Category Archives: wildlife

A Walk up Whernside.

After being dragged ( almost kicking and screaming πŸ˜‰ ) 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. πŸ™‚

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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. πŸ™‚

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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. 😁

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. πŸ˜‰

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. 😁. As for me, next stop Pen Y Ghent, so watch this space….

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June ~ Photo An Hour.

Every so often I remember to join in with #photoanhour on Instagram, and yesterday was one of those days. The concept is simple. Just take one photo of whatever your doing every hour and join in with the hashtag #photoanhour. Either Janey or Louisa chooses the date each month.

8am. Wake up to a damp day. So crumpets are a yummy breakfast treat.
9am. Out and about with this guy. πŸ™‚
10am. Looking round the market in my hometown of Clitheroe.
11am. A few jobs done so shelter from the rain in Escape Coffee Bar. I love the fresh mint tea here ( healthy) and the choolate dipped granola bars. Not so healthy!
12 Noon. Chillin at home with the pets. 🐢🐱
1pm. Catching up on some telly. Hidden is a welsh detective drama and is pretty good. Reminds me a little of Hinterland..
2pm. And still relaxing….πŸ˜„
3pm. Out with Hugo again. We had planned to walk along the river to a neighbouring village. But it began bucketing down so we stuck to Brungerly park instead.
4pm. Had a shower to get warm after a soaking in the rain.
5pm. Filling in my Nature Diary. I am recording what wildlife I see on my walks every day. I have got quite addicted to it. πŸ¦‹πŸŒΉ
6pm. The Big Bang Theory is on TV as usual. πŸ™‚
7pm. Heres a Manchester Tart I bought on the market earlier. 😁
10pm. Totally missed the past couple of hours photos. We were watching a film. I then had the choice of starting one of these 3 books. Which one do you think I picked?

Thanks for dropping by. X

Wildlife In Wharfedale.

I was fortunate enough to stay at a campsite on the Bolton Abbey Estate , over the weekend. But more about that later. πŸ™‚

The river Wharfe winds serenely through the priory grounds and theres always plenty of wildlife to see , in arguably the prettiest of the Yorkshire Dales, Wharfedale. Wil and I always seem to return to the area every year, enjoying riverside walks with Hugo and glimpses of the varied wildlife that resides here.

Here are a few photos of what birds, animals and plant life, we saw on our walks.

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The Stepping stones at Bolton Abbey.
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Curlew. The soundtrack for our camping trip was a cacophony of calling curlews, so evocative of the Dales countryside.
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Dames Violet. Saw clumps of these fragrant garden escapes all along the riverside, in hues of deep pink, lilac and white.
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Snoozy Ducklings. Mother mallard was keeping an eye on her island of offspring, snoozing in the sunshine. 😁
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Yellow Flag Iris.
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Hedgehog. We saw this beauty scurrying accross the path in front of us in Stridd Wood. He/she seemed in good shape. We quickly put Hugo on his lead and left our prickly friend to its adventures.

Also in Stridd Wood ,we noticed that some trees were covered in what looked like eerie white cobwebs. On closer inspection we saw that the silky webbing was covered in hundreds of tiny catterpillars! I looked up the phenomenon and found that the catterpillar culprits actually turn into White ermine moths. See below. How wonderful to come accross these snazzy fellows.

White ermine moth ~ image via pinterest.
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Cock Pheasant. The fields were full of fine pheasants.
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Foxglove. In fairy folklore fairies taught foxes to ring the bells of foxgloves, to warn of approaching Hunts.
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Goosander in summer plumage. I love that the male goosanders plumage turns from white and black in Winter, to grey, white and brown in Summer. 😊
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Monkey Flowers. Can you see the monkey-faces in these pretty yellow riverside flowers?

Although not really Wild, this impressive looking peacock and his turkey friend lived on the farm, nextdoor to our campsite. 😊

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Lapwing. Where there are curlews, there are often Lapwings. I love their handsome head gear. 😊

Thanks for dropping by. Will return soon with a blog about the campsite we stayed at on the Bolton Abbey Estate.

A Cumbrian weekend of wanderings and wildlife.

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Chimney Sweeper Moth.

The recent weekend was spent gathered with family at Mums. She didn’t want a big celebration, just time spent together with children and grandchildren on her 70th Birthday. Country walks, playing games, visiting some lovely gardens, and a Birthday Cake. It was a happy couple of days!

Mum lives at the foot of Askham Fell near Penrith in Cumbria. Its a comparitively little explored part of The Lake District, but well worth a visit. On Saturday morning before my sister and niece and nephew arrived, Wil and I armed ourselves with a Askham Fell Marsh Kelpie Tale Trail Map, and headed for a walk up the fell.

