So the 75th Cannes Film Festival will soon be under way. All the glitz, the glamour, the Red Carpet, the film stars dressed in their finery…
This year Tom Cruise will take the centre stage with his eagerly anticipated new Top Gun Film. I am definitely up for watching it. 🙂
Well quite a few years ago I was actually in Canne on a festival day. So I thought I would try and reblog my post again. I already have once in 2014! Not sure that reblogging is a thing now though but WordPress has let me share it below.
During the same holiday we were also in Monte Carlo whilst the Grand Prix was on. My claim to fame ( according to Wil and our friend Andy, I never even noticed ! ) was almost being run over by Lewis Hamilton on a scooter, whilst trying to take a photo!
Click on the link to see my post of the 62nd Canne Film Festival.
It’s a wrap! April is over and here’s what I’ve got up to….
READING. Again I have turned into a real slow coach on the reading front. I downloaded Amanda Marks memoir of her time driving around Africa in a truck for an adventure holiday company. Tiny Amanda worked in finance and after a mugging by a gang of school kids, she decides things have got to change! I am dipping in and out of this book and enjoying finding out about Amanda’s travels and whether she does indeed, find her inner lion 🦁.
WATCHING. Lots! Here are some shows I’ve enjoyed watching in April.
Derry Girls ~ Ongoing on Channel 4 and All 4. Hilarious comedy about five teens attending a Catholic school for girls during the troubles in nineties Northern Ireland. ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Hacks ~ Amazon Prime. An old pro Comedienne and a disgraced young comedy writer team up in this clever slow burner comedy drama. ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
The Thief, His Wife And The Canoe. ITV Hub. The bizarre true story of a man who faked his own death to claim the insurance money, whilst continuing to live in the house next door. ⭐⭐⭐⭐
Killing Eve ~ BBC I Player. It’s officially finished! The serial killing shenanigans of Villianelle take a backseat as the characters get their emotive…. and explosive endings. ⭐⭐⭐⭐
Anatomy Of A Scandal ~ Netflix. Timely courtroom drama about a seemingly happily married politician put on trial for scandalous behaviour. ⭐⭐⭐⭐
Life After Life ~ BBC I Player. Be prepared with your hankies if you watch this incredibly emotional war time drama. Ursula, a girl with an incredible sense of deja vu navigates the pitfalls of her life, again and again and again. Don’t think I will ever be able to look at silently falling snowflakes in the same way. ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
What have you been watching recently? Any recommendations?
EATING. Finally went out for a meal to a popular little bistro in Clitheroe, and my, the food was delicious! See above.
FILMING. Ok I have not actually been filming anything, but Clitheroe was taken over by a film crew for two weeks in April. Along with London and Athens, Clitheroe is one of the locations for new Rom Com Greatest Days ! The movie is about a group of Take That Fans navigating their lives, through the nineties until now. To a Take That Soundtrack. The town was rife with rumours that Gary, Mark and co would actually make an appearance. They will no doubt show up on location in Athens 😉 instead.
So what’s it like when your home town becomes a film set? At first I sought out the action, accidentally on purpose walking Hugo where I thought the filming might be taking place. But soon I couldn’t avoid it. Bursts of Never Forget and Could it Be Magic greeted us wherever we went. Oneday I popped to the market, only to find that nothing was for sale, the stalls had been paid to open as film props. Wil was surprised when a new hardware shop appeared , then disappeared a couple of days later. I bet all the Nineties shop signage did confuse a few people. 😀
Greatest Days will be out in 2023 !
WALKS & Wainwrights. A favourite walk of mine that I did in April was a circuit of Derwent Water near Keswick with my sister & family. I also huffed up a couple of hills. Dodd Fell above ( see exciting exploring collage) and my favourately named fell Binsey, which really should become the moniker of my next pet. What a cute name. 😘
ENJOYING.Spring Blossom ~ My local town is adundant with beautiful blossom at the moment. Gorgeous! Which is your favourite ?
