Finding myself with an hour to kill in Blackburn on Friday, I decided to check out some of the stunning street art that adorns the Lancashire town. Blackburn Open Walls features both local and international artists , bringing creativity and colour to the lesser known streets of Blackburn. The initiative began in 2016 and new murals have been popping up every year since. I didn’t manage to find all of them, but here is a small selection I discovered before catching my train home.
I find myself wanting to hunt out the rest now. And definitely hoping more artists will add to these incredible street murals in 2019.
The merest hint of sunshine and dry weather, and we headed for the coast. I had done a little research into Lancashire beaches, the ones where you can walk your dog all year round, and Bispham beach came up as an option. Set between Blackpool North Shore and Cleveleys, there are no dog restrictions on this quiet stretch of sand. However, we somehow ended up parking at the Rossall Beach side of Cleveleys instead, which turned out fine, as there were plenty of dog walkers there too!
Once you arrive at the shiny new promenade at Cleveleys, pop your dog on a lead. There are the usual dog walking beach restrictions here between May and September, but the sea front is definitely worth a look. A children’s story book called ‘The Sea Swallow’ has been brought to life by several interesting sculptures. Look out for a giant curved shell on the shore , an ogre on the beach and the ogre’s giant paddle on the prom. Apparently the book is based on local coastal myth and legend.
Memorial to ships wrecked off the Fylde Coast.
It seemed a good idea to continue walking to Blackpool. After all distant views of Blackpool Tower beckoned! Unfortunately ( or fortunately) there is a lot of work being done on the areas sea defences at the moment, so much of our walk was along the promenade. At Bispham the famous Blackpool Illuminations start, so I couldn’t help but join this Mad Hatter’s Tea Party. 🙂 Feeling peckish we bought Fish and Chips and continued with our journey. The walk between Cleveleys and Blackpool North Shore is a bracing 4 miles.
As the oldest of Blackpool’s three Victorian piers loomed in front of us, so did Blackpool Tower, which was first opened to the public in 1894 and at 518 feet , is the 120th tallest freestanding tower in the world. In front of the tower is the remarkable Comedy Carpet , a wonderful homage to the work of over 1000 comedians and comedy writers, all of whom have performed in Blackpool. A great place for a stick of rock and a chuckle. 🙂
We took a walk along the North Pier . Crumbling and gentile, there’s life on the old pier yet. A children’s miniature train, a vintage carousel, old fashioned sweets and Dirty Dancing playing in the theatre.
As it started to drizzle, we decided to catch the Fleetwood Ferry Tram back to Cleveleys. The trams are a quick and inexpensive way to get around. Once there we enjoyed coffee and cake sat outside a local cafe, before walking back along Rossall Beach to the car.
It was a nice experience exploring a bit of coastline that we have never ventured to before. Have you ever been to Cleveleys? Are you a fan of Blackpool? Where do you go for some Sea Air?
I’m joining in with this month’s Photo Scavenger Hunt after sorting out my photo’s from today’s day out in the Big City. The Big City of Manchester! Wil and I both have this week off work and as Wil wanted to buy a new shirt, we caught the train into our favourite Northern city. 🙂 Now when I’m looking for clothes it usually takes me the whole day to find something! Not so with Wil. He found his shirt within the first half hour. So we spent the rest of the day basically eating,drinking and admiring graffiti in the Northern Quarter. Here are the pictures……
Green ~ Our first pint of the day was in Mr Thomas’s Chop House on Deansgate. This is a Grade II listed building which first opened as a public house in 1870 and the inside is decorated with original Green Victoriantiles.
Two ~ Beautiful ladies adorning a wall in Manchester’s arty Northern Quarter.
Cool ~ More Cool graffiti in the Northern Quarter. Just walk round and immerse yourself. 🙂
Somewhere I Went ~ Here I am in the lovely Sugar Junction Tea Rooms on Tibb Street. The book has an interesting Gin Menu in it but i’m afraid I stuck to coffee….
Look Up and see the Tib Street Horn ~ a serpent like sculpture coiled round the remains of a Victorian building near Afflecks Palace.
From a low angle ~ Photographed from the bottom of the stairs in Infamous Diner , a 1950’s style American Diner in the Northern Quarter.
