Category Archives: #take12trips

Sea air ~ Morecambe, Arnside and Silverdale.

Quirky seabird sculptures adorn the promenade in Morecambe.
Quirky seabird sculptures adorn the promenade in Morecambe.

Easter Monday and blue skies and sunshine. The perfect day for a trip to the coast. We ventured firstly to the Lancashire seaside town of Morecambe, taking the scenic route through the beautiful Trough Of Bowland. Thankfully we didn’t run over any pheasants on the way. The trough is highly populated with them !

Morecambe has gone through a little revamp since my last visit. The promenade anyway is looking fantastic with its quirky seabird sculptures. The iconic Midland Hotel was brought back to its former glory and reopened a few years ago. This imposing example of art deco architecture looks over the bay.

The promenade with the Midland Hotel in the distance.
The promenade with the Midland Hotel in the distance.

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After wandering along the promenade and admiring various sculptures, rhymes and the statue of Eric Morecambe we decided to head further along the coast for our lunch. Not before having a nosy in the Old Pier bookshop which is so crammed full of old books that if a shelf fell on you , you might not be found for days. 🙂

Arnside.
Arnside.

Next stop was a few miles up the coast to the pretty village of Arnside which looks over the river Kent estuary. We bought a bit of a picnic and ate it while’st watching the world go by. 🙂 There are a few gift shops,cafes and a couple of pubs on the front to peruse if you wish.

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And then it was back to Lancashire and the nearby village of Silverdale. We walked down to the cove and watched the tide coming in ( very quickly ) over Morecambe bay. Noticed lots of people out with dogs today. We have made the decision not to get another dog until the end of the year but seeing so many playing and having fun chasing sticks in the sunshine made us smile a little longingly.

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The cove at Silverdale.
The cove at Silverdale.
A yorkie surveys his kingdom. :)
A yorkie surveys his kingdom. 🙂
Hello from Silverdale.
Hello from Silverdale.

It was interesting to find out that Silverdale has literary connections. Elisabeth Gaskell wrote some of her Bronte biography here and Charlotte Bronte apparently holidayed here herself.

This post is my April blog for the #take12trips challenge. I really loved my day by the sea in Lancashire and Cumbria. 🙂

Clitheroe Castle and Museum.

Clitheroe Castle is a Norman Keep and one of the smallest in the country.
Clitheroe Castle is a Norman Keep and one of the smallest in the country.

Despite featuring Clitheroe Castle in a recent post I thought I would return for this months #take12trips challenge. I’m not planning on travelling very far in March so where better to explore than right on my doorstep. 🙂 I persuaded my friend Becky to tag along with the promise of a brew in the Castle’s Atrium Cafe. Although we both live locally neither of us have visited the Clitheroe Castle Museum for years and years. Now seemed a good a time as any !

The Atrium to the right of the museum.
The Atrium to the right of the museum.

Firstly we had a catch up in The Atrium. Becky was quick to point out that The Atrium isn’t really an atrium as it doesn’t have a glass roof. But we didn’t care as it does do a nice slice of homemade treacle and ginger cake. 🙂 The menu here is quite simple. Sandwiches, jacket potatos, chips etc. There are some good cake choices with gluten free , dairy free and even vegan on offer. Somewhere to take my vegan friends then when they visit. 🙂

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After our refreshments we had a quick look in the Stewards Gallery which exhibits local artists and then on to the museum.

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The museum has loads of information on the geology, wildlife, history and folklore of the local area. Spread over two floors, there are plenty of exhibits and some interactive bits and bobs including guessing games, dressing up clothes and a mini animated film about the Castle Keep. We tried to get into the spirit of things. 🙂

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Victorian Kitchen.

Defending the castle  ~ Well, Kinda!
Defending the castle ~ Well, Kinda!
An Otter and traps. :(  Not interactive, thank God!
An Otter and traps. 😦 Not interactive, thank God!
Mini Animation.
Mini Animation.
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Manning the phone in the Collector's Study
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Clitheroe has devilish connections!

The area has associations with not only the devil but the Pendle Witches and drowned water spirits. Yikes! And there have been many famous people connected with or have visited Clitheroe including Tolkien , Frank Whittle ( the inventor of the jet engine) and Gandhi. You can learn more in the museum. 🙂

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We probably spent a little over an hour wandering round the museum and then had a look round the small shop which has various souvinirs, books and childrens toys.