There are various Tale Trail maps of different places in The Lake District, aimed at younger walkers ….and the young at heart. 😁 The Marsh Kelpie is a fictional character that lives on the fell. We didn’t find him of course, but we did see lots of wildlife and a stone circle.

Skylark, Askham Fell.
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Small Heath Butterfly.
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A herd of ‘Wild’ Fell Ponies live on the Fell. This one with Wil is not very wild and shaped like a barrel. πŸ™‚
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Cockpit Stone Circle ~ once used by villagers for cock fighting.
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Linnet. πŸ™‚
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Pied Wagtail.
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Common Bistort on the road side. Mum knows this as ‘Sweaty Feet’ and if you smell it…..it does whiff a bit. : b

Its a good job my family are all wildlife lovers , as we also spent a lot of the weekend pouring over Mum’s Bird book, trying to identify the birds we saw. πŸ™‚ My sister and I forgot our phone chargers ( there’s not much of a signal or wifi anyway) , so it was nice to Id what we saw , the old-fashioned way.

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Siskin on Mum’s Bird feeders.
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Greater Spotted Woodpecker.
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Wil’s photo of a rather dapper Dipper on the River Lowther.

On Saturday afternoon we took Mum to Holehird Gardens near Windermere. She loves gardens and this one which is run by volunteers, is home to the Lakeland Horticultural Society. June is a good time to visit for the rhododendrons and blue Himalayan poppies.

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Blue Himalayan Poppies and Alliums.

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I’m not very well up on my garden flowers, but as you can see the beds were abundant with colour. πŸ™‚

On Sunday we visited somewhere closer to Askham. Acorn Bank gardens and Water Mill at nearby Temple Sowerby. The National Trust looks after the property and the manor house dates back to 1228, its first owners were the Knights Templar.

There is plenty to see at Acorn Bank. We walked along a forest trail to the working water mill, looked for frogs in the lily pond, found fairy doors, enjoyed the gardens, had a lovely brew and cake, browsed the second hand book shop and found Newtopia. πŸ™‚

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Fairy Door.
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A freaky green spider on Bistort…or Sweaty feet. Is this a Cucumber Spider?
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Imogen and Woody Woodpecker.
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Acorn Bank.
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Impressive Coat of Arms.
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Hop It !
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Looking for Newts!

There’s a pond full of Great Crested Newts in the Sunken Garden at Acorn Bank. We had plenty of fun trying to spot them!

Thanks for joining me on a fun family weekend…with lots of wildlife thrown in for good measure. x

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. πŸ˜‰

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. πŸ˜• 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. 🀣

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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. 😁

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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. 😁

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. 😊

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

Hawthorn’s Photo Scavenger Hunt ~ May.

Hi and welcome to this months Photo Scavenger Hunt. The words that Kate/Hawthorn chose for May are Cool, Movement, Disaster, Fence/Fencing, Prickly/Spiky & My Own Choice. So in no particular order, here are my photos for each prompt.

Cactus Buds. 😁
My terrarium is home to a tiny cacti and an air plant.

Prickly/Spiky ~ It was very fortuitous that two of my friends and I actually went to a Terrarium making class a couple of weeks ago. 😁. I have become quite fond of cacti in recent months, so it seemed a nice idea to create a home for some. The two hour course was part of The National Festival Of Making, which was held in Blackburn recently. If you fancy learning how to make a Terrarium for your prickly pals, check out Salvaged Gardens for workshop dates. They are based in Leeds.

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Bassenthwaite.

Cool ~ The best way of keeping cool in the recent hot weather? Paddling in a lake. This photo of me was taken at Bassenthwaite last week on a Camping Trip in The Lake District. The water was chilly!

Moo!

Fence ~ This picture was taken whilst out with Hugo yesterday. I tried to make him pose in front of a fence, but he was more interested in the cows . : b

On the hunt for crumbs!

Movement ~ Canada Geese hot-footing it past some rowing boats next to Derwentwater. The Lake is home to gaggles of Greylags and Canada Geese, honking away at the tourists and each other.

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I had my cake….and ate it !

Disaster ~ This was a tough prompt as I can’t think of any recent disasters that have happened ( touchwood!) , so when in doubt, post a picture of cake! I put on 3 1b in the Lake District…which I suppose is a bit of a disaster.

Manchester Street Art.

My Own Choice ~ I love this colourful Blue tit mural , found in the Northern Quarter area of Manchester. There is lots of unusual street art here, so its fun to grab your camera and go on a hunt. πŸ™‚

Thanks for dropping by. X

Postcard From The Lakes.

