Category Archives: Places to visit

Harrogate.Β 

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A few weeks ago we spent a couple of nights in the Yorkshire spa town of Harrogate. This charming town is the ideal mini break destination , boasting elegant architecture, beautiful parks, art & theatre, olde worldy pubs, over 130 restaurants and shopping galore. Whats not to love!

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From the cobbled streets and boutique stores of the historic Montpelier Quarter to the chilled 70’s vibe of Major Tom’s Social, we discovered some fab places, yet there is still so much left to explore.  Which of course can only mean, we shall have to return. 😁

Wil had booked us into one of these lovely apartments , quite centrally located,  off  Cold Bath Road.  Because we had planned a morning at the Turkish Baths Hugo did not accompany us on this trip. But just in case your wondering, our accomodation did turn out to be pet friendly, so he could  definitely come with  us in the future.

I’ve made a little list of some of my personal favourite places that we came accross in Harrogate.  😁

 

 

Major Tom’s Social.   Describing itself as a ‘ Youth Club for grown ups’ this laid back hangout above a retro vintage shop specializes in selling craft beer and real ales. Also on the menu are fantastic stone baked pizzas made freshly on site. We spent an enjoyable couple of hours here one evening chilling out on a comfy sofa and soaking in the 1970’s flavour of the place. Dotted around Major Toms are allsorts of retro memorabilia and like it’s name suggests it’s a very sociable bar, welcoming everyone including families with children and dogs too.  www.majortomssocial.co.uk

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Covet.   A few doors down from  Major Tom’s Social is an eclectic gift and interiors emporium called Covet  which has a sister store in Ilkley.  Packed full of unique pieces this quirky independent is a treasure trove of the unusual. I wish I had gotten a photograph of the ground floor as some of the more unusual items for sale included wire moose heads and taxidermy butterflies. Well worth a browse for a thoughtful gift or interesting pieces for the home.

 

 

 

 

Baltzersen’s.   Sometimes it’s good to try something a little different and Harrogate certainly caters for all tastes. Balterzen’s on Oxford Road uses Yorkshire sourced produce in its  Scandinavian inspired menus.  This place was buzzing when we arrived on a Saturday lunch time so it’s probably best to roll up early to miss the queues. I tried a delicious open sandwich with maple and mustard roasted root veg , houmous and pickled baby carrots. Was soooo good!  Other goodies on the menu include Lentil and root veg Lapskaus ( Norwegian Stew) , Gravlaks on potato cake with poached duck egg & sweet dill dressing and Mackerel Pate with rye toast, gooseberry chutney and feta salad. www.baltzersens.co.uk

 

 

Betty’s Tea Rooms.  No visit to Harrogate is complete without a trip to Betty’s.  This Yorkshire institution blends the county’s friendly  hospitality with elegant surroundings and a distinctly Swiss flavour. It’s founder Frederick Belmont was born and raised in Switzerland almost 100 years ago. Bettys is renowned for its delectable cakes and chocolates and of course Afternoon Tea ,which has been enjoyed here for nearly a century. One way to avoid the crowds ( Bettys is extremely popular) is to treat yourself to a Betty’s breakfast early in the morning. My Swiss Rosti set me up the day. Make sure you check out the gift shop too with it’s dazzling array of baked goods and confectionary.  www.bettys.co.uk

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Turkish Baths.  Harrogate is  home to Britain’s most fully restored Turkish Baths, dating back to the 19th Century. I have long wanted to discover them for myself, so I booked us both in for a Saturday morning session. πŸ™‚  The Turkish Baths experience begins in the elegant Frigidarium above, where you gradually become acclimatized to the warmth. Next it’s a case of braving The Steam Room, The Tepidarium ( warm room), Calidarium ( hot room) and Laconium ( hottest room) with showering and immersions in the invigorating plunge pool in between. And then…. simply…repeat!  What I treasured most about my visit was admiring the stunning moorish architecture. The Baths are so beautiful and definitely worth a visit. Make sure you book, take some flip flops ( the terrazzo flooring gets quite hot) and drink plenty of the free water that is provided.  www.turkishbathsharrogate.co.uk

 

The Little Ale House.  A very happy discovery , the Little Ale House on Cheltenham Crescent is Harrogate’s first Micropub. Cosy and friendly with a great selection of real ales and gins, this bar is run by a young husband and wife team , often accompanied by their gorgeous collie cross rescue dog. πŸ™‚ A tiny pub but well worth a visit if you can squeeze in. Oh and the pork pies are to die for!

