Category Archives: walks

Sunday Sevens 22nd July.

Having had a whole week off ( oh yes! ) , I thought I would share some of what I have been up to, in the form of a Sunday Sevens. Sunday Sevensย is 7 ( or more) pictures from your week and was originally devised by Natalie atย Threads & Bobbins

Fun With Family. Last Sunday my brother stopped over, so we headed to our sisters and had an afternoon out at Beacon Fell Country Park, looking for all the sculptures on the trail. Woodpeckers, Owls, Hare and Dragonflies…to name but a few. You can read about a previous visit to the park here.

Before losing my sandals!

Sinking Sandals. Also this week my lovely friend Lou visited us on route to her graduation in Liverpool. Before dropping her off at Crosby Station ,we paid a visit to the Art installation Another Place at Crosby Beach. 100 Iron Men stand looking out to sea, over 3 miles of coastline.

Lou squelching her way over to one of the 100 Iron Men.

We were very stupid and decided to head out over the wet sand to examine one barnacled specimen. Don’t try this at home folks! Lou was fine, but I ended up losing my sandals to the squelchy Mersey mud. ๐Ÿ˜ฆ I know it could have been a lot worse. :/ After that we stayed close to the promenade!

Big Butterfly Count. Heres something I was excited to join in with! Every Summer the Big Butterfly Count asks that you take 15 minutes of your time to sit and watch butterflies. ๐Ÿฆ‹ I decided to count the butterflies we saw whilst relaxing by the dunes at Crosby Beach. It was a great location as I spotted Peacocks, Tortoishells, Whites, Six-spotted Burnets, a Painted Lady and a Common Blue. Why not give the count a go and submit your results here.

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#walk1000miles. ย A riverside walk to a nearby village yesterday, brought my miles walked total for this year so far to 909 miles!ย  Think my swan friend here was impressed!ย  Hopefully I should hit 1000 miles in August and then my aim is to walk 1500 miles by the end of the year. That would be pretty awesome!

How are you? Any good plans for today ( Sunday) ?ย  Hoping to head to the coast again. Will try not to lose my sandals this time……

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A Midsummer Morning.

Today I thought I would post what I saw on this mornings walk with Hugo.

Friday morning walks are favourites of mine, as I don’t have to hurry. With no work to giddy me along, I am prone to dilly dallying. An hours walk takes me two. Though Hugo has more time to play. ๐Ÿ™‚

This morning we ventured up the fields and followed the wall that protects Standen Hall from nosy parkers ( myself included ๐Ÿ˜) and wandered along a country lane for a while. Here’s what I saw. …

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Hugo , no doubt telling me to hurry up!
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Bramble blossom. Can’t wait for the Blackberries. ๐Ÿ˜Š
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Bittersweet or Woody Nightshade. It scrambles over plants in woods or hedges.
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Hogweed. The largest of the umbellifers.
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Rook on a dead tree. I have seen a woodpecker here previously.
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Oxeye Daisies are also known as Marguerite or Moon-Daisy.
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Into the shade.
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The shady Woodland path is surrounded by Enchanter’s Nightshade. Its Latin name is Circara lutetiana , named after Circe, the enchantress of Greek legend who turned Odysseus’ men into pigs by giving them a magic potion. Oink!
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Poisonous berry stalks of the Cuckoo Pint. The berries will change colour to a warning red.

Not sure what these blue flowers are. The closest I have come, when checking my Collins Handguide to the Wild Flowers of Britain and Northern Europe is Jacobs Ladder. They are pretty anyway.

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Field Roses.
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Hoverfly on rose.
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Hugo with Pendle Hill in the background.
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Thistle Flower.

Most of the above photos were taken before 8am. It promised to be a beautiful Midsummer Day. And it is!

Have a lovely weekend.

A Walk up Whernside.

After being dragged ( almost kicking and screaming ๐Ÿ˜‰ ) up Ingleborough (one of the Yorkshire Three Peaks) , I actually do now feel compelled to conquer the other two.

So on Sunday , Whernside was our destination. At 736 m ,Whernside is the highest of the three. The weather didn’t look to promising as we made our way by car over to Ingleton. Cloudy, drizzly and blustery, the conditions were certainly not reminiscent of the hot sunny day we climbed nearby Ingleborough.

