Category Archives: #take12trips

Paris is always a good Idea. :)

When my other half decided we should go to Paris to see the end of a certain bicycle race , who was I to object! ย Somehow I had gotten through 40 years without visiting this iconic city. I dreamt of picnicking under the ย Eiffel tower and gazing upon the Mona Lisa’s enigmatic smile. ๐Ÿ™‚

We arrived in the French Capital on a very hot and stuffy Friday afternoon, having amazingly managed to master the railway and metro to our bijou studio apartment in the Levallois Perret district of North West Paris. We booked it throughย airbnbย , a really useful site , where people list ย roomsย andย apartments to let all over the world. It cost us ยฃ48 per night for four nights , which was very reasonable I thought.

ย The nearest famous landmark to us was The Arc de Triomphe , about 25 mins walk away. But mostly we travelled on the metro which was so handy, quick and easy to use. ย Here are a few photo’s from our trip. I’m sure I will devote a few more posts to places in Paris we were fortunate enough to visit. There is also much we didn’t get round to seeing. So I need to return! ย After all ย ~ ย Paris is always a good idea. ๐Ÿ™‚

Inside our cozy and compact basement apartment.
Inside our cozy and compact basement apartment.
Arc De Triomphe.
Arc De Triomphe. We actually paid to climb to the top ~ the views are amazing.
The Eiffel Tower ,from the top of the Arc de Triomphe.
The Eiffel Tower from the top of the Arc de Triomphe.
I found a vintage carousel by the Eiffel tower. There is also another just over the river by the avenue de new york.
I found a vintage carousel by the Eiffel tower. There is also another just over the river by the avenue de new york.
Of course I had to have a go.:)
Of course I had to have a go.:)
Ferris wheel in the Jardin de tuileries.
Ferris wheel in the Jardin de tuileries.
Musee de la chasse et de la nature in the Marais district.
Musee de la chasse et de la nature in the Marais district. An interesting visit.
I went all crazy cat lady and dragged Wil to a cat cafe.
I went all crazy cat lady and dragged Wil to a cat cafe. ^^
A very content occupant of Le Cafe des Chats.
A very content occupant of Le Cafe des Chats.
Part of the crazy colourful Caravan of the Tour de France on Sunday.
Part of the crazy colourful Caravan of the Tour de France on Sunday.
The French version of the Red Arrows flew over Paris on the race day.
The French version of the Red Arrows flew over Paris on the race day.
The tour winner in the yellow jersey ~ Nibali.
The tour winner in the yellow jersey ~ Nibali.
Basilica of the Sacre Coeur. well worth the climb.
Basilica of the Sacre Coeur. well worth the climb.
A delicious lemon tart in a cafe ~ Montmartre.
A delicious lemon tart in a cafe ~ Montmartre.
Love locks on the Pont des arts bridge over the river seine.
Lovelocks on the Pont des arts bridge over the river seine.
I found Tiffanys in Paris. Alas it was shut!
I found Tiffanys in Paris. Alas it was shut!
A beautiful blue door in the Marais.
A beautiful blue door in the Marais.
Pavement art stalls by the river.
Pavement art stalls by the river.

I cannot decide which are my favourite highlights from our trip. Having a picnic in the shade of the Eiffel tower, viewing Paris from the top of the Arc de Triomphe, Enjoying the last stage of the Tour, climbing the steps up to the Sacre Coeur. There are so many. Yet there is still so much I’ve yet to see. Theres only one thing for it, I will have to go back……..Paris really is a good idea. ๐Ÿ™‚

This was July’s post for the #take12trips challenge organized by Clare at Need Another Holiday. ๐Ÿ™‚

A little Camping trip ~ Appletreewick ( Yorkshire Dales).