Discovering New To Us Places ~ Alston is only 20 minutes drive from the caravan ,but we haven’t spent as much time there as another nearby town, Penrith. We’ve been trying to remedy that recently! Surrounded by wild moorland, Alston is known as the highest Market town in England.With cobbles and a market cross, I love this description I found online via Sally’s Cottages Guide To Alston ~ Alston is Steep, Unique and chock-full of charm ! Here’s my mini guide to my own personal favourite bits of Alston so far…….
Alston Wholefoods ~ Ethical Grocers and Delicatessen, famous for their large stock of cheeses.
Mellow Yellow ~ Aladdins Cave of clothes, accessories and gifts.
Hi Pennine Outdoor Shop ~ Outdoor clothing, equipment, maps and giftware.
Once Upon A Time ~ Eclectic Second hand book shop situated in The Alston Emporium.
Saddlers Bakery Bistro ~ Contemporary cafe and craft bakery.
Turks Head Pub ~ Cosy traditional drinkers pub with open fires, Real Ales and dog friendly.
The High Plaice ~ Popular Fish & Chips.
South Tynedale Railway ~ Charming Narrow Gauge Railway to nearby Slaggyford. Run by friendly volunteers. Lovely newly renovated cafe on the platform too.
A favourite walk of mine in the Lake District is the circuit around beautiful Derwent Water. Although 10 Mile long, this hike is mostly low level and if you keep the lake in sight, you can’t really get lost. 🙂 And there’s so much to see, it’s stunning in any weather. Here’s aLink to a map of the route.
I joined my sister, niece and nephew for this walk, we did the route anti clockwise, starting from the small free car parking area by Portinscale Suspension Bridge. We passed through the waterside village of Portinscale and found the path to the lake.
The Lingholm Estate on the shores of Derwent Water surrounds a grand Victorian House where the family of Beatrix Potter would spend their holidays. The garden where the Walled Garden is now inspired Beatrix’s ‘ The Tale Of Peter Rabbit ‘.
A Wooden Hand Sculpture ‘ Entrust ‘ can be found at Brandelhow Park. The Sculpture commemorate s the centenary of The National Trusts first land purchase in 2002. But recent storms seem to have moved the hands from their original position. I susoect they might be seen floating away in the future….
Aw look it’s ‘ Teddy In The Window ‘ a popular landmark on the lakeside path. The unclaimed Teddy Bear gets sent postcards, letters and photos from all over the world. He raises money too for lots of good causes. We stopped to say Hi.
The Chinese Bridge that spans The River Derwent is a great spot for playing poohsticks. In fact there is even an extract from A A Milne’s Christopher Robin underfoot.
The Centenary Stones are another National Trust Sculpture. These are found at Calfclose Bay. Nearby is a bench with a lovely view over the Lake, a bit too wet for us to sit on though.
At Keswick we made a detour into Hope Park to see the bronze statue of Max The Miracle Dog, who had sadly passed away the day before aged 14 and a half. Max was a very special Springer Spaniel therapy dog who raised alot of money for various charities and brought alot of happiness to alot of People. The orange coloured flowers are a tribute to the orange collar he always wore. 🧡🧡
It had been a soggy but very enjoyable walk. Well worth doing. Thanks for joining me.🥾
So I do love a bit of online research, especially if it involves finding a gorgeous place to stay. I am lucky enough to live in a beautiful corner of Lancashire called The Ribble Valley ,famed for its lush green countryside and picture postcard villages. If I was a tourist in my own town, I think I would look to one of these lovely destinations for a couple of nights away. In fact my suitcase is already packed!
Coach & Horses, Bolton By Bowland. The Cinderella in me is always totally charmed whenever I see this lovely old coaching Inn with its pumpkin coach sign. Award winning food, micro brewery and seven stunning rooms complete with molten brown toiletries, bathrobes and coffee machines are features of a stay here. The village of Bolton By Bowland itself is very picturesque with two attractive greens, a tea shop and lots of countryside walks nearby. Dog friendly. coachandhorsesribblevalley.co.uk If you like the area The White Bull Inn at Gisburn is another option.
