Category Archives: walks

Weekend Wanderings. πŸ₯Ύ

Well it’s been another weekend of walks and wanders. I can’t promise any different blog content really , Im not the crafty or cooking sort and I’ve really slowed down on my reading. Definitely looking forward to a change of scenery, whilst still appreciating how lucky I am to have so many local walks on my doorstep. The grass is always greener hey….

There are a couple of good walks groups on Facebook that I have been following over lockdown. Both have been quite informative and inspiring when it comes to planning where to go.

  • Lancashire Walks With Frank & Lee.
  • Ribble Valley Walking Forum.
Fairy Bridge over Swanside Beck.

One route I found via the forum was a circular walk that can either be started in Sawley or Chatburn. It takes in an old packhorse bridge and the ruins of Sawley Abbey. The Fairy Bridge was so cute. What a beauty. 😊

Hugo takes on the Fairy Bridge.
Pink primrose.
Fresh new garlic leaves.
Sawley Abbey.

A popular Clitheroe walk takes in Brungerley park with the Ribble Valley Sculpture Trail at its heart. Recently some of the art works have had a well needed spruce up and a local community group ‘ The Hawthorn Placers’ have been brightening the walk further with colourful painted slabs. ❀️

Brungerley Park.
Newly cleaned Otter sculpture.
An explosion of White Butterburs.
Kingfisher sculpture.

There are lots of painted slabs to find. Should keep the kids busy in the Easter Holidays. πŸ™‚

Colourful art depicting April Fools Day.
And Easter.

I have started tracking our walks on a free walking app called Relive. It makes handy little map videos of your hikes.

Relive App.

Hope you’ve had a good weekend. 😊

A Wander To Wiswell. 🌼

After studying our O S maps, ( Wil is better at this than me πŸ€—) we found another walk from home, using footpaths we were not previously aware of. For this dear lockdown 3, I am grateful…

We plotted a route to the village of Wiswell and back via Barrow village and Standen Hey community woodland. The weather on Sunday was clear and bright, spring was definitely detected. On our walk we heard woodpeckers drumming, curlews calling and saw buzzards soaring. I noticed a solitary tortoishell butterfly and spied sunny clumps of primroses and celandines.

Heading out of Clitheroe to cross the busy A59.
And on into fields in the shadow of Pendle.
Hugo was happy to find a brook.
Plank bridge.
A huge house, actually newly built.
And into Wiswell village.
Hugo at the watering hole.:)
Wiswell.

Wiswell is a small village that lies at the foot of Wiswell Moor. Pronounced Wizzel, the settlement is possibly named after Old Molly’s Well , which became known as Wise Woman’s Well or Wise Well. We didn’t see the well though. Anyhow we sat and enjoyed a flask of coffee in the village centre a while. A greenfinch merrily chirruped in a nearby Conifer.

Greenfinch. πŸ™‚
The Freemasons public house ~ definitely on our list for future pub walks.
Heading away from Wiswell to Barrow.
Early plum blossom?
Berkins Deli in Barrow.

We got a bit lost in Barrow trying to find footpaths that had been either blocked off or diverted because of new housing development. Eventually we found ourselves on the right track, crossing a train track..

Safely across.
An unsuccessful selfie with Hugo.
Onto a familiar path, the old Roman road and stone cross base.
Community woodland.
Primrose.
Celendines.
Catkins.
Crocuses.
Alpaca πŸ¦™ on the outskirts of Clitheroe.

This walk was a little over 8 miles , started off chilly and ended up quite warm.

Os Explorer Map West Pennine Moors 287.

Bolton- by- Bowland walk. πŸ₯Ύ

The Coach & Horses pub.

It looks as though for a little while longer, local walks are on the cards. Actually I don’t mind too much, we have been discovering more of our beautiful Ribble Valley by way of  dusty walking books, barely ever glanced through before.

The following images are from a route found in a Walks Around Clitheroe publication by Terry Marsh ~ Walk 8 ~ Bolton-by-Bowland.

Bolton-by-Bowland itself is a charmingly pretty village boasting two village greens, a lovely looking pub with a pumpkin coach sign and an attractive church.

