Category Archives: Places to visit

A family friendly bike ride ~ Lancaster, Hest Bank and Morecambe.

It’s been a good few years since I’ve got on a bike, never mind atempted to ride one, so when our  friends  suggested a family friendly cycle route between Lancaster and Morecambe, I was a little apprehensive to say the least. But after borrowing one of Wil’s bike helmets, my sister’s bike ( Thanks Sis! ) and my 7 year old niece, I was good to go. 🙂

We began our cycling adventure in Lancaster, parking on a small pay and display car park , not far from the Millenium Bridge. The route , which was mostly flat ( hurrah ! ) and part of the Lancashire Cycleway  took us along an impressive expanse of car free cycle paths. It meandered through woodland, clung to canal side, dodged the crowds on Morecambe Sea Front and followed and crossed the River Lune , before arriving back at our beginnings 20km later. 

The kids were nothing short of impressive on this bike ride. 🙂  It’s perfect for families though, with only a couple of roads to cross and various refreshment stops.  My friend Jo and I decided we would have to invest in some padded cycling shorts for our next outing!  Boy am I sore today. Ouch! 

I didn’t manage to take as many photos as I would have liked, due to my rather precarious bicycle balance. So a few  of these pics were taken by Jo and Fi. The one of Lune Aqueduct, I pinched off Pinterest.

Ready ! Steady ! Go !
We crossed the impressive Lune Aqueduct that carries the Lancaster canal over the river Lune.

The Hest Bank Inn is a great refreshment stop.
Fish & Chips in a Basket. Nom Nom.
Look out tower , Morecambe.
Big Bird…..and small bird. Ha Ha. 🙂

Colourful seating outside The Midland Hotel.
The Millenium bridge crosses The River Lune in Lancaster.

We all really enjoyed our bike trip. Any recommendations for fairly easy … and flat routes, in the North West , let me know. 🙂 

Advertisements

Sunday Sevens 15th October.

Heres a quick burst of photos  for Sunday Sevens. 7 pictures from the last 7 days.

We collected the wallpaper we ordered for our front room from Live Like The Boy in Colne. Brimmed full of retro, vintage and contemporary interiors, this eclectic store might just be our new go to for any finishing touches. Plus a very cute dachshund called Stanley lords over the stock. 🐕

Whilst in Colne it was recommended we go for coffee at About Coffee , which is just a few doors down from Stanley’s shop. I overloaded on sugar when I ordered an Austrian White Hot Chocolate and Raspberry & Pistachio cake!

A night out with friend in Clitheroe took us for gin cocktails in The Parlour. I always get drawn to the teacup cocktails! Wil looks like he is wearing mascara in this photo, but actually he woke up with a mysterious black eye. Not sure which is worse!

On the last day of our holiday 2 weeks ago , Hugo hurt his paw. 😦 So its been rest and on lead walks for our labrador lad. Luckily he is now on the mend and no longer limping. This was my atempt at getting him to pose amongst the Autumn leaves. I suspect he wanted to pounce on them instead!

Meanwhile Slinky Malinki is spending most of her time in her cosy new bed. ……. and looking put out when I disturb the madam for a photo. 🐺🐾

On Friday afternoon I dropped into a friends Tile and Kitchen Showroom…..and drank far to much wine on their Open day.  😉 We did choose some new flooring for our living room though, so its obviously a good idea to keep the wine flowing. 🙂 Here’s their website. 

I am so glad I joinedPostcrossing  !  Its a fun way of sending and recieving postcards from all over the world. I always get so excited when I get some happy post……and what is happier than a pretty postcard. 🙂 Here are some I have been sent recently. 🌏

Thanks for dropping by and thanks to Natalie  for orgaizing Sunday Sevens. 

 

A week in the Western Lakes. 

A few days ago we got back from a whole week in the lovely Lake District. We stopped in a holiday cottage , just outside the Eskdale village of Santon Bridge. Eskdale is a glacial valley in the less touristy Western side of the Lake District National Park. For us it was the ideal getaway, a base to explore what this gorgeous area has to offer.