Happy Campers. :)
Happy Campers. ๐Ÿ™‚

Summers here so we thought we would dust down the tent and head for the Yorkshire Dales. We stayed at Howgill lodge campsite about half an hours walk from Appletreewick. Its a little site we have frequented before as it isn’t to far away and the surrounding countryside is gorgeous. And the local pubs in the village aren’t bad either. ๐Ÿ™‚

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Here are some pictures of the Craven Arms which along with the villages other pub, The New Inn, is on the Real Ales Trail. As you can see The Craven has its own homage to the Tour De France which shall be departing from Yorkshire next weekend…
The dish on the right is Wils supper one night ~ pigeon with beetroot rosti and wild mushrooms. Sorry my veggie blogger friends.

Appletreewick has another campsite too called Masons Farm which I love nosying round as it has a vintage airstream van and an old citroen that serves coffee at weekends to the campers. We have stopped here in the past too.

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Got a wee bit of walking in on our trip. The majestic ruins of Bolton Abbey are a two hour stroll along the river. Well worth it. ๐Ÿ™‚

Foxglove.
Foxglove.
Saw lots of these birds on the river. Its a Goosander.
Saw lots of these birds on the river. Its a Goosander.

Birds here fish for Cray fish.There were a few along the river bank.
Birds here fish for Cray fish.There were a few along the river bank.

Scabious.
Scabious.
Common spotted orchids.
Common spotted orchids.

Bolton Abbey.
Bolton Abbey.
Kids can do the Welly walk.
Kids can do the Welly walk.
And big kids !
And big kids !
Good practice before the river stepping stones.
Good practice before the river stepping stones.

Back at the camp site we had our fair share of friendly visitors. Its a haven for wildlife. We saw a Greater Spotted woodpecker and heard a cuckoo every morning and owls hooting every night.

Camping Cat.
Camping Cat.
Chickens roam the camp site.
Chickens roam the camp site.

We also went for a bit of a reccy along the route of the first stage of the tour. If your in Yorkshire in the next few days , you can’t fail to notice how all the villages lining the way are celebrating their inclusion in this iconic event. ๐Ÿ™‚

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So Yorkshire has gone Yellow! Hopefully I will be blogging again about another imminent camping trip very soon, as we are heading for Yorkshire and The King Of The Mountains Festival next weekend. ๐Ÿ™‚

This post is Junes blog in the #ttake12trips challenge.

Visiting family in Cumbria.

As I am currently participating in Clare’s ( from Need Another Holiday ) #take12trips challenge ~ I thought I might as well write about my recent stay with family for my May post.

I travelled up with Wil on Friday and I stopped until Wednesday at my Mums. Wil had to head back to work earlier..Poor thing ! ๐Ÿ˜‰

Some pretty cottages in Askham.
Some pretty cottages in Askham.

Mum, her husband William and my brother Mark live in a little village called Askham which is about 8 miles from the market town of Penrith and 4 miles from Ullswater.

Saturday ~ Headed to Keswick and had a wander round the town and down to the lake, which is called Derwent Water. Tried to persuede everyone to look round Keswicks  Pencil Museum.I am obsessed with visiting ever since it was featured in the hilarious black comedy Siteseers. Have you seen it ?No one seemed enthusiastic! Another time then. ๐Ÿ™‚

Derwent water, Keswick.
Derwent water, Keswick.

In the evening William took us for a ride to the beautiful remote valley of Martindale which is accessed by a steep mountain road. A few remote farms scatter the hillside and there are even two small secluded churches.Hardy Herdwick sheep are grazed here. The views are spectacular.

Remote and beautiful martindale.
Remote and beautiful martindale.

Sunday ~ Just enough time in the morning for a visit to the Alpaca Centre, a few miles away in Stainton. Sourcing all things alpaca the shop is nice to wander round and for a pound you can go see the farms alpacas and miniature sardinian donkeys. Alpaca are bred for their wool and are originally from the plains of North America.

Think I'm in love.
Think I’m in love.

