Tag Archives: ashton memorial

Butterflies, Seabirds & Rock Pools.

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Large Tree Nymph Butterfly.

In my last blog post I was feeling all Autumnal , but then Summer made a reappearance on Sunday 🙂  Happily we were put in charge of my niece and nephew for the day ….or was it the other way round !  Anyway we decided to head for the coast.  First we found ourselves at Williamson Park  on the outskirts of Lancaster.  With 54 acres of beautiful parkland , the impressive Ashton Memorial and far reaching views across Morecambe Bay, there’s certainly plenty to see.  But it was the Butterfly House and the Mini Beasts that the kids and I were interested in. Whilst Wil took Hugo for a walk , we got up close and personal with allsorts of cute creatures.  🙂

Tropical Blue Butterfly.


Common Garden Skink eating lunch.

The Butterfly House in Williamson Park is a former Palm House which resembles a tropical rainforest.  Indeed my camera lense started steaming up as soon as we entered!  Colourful butterflies flutter amongst the greenery and there are also various reptiles living here.  We were especially enamoured by the Common Garden Skink and a Chinese Water Dragon, who seemed a very friendly fellow.

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Chinese Water Dragon.



As well as The Butterfly House ,there is a Mini Beasts House, an Aviary and Meerkats, so plenty to keep the kids oooohing and ahhing for a little while. We also found an adventure playground, before meeting up with Wil and Hugo in The Pavilion Cafe. And we had to have a quick look in the gift shop too of course!

If only we had climbed up The Ashton memorial.  The views are apparently stunning from the first floor viewing gallery. That’s a definite for next time.  The memorial dominates the Lancaster skyline and was commissioned by Lord Ashton, as a tribute to his late wife.  Constructed mainly from Portland stone, with a copper dome, the structure was completed in 1909, and is now a popular venue for weddings and other events.  But now let’s head to Morecambe, whilst the sun is still shining. 🙂

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Tropical flower.





Ashton Memorial

Morecambe’s Seafront is home to the Tern Project , an art trail that celebrates the varied birdlife and wildlife that make their home on the Lancashire Coast. Look out for poems and puzzles, jokes and riddles and lots of birdy sculptures.  Many can be found on the long stone jetty in front of the Midland Hotel, and along the promenade.


A Bird’s Eye View across the Bay.
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Ringed  plovers.
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Mythical Bird.

When I asked my niece and nephew what they enjoyed the most about our day out, the answer was rock pooling!  These two could spend hours looking for crabs and water snails. Simple pleasures eh. 🙂


Gone Crabbing !

Here’s hoping for some more summery days to lead us out of September. X

A day out in Lancaster.

If you have been reading my recent posts, you will know that we had a few days away camping on the coast at Bolton le sands.Oneday we decided to get the bus into nearby Lancaster. If you have ever been to this Lancashire town, you will know it is great for shopping and nights out. It is also worth exploring for its fascinating history ~ so I am including our visit for my #take12trips entry for September.

The first thing we did when we arrived was actually head out of the centre to Williamson Park. This beautiful parkland is home to an edwardian butterfly house and the imposing Ashton Memorial, which dominates Lancasters skyline.

Beautiful hydrangea.
Beautiful hydrangea.
The Ashton Memorial.
The Ashton Memorial.

This magnificent white stone folly was built by a wealthy baron for his late wife in the early 1900’s. It commands spectacular views of Morecambe bay….which I totally forgot to photograph. Sorry folks! Think I was in to much of a hurry to visit the tropical Butterfly House. 🙂

The Ashton memorial reminded me of the Sacre Coeur or even the Taj Mahal.
The Ashton memorial reminded me of the Sacre Coeur or even the Taj Mahal.

I must admit I did love the butterfly house. Could have spent hours in there chasing the butterflies round for photographs. Several species such as Swallowtail and Owl butterflies fluttered in between the palm trees , delighting the visitors, even landing on us ~ well Wil anyway.
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As well as the Butterfly house there is also a mini beast house, aviary with free flying birds, animal garden and cafe and gift shop , all situated near the memorial. I wish we had explored the grounds a little more as the park has woodland walks,trails, monuments and ponds.
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For lunch we headed back into the city and enjoyed some good traditional pub grub in the Penny Bank Pub on Penny street, washed down with real ales and cider. Then we had a look in the Assembly Rooms for vintage treasures.

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In the heart of the city stands the deceptively Harry Potter like castle with its dark history that includes the Pendle Witch Trials and time spent as a prison. We didn’t do the tour which I regret now, as it is the only way to see inside this grade 1 listed building.

Lancaster Castle.
Lancaster Castle.

Instead we decided to visit the nearby Judge’s Lodgings which houses The Museum of Childhood. I think I like to release my inner child…and drag Wil along with me. 🙂 This grand house is worth a look anyway with its many rooms decked out as they would have been many years ago. The top floor is devoted to the childhood museum.

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It was fun looking out for things that reminded us of our own childhoods. I loved the womble! All in all we had a perfect day of sightseeing, shopping and drinking in the odd pub. 🙂