Along the surfaced drive of Bolton Park.
Sheep in the parkland. Nearby Bolton Hall was  the ancestral  home of  Sir Ralph Pudsay ,who had 25 children. 😯
Not a captivating photo, but tumbling lapwings ducked and dived over this waterlogged field.
Footbridge over Skirden Beck.
Young bulls after Hague Farm.
Pendle Hill in the distance.
After Rodhill Gate Farm, an ancient highway ascends for some distance.
We are basically walking up a stream. πŸ˜†
A fallen tree provides the perfect rest stop.
Wil waiting for me as usual.
Still heading up the gully.
Wil waiting for me as usual. 😁
Just after this photo, Hugo disturbed a hare in the grass. Not that he tried to chase it. Hugo prefers smelly dead things. Yuck!
We did get lost a bit, then found our way eventually.

Priest Biggins Farm. A do er upper!
Grey Alder Catkins.
Tree Lichen.
I like this sign. There was also a deer statue in the farm yard. Sika Deer live in the area.
Approaching the hamlet of Holden.
Spring colour ~ Crocuses. πŸ™‚
Holden Beck.
We walk along the road a short while, heading back to Bolton by Bowland.
Glorious yellow Winter Aconites.
St Peter & St Paul church.
Stocks on the village green.
A Yew Tree Cottage, with a giant yew tree.
Map of our walk.

I think we will return to Bolton by Bowland , I suspect there is alot more to discover. πŸ₯ΎπŸ‘❀️

Seeking Out Sika Deer. 🦌

Unbeknown to me until recent times , the Gisburne Park estate in Gisburn is home to a herd of Sika Deer. The deer roam free and are wild, they are often spied in the local area. I had never seen one though…until now.

Sika deer were introduced into the UK from the Far East in 1860. And they were brought over to Gisburn from Ireland by Thomas Lister ‘ Lord Ribblesdale’ in the 19th century. The parks fallow deer herd had declined and it was hoped that the Sikas would make good sport. Lord Ribblesdale had a band of buckhounds used for hunting deer. All was looking good , but the imports were having none of it. They didn’t like hanging out in the open, and would make a dash into the trees if disturbed. Soon the Lord’s buckhounds were disbanded and the sika deer became feral. Their descendants roam the estate today.

Entrance lodges.
Fields of sheep.
Snowdrops.

Wandering round Gisburne Park early morning is a delight. Some areas are private but there are public footpaths through the grounds too. All was calm and peaceful and Hugo was able to have some off lead time. We saw several buzzards including one that landed in a tree just metres away and disturbed a long billed bird that flew out from the edge of the woodland into the fields.

A bonnie bridge.
Riverside House.
Hello Hugo.

Most exciting though was coming almost face to face with a stag, one of Lord Ribblesdales Sika Deer descendants! He stood his ground for quite a while, which gave me ample opportunity to take a couple of photos. As we quietly passed, he stamped his hoof and turned into the trees.

Our Sika deer are probably originally descended from Japanese sika deer.
The word sika comes from the Japanese word Shika ~ meaning deer.
Peering through the Catkins.
Handsome chap.

As Sika deer are an introduced species they are not protected wildlife. Their numbers are not encouraged, especially if in an area where there may also be native Red deer, which they sometimes breed with. As far as I’m aware, there are no red deer here so the sika are safe. πŸ™

Gisburne Park mansion, now a private hospital.
Ivy on a stone post.
Daffodils on an old cottage door.

Do you have any deer living locally?

Thanks for dropping by. 🦌

It’s Cold Outside.

Brrrrrr, it’s been so chilly recently, but also as I said in a previous post, perfect walking weather for dogs and shoes. No mud!

I hear the temperatures may be in double figures by Monday. Advantage being new growth willΒ  peep through what is at the moment cold hard earth.

For now some photos of a walk from home around the meadows and lanes of Waddington civil parish.

We find a footpath through fields, off this road signposted Bashall Eaves.

One of a flock of lapwings. Lovely to see. πŸ™‚

A beautiful old house called Bashall Hall.