We parked near Ribblehead Viaduct , which is a popular starting point for the walk. Happily there is plenty of roadside parking there. We donned our waterproofs and met our friends , including my 6 year old god daughter Bronte, all set to climb her 3rd peak. Before her 7th birthday!

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Ribble Head Viaduct.

The impressive Ribblehead Viaduct was completed in 1874. Its twenty four arches made for a stunning start to our ten mile circular walk.

Ribble Head Viaduct.

We followed the Settle to Carlisle Railway for some way , passing a railway hut and an abandoned railway house.

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Blea Moor Railway Hut.
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Foxgloves.

I always keep an eye out for wildlife on any walk, so it was lovely to see lots of clumps of foxgloves and hear the melodic calls of curlews. We even heard a cuckoo. ๐Ÿ™‚

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Beck.
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Force Gill Waterfall.
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Blea Moor Tunnel.

So far, so good. The walk had been pretty easy so far. The weather wasn’t sure what it was doing though. Black clouds were soon upon us and more blustery showers as we started the gradual climb to the summit. But then a peek of blue sky, and I for one, was to warm to keep my jacket on!

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Greensett Tarn.

A resting point ( Hurrah!) gave us lovely views of a small mountain tarn. We wondered what would live in such an isolated place…..

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And then it was a yomp up to the Trig Point. To me , walking up Whernside was lots easier than our previous of the Three Peaks, Ingleborough. Our friend D had chosen the most comfortable route, a gradual ascent that included stone slab steps and an almost level path. The weather too, was a lot cooler.

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Trig Point. We made it !

At the summit of Whernside , we met a few more walkers all pleased to have made it to the top. We ate a packed lunch and there was even homemade liver cake for the dogs. Thanks Fiona!

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The descent with Ingleborough in front of us.

From the top we had great views of both Ingleborough and Pen Y Ghent, as well as Ribblehead, and even towards the Sea. We walked across the top of the mountain and then started our steep descent. I was thankful we hadn’t taken this route up! Still, a few of us did end up on our bums. ๐Ÿ™‚

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Looking back towards Whernside.

The longest part of our walk, was probably the journey back to Ribblehead, which passes through a couple of farms and wild flower meadows.

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Bunk Barn Accomodation.
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Sheep near a rocky cave that the girls discovered.
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Bel the Bedlington looking towards Ribblehead.

Once back at the viaduct we stopped to admire the stone that commemorates the builders who restored the railway bridge in the 1990s, as well as the Navvies who toiled to constuct it, a century earlier.

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So, time to celebrate! We drove a couple of miles along the road to the cosy shelter of The Old Hill Inn near Ingleton.

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Bronte and her friend Tabby enjoyed chocolate brownies and the rest of us tucked into a delicious Apricot Frangipane tart. ๐Ÿ˜

Apparently if you are skinny enough to shimmy through the spokes of the giant cartwheel above, you are skinny enough to go pot holeing. Umm I’ll stick to eating cake. ๐Ÿ˜‰

Congratulations to Bronte, Tabby and Fiona who on this day walked up their third and final of the Three Peaks! I’m sure they will now be aiming to climb all three in one day. ๐Ÿ˜. As for me, next stop Pen Y Ghent, so watch this space….

A walk up Ingleborough.

Readers of this blog will probably realise that hills are not my natural environment, never mind mountains! At 723 metres, Ingleborough is definitely a mountain and one of the three highest in Yorkshire. Together with nearby Whernside and Pen-y-ghent , they are known collectively as The Yorkshire Three Peaks. Some people set themselves the challenge of walking up all three in one day. Mad or what! On a camping trip last year , I managed to talk some friends out of dragging me up Ingleborough ( we walked the less daunting Ingleton Falls Trail instead), such is my horror of heading up into the clouds.

The day would come however ( and that day was a glorious Bank Holiday Monday), that I would reach the top of my first mountain…

We set off from The Old Hill Inn , just above the village of Ingleton, 4 adults, 2 children, 2 bedlington terriers and 1 black labrador. The weather was warm, but fortunately a cooling breeze helped us on our way. This route is the shortest one you can attempt apparently. A 2.5 mile walk up to the summit.