Nancroft Cottage, Mearley. Now you could say I’m biased , my cousin’s own this delightful holiday cottage. But my goodness they’ve really gone the extra mile to make Nancroft a welcoming place to stay. This 18th Century farmhouse sleeps 8 , has two bathrooms, a boot room, a wood burning stove , enclosed garden and lots of lovely home comforts. It’s located in the tiny hamlet of Mearley at the foot of mystical Pendle Hill. You feel remote here but are only a short drive into the bustling market town of Clitheroe with its Castle and other attractions. Two pubs are within walking distance. Dogs Welcome . Cottages.Com. Also nearby ~ The Chicken Shed At Knowle Top is a romantic retreat with panoramic views.
Ribble Valley Retreat, Langho. Fancy stopping in a beautiful Bell Tent in the lovely Ribble Valley countryside? These luxurious hideaways are tucked away on a working farm in Langho. I’m smitten! The tents have the most gorgeous interiors and also come with their own fire pits, bbqs and picnic benches. BBQ Packs and Breakfast Baskets are optional extras. The retreat is handily situated near the train station so short trips into nearby Whalley and Clitheroe are a must. Ribblevalleyretreat.co.uk If you enjoy glamping check out Wigwam Holidays , also in Langho.
Spinning Block Hotel At Holmes Mill, Clitheroe. If you prefer to be at the centre of things then this stylish hotel in a bustling former mill will be right up your street. There’s plenty here to entertain including a Food Hall, Bistro Restaurant, Beer Hall ( hosting one of the longest bars in Britain) and an Everyman Cinema. The hotels 39 rooms have a rustic yet luxurious feel and Beercations and Drink It Dry evenings are popular. Clitheroe itself has a wealth of independent shops, cafes and bars to explore. Holmesmill.co.uk The Spinning Block is just one of a selection of James Places Hotels in the area.
St Leonard’s Church, Old Langho. Now for something a little different. Have you ever thought about Champing? That’s Camping in a church by the way. Now I would love to do this, but my friends and family seem a little reluctant. I say , embrace the Quirky, it’s an Adventure! The Champing price includes the provision of Camp Beds, Chairs, Lanterns, Tea & Coffee making facilities and a loo! St Leonard’s is a pretty little church with some ornate features. There’s a lovely pub very close by and this could be an ideal base for exploring The Tolkien Trail, the scenic Ribble Valley did inspire Middle Earth you know. Dogs Welcome. Champing.co.ukTraditional Campsite options are numerous in the Ribble Valley. Angram Green Campsite between Worston and Downham is situated near where Whistle Down The Wind was filmed.
The Lawrence Hotel ~ Padiham. Were right on the edge of the Ribble Valley here, but I cannot resist including this elegant Boutique hotel in picturesque Padiham. The 14 design led rooms range from Snug to Suite and include handy luxuries such as Rainfall Showers, Fluffy Bathrobes and Alexas. There’s an in house no rush restaurant with some lovely looking menus ~ the afternoon tea one looks particularly divine. Take your time to explore the area, Pendle Hill, NT Gawthorpe Hall and The Singing Ringing Tree should be on your itinerary. Dogs Welcome. the Lawrence hotel.co.ukFeeling flush ~ why not try a gourmet break at Michelin Star Northcote Manor in Langho.
The Red Pump Inn ~ Bashall Eaves. I do love a welcoming country Inn and my little corner of Lancashire has plenty of them. The Red Pump at Bashall has a popular steakhouse, cosy real ale bar and eight chic French inspired bedrooms. And that’s not all. Further fabulous accommodation at the Red Pump comes in the form of several glamping yurts and shepherd huts. Nearby attractions include Bowland Wild Boar Park and Browsholme Hall. Dog Friendly. Redpumpinn.co.ukOther lovely country inns in the area include The Inn at Whitewell and The Higher Buck at Waddington.
Hedgerow Luxury Glamping ~ Newsholme. The adults only luxury pods on this gorgeous glamping site all come with their own private patio and hot tub. Each are individually styled and include fabulous touches such as Blue Tooth Speakers, Underfloor Heating and Rainforest Showers. If you can bare to leave your pod there are beautiful communal areas too including a firepit cabin and artisan store. Get to know the other residents at Hedgerow, there are chickens, alpaca, Swiss sheep and Highland Cows! And your base here is on the Lancashire/Yorkshire border, so plenty to explore. Hedgerowluxuryglamping.com Just over the border Peaks & Pods also provide glamping pods with hot tubs.