Bashall Hall buildings and fallen tree.

Hide and sheep.

A cold looking Pendle.

Friendly flock.

Frozen brook.

Icicles. ❄️

Fairy Bridge.

Hazel Catkins.

We settle for a brew and sandwich on a mossy bridge.

Hugo sat nicely ( on ice!) because we are eating and he’s waiting for crumbs.

Heading to Waddington.

Snowdrops in a little wooded area by a stream.


Cold as ice..❄️

Fairy door.

The Lower Buck. An excellent stop off in usual times. They have roaring fires in there.

Once back home, time for a brew and thaw out. ❀️

Enjoy the rest of your weekend.

An Early Morning Clitheroe Route.

I am loving the weather at the moment. Cold and crisp, hard frost and no squelchy mud. Hugo coming home clean and no danger of him shaking dirt all over the house. Bliss!

During the week it’s mostly just Hugo and I on our walks as Wil works full time. I can fit the doogal in round my part time hours and we stick to local routes around the outskirts of Clitheroe. Happily It isn’t very far for us to find some fields and below is one of our usual hikes from home.

Walking past Primrose Nature Reserve.

Teals can be seen over the reserve fence.

We avoid walking up a busy Whalley road by using a shortcut . πŸ™‚

And cross the road into fields.

Kemple End through the trees.

One of my favourite fields. I hope it never gets built on.

Hugo likes it here too.

Obligitary sheep pic. πŸ‘

Tree lined path leading to Four Lane Ends.

Ivy Cottage.

Which way now?

We pass Ivy Cottage with its Wheel bench.

And Opposite is the entrance to a private residence ~ Standen Hall.

Four Lane Ends.

At Standen Bridge I peer down into the brook and spot a Dipper. πŸ™‚

Reflections.

Now this is a new addition, a vandalised caravan. 😦

A nicer new addition. Somebody has hung a few bird feeders along the lane.

A short detour to take this photo of Pendle.

And back to Clitheroe through the fields.

I spy Clitheroe castle. 🏰

Somebody’s watching me.

Heading into town.

Let’s hope this dry cold weather continues πŸ™‚

Downham Walk. πŸ‘

One of Clitheroe’s neighboring villages is Chatburn and from there it’s a pleasant walk into Downham, a picture postcard village used as filming locations in various TV programmes and also in the classic film ‘ Whistle Down The Wind’. Sunday was bitterly cold, so we chose this walk as there are two brew stops, if so desired..

Christ Church, Chatburn. We started the walk from here.

There is a recentish opened enclosed roadside path to Downham. It makes the walk there so much safer.

It passes Greendale , open for takeways again as of the weekend.

Cute sheep. πŸ™‚

Instead of carrying on to Downham we took a detour to Downham Mill, which is down a track on the right,off the road to Rimington. In the past like nearby Twiston Mill , it was a medieval water powered cornmill. Both mills are no longer mills, but do have ponds and millstones.

Downham Mill.

Old Millstone.

It is possible to walk past Downham Mill and over the fields to Twiston. Instead we took a footpath on the right before the mill, which lead us over some hilly fields to the village of Downham.

Hugo having a mad do.

Star on waymarker.

Jelly Ear Fungi.

Pendle Hill with snow covering blends into the white sky.

Downham brook.

The ice-cream shop on Hare Green.

Open for brews, cake, sandwiches….and ice-cream. Brrrrrrrrr!

Sheep doing lunch.

The toilets in the car park were actually open. Yay!

Downham dwellings.

Up at St Leonard’s Church in the village there are nice views of Pendle Hill, still blending into the sky.

Sun dial in the churchyard.

Cemetery snowdrops.

Pendle from the porch.

The Assheton Arms from the churchyard.

Hide and seek sheep.

We walked back to Chatburn , passing this unusual breed of sheep again. Anyone know what they are?

Thanks for dropping by..

Bird Count, Elfcups & Snowdrops.

The weekends activities included the RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch. Hurrah! Something to do, and really quite ideal for lockdown. I must admit though I didn’t have the most exciting hour. My newly filled feeders seemed to be regarded with suspicion by the resident sparrows. Not one bird ventured from the foliage behind the garden shed. What was going on!

