Category Archives: walks

Into The Woods. 🌳

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.

Spirit of the Medieval Huntress by Anna & the Willow.

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.

Stag by Anna & the Willow.
Treecreeper.
Stalking Horse by Anna & the Willow.

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. πŸ™‚

The Chocolate Works.
I took this photo purely because of all those smart doggys in the window. Looks quite a specialist shop though!

Skipton Canal.

Do you have a favourite woodland you like to have a wander in?

Paythorne Walk.

We got out for our first longish walk this year, a year which we started off by catching covid. Oh joy! Luckily for both Wil and I, our experience of the virus was pretty tame. We both had colds, runny noses and sneezed alot. We watched alot of Netflix. The End. Though I must admit, it was good to take our boots off when we finished this hike, it tired us out more than we care to admit….

Again I dipped into Nick Burton’s Lancashire Pub Walks guide for inspiration.

Paythorne is a small village ( well more of a hamlet really) between Gisburn in the Ribble Valley and Hellifield in North Yorkshire. Theres not much there except a pub, a tiny Methodist church and a large Caravan Park. At the moment there is definitely some sort of dispute in the village regarding a proposal to extend the caravan park. Everywhere you look there are orange signs saying ‘ Say No To More Caravans ‘ , I think there are more signs than houses.

We parked in the village car park opposite the pub and set off. The walk is one of bridleways, fields and country lanes and is 6 or so miles long.

The Buck at Paythorne.
Sign for the large Caravan park at Paythorne.
A Bridleway through twisted thorns and Holly trees. I have decided to call it Hey Holly Lonnin. 😁
Gorse can flower all year round.
I do love an old freight train carriage. Growing up my sister, cousins and I were lucky enough to have one to play house in, until our Grandad gave it to the chickens!

Quite a bit of road walking.
Just liked the name. 😁
Another farm ~ with chickens.
Curious Shire Horse.
The cutest πŸ™‚
The Cockiest.
Hen Harrier Sign for The Forest Of Bowland.
I – Spy ~ a white pheasant. It is possible that these white coloured birds are bred for pheasant shoots as markers, to identify the whereabouts of other pheasants. Therefore they are usually safe from the bullet, unlike their more common cousins.
View of the River Ribble.
Sham Castle 🏰 ruins. These were once the kennels that housed the Lords Ribblesdales hounds.
Hugo saying that living with us is much nicer than living in a sham Castle. Really!
Gisburne Park estate is used for weddings and other events, hence the light bulbs everywhere.
Fields.
Woody path.
Paythorne Bridge.
Back into the village.
Tiny Methodist Church. Grade 2 listed dating from the 1800s.
The Route.

Thanks for dropping by. ☺️

Silverdale Saunter.

Back to the beach again! But this time it’s a saunter round Silverdale, a Lancashire village ( but only just ! ) on Morecambe Bay near the Cumbria Border. We visited here last Summer whilst staying in nearby Arnside. In fact we have camped in Silverdale before too, but these photos are just from an afternoon saunter in August. For one reason or other I didn’t take as many pictures as usual. Darn!

The Arnside and Silverdale AONB is a breathtakingly beautiful place. I follow a blogger from the area ~Β  Beating The Bounds regularly walks & cycles the meandering lanes and rocky limestone outcrops that make this little coastal corner so special.

But back to our visit. It was a warm but quite grey August day,  showers too I think. There was a summertime vibe in the village, pops of colour from yarn bombing and bunting.

Silverdales Millennium Clock in its vibrant yarn bombed jacket.
Yarn bombed!
Busy day at the Blossom Bird cafe. 🐦

Hugo seemed to know where we should take him ( he is after all  ‘ The Most Important’ ) and pulled us toward the shore. We walked along the sands a while,  finally coming to a little inlet behind woodland at Gibraltar Farm Campsite. We probably weren’t meant to cut through the site, but thought we could get away with looking either lost/ confused / campers. πŸ˜‰

Shoreside cottages.
Morecambe Bay.
Rocky cliffs.
Inlet.

We found ourselves at The Wolf House Gallery opposite Gibraltar Farm and stopped here for a takeaway lunch.

Honesty box eggs & jams ( and wellies πŸ™‚ ) at Gibraltar Farm.
Wolf House. The last Wolf in England was said to be hunted near here.
Outside the gallery.

After lunch we continued up a quiet lane to two local landmarks. Jenny Browns Point is a beautiful viewing point with wide reaching vistas over the bay. There is a lovely looking house here that is said to have been home to Jenny Brown herself. But who was she? It is said she may have been a nanny who tried to save her charges from the waves. Or more romantically, was she a lovelorn maiden waiting for her mate to return , feared lost at sea. No one knows for sure.