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Weetons Food Hall.  My browse round Weetons was all to brief ,but if you are a foodie you will definitely enjoy perusing the many goodies on offer in this attractive Food Hall. Overlooking the Stray ( one of the town’s many green spaces) Weetons also has a restaurant , an award winning butchers and lots of mouthwatering displays. www.weetons.com

 Have you ever been to Harrogate?  Where would you recommend me to visit on a future trip? I am sure I will return. πŸ™‚

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A waterfall walk in the Dales.

Last Sunday we decided to take Hugo on a proper long walk ie somewhere different to the usual trudge down the fields and back. After checking the weather forcast we grabbed our walking boots and headed for the Dales, where it was meant to stay dry until at least after lunch. πŸ˜‰

I had found an 8km ( 5 mile) walk starting from the village of Stainforth near Settle in a Northern Eye book called Top 10 walks to WATERFALLS. The route takes in two waterfalls Catrigg Force and Stainforth Force as well as moorland and riverside. We parked at the pay and display car park in the village and followed the ‘Pennine Bridleway’ up the fellside.

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The view as we headed out of the village.
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Belted Galloways on the hillside.

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Sign for Catrigg Force or Foss.

It wasn’t long before we came upon Catrigg Force, tumbling 50ft down into Stainforth Beck. The falls and surrounding area were explored often by composer Sir Edward Elgar,  who would stay in nearby Settle when visiting his friend and fellow musician Dr Charles Buck. Maybe the peaceful Yorkshire Dales inspired his compositions…

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Catrigg Force.

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You may be wandering why I am dangling a pink and green toy dog over a waterfall?? This is Sybil and these cute stuffed dogs are made by a group on facebook called Hounds4Huntingtons in exchange for donations to the Huntington’s Disease Association. Sybils love adventures so I shall take her on a few of mine. If you like , check out their facebook page or Sybil_On_Tour  on Instagram. 😁

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A lonely old barn.

After admiring the waterfall we continued on until Higher Winskill Farm where we had to walk through a field of these magnificent beasts! They seemed quite interested in us but pretty friendly.

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I think we took a wrong turn at Higher Winskill and we ended up on the moorland road that leads into the village of Langcliffe , instead of taking a footpath there. Luckilly the road was quiet and the scenery lovely. The rain was moving in however and by the time we got to Langcliffe it was pouring down.

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St John the Evangelist Church, Langcliffe.

Langcliffe looked a nice village but disappointingly there was nowhere to shelter from the bad weather. No pub, no cafe and no shop. 😦 We persevered on , crossing a railway and a weir over the river Ribble.

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The weir at Langcliffe.
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One of the less muddy parts of the riverside.
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Hugo negotiates a stone style.

The rest of the walk followed the Ribble, a river that flows through my hometown of Clitheroe as well. We continued on past a caravan site and eventually we were rewarded with the cascading Stainforth Force and an old pack horse bridge. Happilly by this time the rain stopped long enough to pose for a few photos. 😁

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Stainforth Force.

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The old packhorse bridge dated 1675.

After crossing the old packhorse bridge we followed the short road back to Stainforth itself to complete our waterfall walk.

Have you any waterfalls near you?  What is your favourite waterfall walk? 

Hawthorn’s November Scavenger Hunt.Β 

November brings another Scavenger Hunt from the lovely Katie/ Hawthorn at I live, I craft, I Love, I am me….

So here is what I have come up with for the prompts this month. Most of these pictures are from last weekend. Wil booked us a couple of nights in Harrogate for my birthday and on the way home on Sunday we visited the nearby town of Knaresborough. 

