Tag Archives: days out

Malham Safari Trail.

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Every year in May, a small  village in The Yorkshire Dales is transformed into a cartoon themed animal trail !  From The Teletubbies to The Wind In The Willows, The Gruffalo to Sponge Bob Square Pants,lovely  Malham has become a menagerie of colourful fun for all the family. As a big kid, I was happy to join my god daughter and her Mum, Dad and Gran on this super safari. 🙂  Prepare for a picture heavy post !

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Well you can certainly see we had plenty of fun, and I haven’t managed to photograph half of what you can see there. The trail includes a quiz , where entrants have to find various cartoon characters and count mini televisions. Other activities included live music, magic shows, pond dipping, face painting, archery, birds of prey and a duck race.  Malham is a very pretty village anyway and the Safari can be combined with a walk up to Malham Cove and Janet’s Foss Waterfall.

For more information check out malhamdale.com

The Safari is on until the 31st May. 🙂


Llama Trekking in the Lakes. :)

llama Trekkers. Photo Y Allison.

Llamas are very sociable animals. Llamas can live until their early thirties. Llamas hum when they are happy. 🙂 These are a few of the things we learned about these very interesting, gentle ( and friendly) creatures on a Llama Trek in The Lake District. Lakeland Llama Treks near Penrith in the scenic Eden Valley is a family business, with our hosts Mary and Graham running the trekking side, and other family members looking after the colourful and quirky Llama Karma Kafe. As Llama trekking has been on my Bucket List for a while now, I decided to commandeer the rest of my family in joining me for a’ countryside trail’ in the glorious sunshine on Sunday. 🙂

Seven of us ( 5 adults,2 kids) assembled at the Llama Karma Kafe at 11am.  We were joined by another family of three, so there would be ten of us on the trek altogether. Five llamas were loaded into a specially adapted horsebox and we followed Mary and Graham a few minutes down the A66 , parking on a small carpark just off a country lane, where we would start our trek. We were then given a little talk about the llamas and put into pairs. Each pair was then introduced to their llama companion for the walk.

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I paired up with my five year old niece imogen and our llama was this little chap called ‘Cuba’. As you can see we are leading Cuba with a double lead, one of us at either side of him.

Llamas come in all shapes and sizes. Cuba was definitely the shortest of our llama friends that day. He suited Imogen and I , being that we are shorties ourselves. 🙂 The funny thing was, he really liked to lower himself down to our level. When I asked Wil to have a hold for a minute, Cuba stretched himself up as tall as he could!

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We walked through the fields and along the river, stopping to admire a secluded 17th century church. There were plenty of photo opportunities.

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Mary and Graham and our other guide ( I totally forgot to ask her name! ) were very knowledgeable about the llamas and the local history of the area too. When I had told friends, that I was going on a llama trek, their reactions ranged from ‘What your riding llamas ?’ to ‘Be careful of them spitting at you!’ but our guides explained these common misconceptions. Firstly, you can’t really ride llamas. Llamas are strong enough to carry all sorts of things. Originally from South America these placid creatures have been domesticated and used as pack animals by native peoples for centuries. They have longer backs than horses , so weight has to be evenly distributed. Overloaded llamas will just sit down on the ground. A human’s weight all in one spot, would not a happy llama make.

And yes llamas do spit. But only when feeling threatened. If they are used to people like these guys then they will rarely spit at a human being. However they may possibly spit at each other . Females will spit at a male who is making advances she doesn’t want and llama’s may spit at each other when in competition over food. For this reason ( and just the excitement of being together) the llamas are usually sent on treks in single sex groups. We had the company of the lads. Happily the only noise they made was a gentle happy humming as we ambled along through the gorgeous Eden Valley scenery. Llamas don’t spook easily either. As we walked back single file through a meadow several young pheasants flew up out of the grass. Apart from an inquisitive glance beforehand , the llamas didn’t bat an eyelid.


Our countryside trail trek lasted about an hour and a half and included refreshments at the end in the cafe. Situated at the side of the A66 the Llama Karma Kafe can get quite busy with passers by. We managed to get a seat outside the back where there is a mini menagerie of animals including a giant rabbit, a parrot and a couple of tiny cute marmoset.

The cafe itself is bright and quirky with a peruvian influence. There is also a gift shop so we were sure to buy some souvenirs of our trip. 🙂 We each got a certificate for participating too.