On The Shelf ~ Plenty of choice at the Tib Street Tavern. 🙂
Writing ~ Iconic Sixth Day t-shirts ( first printed in 1988) are still Manchester’s favourite design and are sold at the Northern Quarter’s eclectic independent Boutique collection under one roof ~ Afflecks Palace .
Inside ~ We had lunch in this fab American Diner in the Northern Quarter. I’m sure It will appear again in another post. 🙂
Line ~ Tram Lines and bright yellow tram in the city centre.
Shape ~ Rectangular vintage luggage in Manchester’s Victoria Station Bar.
I thought I would leave you with a few more Graffiti images that we saw today. I’m sure there are many many more to discover. 🙂
I’m linking up with Greenthumb’s Photo Scavenger Hunt. Take a look! :)X
Drink & Draw is Blackburn’s first alternative drawing class , held every month in various locations in the town. I heard about it through a work mate and thought it would be a fun evening out! December’s class promised to be packed full of festive fun so four of us headed over to the lovely Liz N Lil’s cafe bar on Northgate with our sketch books for this month’s decorative doodles. 🙂
If you are admiring our rather dodgy jumpers and cardis, the theme was ‘Terrible Knitwear’, although I think we all look quite fetching actually. 😉
We all wondered who or what we would be drawing! Each month a different dancer/performer/act models for the class. Previous models include a fire eater, a pole dancer and a burlesque dancer. It turned out we would be immortalising this lovely glitzy angel onto paper…..
Isn’t he stunning! A cross between an Abba Angel and Disco Jesus? Our model struck many a pose throughout the session. Sometimes we were given one minute to draw him and other times ten.Things were mixed up a bit with fun competitions and attempts to sketch left handed instead of right handed or vice versa. As you can see , some of us were better at this arty stuff than others. 😉
You don’t need any drawing experience to enjoy the evening ( Yup i’m talking about myself! ) and I think it would be something I would try again. Liz N lil’s is only one of the fab venues around Blackburn that have been used by Drink and Draw. Old churches, museums and even a barge have hosted the evening in the past. If you want to check out future events here is their facebook page.
Staithes with its hotchpotch of higgeldy-piggledy cottages, colourful roofscapes and quaint fishing harbor is one of the most charming settlements on the Yorkshire coast. Even on a cold blustery day in November the village has a magical aura about it.
We ambled round the cobbled streets and took in the gorgeous vistas which have attracted numerous artists to the area. Indeed Staithes is sometimes known as ‘The St Ives of the North’ such is its inspiration to various painters and sculpturers. Staithes is steeped in history too. As a lad,farmer’s son James Cook ( later to become Captain James Cook!) lived and worked here briefly. Staithes must have been his introduction to the sea…
I was thrilled to discover a really cute little tea room/vintage shop on the High Street. In Dotty’s the tables are adorned with pretty table cloths,the ceiling is brimming with oversized lampshades and delicious homemade cheese and chutney scones are served on mismatched vintage crockery. A little piece of heaven. Even Hugo was treated to a selection of dog biscuits on a china saucer. 🙂
The shop is packed full of vintage treasures and curios. Its a lovely place to browse. Dotty’s has even started renting two B&B rooms. Maybe i should hint to the other half for next year’s birthday!
Most of the gift shops and the gallery were closed on our visit but it was still fun to enjoy the Yorkshire Sea Air and a pint in the Cod and Lobster. Speaking of Lobsters, there’s something about Staithes that makes you want to sing a certain B52’s song. ;0)
It was not that long ago that a Friday Night meant going out round town for a few drinks and a dance. These days I’m more likely to be found curled up with a dvd ……but last Friday I was out painting pottery!
Paint Pot is situated in the Swan Courtyard in Clitheroe and it is here that a friend organized a girls night out. All we needed to do was bring ourselves and something to drink. Preferably a bottle of wine or two. 🙂
This ‘Paint your Own’ Pottery studio is used to catering for family fun but not many people know they hold Ladies nights too. There were eight of us in our group and we had a table to ourselves, decorated prettily but practically with a disposable union jack tablecloth. Our painting pinnys were tied to the chairs, in bright yellow bows. 🙂
We all got to choose which piece of pottery we each wanted to paint.There was plenty of choice. Mugs, tiles, butter dishes, teapots, tree baubles. You name it, they have it. 🙂
For a few hours we had a fun time chatting, painting and the odd glass of wine. It wasn’t expensive either. The cost of your pot is taken out of a ten pound deposit you pay beforehand plus a £2.50 fee for the evening.