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Ingleborough.

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Heading for the hills.
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Limestone.

The scenery as you walk towards Ingleborough is varied. Plenty to look at including limestone kilns, limestone pavements and wild flowers such as Cotton grass and Early purple orchids.

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Looming nearer.
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Stairway to heaven. ๐Ÿ˜‰

So why do I not relish climbing hills? Well despite the fact that I enjoy walking, walking up hill always makes me feel like my heart is going to shoot out of my chest. ๐Ÿ˜• I know getting your heart pumping is meant to be a good thing, but I tend to convince myself that my death is imminent. I also hate it if anyone is behind me ( incase I am holding them up) and tend to stop to let them pass. I therefore find myself way behind everyone else in no time, stopping for breath every couple of minutes. Happily I don’t really feel any aching leg pains on the way up, because I am to busy hyperventilating. ๐Ÿคฃ

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Top of Ingleborough.

But hey I did make it!! And that has to be one of the best feelings in the world. I made it to the summit of Ingleborough. ๐Ÿ˜

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A good place to stop for lunch.
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This mountain top is vast and very flat.
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Craggy pathway.

After eating our packed lunches we tentatively retraced our steps back down the mountain. As you can see , it would be handy to be a mountain goat on both the ascent and descent.

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Rocky descent.
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Sheep in Cotton grass.
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Cooling off. ๐Ÿ˜

Our afternoon was topped off with a celebratory drink in the Old Hill Inn beer garden, with views towards the mountain we had just conquered. ๐Ÿ˜Š

And would I walk up another mountain? We are already planning on Whernside in a couple of weeks, so watch this space…….

The Tolkien Trail On A Rainy Day.

Typically, the day we chose to walk The Tolkien Trail dawned damp and grey, a Ribble Valley rainy day. ๐Ÿ˜ These kind of drizzly conditions are always a hit with our labrador Hugo though, so we didn’t let them dampen our spirits. Waterproofs on, we set off on our trek through boggy fields, and some of the loveliest countryside in Lancashire, unfortunately obscured by rain clouds.

Writer J. R. R. Tolkien often stayed in the area. He was writing Lord of The Rings , whilst visiting his son who attended Stonyhurst College. He and his family regularly stopped in the grounds of this stately pile, which became a boarding school in 1794 . I have no doubt the author, when out walking in the surrounding woodland and river meadows , drew inspiration from the lush greenery and rolling hillsides of this unspoilt part of Lancashire.

The route we took.

We had with us a walking guide book which contained a map and instructions for our route. Unfortunately after parking in the pretty village of Hurst Green and walking up the long drive to Stonyhurst College, we came face to face with several Private No Entry signs. Aaagh what to do! It turns out the guide book was written in the nineties, when maybe you could walk right up to the front of the building. After much discussion we decided to chance it and follow the route as it is written. Luckily it was such a miserable day that there was nobody about to challenge us!

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Cemetary on the way to Stonyhurst.
Sir Richard Shireburn started building Stonyhurst in 1592. Oliver Cromwell visited once , commenting that it was the ‘best half house’ that he had ever stayed in.
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There are two small lakes at the front of the college and lots of water fowl.

I didn’t manage to get very many photos of Stonyhurst, as I have to admit being a trespasser didn’t really help me on the photography front. ๐Ÿ˜— Happilly we were soon back on track, heading through fields with Pendle Hill supposedly on our right, hidden in the clouds.

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Shy Roe Deer.
Woodland.
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Cromwell Bridge, also built by Sir Richard Shireburn. Legend has it that Cromwell’s troops crossed it at the time of the Battle Of Preston.
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Trespassing again! Hugo on Cromwell Bridge.
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Wood Anemone flowering next to the bridge.

The rivers Hodder, Ribble and Calder can all be found in the locality. Perhaps they were the inspiration for the fictional rivers of Brandywine, Shirebourne and Withywindle.

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We walked through Winkley Hall Farm.
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Farmhouse.
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Blackthorn in blossom.
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Saw lots of clumps of primroses.
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Tree Person…..perhaps?
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The point where the waters of the Hodder unite with the Ribble.