Ride on the Ratty.   One thing I knew I wanted to do was take a steam train journey on the Ravenglass & Eskdale Railway.  The railway is a 7 mile minimum gauge heritage railway , affectionately known as L’al Ratty. It was originally used to carry hematite iron ore from mines around Boot, nowadays  it’s  an inventive way to explore the surrounding countryside.  We bought return tickets from Ravenglass to Dalegarth station £13.90 each ( Hugo’s ticket was £1.50) and walked along the river Esk to Stanley Ghyll Force. Trust us to find a waterfall!  L’al Ratty also played host to an Art Installation on our visit.   The Curious Incident of the Stag on the Train Line was an exhibition  of 12 beautiful wildlife paintings by local artist Sarah Taylor.  It was fun to spot  them along the trackside. 🙂

 A Walk to Wastwater.   The nearest lake to where we were staying is also the deepest lake in The Lake District. Wastwater is three miles long , half a mile wide and 260 feet deep.  One day we walked from the  cottage to the village of Nether Wasdale and onto Wastwater. As  you can see we were lucky enough to experience the most amazing walking weather, and the Autumn colours were stunning. Hugo got to bag another lake , which brings his lakes & tarns tally to 13.  Plenty more to go at though!

 Owls at Muncaster Castle. 


Muncaster Castle dates back to medieval times and with 70 acres of wild woodland gardens , its grounds are there for exploration.  The main draw for me though was the Hawk & Owl Centre which puts on daily flying shows. I caught the morning World of Owls Flying Display, where several species of owls can be seen at close quarters. The centre works in partnership with the Hawk Conservation Trust and the talk was both informative and entertaining. Make sure you know how to duck!  Of course Hugo had to stay with Wil whilst I had all the owl themed fun. 😦 Dogs on leads are welcome in the gardens and at the afternoon Sky Hunters Display and Heron feed ( there is a special viewing area for dogs and their owners), but we left before then, to find Hugo an off lead walk.  

Bag a Wainwright.
Wil was determined that we would walk up a mountain on our holiday, and bagging a Wainwright should have been on my Bucket List! Despite not being fond of hills, I’m always in awe of the gorgeous views, once I make it up one. 😉  We chose Buckbarrow, as it was within walking distance of our cottage, and from it’s summit, we could see the sea from one side and Wastwater and the screes from the other. Quite a vista! There are 214 Wainwight Peaks altogether. This was my first! 

 

Head for the Coast.  Santon Bridge ( our base) is actually only a few miles  from the coast, so it was inevitable that we would head for the seaside. The pretty harbor village of Ravenglass has a couple of pubs , a beach and of course is home to The Ravenglass & Eskdale Railway. We also ventured further a field , following the coastal road to Barrow In Furness and the russet stone ruins of Furness Abbey. The ancient abbey is looked after by English Heritage and it and the museum/giftshop are fascinating to look round. From Barrow we really wanted to take a trip to Walney Island , a nature reserve that is home to a colony of Grey seals. Unfortunately a traffic accident mean’t we had to forgo our plans, so we went to Haverigg Beach instead. The beach here is especially popular with dog walkers and it looked like you could walk for miles and miles.

I really enjoyed our time in the Western Lake District. My only regret is that we didn’t get to explore some of the other lakes in the area. But we were without a car for a couple of days…..so I think we did pretty well considering. 🙂

What is your favourite part of this iconic National Park?

Links & Likes ~ September.

 Links & Likes  this month is from our little hideaway for the week,  a cottage in the Western Lake District.    You are probably wondering why am I wasting a perfectly good morning blogging??  The truth is our car has decided to pack in, and we are stuck waiting for a recovery vehicle!  I will add a few pictures from my immediate vicinity.  Its not a bad place to have car trouble, if only we could go out and explore…..

A nice view for a brew. 🙂

I was so sad to hear that Bekki’s beautiful dog Hicks  passed away recently. Bekki who blogs at Dartmoor Yarns wrote a lovely tribute post to him , which brought tears to my eyes, but made me smile too. Will certainly miss hearing all about Mr Hicks , especially his muddy puddle antics. He was a Top dog. Xx

Jo’s Monday Walk  to Coverham Abbey is a feast for the eyes. Stone statues, colourful dahlias, a unique Knot Garden. A lovely place to take a wander. 🙂

 

I always love reading about Tommy’s life on Fair Isle and seeing all his fantastic wildlife pictures. 