Blue.  I was delighted to actually manage to take a photo of a Kingfisher recently, on the river Nidd in Knaresborough.  I saw a gleam of Blue fly up into a tree and used my camera to investigate. I was thrilled especially as photographing this iconic bird is on my 25 Before 45 ~ A Bucket List.

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Me.  And here’s another bird I found in Knaresborough. This is Me with Hedwig the Owl and Harry potter on the other side of the window. There is lots of street art like this in the town.

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Starts with W.  And more  Street Art at Blind Jack’s Public House. Look who is leaning out of the Windows.  

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Rainbow.  Rather lucky that I came accross this gift shop called Rainbow’s End. Those colourful glass rainbows are rather effective. 

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Arch. Knaresborough is famous for it’s impressive Victorian viaduct and it’s splendid Arches are widely photographed.  Four 78ft high arches span the river Nidd and carry trains across to this day.

Toy. Well if you know me by now you will probably see why I was drawn to this room ,  absolutely devoted to Dogs! It’s in the Orvis Countrywear store in Harrogate and is chocca full of dog toys, dog beds and everything a discerning pooch could need. A visit with Mr Hugo is on the cards. πŸ•

Swirl. A trip to Harrogate is not complete without a visit to Betty’s Tea Rooms. If you want to avoid the daytime queues get there early for breakfast or why not bob by  for dessert in the evening. A decadent Icecream Sundae with a swirl of whipped cream and a blueberry on top does the trick. πŸ˜ƒ

Brush. I hunted in the archives for this one and found brush to be broomsticks! This was taken 3 years ago on The Pendle Sculpture Trail in Barley, which tells the story of the Lancashire Witches.  

Nail.  Found this prompt quite difficult, but you can see my toe nails in this picture I took whilst relaxing in the Frigidarium in Harrogate’s wonderfully ornate Turkish Baths. 

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My Own Choice. Back to Knaresborough again where we met Isabella the Raven!  She is one of several gorgeous ravens who are brought to Knaresborough Castle every day by their keeper to charm visitors. The Castle is actually a royal castle and ravens were brought here to celebrate the Millennium, their popularity meant that they have stayed here ever since. Isabella though,  has to be kept on a jessie due to having an Asbo!  Her mischievous nature has got her into trouble for stealing mobile phones and taking selfies. She also swears like a trooper! 

The royal ruins of Knaresborough Castle, part of the Duchy of Lancaster Estate..

 Thanks for joining me on my hunt. 😁

Two Eden Valley Houses in Autumn.

Once you have scaled the heights of Wainwright’s fells and completed The Ullswater Way, there are gentler pursuits to enjoy in Cumbria’s ‘Eden Valley’.  Only minutes drive from the historic market town of Penrith stands a 15th century fortified manor , with an unusual sanctuary door knocker  and a  fine stately home famed for its annual Marmalade Festival.

Last Sunday I took a few photographs of both Brougham Hall and Dalemain House. It was a perfect sunny Autumn day, and though our visits to both were brief, I hope my pictures inspire you to look them up when you are next in the area.

Brougham Hall 

The historic remains of the home of the Brougham family date back to Tudor times . The Hall and several other buildings lie inside the thick fortified walls in the small parish of Brougham. Sir Winston Churchill commandeered the site for secret military research during WWII.   Renovations here are a work in progress, so do not expect a grand old house. Instead delight in the area’s history, enjoy a stroll round the grounds and browse the array of arts and crafts workshops in the courtyard. There is a small friendly cafe too. Entry to the Hall is free though donations are of course welcome. As are anyone who cares to visit, including four legged guests. πŸ™‚  www.broughamhall.co.uk

 

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Free car parking on this side of the Hall.
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The Brougham Door Knocker is actually a replica of the original, but impressive all the same.
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The 1520 door and gatehouse entrance.

 

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Behind the black doors are artist’s studios and craft workshops.
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Plenty of room outdoors for the kids to run around.