A good portion of the walk is on the riverside and at one time a Boat House housed a ferrymen who would take travellers across the Ribble between Winkley Hall and Hacking Hall below. Soon the river Calder also joins the Ribble as it curves through the countryside.

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Hacking Hall.
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Following the Ribble.
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Pussy Willows.
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Goosander. ๐Ÿ™‚
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Hobbit Hill.

In the distance we spied the glamping cabins of Hobbit Hill perched above the valley. I wondered if anyone was staying there and if they too would try out the Tolkien Trail. Check out their website for a more up-to-date version of the walking route.

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A house called Jumbles.
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An aqueduct over the river.

Eventually the footpath passes through woodland again and then through a very muddy meadow , before we arrived back in Hurst Green. There are a couple of nice pubs in the village. One is called The Shireburn Arms and is named after the man who built Stonyhurst College and Cromwell Bridge, Sir Richard Shireburn.

Continue reading The Tolkien Trail On A Rainy Day.

Searching for signs of Spring.

On Saturday we braved The Mini Beast Of The East and headed to Cumbria to visit family. We also packed in two short walks with our labrador Hugo. I kept my camera handy to record any burgeoning signs that Spring might just be making an appearance. ๐Ÿ™‚

First stop , Kirkby Lonsdale. This small market town on the edge of the Lake District sits on the banks of the River Lune. An easy stroll from the free car park at Devil’s Bridge takes you along the waterside and up into the town centre.

Devil’s Bridge, Kirkby Lonsdale.
Male Goosander.
Pussy Willow.

The only climb is the ’86’ Radical Steps that lead up to ‘Ruskin’s View’ , a beautiful vista painted by Turner and described by John Ruskin as ” the loveliest view in England”. The steep stone steps also take you to St Mary’s Churchyard, which was adorned with a delightful carpet of crocuses when we visited.

St Marys Churchyard.
Ruskin’s View takes in the river Lune.
Male Blackbird.
Such a bonnie house. I think I take a picture of it every time I visit.

The cold weather has meant that the snowdrops here in the North are still in good form! Whilst they continue to bloom, Winter has stubbornly decided to hang on I think. As we headed further up the M6 , the countryside turned whiter and the world got windier.

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Snow near Shap.
Dacre Bear.

Our second walk was later in the afternoon and started off in the pretty village of Dacre, about two miles north of Pooley Bridge. Four stone bears can be seen amongst the gravestones in St Andrews graveyard ( they are not very bear like now! ) and it is claimed that they once rested on the four corners of Dacre’s 14th Century Castle keep.

Could this be the Mini Beast From The East??

The only daffodil in flower that we saw was one solitary yellow trumpet in Dacre. Looking back to this time last year, the nearby village of Askham where my Mum lives was positively trumpeting. Not so in 2018…yet ! We continued on our way amongst snow flurries, bitter cold winds and odd spells of bright sunshine, along the estate path towards Dalemain Mansion. I wrote a post last year about our visit to the gardens here.

Deer park, Dalemain.

Although its a nice dog walk from Dacre to Dalemain, the estate does not allow four-legged friends to accompany you into the house, gardens or cafรฉ. ๐Ÿ˜ฆ So we tried to warm up outside with a steaming hot coffee and a delicious slab of ginger cake spread with marmalade. Dalemain is famous for its annual Marmalade Awards and Festival, and it was actually near to the end of the first day of this years festival, when we arrived. If your in the area today, the weekend of marmalade tasting continues. I bought a small jar of Jane’s Marmalade. Jane is the Lady Marmalade of the house apparently.

Crocus and Aconites.
Fallow Deer.
Heading back to Dacre. The 14th century Castle is just ahead.

These two short walks added up to six miles and it was lovely to see some small signs of Spring what has been an unusually cold March.

Walking in Clitheroe this morning.

Of course things are back to the norm, back home in Lancashire today. Yet more snow!

What signs of Spring have you seen in your neck of the woods?

I am linking up with Jo’s Monday Walks so do pop by her lovely blog. X

A Long Weekend In The Lake District.