Well, we couldn’t have picked a better time for our first camping trip of the year! This very un-British like weather is having its advantages. πŸ™‚

Last week we spent four nights at Scotgate Holiday Park in Braithwaite, near Keswick.

Hugo chilling at ScotGate.

The campsite ( although a little overlooked) is

more or less perfect. Surrounded by a mountinous back drop and boasting a well stocked shop, cafe and shower block with underfloor heating ( No Less!) , Scotgate has a village location and good bus links to nearby Keswick and Cockermouth. Braithwaite itself is a lovely village with 2 pubs, a tea room ( opening soon) and a friendly village shop.

Here are a few photos of what we got up to on our break away.

Buttermere.

A lake we have always wanted to visit ‘Buttermere’ is a six mile drive from Braithwaite. A scenic route passes through the Newlands Valley and once in Buttermere village , there is parking near The Fish Hotel.

The Fish Hotel ~ once home to famed beauty Mary Robinson, known as the ‘Maid of Buttermere.’
There is a four and a half mile low-level walk around the lake.
Beautiful views everywhere you look.
Herdwick sheep and new borns.
My favourite view of Buttermere.

We loved our meander round Buttermere and I can’t wait to visit nearby Crummock Water and Loweswater.

Braithwaite is surrounded by mountain fells, so one morning we decided to bag another Wainwright ( mine and Hugo’s second! ) and walked up ‘ Barrow’ , one of the more diminutive Wainwright fells. At 1,494 feet , it still felt enormas to me!

A very rewarding view from the top! Both Derwentwater and Bassenthwaite can be seen from the summit.
Hugo enjoying a mountain breeze. πŸ™‚
Wil and Hugo.

We started our walk from the top of the village ( near the Coledale Inn) and the ascent is a gradual one , there is a clearly defined path up through the bracken. Once at the top, the views all around are stunning! The descent is quite steep. We soon realised we had actually done this walk before!! About 10 years ago, before I even really knew about bagging Wainwrights. So what was to be my second,is actually my first, done twice. Doh! Still, the hike up Barrow is definitely worth a repeat performance. 😁

Keswick Launch , Derwentwater.

The nearest town to Braithwaite is Keswick, on the shores of Derwentwater. Known as Queen of the Lakes, Derwentwater has a scenic ten mile waymarked path around it, which we walked on our last visit in January. This time however, we thought we would take advantage of the Keswick Launch , whose pleasure boats have transported tourists around the lake since 1935. Its a hop on/hop off service , so fantastic for taking to a certain point then walking back…or vice versa.

We walked from Friars Crag to Ashness Gate , passing The National Trust Centenary Stone at Calfclose Bay. I have wanted to visit the most photographed packhorse bridge in The Lake District, Ashness Bridge since seeing its iconic image on a postcard. A short hike from Ashness Gate, and there it is!! A little further and another wonderful photographic opportunity is Surprise View, where we had a vast uninterrupted vista of Derwentwater.

Doggy Paddle. πŸ˜‰
The Centenary Stone.
Ashness Bridge.( Wil’s photo).
Bugles.
Surprise View.

It was beautiful up there and so tranquil. Imagine clumps of pretty Wild flowers, curling ferns and the sounds of cuckoos calling. :). A cooling boat trip back and a delicious tea at The Square Orange in Keswick. Bliss…

Pigging out at The Square Orange.

Our last full day of our holiday was also the Royal Wedding day. During the day we visited Dodd Wood where there are two Osprey viewing points , trained over Bassenthwaite Lake. Unfortunately the Osprey were in hiding, but these magnificent raptors nest nearby every year and are often seen flying over the water. Opposite the Dodd Wood car park is the entrance for Mirehouse & Gardens , a beautiful historic mansion and grounds , open to the public. Dogs are allowed in the gardens and grounds, so I persuaded Wil, that we should take a look. πŸ™‚

Mirehouse & Gardens
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In the Walled Garden.
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The Wall Garden provides shelter for Bees.
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A surprise find ~ A Snuff Garden. Atchhoooo!
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Pretty pink. πŸ™‚
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Fancy sitting on this throne?
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Lots of colour in the grounds.
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Bluebells.

Mirehouse’s gardens are a riot of colour and there is lots to explore including a Heather Maze, Fernery, Herb Garden, Bee Garden, Poets Walk and nature trails. The grounds reach as far as the lakeside and there are woodland walks with surprises at every corner.

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The Coledale Inn.

We were definitely late to the Wedding celebrations, but in the evening I did indulge in a Meghan Markle Mac N Cheese at the Coledale Inn , back in Braithwaite. : b

Thanks for reading. X