Nowt going on at the feeding station.
Female House Sparrow.

I counted 8 sparrows during the sixty minutes I sat glued to the window, camera at the ready. For all that time they mostly stayed hidden in the ivy. Then about five minutes before my hour was up I noticed a much bigger bird had landed in the greenery. It was mostly obscured but I noticed a long speckled tail through the leaves. It wasn’t a pigeon! Then suddenly it flew higher and all was revealed. A sparrowhawk! No wonder my little feathered visitors were staying away from the food. They didn’t intend to be food themselves.

Sorry to say I didn’t get a photo of my raptor visitor. Think I was in shock. 😲 But I have added Sparrowhawk to my birdcount results for the first time ever.

Meanwhile my sister and family were doing the birdcount at the same time as me. I usually join them but unfortunately not this year. πŸ˜” They had a really successful hour with Nuthatch, Long Tailed Tits, Pheasants, Kestrel and a Wren included in the final tally. πŸ™‚

Not all eyes are on the cake!
Long Tailed Tits galore.

After lunch Wil, Hugo and I headed out for a walk from Clitheroe , taking in the fields and River Ribble near Waddow Hall. Plenty of wildlife out this afternoon and an enjoyable 4 mile ramble from home and back.

Scarlet Elf cups.
Scarlet Elf cups.

I was delighted to find some Scarlet Elf Cups, such vibrant pops of colour in the winter landscape. They are also called Red Cups, Moss Cups and Fairies Baths. In folklore Wood Elves drink morning dew from them. Scarlet Elf Cups are most commonly found on mossy decaying branches on the woodland floor.

Robin.
Snowdrops.

I saw plenty of Snowdrops in people’s front gardens today , it was also nice to see some wild ones too. A real sign that Spring is on the way. ❀️

Finger post.
Brungerley Bridge.
Female Goosander.
Male Goosander.

I wouldn’t like to admit to having a favourite water bird ( I love to see them all) , but if you insist, I would probably say the Goosander . I always smile when I see these sawbilled ducks on the river, the female especially with her nut brown quiff . They are super adorable πŸ’–.

Smokey Polypore fungi…maybe.

Thanks for dropping by. Let me know if you have done the Birdwatch, seen Snowdrops or walked anywhere this weekend. πŸ₯ΎπŸ¦

A Walk And A Winter Watchlist.

I stole the list below from BBC Winterwatch, some wildlife which can be seen at this time of year, on a typical Winters day walk in the UK.

  • Singing Robin ~ Easy.
  • Corvid Roost ~ Easy.
  • First Snowdrops ~ Easy.
  • Scent of Gorse flowers ~ Easy.
  • Jelly Ear Fungus ~ Easy.
  • Hazel Catkins ~ Medium.
  • Great Spotted Woodpecker drumming ~ Medium.
  • Overwintering migrant birds gathering ~ Medium.
  • Fox screeching at night ~ Medium.
  • Overwintering insects ~ Medium.
  • Winter Moth ~ Medium.
  • Hair Ice ~ Hard.
  • Mistle Thrush guarding winter berries ~ Hard.
  • Glue crust fungus ~ Hard.

This morning my locality was monochrome! We decided to walk from Clitheroe to Pendleton village and then along the bridle path to Mearley , passing the farmhouse I grew up in and then back home via Worston village. This walk has appeared on my blog before , though never in Winter.

I must admit I was hoping to find a little more snow and early on I wasn’t disappointed. We also spotted a few of the easy to see items on the watchlist too.

Kemple rising above the mist.
Standen.
Jelly Ear Fungus.
Snowy seedhead.

Pendleton lies at the foot of Pendle Hill near the nick of Pendle. Unfortunately it was foggy today so the hill became obscured by the mist after I took the photo below.

Approaching Pendleton.
Pendleton brook.
Swirly hedge.
Red Barn door.
All Saints church.
Red gate.
All the gates seem to be painted red near the village.
Monochrome.
Robin Red Breast.
Snow sheep. πŸ™‚
Mearley hamlet.