Cosy Bedroom.
Books and Binoculars.

How about glamping in a boat in a forest in Fife?  Check out this post from Loving Life In Wellies. 

Lucy is on the trail of Anne of Green Gables in Prince Edward Island. 

A doggy day out in East Sussex on The Bluebell Railway  is an adventure for  My Little Country Life.

 

Mad March Hares above the fireplace.

Hugo the hound. 🙂

Chloe makes the best of a rainy Staycation in Anglesey and North Wales.

Love baking with Apples in Autumn? Polly’s Blog is fab for Apple pudding recipes. 🙂

 Here’s a Great Guide To The Northern Lights in Iceland on Unlocking Kiki. Its definitely time to visit! 

 

I have claimed this Gentleman’s Wardrobe as my own. Love all the different compartments for collars, hankerchiefs and fancy shirts.

The kitchen.
 

Thanks for dropping by. X

 

Bowland Food Hall at Holmes Mill.

 On Friday we bobbed over the road for lunch ,to the  recently opened Bowland Food Hall in Holmes Mill , a popular new eating, drinking & leisure destination, in my home town of Clitheroe.  The mill is already home to Britain’s longest continuous bar, in its spacious Beer Hall , an attractive cafe , gelateria and  of course the Bowland Brewery.  Also set to open in the next few months are the Spinning Block Hotel, Bar & Grill  and The Weaving Shed Gym, Pool & Spa.  Phew!  Thats alot to take in !

Bowland Food Hall is on a mission , to showcase the best of Bowland and Lancashire’s  local produce. It’s a great space to wander round and ooooh and ahh at all the lovely goodies.  There’s honey from Stonyhurst, cheese from Garstang, pies from Chatburn, meringues from Whalley, Bowland brewed ales,  cordials from Rawtenstall etc etc etc. Of course it’s not only Lancs that gets a look in, but the emphasis is firmly on locally sorced food and drink. 🧀🍠

We did buy ourselves a few treats!  A wedge of Nicky Nook Blue Cheese, A Lancashire Cheese Bomb and a small bottle of Whinberry Gin, also handcrafted in Lancashire. And not to forget Hugo! He has a packet of  homebaked biscuits from Millie & Ruby’s Bakery for Dogs . 🙂  We are currently holidaying in The Lakes and are all  enjoying our purchases , immensely!  Reminding us of home. 🙂

So what is the dining experience like in the Food Hall?  I think Holmes Mill have got the right idea, in keeping things simple.   Bowland Boards are the order of the day. £8.50 for a Cheese Board,  Fish Board , Meat Board,  Vegetarian Board or Lancashire Board. Food is prepared in front of you , whilst you enjoy a coffee, tea, soft drink or maybe a glass or two of wine.  You are seated round a raised slate top counter  and the service is friendly and efficient. Wil is a big cheese fan and loved his cheese platter, all the cheeses are produced in where else, but Lancashire. 😉 . My Lancashire Board contained Roy Porters Pork Pie, Heritage Piccalilli,  Lancashire Cheese Quiche and Lancashire Crisps.  Mmmmmm delicious!   If you have enough room for dessert, the patisserie menu looks very tempting too. 

Picture credit ~ Workhouse Creative Marketing.  Holmes Mill Layout.

Bowland Food Hall is definitely worth a visit, to pick up a few treats or  just indulge in a Lancashire Lunch fix. 

X

Butterflies, Seabirds & Rock Pools.

lancaster and Morecambe 005
Large Tree Nymph Butterfly.

In my last blog post I was feeling all Autumnal , but then Summer made a reappearance on Sunday 🙂  Happily we were put in charge of my niece and nephew for the day ….or was it the other way round !  Anyway we decided to head for the coast.  First we found ourselves at Williamson Park  on the outskirts of Lancaster.  With 54 acres of beautiful parkland , the impressive Ashton Memorial and far reaching views across Morecambe Bay, there’s certainly plenty to see.  But it was the Butterfly House and the Mini Beasts that the kids and I were interested in. Whilst Wil took Hugo for a walk , we got up close and personal with allsorts of cute creatures.  🙂

Tropical Blue Butterfly.