Having recently returned from a 3 night break in the lovely Lake District, I would love to show you some photos from my stay. As per usual Wil and I were accompanied by our labrador Hugo. We stayed once again in Keswick, where we engrossed ourselves in country walks and awesome food. If you have a dog, then this Cumbrian town is super pet-friendly. Hugo must have been given a treat, everwhere we went. Luckily he had plenty of opportunities to run those tasty titbits off!

Thirlmere.

Friday ~ Snowy Thirlmere.

As we wouldn’t get the key to our accomodation until the late afternoon, we had planned a walk from Harrop Tarn to Thirlmere. The little country roads in the area were pretty icey though, so we scrapped that plan and parked at Station Coppice on the East side of Thirlmere instead. From here we took the underpass to Swirls Car Park . This is a popular starting point for the trek up Helvellyn. If you prefer a gentler stroll ( like me! ), there are various trails up into the woodland, including a Red Squirrel trail. We found a fresh white world ,the whole area was very Narnia like, under a blanket of snow. Hugo pounced in the drifts, I flung myself into snow angel shapes and a solitary herdwick , watched us with mild curiosity.

After enjoying the peaceful woodland we headed to the lake, where Hugo had a bracing paddle. Thirlmere is actually a reservoir ,created from the original smaller lake and the flooding of two hamlets Armboth and Wythburn. The industrial demands of Victorian England meant that Thirlmere was needed to supply water to the growing mill population of Manchester. To this day the 95 mile Thirlmere Aqueduct carries water to Manchester and beyond.

Around Derwentwater.

Saturday ~ Around Derwentwater.

Saturday dawned a fine bright cold day, the perfect weather for a winter walk around beautiful Derwentwater. A scenic ten mile waymarked path ambles round the shoreline , taking in stunning snow-capped mountain vistas, often reflected in the lake itself. What I particularly loved about this walk were all the interesting landmarks on route. Starting at the Friar’s Crag Viewpoint just after the Keswick Launch and Jetties, the path will regale you with many photographic opportunities. Look out for The Hundred Year Stone at Calfclose Bay, the Lodore Falls behind the Lodore Falls Hotel, The Chinese Bridge over the river Derwent inscribed with a Winnie The Pooh quote and the giant hand sculpture ‘Entrust’ near Portinscale. There are plenty of refreshment opportunities on route. We stopped off at Mary Mount Hotel for a coffee and a beer and The Lingholm Kitchen near Portinscale for a late lunch. From February The Keswick Launch reopens so if you do try out this circular walk, you can incorporate it with a cruise on the lake too.

Sunday ~ Chilled day in Keswick.

Yummy Breakfast at Jaspers in Keswick.
Eyeing up Eggs Benedict.

Sunday was a typically wet Lake District day. We decided to mostly chill in warm dry places. ๐Ÿ˜ There was the happy discovery of a new pooch themed cafe Jaspers Coffee House on Station street, which does amazing breakfasts ( see above) and has cute doggy decor.

Hugo at The Pencil Museum.

Did you know that Keswick’s Pencil Museum is home of the first pencil! The newly refurbished collection is a fun place to spend an hour out of the weather, especially if you get competitive doing the ‘Whats the point?’ Pencil Quiz. ๐Ÿ˜‰

Four legged customer in the Dog & Gun.
Leisurely Lunch at the Square Orange.๐ŸŠ

There are lots of great places to eat and drink in the town, many are very dog friendly. We always frequent the characterful Dog & Gun on Lake Road and finally managed to fit into the tiny tapas & cafe bar The Square Orange for a leisurely lunch. Definitely worth the wait!

Wet Sleddale near Shap.

Monday ~ Soggy Wet Sleddale.

Today we left Keswick and stopped off at Shap near Penrith. Again I had plans , this time for us to walk round Wet Sleddale Reservoir. But the lane down to Wet Sleddale looked pretty hazardous, so we parked in Shap and walked the 3 miles there. Maybe it is always wet and bleak here ( hence the name! ) but we didn’t make it round the reservoir. ๐Ÿ˜ Still I am up for a return visit! We saw lots of Buzzards and kestrels and the area has a connection with a cult British film. Sleddale Hall was a film location in back comedy Withnil and I.

Where have you visited in January? Or are you enjoying a spot of hibernation. ๐Ÿ˜