I still have relatives in the area and my lovely cousins made us a socially distanced outdoors brew ( a treat indeed! ) which warmed us up for the continuation of our walk.

Rookery.
What Ewe looking at?
Holly.

Believe it or not, this is actually the first Holly I have seen with berries all Winter. The berries are an important sorce of food for birds in the colder months and trees are supposedly a protection against witchcraft. Appropriate in the Pendle countryside, home of the Lancashire witches….

The world is turning green.
Kestrel.
Little Mearley Hall.

As a child I lived in the tenanted farmhouse above. Little Mearley dates back to 1590 and my bedroom was the mullioned bay window room. I have happy memories of growing up there, though as a 16 year old
, all I wanted was to move into town.

Grey Heron.
A Worston house gateway.
More sheep. πŸ™‚
Fields of green.
Heading home.

Afternoon and heading back to Clitheroe, the snow had all but gone.

Have you spotted anything yourself from the Winter Watchlist?

Januarying.

I am treating January as I usually do. It’s my month of keeping snug and cosy inside, with a healthy dose of fresh air and exercise. I also like to plan holidays and weekends away at this time of year, so have been researching our little holiday in North Norfolk during May and weekend walks in the Eden Valley, for when we can get back up to the caravan.

Continuing Winter cheer with my window display. The Robins mimic my real life robin visitor. The hyacinth plant I found in Sainsbury’s for a bargain 65p is now flowering and giving off a delicious scent, resembling woods of bluebells.

Winter Walks.

I’ve been looking for more walks from home. Although I thought we had been just about everywhere on our doorstep, I was proved wrong last weekend, when we discovered new to us footpaths. I’m sure there are more to explore!

There will be another place to wander when Clitheroe’s new Nature Reserve opens. It is very local indeed. I have nosed over the fence a couple of times and I spied several Teal on the water. πŸ™‚ Can’t wait for a proper look.

The RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch is all set for the last weekend of January. I have signed up as usual and am looking forward to seeing which feathered visitors turn up in the hour.

Primrose Nature Reserve. πŸ¦‰πŸ¦‰ Photo from their Facebook page.
Bridgerton. It’s a bodice ripper.

Incase you are looking for some on screen escapism, here is a list of what I’ve enjoyed watching recently. Most are series and there’s one film. But let me say this, my list is one of mostly guilty pleasures. πŸ˜„

  • Bridgerton. Netflix. Regency romance with lots of drama, comedy, gossip & scandal.
  • Derry Girls. All 4 / Netflix. Coming of age comedy set during ‘ the troubles’ in nineties Northern Ireland.
  • Ghosts. BBC I Player. Spirited comedy about the ghostly inhabitants of a haunted house, from the creators of Horrible Histories
  • Winter Walks. BBC I Player. Join well known faces as they film their favourite walks in Yorkshire. I miss Yorkshire. ❀️
  • Eurovision Song Contest : The Story Of Fire Saga. Netflix. Very cheesy but enjoyable musical comedy film set in Iceland and Edinburgh.
  • The Masked Singer. ITV/ ITV Hub. Addictive crazy singing competition.
  • Home For Christmas. Netflix. Norwegian rom com series.
  • Sneaky Pete. Amazon Prime. Crime drama about a con man who assumes the identity of his cellmate to escape from a vengeful mobster.
  • The Queen’s Gambit. Netflix. An orphans rise against the odds to become the Worlds number one chess player.
  • All Creatures Great And Small. My 5. Heart warming 1940s comedy drama about a young vet who accepts a job in a Yorkshire Dales Vetinary practice. This is a remake of the original series, and just as good. ❀️
Winter Reading.

It’s nice to find a nice cosy read and I did in Winter Holiday from the Swallows and Amazon’s children’s book series by Arthur Ransome. I am immersed in a world of frozen lakes, snowy igloos and secret signals. Thanks to the What is it about books ? blog for the recommendation. ❀️

So this is my first foray into using the new WordPress editor. I hope it turns out okay.

Do leave me your own thoughts on how you are spending January?