Witchy stuff.
Witchy stuff.
Colourful souvineers.
Colourful souvineers.

Prices for the Museum ~ adults £3-85. Children under 16 free.

The Castle Keep itself is always worth a visit as there are 360 degree views of the whole town and beyond from the top. Built in Norman times it is said that the hole in the side of the keep was made by Cromwell in the civil war. Another legend has it that the Devil himself shot a cannon ball through it….

The Castle from the creative Activity Space and Play area.
The Castle from the creative Activity Space and Play area.

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A bit of a grey view i'm afraid.
A bit of a grey view i’m afraid.

Explore the castle grounds and you will find a bandstand, a creative activity space, a children’s playground, skate park, tennis courts, bowling green, beautiful garden areas , sculptures and a war memorial. The park is popular with the locals and visitors alike. We enjoyed our afternoon at Clitheroe Castle and the museum is somewhere new to take the kids on a rainy day. 🙂

The War Memorial commands a view over to Pendle Hill.
The War Memorial commands a view over to Pendle Hill.
Snowdrops. Yay. :)
Snowdrops. Yay. 🙂

If you would like to take part in the Take Twelve Trips Challenge head over to Claire’s Blog at http://www.needanotherholiday.com or check out #take12trips on Twitter. 🙂

Leeds and Saltaire.

Well i’ve been participating in the #take12trips challenge for a few months now. The idea was thought up by Clare over at Need Another Holiday as a way of encouraging folk to travel somewhere new every month over 12 months. And you don’t have to travel far.Often places on your own doorstep are worth a visit. So far I have blogged about a nature reserve off the motorway and a quirky tea rooms in Manchester amongst other things.
If you fancy joining in head over to twitter and have a nosy at #take12trips.
This month I am posting about my recent trip to Leeds and Saltaire with my boyfriend. Back in September we discovered that a singer we both like ‘Newton Faulkner’ would be performing at the 02 academy in Leeds in February. Well Feb is here and at the wknd we went to see him, having decided that we may as well stop over in this vibrant Yorkshire City.

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Our Hotel.

We booked a room in the Radisson Blu hotel in the city centre. Unknown to us the hotel was literally 2 mins walk to the venue. Result!  Our room was a standard double at a very reasonable rate £68 ( room only) with all the usual facilities you would expect such as crisp white bed linen, tv,kettle,free safe,free wifi and a lovely powerful hot shower in the bathroom.

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Our room with a cylinder shaped wardrobe.

The hotels interior is decorated in an art deco style which gives the welcoming lounge and dining area a sophisticated air.

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Dining room.

Its quite handy that the Radisson Blu is part of the The Light Complex which also features a Vue Cinema and several chain eateries such as Cafe Rouge, Nando’s and Browns Restaurant. So no shortage of places extremely close by to grab a bite to eat.

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Victoria Shopping Arcade.

We arrived just before noon but still found we could check in ( another result! ) so we soon headed into town for a nosy round the shops, interspersed with a few drinks in several pubs. 🙂

Leeds is a great city for shopping and culture. I’m afraid I didn’t really have my bloggers head on in the afternoon ( I was to busy relaxing and enjoying the company of my other half! ) so the only pictures I took are of the impressive Town Hall ( future scene of the Tour De France Grand Depart 2014) and a romantic valentine Hearts Wall.
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In the evening after some rather nice food at Cafe Rouge we headed up to the 02 Academy for the gig. I don’t know if you’ve ever heard Newton Faulkner but it was an amazing concert. We were so chuffed to finally see him!

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Newton. 🙂

The next morning we decided to buy breakfast in the hotel which was quite reasonably priced for a hotel~ £8 each for a cooked breakfast. At checkout we got a discount for parking in The Light car park so instead of £18 we paid £13. This did bring the price up of our night away just a tad but not to worry !

About half an hours drive from Leeds is Saltaire Village which is named after Sir Titus Salt who built a textile mill and the village to house its workers in the 1800s. It is now a UNESCO world Heritage site and people still live here today. Salt Mill houses a Hackney exhibition and a fab book shop, restaurant and large spaces for contempary home wear and furniture.

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Salt Mill.