Otter’s Rest ~ Clitheroe. Let’s finish with a secret hideaway in Clitheroe, so secret I’m not quite sure of where it is… Doesn’t it look idyllic. This award nominated Eco House sits by the waterside, somewhere near Primrose Nature Reserve. Inside the lodge is cosy and stylish and completely in tune with its woodland surroundings. I love that there are two terraces where you can sit , relax and enjoy the tranquil sound of the babbling brook. There is definitely a good chance of seeing Kingfisher, Dippers or maybe even a shy Otter. And your only ten minutes walk into Clitheroe’s bustling town centre. Airbnb Pendle View Holiday Lodge at nearby Barrow also has an enviable waterside location.
Hope you like my Ten Choices for Lovely Places to Stay in the Ribble Valley.
Of course there are many many more too! It’s a wonderful area to explore.
Where would you choose to stay in the Ribble Valley? Have you any recommendations?
Today I am blogging about our second home, our bolt hole ~ The village of Melmerby in Cumbria’s Eden Valley.
You may be forgiven for thinking that the sleepy Eden Valley village of Melmerby doesn’t have that much to do for the discerning Holiday Maker. But times, they are a changing. 2022 is looking good as established businesses are back on their feet and welcoming visitors once again. I have found ten things you can experience whilst stopping in Melmerby, without starting up your car. So relax and Enjoy. 🥰
Head To The Local. A Village doesn’t feel like a village unless it has a local pub. Luckily Melmerby does have a lovely local , which also serves pretty decent food too. The Shepherds Inn usually has at least three Real Ales on tap and theres a good selection of gins. My favourite spot in the pub is on the sofa by the wood burning stove. Find us there with a tipple, a tapas board and a Labrador by our feet.
Explore The Village Green. My favourite part of Melmerby is it’s huge Village Green. Much of it is kept by the locals as a Wildflower Meadow, which proves popular with a variety of insects and butterflies. In March Daffodils dance in the breeze and in late Summer/ Autumn ,colourful waxcaps appear in the grass. Theres a small pitch for a game of football and a Swing from which to admire the view. Look out for an Andy Goldsworthy Sheepfold sculpture by the beck.
Walk To A Nearby Pub. If you fancy a Pub Walk, then a nice idea ( one that we have yet to try! ) would be to walk to the nearby village of Ousby and enjoy a pint at The Fox 🦊 Inn , which is opposite the Caravan Park there. Hopefully I will get around to doing this in 2022!
Get Up Close and Personal withAdorable Llamas. Happy days for Melmerby visitors! Lakeland Llama Treks have relocated to the village and it is an adorable sight seeing these beautiful pack animals being exercised on the green. I have been on two Llama treks with them in the past and I would love to walk with llamas again. A mini Llama Trek lasts an hour and is £25 per person.
Animal Encounters. Lakeland Llama Treks are also offering Animal Encounters at their new home ‘ Ravenstone Country Manor’ in Melmerby . I am dying to get here for a nosy. 😋 I am not entirely sure which animals are involved but the website does mention rabbits, llamas and Shetland ponies. £15 per person.
Book The Indoor Swimming Pool. Hurrah, Melmerbys own private Indoor Swimming Pool has reopened its doors once again for 2022. The Tower House Pool looks perfect for small groups to hire ( no more than 8) at a charge of £30 for an hour and a further £5 to book the sauna too.
Get Your Walking Boots On. Yes Melmerby literally sits at the foot of Melmerby Fell, one of a range of North Pennine Summits you can bag on a walk from the village. Well worth the hike for views of the better known Lake District Fells and a chance to walk part of The Maiden Way, an old Roman Road. For lower level walks, there is also a pretty bridle way from Melmerby to the hamlet of Unthank.
Breakfast And Retail Therapy. We often pop to The Old Village Bakery for breakfast. It’s lovely inside and has a pleasant outdoor seating area too. Serving breakfast, lunch and a scrumptious selection of home baked cakes, the bakery also has an alcohol liscence, so is a good day time alternative to the Shepherds Inn. Upstairs you will find boutique clothing and accessories, whilst alongside the cafe are homewares, greeting cards and foodie gifts. Happy Shopping.
