
norfolk 049
The Strandline is a beautiful gift shop in Old Hunstanton. The owner, an artist,is inspired to create by the scenery, seasons and nature here.

I posted pictures of the many beautiful flowers growing between Old Hunstanton and neighboring Holme Next The Sea, in my last 30 Days Wild Post ,but here are a few more on the way to Thornham. πŸ™‚

norfolk 204
Sea Holly.
norfolk 212
An orchid I believe.
norfolk 207
Any ideas? Maybe Annual Sea Blite.

Approaching the village of Thornham, we came across a welcome coffee stop at Norfolk Wildlife Trust’s base at Holme Dunes. A wooden walkway over the marshes then led us to the village, where we caught a handy Coast Hopper Bus back to Hunstanton.

norfolk 211

norfolk 218
Shelduck.

Day Eight.  Beach Huts and a Bee.  I posted a separate post about today’s fantastic trip to see The Seals at Blakeney Point.  Before that we had a lovely walk along the beach at Wells Next The Sea. A sudden short shower sent us fleeing to the porch of a vacant Beach Hut to shelter, and weather watch.

norfolk 264
Beach Huts at Wells.
norfolk 259
Sheltering with Hugo.
norfolk 242
The sun came out again so here’s a Bumble Bee on a Viper’s Bugloss.

 

Day Nine.  Our last day in lovely Norfolk. Sob!  A quick early morning walk along the beach at Hunstanton, and I find a Heart shaped Pebble. I think this sums up our stay. We will return. X

IMG_20170609_095555_613

Thanks for dropping by. X

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Seals at Blakeney Point.

norfolk 270
The National Trust Building at Morston Quay.

One of the things I  looked forward to on our trip to North Norfolk, was a boat trip I had booked, to see the seals at Blakeney Point. Blakeney has the largest seal colony in England.  There are hundreds of  these inquisitive mammals, either bobbing in the water or basking on the point.  As the best way to view them is on a specially organized boat trip, we chose Temples ,who are based at nearby Morston. Typically the day that we had chosen ended up incredibly windy!  But phew, we were able to reschedule for the following day, the last of our holiday. πŸ™‚

After collecting our tickets from The Anchor pub, we were directed to the Quay and boarded ‘The Four Sisters’, one of  Temple’s red and white purpose built boats.

 

norfolk 272

It wasn’t too long before we saw our first seals. There are both Grey and Common Seals at Blakeney Point. Common Seals arrive here in the summer to have their pups , whilst the Greys tend to give birth in November and December.

 

norfolk 275

 

norfolk 286

 

norfolk 292

The boat got up pretty close to the seals, but they didn’t seem to bothered by our clicking cameras.  How beautiful are they! Of course we didn’t outstay our welcome and the skipper turned the boat, to view more groups relaxing in the shallows.

norfolk 311
The Lifeboat House.
norfolk 308
A Grey Seal hanging out with the commoners. πŸ˜‰

 

norfolk 310

norfolk 289

The trip includes a stop off at the point if you wish, where you can walk up to the Old Lighthouse building and watch the various seabirds that nest there.  The boat’s crew pointed out Sandwich, Common, Little and Arctic Terns flying above us.

norfolk 314

Of course me being me, I was just as excited at meeting some particular members of the crew! Three generations of the same  labrador family were on hand for strokes and to snuffle for spare biscuits. Meet Tide, Bella and Gillie. πŸ™‚

norfolk 316

 

norfolk 318

 

norfolk 321

 

norfolk 322

The boat trip with Temple’s was certainly a fun and informative outing. Seabirds, Seals and a canine crew. What more do you need. πŸ™‚

Prices. Β£12 per adult. Β£6 per child. Dogs free ( keep on a lead). Tel.01263740791.

 

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.  πŸ˜‰

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 ( Β£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.

scorton and heysham 047
St Peter’s has windswept tombstones and uninterupted views of the sea. It has been here since Saxon times.
scorton and heysham 048
The Coastal Walk is looked after by The National Trust.
scorton and heysham 053
We headed through a patch of woodland and emerged onto a cliff top. Here are the 8th Century ruins of  St Patrick’s Chapel.
scorton and heysham 052
St Patrick is said to have been shipwrecked here in the 5th Century.
scorton and heysham 055
The Chapel looks out over ‘Half Moon Bay’.
scorton and heysham 049
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.

scorton and heysham 064
The beach allows dogs all year round. πŸ™‚
scorton and heysham 058
Looking towards the Ferry Port.
scorton and heysham 060
The Half Moon Bay Cafe is bright and friendly.  It sells a small selection of local art and doggy treats too. πŸ™‚

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’.

scorton and heysham 068
Flowering Gorse.
scorton and heysham 070
Campions.
scorton and heysham 073
A pretty cove.
scorton and heysham 076
Wil and Hugo.
scorton and heysham 095
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’. πŸ™‚

Seldom Seen Map.
scorton and heysham 099
The newly refurbished Royal is a great place for lunch.
scorton and heysham 098
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. πŸ™‚

 

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. πŸ˜‰ 

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. πŸ˜‰

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. πŸ™‚

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. πŸ™‚

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. πŸ™‚

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.

scorton and heysham
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.

scorton and heysham 107
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.

scorton and heysham 034
Spot the Lapwing.
scorton and heysham 001
Bowland Fells.
scorton and heysham 004
Nicky Nook Summit,
scorton and heysham 007
Cotton Grass.
scorton and heysham 005
The Tarn.
scorton and heysham 012
Descending Nicky Nook.
scorton and heysham 011
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. πŸ™‚  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! 

scorton and heysham 028

scorton and heysham 019
The Apple Store.
scorton and heysham 013
My tea came in a Henry viii adorned teapot. πŸ™‚

 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. 

scorton and heysham 027
The rare Hen Harrier is the symbol of The Forest of Bowland.
scorton and heysham 023
A Scorton Doorway.
scorton and heysham 103
Typical Village transport. πŸ˜‰

 

scorton and heysham 025
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. πŸ™‚

scorton and heysham 030
Bluebells.
scorton and heysham 033
Friendly horses.

 

scorton and heysham 110
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.  πŸ™‚

Sunday Sevens 14th May.

 

Hi here is my Sunday Sevens ~ a collection of 7 photos from the last seven days. πŸ™‚ 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.
20170507_112139
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…

 

IMG_20170513_200249_793
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…. πŸ™‚

scorton and heysham 041
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.

scorton and heysham 118
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. πŸ™‚  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.