As it was actually sunny on Sunday morning we had a pleasant but bracing stroll round the park that Sir Titus created, had a wander up Victoria Rd where there were a couple of vintage shops 🙂 and had a lovely lunch in the Don’t Tell Titus cafe. Here are some pics. 🙂

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Hello There!
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Salt Lion.
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Roberts Park and the River Aire.
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Swanning about.
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Vintage Delights. 🙂
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Don't tell Titus

Have you ever been to Leeds or Saltaire?

Richmond Tea Rooms ~~ Manchester.

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If you happen to be indulging in a touch of retail therapy in Manchester City Centre and you suddenly find yourself in need of a lovely cup of tea and a sublime slice of cake………then I know just the place to go. The decadently decorated Richmond Tea Rooms are situated just a few minutes walk from Piccadilly Gardens. Head for the brightly coloured flags of The Village and they can be found hidden up an unassuming side street in
between Bloom St and Canal St. Don’t be surprised if you catch a glimpse of the White Rabbit from Alice In Wonderland hurrying in the same direction. 🙂

Tea cups galore.
Tea cups galore.

Once inside you do kind of feel like Alice when she fell down the rabbit hole. The tea rooms are brimming with pictures and curio’s inspired by Lewis Carroll’s beloved tale. Eat Me and Drink me are written above the counter. Glass bowls of beautiful hydrangeas and hyacinths adorn the window sills.

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My friends and I were seated at a little table to the side of the counter by a friendly member of staff as it was very busy just before mid day on a Saturday. We all decided that a lunch of sandwiches, tea and cakes would be just the thing. I opted for tasty honey roast ham as my sandwiches filling and a tall glass of refreshing Iced Tea. Gill ordered the same with a pot of rose petal tea and Arwen decided on salmon & cream cheese sandwiches. All were served on pretty vintage crockery.

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Arwen and Gill.
Arwen and Gill.

We had spied the tempting looking cake display when we walked in so it was impossible to resist its allure. 😉

Fabulous Cakes.
Fabulous Cakes.

I loved my Opulent Oreo Cheese Cake topped with strawberries. Gill enjoyed hers too and Arwen was impressed with her slice of Boston Cream Cake. Mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm mmmmmmmmm.

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Ladies that Lunch.
Ladies that Lunch.

As you can probably guess I could have stopped there all day drinking in the quirky atmosphere and trying out all those deliciously decadent cake creations. There was hitting the shops to be done however! Just before we left a tea party of Alice’s sat down at a table near the window. I managed to take a sneaky pic . They all looked the part. 🙂

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I’ve written this post as January’s entry in the #take12trips challenge.

Winter walk round Brockholes Nature Reserve.

Brockholes floating visitor centre.
Brockholes floating visitor centre.

I recently realized Its very nearly the end of December and I hadn’t posted a #take12trips entry for this month. Yikes! Clare from Need Another Holiday started the idea off in the bloggersphere ~ encouraging other bloggers to get up off their behinds and visit one new place each month and write a little about it. Well as I absolutely need to get off mine ( totally over indulged this Christmas! ) I persuaded Wil that a good walk in the countryside was in order. We drove to Brockholes nature reserve just off junction 31 of the M6 near Preston. I have been here before as the amazing floating visitor centre has hosted the odd farmers market and craft fair. But today was all about the fresh air and wildlife. We picked up a free map from the interactive welcome centre and set off to walk the route round the various lakes, ponds and marshes that have become home to all sorts of wild fowl.

Swan in the reeds.
Swan in the reeds.
Canada Goose.
Canada Goose.
If you go down in the woods today.
If you go down in the woods today.
I spy a church.
I spy a church.
Translucent red berries.
Translucent red berries.
Water birds.
Water birds.
a spot of lunch in the restaurant.
a spot of lunch in the restaurant.
Geese.
Geese.
Bull rushes.
Bull rushes.
Heron.
Heron.
Coot.
Coot.
Another view of the floating visitor centre.
Another view of the floating visitor centre.
Lapwing  :)
Lapwing 🙂

There are various hides along the route if you want to spend more time watching the birds. And if you enjoy cycling the Preston Wheel Cycle Way also takes in the scenery here. The beautiful floating visitor centre has a waterside restaurant with a toasty wood burning stove and there are two gift shops on site. So if you want to experience the Lancashire great outdoors just off the motorway , this might be the place to come. 🙂

My Birthday Night Away in Manchester.