Cottage at Jenny Browns Point.
Lime Kiln at Jenny Browns Point.

Nearby is Jack Scout Nature Reserve , managed by the National Trust. We weaved our way through the gorse and other windswept shrubs to find a rather grand stone seat. If your ever around Silverdale be sure to sit on The Giants Chair and enjoy the views.

The Giants Chair.
View from Jack Scout.

Phew! Caught up at last on posts from our week on The Cumbrian ( and Lancashire) Coast in August of 2021.

Bye for now. 🐚

A Dog Who Inspired A Poem. 🐾

Anyone who has a dog will probably identify with the words below. πŸ™‚ Although my Labrador is incredibly sweet, he’s also a bit of a monster. I’m under no illusions there!

Looking back at walks we did last Summer made me think about the poem my niece and nephew made up whilst we were out and about in the countryside with Hugo. On one particular walk he ended up emerging from a hole ( which seriously looked like some kind of freshly dug grave), crunching on a bone. Not his finest moment!

Happily my family seem to adore Hugo despite his bad habits. πŸ™‚

Those Poets!

Poo Sniffer

Stick Biter

Grave Digger

Bog Monster

Breath Stinker

Ice cream licker

Slob Drooler

Bone Cruncher

Ear Flapper

Crap Muncher

Mud Roller

Toy Biter

Teddy Chewer

Fart wiffer

Trombone Trumper

Treat Eater

Hugo.

Is there such a thing as a totally angelic dog??

2021 ~ My Year In Photos.

2021 is a wrap folks! Here’s my usual yearly round-up in photos, of what has been another very Up and Down twelve months.

Snow up Pendle.

January ~ We started the year still in lock-down , the rare snow in my hometown certainly made folk here completely giddy, everyone seemed to head up Pendle Hill for fun in the white stuff. There were sad times too as I lost a family member to covid.

Resting on a Bolton By Bowland walk.

February ~ From what I remember the first few months of 2021 involved lots of chilly local hikes and tramping through lots of mud. But as a certain Black Labrador loves his walks, this didn’t bother us too much. πŸ™‚

A friends Birthday πŸŽ‰

March ~ This photo was taken on my friend Fi’s Birthday. We were still in lock-down and I’m not even sure that 3 people from 3 households were supposed to meet up actually. We took cans to a local beer garden and celebrated outdoors, not another soul in sight! Fi says it was one of her best birthdays!

Worsaw wander.

April ~ I remember how good it felt in April when we were officially allowed to meet up for walks in larger groups. An Easter walk took us to Downham via a wander up Worsaw Hill. Also in April we could start using our caravan in the Eden Valley again.

Miles of golden sand , Wells Next The Sea.

May ~ Hurrah, restrictions over and a holiday happened! A week in sunny Norfolk with Wil and Hugo, in a cottage by the sea.

Llama trekking , Brougham Castle.

June ~ It was good to spend a few days at the caravan with friends in June. A Cat cafe, the Lakes Zoo and Llama trekking were amongst the fun times had.

Afternoon Tea in Skipton.

July ~ Enjoyed the most decadent Afternoon Tea with pals this month. Life was truly getting back to normal.

All Aboard The Ratty!

August ~ We were fortunate enough to spend a lovely long weekend in Ravenglass & Eskdale in August. It’s become tradition to ride the Ratty on these occasions. πŸ™‚

A Wainwright Memorial above Blackburn.

September ~ I think my favourite walk in September may well have been a local one to find Alfred Wainwright’s memorial, in the hills above Blackburn.

Pumpkin Patch πŸŽƒπŸŽƒ

October ~ Unfortunately Wil got sciatica which put a stop to our walks together for a while. Luckily he’s much better now. For once I was faster on my feet than my other half for a change! We went ahead with a mini break in Scotland, but kept our explorations to a minimum.

Birthday πŸŽ‚

November ~ Unlike 2020 I got to go out for my Birthday this year. Happy days. 😁

Spot the Slinky.

December ~ Theres been Christmas meet ups with family and friends and so far, touchwood, everyone has stayed safe and healthy. Can you spy my moggie Slinky Malinki in the festive photo above?

Wishing my followers and fellow bloggers a Happy and Healthy 2022.

See you on the other side. X

Tockholes Walk. πŸ₯Ύ

Hi there, hope everyone has had a good Christmas break. On Boxing Day, despite it being a bit drizzly and damp, we were up for a good walk to blow away the cobwebs. Out came the Guide To Lancashire Pub Walks by Nick Burton. We decided to try the last route in this handy little pocket size book, taking in moorland and woodland near the West Pennines village of Tockholes. I am sure parts of this trek have been covered by other bloggers I follow, but it is an area myself and Wil definitely need to explore more.

