Tag Archives: blackburn

A Pleasington Walk. 🥾

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. 🙂

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.
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. 🚂🚂
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.

Street Art In Blackburn.

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.

Colourful Kingfishers and Girl by Mexican Artist Goya Torres ~ above archway by The Mall.

Connect 4 by Boo_Who_Up_North.

Couldn’t find any info on this one. Possibly The BFG ?

Bird Art by Curtis Hylton.

Probably my favourite of the street art that I saw. A giant duck by Curtis Hylton on the side of Bar Ibiza, Mincing Lane.

Not really part of Blackburn Open Walls, but seen on a cafe window ~ Exchange Coffee Company in Flemming Square.

Artwork by Blackburn based Alphahol.

A nod to Blackburns industrial heritage. A fantastical creature on a Loom by Sheffield based artist Phlegm.

Bees by Jerome Davenport ~ Australia.

Mural by London based Dale Grimshaw.

Found some more beautiful birds on a carpark wall, mostly obscured by vehicles though. Artist ~ Alexandra Gallagher.

I find myself wanting to hunt out the rest now. And definitely hoping more artists will add to these incredible street murals in 2019.

Do you have any street art near you?

A Festive Drink and Draw.

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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. 🙂

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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…..

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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.

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Happy doodling!

a Carnival of Curiosities in Blackburn.

Helter Skelter :)
Helter Skelter 🙂

Roll up, roll up for the carnival is in town. The Carnival Of Curiosities was just one of the attractions at the Blackburn Heritage Festival over the weekend. Myself and a couple of friends prepared to be amazed and astounded as we wandered round the Victorian style fairground. Here are a few pictures from the day. 🙂

Its always lovely to see the Thwaite's  Shire horses.
Its always lovely to see the Thwaite’s Shire horses.

Carousel ride.
Carousel ride.

Nicola Hebson's 'Dead Good Jewellery and Taxidermy.
Nicola Hebson’s ‘Dead Good Jewellery and Taxidermy.

Stilt walker 'Long Legged Larry'.
Stilt walker ‘Long Legged Larry’.

Spooky dolls heads.
Spooky dolls heads.

The Apothecary Bar.
The Apothecary Bar.

Cute owl cupcakes. :)
Cute owl cupcakes. 🙂

Tiny wonders in the Curiovan emporium of Natural wonderment.
Tiny wonders in the Curiovan emporium of Natural wonderment.

'The Remedy. The singer has a gorgeous voice.
‘The Remedy. The singer has a gorgeous voice.

Enjoying a brew in Liz N Lils.
Enjoying a brew in Liz N Lils.

Vintage glamour ~ Its the Sparkle Sisters.
Vintage glamour ~ Its the Sparkle Sisters.

Twydall Crumblepatch's taxidermy marionette puppets.
Twydall Crumblepatch’s taxidermy marionette puppets.

Everybody loves a mermaid.
Everybody loves a mermaid.

It was also nice to see that there is more to Blackburn than just the Mall. If you ever visit you might want to look out for Decades Vintage Fashion on Lord street, No11 Town Hall street ( quirky new gift shop featuring ‘Dead good’ jewellery by Nicola Hebson) and Liz ‘N’ lils vintage style tea room, in what used to be ‘The Grapes’ on Northgate.

I just wish I had had a go on that Helterskelter!

Helter Skelter :)
Helter Skelter 🙂

Liz ‘N’ Lil’s ~ Blackburn

After a work collegue suggested I bob into Liz ‘N’ Lil’s , the next time I was in Blackburn, I couldn’t wait to check it out. This quirky and homely cafe/bar is housed in what used to be the Grapes pub in Blackburn town centre.


Located at 108 Northgate , not far from King Georges Hall, Liz ‘N’ Lil’s is a stones throw from the shops, so its the perfect place to hang out after a spot of retail therapy.


Spacious yet cozy the homely decor includes comfy sofas and a bar selling wine & beer. Your eyes are constantly drawn to all the interesting retro nic nacs & pretty vintage touches dotted around the place.




I opted for a tasty home cooked ham sandwich which was served with a lovely salad and I also had a refreshing mixed berry smoothie which was delicious. A popular choice is the Blackburn Bake made from black pudding, bacon and sausages in a mustard sauce ! The vintage china came out too. Always a treat. 😀 The homemade cakes looked very inviting also. And theres a great selection of coffees  and teas.


The relaxed and quirky vibe in Liz ‘N’ Lils means it is the perfect venue for a monthly makers & craft fair which takes place every first Thursday of the month 4-8pm apparently. I shall have to go for a nosy sometime!



I found the staff to be friendly and the tearooms charming so please visit next time your in Blackburn. Liz ‘N’ Lil’s is just what the town needs. Click Here to follow them on Twitter.