Relaxing Spa Day. I think I could quite happily relax in the hot tub above with a glass of wine , whilst gazing out at the lovable llamas in the next field. Ravenstone Country Manor in Melmerby offers four hour private spa sessions for small groups that include a treatment and Afternoon Tea in the Orangerie. Ooh La La.
Wanderlust Horse & Cart Day. Melmerby has a long association with the travellers who stop off here ( at the Village Green) every year on route to Appleby’s famous Horse Fair. Along the Bridle Path to nearby Gamblesby and Unthank, it is not uncommon to see one particular Romany Wagon all year round. Wanderlust Gipsy Caravans specialize in horsedrawn holidays , stopping over at peaceful camping spots along the way. They also offer Horse & Cart Days ~ £200 for 4 people, for the day.
Skipton Castle Woods is a lovely place to wander whatever the season. I always seem to be drawn here in the Winter , when it is easier to spot birds busy in the bare branches of this centuries old woodland.
The Woodland is looked after by The Woodland Trust. Eller Beck runs through the valley and Skipton Castle is nearby. You don’t even have to imagine the medieval hunting that went on amongst the shade of ancient oaks. Anna Crosses evocative willow sculptures give you a glimpse of what it was like here all those years ago.
After a saunter around the Woods a Hot Chocolate was a welcome treat. The Chocolate Works on the High Street ( there’s one in Clitheroe too) was a great choice. 🙂
Do you have a favourite woodland you like to have a wander in?
Is it really time for my first Round Up Post of 2021! Before I put this blog together , I had actually forgotten that I have seen quite a selection of wildlife this year. The ending of travel restrictions at home meant holidays in different parts of the UK , therefore different wildlife too. It was so good to spend a week on the Norfolk Coast, where there are an abundance of sea birds such as Avocet and Brent Geese. And of course Seals galore, which are always fun to see ( and hear! ), they do make some funny noises. 😁
Spent quite a bit of time at the caravan too, which has has been a great base for exploring Cumbria and even further North. It was a pleasure to be taken to see a rare Bird’s-eye Primrose by a botany loving lady in Melmerby and to catch a glimpse of Red Squirrels in woodland at Killhope Mining Museum , County Durham.
The best wildlife moments are often those that completely sneek up on you. Like coming across a Sika Deer Stag whilst on a local walk. What an honour…. My personal favourite sighting though might just be that of a Blood Vein Moth. This strange insect was discovered by my niece and nephew in the grass ,whilst we walked in fields near Downham. To see the photo keep scrolling down. Enjoy. ♥️
My vow for next year, is to actually take my Camera out more. Like most people I seem to be relying more on my phone camera, which of course is not good enough to capture that elusive Kingfisher or that cackling Jay.
What wildlife have you been lucky enough to see in 2021? 🤗
My Other Half treated me to the best early Christmas Present this year. A night away in the lovely Yorkshire Dales town of Settle and a gig in its popular Victoria Hall. It was a Sunday and quite a few shops in town were closed but there was still a festive atmosphere about the place. Here are a few photos from our trip.
We stayed at The Golden Lion on Duke Street which is one of those welcoming Yorkshire hostelries with a cosy wood burner and a good Full English breakfast. 🙂
In the evening we went to Sydney’s Tapas Bar & Restaurant for a meal, followed by Peat & Diesel at Settle Victoria Hall which amazingly is the World’s oldest surviving Music Hall.
The next morning we had a leisurely lie in ( for us!) followed by breakfast at the pub. Then there was a small detour on the way home……
It was absolutely pouring it down as we set off back. Still time for a quick visit to award winning Cheese Monger The Courtyard Dairy to finish off our trip. Cheese was tasted and cheese was bought. 😁
So here’s a throwback post to August and our stay in Arnside on the Cumbrian Coast. A short train journey away is the characterful town of Ulverston, a place we have visited several times before. The towns cobbled streets and plethora of independent shops, cafes and pubs make it a great destination for generally mooching about. After a ‘ mooch about’ we would be heading along the World’s Shortest, Deepest and Widest Canal, for a walk to the Sea.