We parked near The Royal Arms pub, which looks to be a popular ramblers Inn with toasty fires , serves food and is dog friendly. In no time we were walking up Darwen Moor, heading into the mist.

Darwen Moor and a sign for its popular landmark, not a rocket πŸš€ but Darwen Tower.
Moorland horse.
On the move.
And so are we, in the opposite direction.
Back onto moorland by Stepback Brook.
We didn’t head for the tower, which at the moment is obscured by scaffolding anyway, but followed the signs across the fell and back down toward woodland.
Zig Zagging across the Moors, we heard Grouse calling to one another.
Once in Roddlesworth Woods saw lots of Winter Fungi.
Witches Butter Fungi aka Yellow Brain.
Turkey Tail Fungi in the Moss.
In the Woods, the rather spooky remains of Hollinshead Hall, including this old Well House, where pilgrims stopped on the way to Whalley Abbey.
This lovely Pack Horse Bridge was perfect for a pit stop.
A view from the bridge over Rocky Brook.
Tockholes Tourists.
Some kind person had spread bird seed along the opposite bridge wall. Coal Tits, Nuthatch and even Grey Wagtail ( above) were enjoying their Christmas feast.
Nuthatch.
Hugo found an Orange ball which he decided to roll down every little hill he came across.
He also had fun in Rocky Brook.
Pixie Cup Lichen.
We followed the woodland path as far as Roddlesworth Reservoir.
And then turned back on ourselves and found a wooded path back up to The Royal Arms.

This was a good 4 -5 mile walk and I’m hopeful we will make it back to the area soon. Loved all the wildlife seen and the rugged Lancashire landscape.

Our Last Wknd At The Caravan Until Spring.

It’s that time of year when we sadly close our caravan for the Winter. The site it is on doesn’t actually shut down over the colder months, but being two hours away from home in a village that is prone to getting heavy snow, we figure it’s for the best really.

On Friday Eve we made sure we got stuck into the last couple of bottles of wine in the wine rack. πŸ™‚

On Saturday the weather was grey, but the drizzle didn’t dampen our spirits. I had booked us lunch over at Bassenthwaite Lake Station , in a French Steam Engine no less. The disused train station was bought in 2019 by Simon and Diana Parums, who have been busy renovating the buildings. A permanent fixture on the track is the beautiful Steam Train , which is in fact not a real train at all…. . It is actually a replica made especially for the 2017 film version of Murder On The Orient Express , starring Kenneth Branagh, Michelle Pfeiffer,Dame Judi Dench and Johnny Depp. These days the film set is a lovely cafe/restaurant and being slightly wider than a ‘ real train ‘ lends itself to its new life perfectly.

We chose the Brunch Bowls for lunch, followed by cake of course! Delicious. 😁 There’s lots of choice on the menu and a good selection of drinks too. Food is a little more expensive than most cafes in the area. However the setting and the friendly service justifies the price.

It was great that Hugo was made very welcome on the train, even though he did have a habit of lying across the aisle. The staff brought him dog treats and made a real fuss of him. Perhaps the Station dog, a pretty black Labrador called Poppy , had something to do with that. πŸ€—

After lunch we had a quick look around the rest of the train. Our dining car had been bustling and busy , though a posher salon at the back was empty. Perhaps this is used for special occasions. For a finer day there is also outside seating and the Station building itself with Waiting Room is also part of the cafe.

I really love what the new owners are doing here. Breathing life into what only a couple of years ago, was an abandoned unused space. Hopefully we will visit again next year. I would also like to explore Dubwath Silver Meadows Nature Reserve opposite and of course go for a wander by the lake. 😁

Later in the afternoon we visited my Mum and Brother who live on a farm in The Eden Valley. The farm cats Tibby and Sooty have been used to spending time in the house recently, but weren’t too impressed that a certain Labrador was in residence.

Back at the caravan and Sunday dawned cold and bright, a lovely day for our last one there this year. We enjoyed a walk up the old bridleway from Melmerby to Unthank, I will miss those uninterrupted views toward the Lakeland fells.

After tidying and closing down the van we headed to the nearby village of Langwathby for a sausage butty lunch on the green.

Here’s to a few local adventures closer to home over Winter. Hope you can join me. X

Wetheral With You.

The village of Wetheral near Carlisle was our destination at the weekend, after our planned walk up Hartside was scuppered by mist and drizzle. A mizzley start to our Saturday did have its benefits though. Wetheral has woodland and riverside walks……and not a hill in sight. πŸ™‚ Never mind Wil, you can drag me up the fells next time.

Wetheral has red sandstone dwellings and an attractive village green, so typical of settlements in Cumbria’s Eden Valley. Notable buildings include the Holy Trinity church with its octagonal tower and the 15th Century Priory Gatehouse ; all that remains of a small Benedictine monastery.