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I would definitely recommend Lakeland Llama Treks as a fun experience for all the family, or as a birthday treat or even for a Hen Party. Our guides were friendly and informative and the llamas were incredibly sweet, inquisitive and and a little bit mischievous. Most of all, I think they liked us as much as we liked them. 🙂

The Countryside Llama Trek is £35 per person and includes an easy walking off road trail, beautiful scenery, interesting knowledgeable guides, refreshments at the kafe ( drinks and cakes) and a fun certificate. Suitable for all ages and walking abilities.



October Photo Scavenger Hunt.

It’s time for October’s Photo Scavenger Hunt again!  This month some pictures are from an afternoon out in Cumbria and others were taken a little closer to home. If you fancy looking at everyone else’s takes on the prompts head on over to Made With Love.image

Question ~  Which is the Witch??? Ha ha ha. My friend took this of myself and my charming companion in the pub at the weekend. 🙂

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Cream ~  A rather good Afternoon Tea which some friends and I enjoyed at ‘The Inn on the Lake’ on the shores of Ullswater in the Lake District. It includes the obligatory scone with jam and clotted cream of course. 🙂

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Number ~ A number of beer kegs in the grounds of Brougham Hall which we visited in Cumbria. The Hall near Penrith is currently being restored and the grounds contain several craft shops and the Eden Brewery.

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Lattice ~ The windows in this chapel in Brougham have attractive lattice work.

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Familiar ~  Hugo and I take this familiar route round Clitheroe Castle grounds quite often. 🙂

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Ring ~ I love this fantastic door knocker at Brougham Hall with the knocker ring threaded through the creature’s mouth. It is one of only four in the country.

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Today ~ Leaves carpet the grounds of Clitheroe Castle on Hugo’s walk this afternoon.

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Writing ~ Vintage wall signs outside the cafe at Brougham Hall.

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Down ~ Apples are squashed to a pulp and drop down to be pressed at Dove Syke Farm. Wil and I went there for a Cider Festival at the beginning of the month.

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Many ~ And here are just some of the Apples ready to be pressed and made into cider. 😉

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Broken ~ The ruins of Brougham Hall which are slowly being restored. The building is 700 years old.

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Whatever you want ~ A beautiful Rose still flowering in October.

Thanks for dropping by. You can find out more about Brougham Hall here. X

Saltaire Saturday.

On Saturday we headed off to Saltaire near Bradford for the afternoon.I have posted about this former mill workers village before, but hey its so lovely its deserving of another mention. The wonderfully named textile factory owner ‘Sir Titus Salt’ designed and built Saltaire for his workers in the 1800s. The location was inspired.Away from the crowded and unhealthy conditions of Bradford , yet close to railway and canal links, Saltaire was built next to the river Aire and benefited from a church, a school, allotments to grow food,pleasant greens and squares, a hospital and even a large park. Many of the buildings were designed in a classical style , influenced by the italian Renaissance. For the times, Titus Salts workforce were very fortunate indeed. Today the village is a UNESCO World heritage site and Salts Mill houses several shops including Salts Book and Poster store & All terrain Cycles, as well as a huge David Hockney Art exhibition. On Victoria road there are several fab independant shops and cafes.

I was super excited to sample a sumptious slice of cake from the 1940’s & 50’s Style patisserie that is Jeanettes Cakery on Bingley rd, but unfortunately it was closed. 😦 A quick check on facebook showed that the owners are tieing the knot this weekend.So congrats to them. 🙂 I will return!!

I took a few photos of our amble round Saltaire.Enjoy….and visit soon.:)

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Take 12 Trips ~ A Round Up. :)

For the past twelve months I have been participating in the #take12trips challenge. Clare from Need Another Holiday thought up the great idea of taking a trip every month for twelve months….and blogging about where you went. The cool thing is the trips can be local ( I blogged about an afternoon exploring the Castle Museum in my hometown), days out, overnight stays or holidays here or abroad. I’ve really enjoyed the experience of getting out and about somewhere new every month ~ this challenge has been the perfect excuse to visit those nearby places I’ve always meant to have a nosy at ! And I’ve discovered a few new day trip ideas too. 🙂


Days at the seaside are wonderful whatever the weather. In August I really enjoyed a Beach Hut day in St Annes with some friends.

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Back in January I sampled yummy cake at a a quirky tea rooms in Manchester. Tea Room trips are the best!

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Mays trip was a few days spent in Cumbria with family, so I blogged about some of the places I visited in the North Lakes area.

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In July I was fortunate enough to spend a few days in Paris. . Of course it was as wonderful as I imagined it would be!