At the end of the evening we left our creations to be fired. We can pick them up soon. Can’t wait ! The dogs bowl is mine by the way.
We all had a fantastic girls night out….and there was still time to head to the pub after. Thank you Paint Pot for a great evening. :))
During our recent little break away to Red bank farm campsite near Morecambe, we enjoyed a couple of days out. I thought I would post a few pictures to show you where we went. On Sunday we took the car and made our way up the coast to the Edwardian resort of Grange Over Sands. Grange is a picturesque town with a promenade looking out on to salt marsh meadows and the sea beyond. Local delicacies include Salt marsh Lamb & beef and Morecambe Bay Potted shrimps. The town is only 7 miles from Windermere, yet used to be in Lancashire.
I loved the quaint little stores here and had a good look round the gift shops. I mentioned the dreaded word ‘Christmas shopping’ only once and it was enough to make my other half sulk. Typical that I found ‘potential presents’ ….but was firmly discouraged from buying any. That didn’t stop me from treating myself though. 😉
As we headed down to the sea front, we saw a sign advertising an Arts & Crafts fair called Art on the Prom. Sure enough an abundance of stalls were set up along the promenade , against the most scenic of backdrops.
Apparently the event is held every last weekend of each month over summer. The last one will be at the end of September. The August fair had the perfect weather as you can see. 🙂
I ended up purchasing a tartan cross over bag and a cute map covered diary. 🙂
Do you like my view? This is the view from the front bedroom, the view I wake up to every day. I always imagined my favorite view would be one of the sea. But I guess I am a bit of a home-bod. Some people are not very impressed with the fact that mostly all I can see is a big red brick chimney!
I quite like the chimney and the industrial vista. The mill is no longer running but there is talk of it being made into apartments. Its a listed building so maybe one of those apartments will have a chimney running through the middle of its front bedroom. 🙂 I like the fact that I can see Pendle Hill in the distance , where I grew up.
I can hear gulls too…..as a few of them tend to congregate on the mill roof. Listening to them in the morning does kind of make me believe i’m on the coast.
And yesterday I purchased this incredible painting ( thanks to the generousity of some of my lovely friends) aptly titled ‘Waves’ from a little gallery near where we live. The artist in residence enjoys painting ‘Sea Views’ and this one was done in the cornish village of st Ives. It has pride of place in the front bedroom……so I now have two amazing views to admire when I get up in the morning.
Was recently looking through my vast collection of photos ~ yes I am that girl who refuses to give up the pleasure of sticking physical photos in actual albums ( as well as backing them up on the pc 🙂 ), when I came accross some snapshots of a trip to Glasgow we took a couple of years ago. Have you ever visited? I was definatly an Edinburgh enthusiast ( and still am ) when it comes to Scotlands cities so it came as a surprise that I enjoyed Glasgow as much as I did. Brimming with beautiful architecture ( Charles Rennie Mackintosh studied, taught and designed here),museums, galleries, shopping and restaurants its a culture vultures heaven. I wish we had time to see more but we did manage to take in The Peoples Palace, The Kelvingrove Museum, The Lighthouse Gallery and The Glasgow School of Art.
The hop on and off buses are a great way of seeing Scotlands largest city.
Enjoy the pics. 🙂
Speeking of trips I have decided to take part in a bit of a challenge ! I was reading a great blog entry on Is That You Darling where Janey who writes the blog shared her day out at the seaside ( most beautiful pictures of beach huts, rainbows and big skies ❤ ) as part of the #take12trips challenge. Take 12 Trips was thought up by Clare at Need Another Holiday. The idea is simple. Visit somewhere new once a month and blog about it ! It could be a break away , a day trip or an afternoon in a place on your doorstep you’ve never taken the time to discover. The good news is you can start whenever you like so If you fancy a go yourself link up to other bloggers on twitter at #take12trips. I’m going to begin the challenge later this month !
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