After waving goodbye to the other half Mum, Mark and I had a wander to Lowther Castle which stripped of its interior and gardens, is currently going through a restoration project. The castle is a short walk from Askham village and the site has been home to the Lowther family for 800 years. After the last residing Lord left in 1936 the grounds were planted with hundreds of fir trees and some of these have been felled to reveal fountains, rock gardens and ponds.Work is going on to try and return the place to its former glory. The courtyard has been restored with tea rooms and a gift shop.

The majestic looking Lowther Castle.
The majestic looking Lowther Castle.

Jack Crofts pond and summer house in the grounds. The pond was  used for ice skating on in Victorian times.
Jack Crofts pond and summer house in the grounds. The pond was used for ice skating on in Victorian times.

Never to old for a rope swing!
Never to old for a rope swing!

Monday ~ Headed over the moors to County Durham and had a mooch round Middleton in Teesdale and Barnard Castle, two little market towns. We also visited Eggleston Hall gardens which is really more of a garden center . Mum loves garden centers! Ok I did buy a few plants for my one flower border. ๐Ÿ™‚

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Mini Angel of the north, Eggleston hall gardens.

Tuesday ~ Today Mum and I drove to Talkin Tarn which lies in a country park nine miles east of Carlisle. The lake is a glacial tarn with a 1.3 mile path round it. We had a walk round ( you can hire mountain bikes and rowing boats if you prefer ) and had lunch in the boathouse tearoom looking over the water. Popular with dog walkers too. ๐Ÿ™‚

Talkin tarn.
Talkin tarn.

The lovely thing about Askham is that the fells above the village are home to a herd of fell ponies. Anyone who owns land in Askham apparently have the right to graze two horses on there or twenty sheep. These ponies are hardy
animals and can survive outside in the elements even through winter. They are quite shy though it is possible to pet them.

Cumbrian fell pony.
Cumbrian fell pony.

Wednesday ~ My last day in Cumbria and it poured with rain. I guess we had been lucky to miss it for four days so I didn’t mind to much. In the afternoon Mum took me to a nearby nurseries just down the road in Melkinthorpe. Larch Cottage is a garden center,restaurant and gallery with a difference. The family who own it are very much inspired by the Italian countryside as the nurseries are full of follies and statues and pillars. I took loads of pictures here so I may feature it in a future post.

Larch Cottage.
Larch Cottage.

Larch Cottage.
Larch Cottage.

Finally I will leave you with a photo of one of my brother’s cattle, a belgian blue cross called Bibi who as I took this photo, was attempting to eat my camera.

Bye Bye Bibi.
Bye Bye Bibi.

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. ๐Ÿ™‚

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. ๐Ÿ™‚ 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. ๐Ÿ™‚
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. ๐Ÿ™‚

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. ๐Ÿ™‚ 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. ๐Ÿ™‚ 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. ๐Ÿ™‚

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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. ๐Ÿ™‚

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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. ๐Ÿ˜ฆ 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. ๐Ÿ™‚

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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 ยฃ3-85. 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. ๐Ÿ™‚

The War Memorial commands a view over to Pendle Hill.
The War Memorial commands a view over to Pendle Hill.
Snowdrops. Yay. :)
Snowdrops. Yay. ๐Ÿ™‚

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. ๐Ÿ™‚

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 ยฃ68 ( 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. ๐Ÿ™‚

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. ๐Ÿ™‚

The next morning we decided to buy breakfast in the hotel which was quite reasonably priced for a hotel~ ยฃ8 each for a cooked breakfast. At checkout we got a discount for parking in The Light car park so instead of ยฃ18 we paid ยฃ13. 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 ๐Ÿ™‚ and had a lovely lunch in the Don’t Tell Titus cafe. Here are some pics. ๐Ÿ™‚

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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. ๐Ÿ™‚
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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. ๐Ÿ™‚

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. ๐Ÿ˜‰

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. ๐Ÿ™‚

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