Malmaison Hotel.
Malmaison Hotel.

I thought for my November #take12trips post I would show you some pictures from my surprise Birthday trip to Manchester. 🙂

My good friend Becky arranged everything. I have been thoroughly spoiled!

Our transport to Manchester was a stretch  Limo. We had champagne!
Our transport to Manchester was a stretch Limo. We had champagne!
Our destination was the Malmaison Hotel, Piccadilly. Here is the bar area.
Our destination was the Malmaison Hotel, Piccadilly. Here is the bar area.
our comfy bed. :)
our comfy bed. 🙂
Cocktails at the Malmaison.
Cocktails at the Malmaison.
Before each segment of the trip I had to open an envelope with a clue about what we were doing next!
Before each segment of the trip I had to open an envelope with a clue about what we were doing next!
We had dinner at Opus One in the Radisson, Peter st. Check out the giant chess pieces.
We had dinner at Opus One in the Radisson, Peter st. Check out the giant chess pieces.
The Pre-theatre Dinner Menu.
The Pre-theatre Dinner Menu.
My yummy starter ~ crab spring rolls with sweet chilli and garlic.
My yummy starter ~ crab spring rolls with sweet chilli and garlic.

The Menu was of course one big clue. We went to see a musical at the Opera House. 🙂

Here we are after the Show.
Here we are after the Show.

Singin In The Rain has recently opened at the Opera House which is just round the corner from the restaurant. It was an amazing show , complete with lots of splashing of the audience. Take your brolly if your seated in the first few rows.

On Saturday we had a lovely continental breakfast then spent most of the day exploring the Christmas markets and drinking hot mugs of gluhwein. The markets are well worth a visit as they are very festive and brimming full of unusual foods and gifts.

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Thanks to Becky for arranging such an amazing weekend. It was fantastic. :))

Art Nouveau and more in Glasgow.

Was recently looking through my vast collection of photos ~ yes I am that girl who refuses to give up the pleasure of sticking physical photos in actual albums ( as well as backing them up on the pc 🙂 ), when I came accross some snapshots of a trip to Glasgow we took a couple of years ago. Have you ever visited? I was definatly an Edinburgh enthusiast ( and still am ) when it comes to Scotlands cities so it came as a surprise that I enjoyed Glasgow as much as I did. Brimming with beautiful architecture ( Charles Rennie Mackintosh studied, taught and designed here),museums, galleries, shopping and restaurants its a culture vultures heaven. I wish we had time to see more but we did manage to take in The Peoples Palace, The Kelvingrove Museum, The Lighthouse Gallery and The Glasgow School of Art.
The hop on and off buses are a great way of seeing Scotlands largest city.
Enjoy the pics. 🙂

The People's Palace.
The People’s Palace.
The Winter Gardens at The People's Palace.
The Winter Gardens at The People’s Palace.
Scotties :)
Scotties 🙂
.Art Deco building
.Art Deco building
Dramatic welcome in the Kelvingrove.
Dramatic welcome in the Kelvingrove.
Art in the Kelvingrove.
Art in the Kelvingrove.
Look Up !
Look Up !
Sign for The Willow TeaRoom.
Sign for The Willow TeaRoom.
The Glasgow School Of Art.
The Glasgow School Of Art.
School Of Art Sign.
School Of Art Sign.
Mackintosh Chair.
Mackintosh Chair.
Spiral staircase in The Lighthouse Gallery.
Spiral staircase in The Lighthouse Gallery.

Speeking of trips I have decided to take part in a bit of a challenge ! I was reading a great blog entry on Is That You Darling where Janey who writes the blog shared her day out at the seaside ( most beautiful pictures of beach huts, rainbows and big skies ❤ ) as part of the #take12trips challenge. Take 12 Trips was thought up by Clare at Need Another Holiday. The idea is simple. Visit somewhere new once a month and blog about it ! It could be a break away , a day trip or an afternoon in a place on your doorstep you’ve never taken the time to discover. The good news is you can start whenever you like so If you fancy a go yourself link up to other bloggers on twitter at #take12trips. I’m going to begin the challenge later this month !