By the River Eden footpaths through ancient woodland lead down stone steps to man-made caves, cut into the red rock. The caves were used by the monks to hide during times of border warfare. Etched into the stone are years of signatures.

The caves are named after a St Constantine, who may or may not have inhabited them before the monks saught refuge there. It is possible to explore inside and peer through the slit windows into the river below.

On the other side of the river sits Corby Castle , the ancestral home of the Howard family. It’s Neo-classical facade can be glimpsed from a little beach, along with terraced gardens and folly’s.

My own personal favourite discovery was a wonderful winged bench! Flight Of Fancy is one of ten contemporary stone sculptures to be found along the length of the River Eden. They are called The Eden Benchmarks and here are Some more we found earlier. πŸ™‚

From the benchmarks vantage point we had a clear view of Wetherals 5 Arch Viaduct, known as Corby Bridge. Trains still travel overhead , bound for Newcastle and Glasgow.

After our potter around Wetheral it was time for a spot of lunch. The village store and Post Office is also a cafe called The Posting Pot. We sat at one of the outside tables and people watched. My cream of tomato soup and savoury cheese scone were divine. πŸ…

And on the way home I got Wil to pull up at a roadside farm selling one of my most favourite Autumn blooms, the Chinese Lantern. Those flame coloured flowers certainly brought a hint of colour to the caravan decking.

Thanks for dropping by. x

A Pleasington Walk. πŸ₯Ύ

Welcome back to Lancashire for this walk which is a couple of short train journeys away from my hometown of Clitheroe. We don’t use the train often enough and hope to remedy that when finding future hikes. This walk is featured in the Guide To Lancashire Pub Walks by Nick Burton, a handy little pocket size publication. We did a few of the walks mentioned during the first lockdowns , when the pubs weren’t even open. Happily not so the case now. πŸ™‚

Anyway we caught a train from Clitheroe to Blackburn and then went on to the village of Pleasington from there. The whole journey took about 40 minutes including connection time. The walk took us up The Yellow Hills to see The Wainwright Memorial and then through woodland and Witton Park. Refreshments at The Railway Hotel in the village , at the end.

Pleasant Pleasington sign at the Railway Station.
We walk past Pleasington Priory.
And a house with Stone Lions guarding it.
And then through a field of cows. They were pretty calm until a farmer appeared on a quad bike, then they started chasing it around the field.
We escaped the cows!
A friendly Cat on a drive-way.
Fly Agaric, though not the best specimen.
Looks like we are on the Witton Weavers Way.

After walking through some woodland we ascended the gentle slopes of the Yellow Hills to come across the Wainwright Memorial , a fitting tribute to the Blackburn born Fell Walker, writer and illustrator Alfred Wainwright.  As a young man Alfred would walk in these hills above Blackburn. On a clear day he would be able to glimpse upon the fells of the Lake District, they would eventually entice him to Cumbria where he recorded his hikes in his famous Pictorial Guides.

The Wainwright Memorial was unveiled in 2013.
Intrepid Hikers.
No distant views as wasn’t clear enough. The Yellow Hills are named after the yellow blooms of the Gorse bushes that grow here.
A Polypore Fungi.
Crow Wood.
Autumn colours appearing.

We walked on to Witton Park, following woodland paths downwards through Billinge Wood and Crow Wood. The Crow Sculpture I had hoped to see didn’t appear to be there ( unless we somehow missed it !) , though there was an information board near where I thought it should have been. And there were plenty of real crows, magpies and other wildlife in the woods.

Crow Sculpture Information Board.
Nuthatch.
Grey Squirrel.
Witton Park.
Butler’s Bridge over the River Darwen.

Witton Park is vast, covering 480 acres. It is Criss crossed by various walking trails and has a visitor centre. We will have to return oneday as we didn’t come across the centre and only saw a small part of the grounds on our walk. After crossing Butler’s Bridge it was a short meander up past the Priory and back into Pleasington.

Pleasington Priory was opened in 1819.
The Railway Hotel.
Railway Flowers. πŸš‚πŸš‚
Waiting for the train back to Blackburn. Pleasington is a request stop , so be prepared to stick your arm out. 😁

Map ~ OS Explorer 287 West Pennine Moors.

Book ~ Guide To Lancashire Pub Walks by Nick Burton.

Distance ~ 4 Miles/ 6.4km.

Bank Holiday.

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. πŸ™‚

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.

Cow Green Reservoir.
Birthday Boy.
At the top of Cauldron Snout.

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.

Outdoors at Killhope Lead Mining Museum.

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.

Sunflowers galore. πŸ™‚
The beach at Allonby.

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. πŸ™‚

Lily pond at Acorn Bank.

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. 😁