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Last November I got taken away for the night to Manchester for my birthday. I was one lucky girl, being treated to a pre theatre meal, a musical and the city’s famous Christmas markets. 🙂

Swan in the reeds.
Swan in the reeds.

A winters walk round Brockholes Nature Reserve was the perfect place to blow away those Christmas Cobwebs in December.

Happy Campers. :)
Happy Campers. 🙂

Its always good to get away camping and where else but the beautiful Yorkshire dales in June.

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The most interesting and amazing destination I travelled too over the past twelve months was Reykjavik in Iceland. The Golden Circle was brilliant. 🙂

And of course there were other trips too. One for every month of the year! So bloggers if your looking for a new challenge , why not mosy on down to Clare’s site and have a go at the #take12trips challenge too. As you can see I really enjoyed participating.

Sharon. X

Pendle Sculpture Trail.

Although I live a stones throw from Pendle Hill ( I can see its gently brooding slopes from the bedroom window), it is not often that we have travelled to the other side of Pendle and explored the countryside there. Such an occasion though came up on Sunday afternoon.The weather was glorious, both sunny and warm, quite rare for an Octobers day. We arranged to meet my sister and her family and some friends in the pretty little village of Barley which nestles at the foot of the hill. Having done some research online , I had come across various information about ‘The Pendle Sculpture Trail’ in Aitken Wood. In the process I found a lovely new blog to follow ( Home Jules) and this is Julie’s great post about the trail and surrounding area here…

pendle Hill from Black Moss reservoirs.
pendle Hill from Black Moss reservoirs.

Having parked in Barley car park ( £1 charge for the day), we headed out of the village towards Black Moss Reservoirs and followed the track up to Aitken Wood. The trail is signposted so was no problem to find.Leaflets and maps are available from the Cabin Cafe, next to the car park.

Walking to Aitken Wood.
Walking to Aitken Wood.

The Sculptures take their inspiration from the areas wildlife and nature as well as various events that are associated with Pendle Hill. It is from the top of Pendle that in 1652, George Fox had a religious vision which led him to found the Quaker movement. And Pendle also has connections with witchcraft. Over 400 years ago nine innocent residents of nearby villages were hanged in Lancaster, after Britain’s biggest witchcraft trial. The sculpture trail celebrates the area’s beauty and reflects on those times past.

Broomsticks. :)
Broomsticks. 🙂
Witchfinder Sculpture.
Witchfinder Sculpture.
Beautiful moss.
Beautiful moss.
Upside down Bat.
Upside down Bat.
Curving tree sculpture.
Curving tree sculpture.
Toadstools ( real ones.)
Toadstools ( real ones.)

I especially liked the ceramic plaques by artist Sarah McDade ,which were dotted around the forest. There are nine to find and each one represents one of the ‘witches’ who went on trial.

The sheep's skull  representing John Bulcock, who was said to have roasted stolen mutton at a meeting to plot the release of four witches taken to Lancaster Castle Gaol.
The sheep’s skull representing John Bulcock, who was said to have roasted stolen mutton at a meeting to plot the release of four witches taken to Lancaster Castle Gaol.
The Hare plaque represents James Device who apparently saw a strange Hare like creature after eating communion bread.
The Hare plaque represents James Device who apparently saw a strange Hare like creature after eating communion bread.
Anne Redferne was accused of making a clay doll , to put a spell on a local man.
Anne Redferne was accused of making a clay doll , to put a spell on a local man.

We had such a lot of fun doing the Pendle Sculpture Trail, although we somehow managed to miss out on spotting a few of the sculptures. Thats ok though as we intend to go again. 🙂

Four kids, two Bedlington terriers and a few of the grown ups. :)
Four kids, two Bedlington terriers and a few of the grown ups. 🙂

When we got back to the village , the kids had a play on the swings and then we stopped for a pint at The Pendle Inn which is dog friendly and has a decent looking menu and a selection of real ales.

Heading back with views of pendle.
Heading back with views of pendle.
Friendly cat in the village.
Friendly cat in the village.
Pendle Inn Pub sign.
Pendle Inn Pub sign.

For those of you who are interested , nearby Newchurch ( 1 mile from Barley) has a witchy shop and cafe called ‘Witches Galore’ , with a scary looking witch stood outside. I made Wil take me for a nosy before we met the others. 🙂

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I’m so glad we found a new area to walk in. I think its somewhere we will take a certain ‘Mr Hugo’ when he is old enough. 🙂

Thanks for dropping by.