Tag Archives: blackpool

Hawthorn’s August Scavenger Hunt.

Hey there, it’s time for another bash at Hawthorn’s Photo Scavenger Hunt.  Looking at this month’s pictures makes me realise, I have been out and about quite a bit in August. Not that I’m complaining!

1. Relaxed.  A friend’s cute Bedlington Terrier is supplied with her own cushion in the pub , on our camping trip to Ingleton.

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2.  It begins with an M.  This curved sculpture on the beach in Cleveleys is called Mary’s Shell.

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3.  Time For…… a delicious slab of moist ginger cake in a cute cafe bar in Sedbergh called ‘The Three Hares’.

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4.  Tangerine.  Ok this photo is a bit of a stretch!  I am seeing a slight hint of tangerine colour here , in a waterfall on the Ingleton Falls Trail.

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5.  It begins with an O.  The Old Fashioned Traditional Sweet Shop on Blackpool’s North Pier sells all sorts of goodies. 🙂

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6.  Whiskery. Ok he’s not really that whiskery, just scruffy and cute. I met this sweetie in The Three Hares in Sedbergh. His name is Tigger!

7.  Lace.  Cow Parsley in a local meadow. It’s also known as Queen Anne’s Lace.

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8.  Bridge. Well how about this bridge! Ribblehead Viaduct is Europe’s longest viaduct and its in our very own Yorkshire Dales, not far from Ingleton.

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9). Letters.  The letter appears prominently on these colourful Collins hardbacks in a book shop in Sedbergh. Sedbergh is a Book town in the Yorkshire Dales National Park.

 

 

10.  My Own Choice. My two god daughters with their camping breakfasts. 🙂

 Please check out Hawthorn’s Blog for more Scavenger Hunt posts. 🙂

 

 

Sunday Sevens ~ 20th August.

A week off  work, so a good way to summarise it, would be to join in with Sunday Sevens I think.  Its been a pretty great week, despite the very unpredictable weather!  Here are 7 pictures of what I have got up to over the last 7 days. 🙂

1. We took Hugo on a walk from Cleveleys to Blackpool. Here he is on the wonderful Comedy Carpet , in front of Blackpool Tower. Wonder which joke or catchphrase has caught his eye? Boom, Boom ! maybe. 🙂

2. Wil treated me to lunch at a new eaterie in Skipton called Alexander’s. It was a rare dry sunny afternoon and we shared this delicious platter outside on their lovely sun terrace. He definitely did treat me as it cost him £32. Yikes! 

3. Last weekend we were camping with friends in Ingleton , in the Yorkshire Dales. We walked the Ingleton Falls trail and got our hands muddy knocking ten pence pieces into this money tree. 🙂

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4. Yesterday we went a walk round Ribblehead Viaduct ….and it was bloomin freezing! Felt more like November than mid August.  Seen in the black comedy film ‘Sightseers’, Ribblehead has 24 arches and is the longest viaduct in Europe.

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5.  You may have heard the story of how Ribblehead was built in the 1800s. One Hundred railway workers ( Navvies) lost their lives building the iconic structure, which carries the Settle-Carlisle Railway over Blea Moor. The Navvies also built  shanty towns on the moors , where they lived whilst constructing the viaduct. I quite like this shot of a train journeying accross. 

6.  We visited Northern England’s Book Town ‘Sedbergh’ which is also in the Yorkshire Dales National Park.  There are 7 or 8 book shops here, most selling other products too ,such as outdoor gear or gifts and toys. I picked up some pretty postcards, an Observer’s book of Wild Animals from the fifties and a couple more RSPB pins for my collection. As I flip through my Observer’s guide, I am definitely picking up clues to the demise of some of our beloved wildlife. Badger Hams were apparently a ‘thing’ back in the day. What!!

7.  This week has been National Afternoon Tea week in the UK, the perfect excuse for booking a sublime afternoon tea at The Cake’Ole in Skipton. My friends Arwen, Gill and I tucked into the treats. I will blog about it very soon! 

Natalie at Threads and Bobbins organizes Sunday Sevens. Anyone can join in on a Sunday with 7 ( or more ) pics of their week.

 

Sea Air ~ Cleveleys & Blackpool.

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Sea Holly, Rossall Beach.