The morning we visited Ulverston it was exhibiting typical Lake District weather! To escape the rain we spent a good hour or so in the towns Laurel and Hardy Museum. Stan Laurel was born in Ulverston in 1890 and must surely be it’s most famous resident. The museum has a good selection of the comedy duos memorabilia, as well as a small cinema that plays Laurel & Hardy features on a loop. Our dog Hugo was made welcome and humoured us as we chuckled our way around. 😊
After a lovely lunch at the nearby Stan Laurel Inn we were suitably refreshed for a canal side walk. Ulverston Canal is a former Ship Canal which linked Ulverston to Morecambe Bay, one and a half miles away. Completed in 1796 ,the waterway claimed to be the shortest , deepest, widest …… and straightest Canal in the World. Once upon a time passenger ships to Scotland and London embarked from here as well as cargos of local slate. But when the Railway arrived in Ulverston in the 1840s, the record breaking Canals fortunes were on the wane. By the end of the Second World War Ulverston Canal was no longer in use.
Today the waterway offers a serene amble from Canal Head in the town to Canal Foot with its splendid views over Morecambe Bay. A footpath on the less industrial side of the canal is a popular stroll. There’s even a pub at the end. An incentive indeed!
We saw lots of wildlife as we walked along. Plenty of waterside wildflowers and much of the surface was covered in Lily pads. Mute Swans, Comerants, Moor hens and Mallards swam and dived amongst them.
Half way along Ulverston Canal is a Rolling Bridge, the only one of its kind left in England. Forgotten about for many years , it was a history enthusiast who discovered the significance of the bridge and it was given Grade ll status in 2012.
Before long we were at Hammerside Point , Canal Foot. Here the former Ship Canal meets the Leven Estuary. What a splendidly unexpected place…
For some reason I forgot to take a photo of The Bay Horse Hotel from the outside ,so below is a distant one I found online. The former Coaching Inn enjoys stunning views over the Bay. Once upon a time it was from here that brave travellers would make the perilous journey by stage coach, over the sands to Lancaster. The arrival of the Railway probably saved a lot of lives!
After a drink in the pub we retraced our steps back to Ulverston. On the way an unassuming wooden shed near the Lock Keepers Cottage peeked my interest, especially when I saw its ‘ Welcome Humans ‘ sign?
Whilst looking it up online later, I discovered that the Shed is part of an interactive Art Installation Project called the Last Human Coro Shed . Perhaps not what you would expect to see where a canal meets the sea…..
It was a certain Black Labradors 7th birthday at the weekend. Hugo enjoys opening his own presents. Tearing off the wrapping paper and shredding it into little pieces is all part of the fun. 🙂
To avoid the Bank Holiday crowds on Saturday we headed over the border into County Durham , another county within half an hour’s drive from the caravan.
Our first destination was Cow Green Reservoir , the water of which shone a stunning topaz blue. From here we walked to the nearby Cauldron Snout Cascade, one of the longest waterfalls in England. There were a few walkers doing the Pennine Way, but mostly we had the place to ourselves.
After eating a picnic lunch looking out over the water we decided to drive to nearby Killhope Lead Mining Museum in Upper Weardale. We didn’t do the underground mine tour but did spend a good couple of hours exploring the overground.
Up until the 12th of September there are five large billboards to find outdoors, as part of The Architect Of Ruins Exhibition by Steve Messam. They look particularly striking against the rural/industrial backdrop. I was also delighted to see several Red Squirrels from the Hide in the Woodland. Dogs are welcome at Killhope and the attraction is currently free!
On Sunday we headed to Allonby , a favourite beach of ours for walks with Hugo. On the way we called in at a farm that had opened their Sunflower 🌻 field up for charity. It was amazing to see all those golden flower heads waving in the breeze.
Before we set off home on Monday we took Hugo for a walk in the grounds of Acorn Bank at nearby Temple Sowerby. The gardens, grounds and water mill are open to the public and owned by the National Trust. There are some lovely Woodland walks here, perfect for wildlife spotting and walking the hound. 🙂
It was a bit of an action packed bank holiday weekend. Hopefully Hugo enjoyed his birthday. And thank you to my wonderful other half for driving. He’s definitely a good un. 😁
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