 

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Gwen Bainbridge Ceramics are unusual and beautiful.
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Wil and I just had to share a scone in Bettyann’s Tea Parlour. πŸ™‚
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View from the cobbled ramp under the Gatehouse.
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Brougham Hall and Durham Cathedral both have replica’s of these ‘Beastly Bronze Door Knockers’. They are called Sanctuary Door Knockers and by tradition, anyone  who was running from the law and dared to grip the handle and knock, could claim sanctuary within the walls.

Dalemain House  

Unlike Brougham Hall, Dalemain is an impressive Country House that is still resided in by the Hasell family, who have been in residence since the 1600’s.  The imposing Georgian facade certainly makes the visitor curious, as to what the rooms are like inside. Of course we rocked up here an hour before the house and gardens closed for the day!  So we chose to venture round the gardens. We did not have Hugo with us but that is probably a good thing, as dogs are sadly not allowed at Dalemain.  Car parking is free and there is a Tea Room in the Medieval Hall. Because we only had an hour to explore, we were charged a discounted price of Β£3 each to view the gardens. www.dalemain.com

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The impressive rose tinted Georgian Facade.

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Lady Marmalade Rose.

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We came across a giant topiary Dragon!
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Relax and enjoy the view.
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Even at the end of October there was a wide array of flowers at Dalemain.
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Above the house there is a Deer Park.
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And to our delight, a large herd of Fallow Deer. πŸ™‚

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We didn’t even have time for a brew in the Medieval Hall. 😦
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Dalemain holds The World’s Original Marmalade Awards every year in March, along with a festival of all things Marmalade. Next years Festival will take place 17th & 18th March 2018. Will Paddington Bear be there, that’s what I want to know!

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I hope you enjoyed my super quick tours of two Eden Valley delights.  I am determined to visit both of them again in the future. I especially need to frequent the Marmalade Festival. πŸ™‚

If you are thinking of exploring this beautiful area of the Lake District, you might also want to read my blogs about  Lowther Castle  and  Ullswater & Aira Force.  

Which historic houses do you like to visit in Cumbria?

Links & Likes ~ October. β™‘

Wow we are really rushing through October!  Everyone has been up to some good stuff this month. So please make yourself a nice hot drink and settle down for a read of these lovely blogs. β™‘ 
Apparently BottomlessBrunch is the New Afternoon Tea ! Kellie gives it a try. Yum. πŸ™‚

Theres a Quick and Easy French Toast Recipe on Wonderfully Bookish.

I had no idea that in Scotland Mums To Be recieve  a very useful and cute  Scottish Baby-Box.  Nina shows us whats in hers…

Apples galore on Christine’s blog.

Eunice shares a Missing Pooch Story  with a Yappy Ending. πŸ™‚ 

 Christine searches for her favourite Apple varieties at an Apple Festival in the Gorse Hill Nature Reserve. 

Fancy a mug of tea and a hike round Rufford Old Hall.   Melodie’s blog Tea Bee’s Trips explore’s the English countryside, holidays abroad and her tipple of choice  ‘ Tea.’  πŸ™‚

An Idylic Hideaway  in Bodmin  ~  My Little Country Life.

Emma stays at the most perfect little holiday cottage in Bodmin . I really want to book this place ! 

 I love the look of  this wonderful journal reviewed on  Made by Mi. 

And this delicious Ginger and Syrup Sponge on Emily Llou’s blog.

 

The Breathe journal is reviewed on Made by Mi.

 Theres a great little review on the recent H is for Hawk documentary on Only Natural, which I still need to watch.

I really must get round to visiting the  Yorkshire Sculpture Park which appears  on Down by the Dougie.

Lets end with the cats of Monmartre Cemetery


  in Paris, who live and prowl amongst the graves of famous Parisians.  
 

 Thanks for reading and hopefully see you soon. 🍁

 

 

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. πŸ™‚

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. πŸ™‚  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.

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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. πŸ™‚

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. πŸ™‚ 

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. πŸ•

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.  πŸ˜‰ We did choose some new flooring for our living room though, so its obviously a good idea to keep the wine flowing. πŸ™‚ 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. πŸ™‚ Here are some I have been sent recently. 🌏

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