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!

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Confused in Cleveleys.
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Mary’s Shell.
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Sea Swallow.

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.

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Curved promenade.
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Ogre on the Beach.
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Ogre’s paddle.
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Hugo on the beach.

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.

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Illuminations in Bispham.
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Old Sea Cliff Lift.
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North Pier.

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. 🙂

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Blackpool Tower and the Comedy Carpet.

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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.

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On the North Pier.
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Sweet Shop on North Pier.
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View of Blackpool Tower.

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.

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Cream cake in Cleveleys.
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Icecream Van in Cleveleys.

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Young Gull.
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Mary’s Shell.

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Rossall Beach.

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?

Can you Glamp in Lancashire? Yes Of Course!

I  sometimes feel that Lancashire gets a raw deal in the holiday guides. As beautiful  as my home  county is ,with its rolling hills, pretty villages,miles of stunning coastline and it’s fascinating industrial heritage, lovely Lancs is often overshadowed by it’s more touristy cousins, the Yorkshire Dales and the Lake District. However Lancashire can compete in the glamping stakes! I did some research and found the following options. 🙂

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Stanley Villa Farm Glamping.  A lot less fuss than putting up a tent are these cute camping pods at Fylde Trout Fishery near Blackpool. There are 24 on site , with views over the fishing lake. All have 2 single beds with mattresses and enough room for a double airbed too, so ideal for couples,groups of friends or families. No electricity but the main lodge on site has communal cooking facilities and free teas,coffees and hot chocolates!  Each pod has it’s own fire pit and bbq facilities and a separate mini pod contains children’s toys,games and sports equipment. Pet friendly too. Prices from £47 per pod,per night. www.campingbugs.co.uk

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Shepherd’s Huts at Samlesbury Hall. Brightly coloured family friendly Shepherd Huts in the grounds of a historic 14th century Hall. There are 3 in the prettily arranged ‘Hut Hamlet’ , each with two double beds with memory foam mattresses, low-wattage electricity and cosy ensuites. Kids will love the Mayflower playground and the mini menagerie. The Hall itself ( check on opening times) is free entry and the guided tours are free too. The restaurant in Samlesbury Hall does cooked breakfasts….and there is a Wafflery called  ‘ Dotties’. One pet-friendly hut. Prices from £25 per person, per night.  www.samlesburyhall.co.uk

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Lanterns & Larks in the Forest Of Bowland.  Hidden on the Bleasdale Estate in an ‘ Area Of Outstanding Natural Beauty’, these luxury Glamping Tents have the most stunning of backdrops, the Bowland Fells. Each lodge has 3 bedrooms, shower and WC  and an  open plan living area with a cosy wood burning stove at it’s heart. A decked terrace , fire pit and barbecue complete these rural canvas cabins. Perfect for families, groups, wildlife lovers, walkers & cyclists…..and dogs are welcome too. Prices start from £365. www.lanternsandlarks.co.uk .

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Feather Down at Dolphinholme Farm.  Also on the edge of the beautiful Forest of Bowland, Dolphinholme Farm is only 20 minutes from the coast and very near the river Wyre. The 1920’s style Safari tents with wooden flooring and cosy wood burning stoves are the perfect getaways for families and groups of friends. Kids have plenty to keep them occupied here. There is a child orienteering course , a treasure hunt and a big play barn!  The farm has an Honesty shop selling it’s own cheese.  Oh and dogs are welcome . Prices for short breaks begin at £189. www.featherdown.co.uk .

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Yurts at the Red Pump Inn.  The Red Pump  is a picturesque Country Inn situated in the tiny village of Bashall Eaves near Clitheroe. As well as the usual accommodation inside the Inn, guests can ‘glamp’ in stylish Yurts, with lovely views of Pendle Hill and Longridge Fell. All feature king size beds with fur throws, a cosy wood burning stove and ensuite bathrooms. Breakfast is included next door in the pub and guests can dine at the Red Pump’s Steak House Restaurant. Nearby attractions include historic Clitheroe Castle and Bowland Wild Boar Park. Dog friendly. Prices from £250 B &B  for a two night stay.