 

Common Garden Skink eating lunch.

The Butterfly House in Williamson Park is a former Palm House which resembles a tropical rainforest.  Indeed my camera lense started steaming up as soon as we entered!  Colourful butterflies flutter amongst the greenery and there are also various reptiles living here.  We were especially enamoured by the Common Garden Skink and a Chinese Water Dragon, who seemed a very friendly fellow.

lancaster and Morecambe 017
Chinese Water Dragon.

 

Meerkats. 

As well as The Butterfly House ,there is a Mini Beasts House, an Aviary and Meerkats, so plenty to keep the kids oooohing and ahhing for a little while. We also found an adventure playground, before meeting up with Wil and Hugo in The Pavilion Cafe. And we had to have a quick look in the gift shop too of course!

If only we had climbed up The Ashton memorial.  The views are apparently stunning from the first floor viewing gallery. That’s a definite for next time.  The memorial dominates the Lancaster skyline and was commissioned by Lord Ashton, as a tribute to his late wife.  Constructed mainly from Portland stone, with a copper dome, the structure was completed in 1909, and is now a popular venue for weddings and other events.  But now let’s head to Morecambe, whilst the sun is still shining. 🙂

lancaster and Morecambe 016
Tropical flower.

 

 

 

 

wp-image-1784382564
Ashton Memorial

Morecambe’s Seafront is home to the Tern Project , an art trail that celebrates the varied birdlife and wildlife that make their home on the Lancashire Coast. Look out for poems and puzzles, jokes and riddles and lots of birdy sculptures.  Many can be found on the long stone jetty in front of the Midland Hotel, and along the promenade.

 

A Bird’s Eye View across the Bay.
Comerants.
Lapwing.
lancaster and Morecambe 046
Ringed  plovers.
Magpie.
lancaster and Morecambe 070
Mythical Bird.

When I asked my niece and nephew what they enjoyed the most about our day out, the answer was rock pooling!  These two could spend hours looking for crabs and water snails. Simple pleasures eh. 🙂

 

Gone Crabbing !

Here’s hoping for some more summery days to lead us out of September. X

Afternoon Tea at The Cake ‘Ole. 

A couple of weeks ago it was Afternoon Tea Week here in the UK, so what better excuse for an indulgent treat at The Cake ‘Ole  in Skipton.  My friends Arwen and Gill and I, just happened to be walking past this Hidden Gem whilst enjoying a little retail therapy. 🙂 Tucked away in the Craven Court Arcade, just off the high street , The Cake ‘Ole’s funky vibrant decor enticed us through the door.

wp-image-1584405271
A dazzling array of cakes.
wp-image-1184308072
Cuckoo !

The lovely staff were charming and friendly and found us a table straight away.  Our eyes were drawn to every colourful nook and cranny.  The Cake’Ole is definitely a cafe that likes to dazzle you with it’s quirky decor. 🙂

 

wp-image-571498046
Fairy Lights.

I’ve experienced the Cake ‘Ole’s mouthwatering cakes before, so I was eager to see what our Afternoon Teas would look like. As expected , they were served on pretty vintage china. I had a refreshing fruit tea with mine.

wp-image-1232950869
Mismatched Vintage Crockery. Always a delight. 🙂

Our Afternoon Teas were prepared speedily and oh so wonderfully scrumptious.  There was an assortment of soft roll sandwiches on the bottom tier. The middle tier contained the obligatory fruit scones with clotted cream and yummy strawberry and black pepper jam. On the top tier a super selection of delicious cakes rounded off our feast.

wp-image-417167150
Let us eat cake !

We found our dining experience at The Cake’Ole to be the perfect addition to our girly afternoon shopping in Skipton. Quirky, friendly and fun , with a delightfully delicious Afternoon Tea. 🙂

wp-image-530457215
Fabulous. 🙂

 Thanks to Gill for taking the photos. X