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Lynx Helicopter stay.  For something completely different , how about stopping in a converted 1982 Westland Lynx XZ676 helicopter!  X-ray Zulu 676 sleeps up to four people and includes a custom made low down double ‘bunk’ in the tail of the helicopter, twin pull out bunk for additional sleeping space, LED flat screen TV and kitchen area with mini fridge and microwave. He stands proudly on a campsite 4 miles from Blackpool in the pretty Fylde countryside. Blackpool Wakepark is adjacent to the site and a ‘Learn to Wakeboard’ package is available for the adventurous. 🙂 Prices from £100 per night. www.reamhills.co.uk .

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Feather Down at Wyresdale Park.  Feather Down Farms already have a glamping site at lovely Dolphinholme Farm but it’s not their only one in Lancashire. Wyresdale Park near Preston hosts more cosy canvas lodges on their beautiful country estate.  All lodges sleep six, have their own private bathroom facilities, wood burning cooking stove, veranda with outdoor furniture and a wood fuelled hot tub. Kids will love the games and rope swing, nearby play barn and petting zoo at Old Holly Farm.  There’s a lake to enjoy messing about on boats and a glass house tea room at the Hall. Pets are very welcome. Prices from £429 for a short break. www.featherdown.co.uk.

Star Campers.  So why stay in one place?  When you have the whole of Lancashire on your doorstep, why not explore it in one of Star Camper’s stunningly restored VW Camper Vans !  Star Campers are based in the Ribble Valley near Clitheroe and Sunny above is one of two vans currently available ( 2 more, Buster and Terry should be ready for 2017) for hire. Such lovingly done restorations set apart the camping from the glamping.   Sunny is an original 1972 Tin top Westfalia campmobile and Starline is a 2009 VW T5 TDI. I can certainly vouch for Starline as Wil, Hugo the dog and I took him away for a night last year. 🙂  Dog friendly. Prices from £100 per day. www.starcampers.co.uk.

Glamping Pods at The Golden Ball Pub.  With elevated views over the River Lune near Morecambe these camping pods are affordable luxury. Each of the three pods has a double bed, sofa bed, ensuite shower and wc, flat screen tv and tea and coffee making facilities. With a food serving pub on your doorstep plus all the attractions of the seaside town of Morecambe nearby , these mini cabins are definitely a tempting option. Prices from £50per pod, per night. www.snatchems.co.uk.

whoooo all his research has definitely given me the Lancashire Glamping bug!

Are you tempted?

 

Zoo Visit.

Its been a good few years since I visited a Zoo. Back in 2006 Wil and I spent a long weekend in Berlin and one of the things we did was go to the Zoo there. Unfortunately the experience left us both feeling uneasy. Most of the animals we saw looked very institutionalized.Some were exhibiting repetitive behaviour such as pacing up and down and going round in circles. It made us feel very sad. Wil said he wouldn’t be visiting any Zoos again. Animals are meant to be where they belong~ living in the wild. I can see his point. There is absolutely no better feeling than seeing wildlife in its natural habitat. When I go out into the English countryside with my camera I love seeing our native creatures going about their business. And twice I have been fortunate enough to visit a friend in British Columbia, Canada and view magnificent beasts in the wild such as Bison, Moose, Elk, Coyote, Black bear, Golden Eagle and even a Mountain Lion. Special moments indeed.

Some years later we have young nephews and nieces and friends with kids. 🙂 When my mate Fi suggested we take her little girl to the zoo whilst our other halves were away biking I must admit I was pleased she asked. It would be interesting to see how the animals were looked after at our nearest zoo Blackpool Zoo. Our friend Jo and her two little ones joined us too.
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It might be because it was a glorious sunny September day , but the animals we saw did all look content. I am no expert on institutionalized behavior so there was nothing obvious that I noticed. Of course there are probably so many signs I am totally clueless about. But we didn’t experience any animals looking distressed I am happy to report.

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The children certainly enjoyed the zoo. It was Lydia’s ( aged 3) first time so the delight they took in the experience was of course contagious. What do you think about zoos ? Are they a fantastic way of conserving the world’s wildlife and enabling future generations to enjoy diverse species they wouldn’t normally get to see ? Do we in fact have a right to observe animals that are not native to our land at such close quarters when the money might be better spent towards national parks in their native countries where they can roam free without fear of hunting etc. What do you think?

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