Tag Archives: days out

2018 In Photos.X

Wow, its the end of another year and happily its been an enjoyable one. πŸ™‚ Its always nice to do a round-up post and I originally found this idea on Bev’s Blog, way back when. Next year I will have been occupying this little space in the blogger sphere for seven years. How did that happen! I still feel a constant compulsion to share my life with you all ~ so here’s my 2018 in photos……..

Walking in Whitewell with my sis.

In January I started a walking challenge. Inspired by fellow blogger Christine, I signed up for the #walk1000miles challenge and joined this helpful facebook page for ideas and motivation. The idea is to walk 1000 miles in twelve months. I was pretty confident I could do it, but how fast? Also in January Wil and I spent A Long Weekend In The Lake District. , where we walked round Derwent Water and made snow angels in the snow. πŸ™‚

Snowdrops at Hornby Castle.

February was abundant with snowdrops this year, so I dragged Wil on a Snowdrop Walk near Morecambe and we also saw lots on an amble round Skipton Woods.

We spent the most freezing cold night away in Haworth in March. I have never felt so chilly!

Great Wall Of Four Stones, Bentham.

By April Spring had arrived at last! I was still donning my walking boots more than my party shoes. We explored the Tolkien Trail in nearby Middle earth country and discovered this countries very own Ayers Rock on the Lancashire/Yorkshire border.

From what I remembered of May, it was hot! This months adventures included a night away in Manchester ( loved the street art in the Northern Quarter), making terrariums, finding a A Mermaid in the Trough Of Bowland. , camping in the Lakes and conquering my first of the Yorkshire Three Peaks.

My God daughters at ‘Break in the Clouds’.

The wonderful weather continued in June. We had another camping weekend at Bolton Abbey. I walked up another of The Yorkshire Three Peaks and went to a Festival in Gisburn Forest. Fabulous Summer memories.

Lou and I at Another Place.

It was amazing to catch up with my old school friend/now Canadian citizen Lou in July, after not seeing her in nine years. She hasn’t changed a bit!

Highlights from August included reaching 1000 miles in the #walk1000miles challenge. Yay! I didn’t stop walking though. I kept those boots on and hoped to reach 1500 miles by the end of the year. This month Wil, Hugo and I had the best holiday in Scotland with two weeks spent exploring North Uist in the gorgeous Outer Hebrides and Kilmartin Glen.

Three Chimneys ~ The Yorkshire home of the Railway Children.

Lots of walks in September , my favourite being a Railway Children Walk around Haworth, finding locations from the classic film.

Woodland walk, Bolton Abbey.

Autumn arrived and so did crunching through leaves. We went for a Spooky walk with family in the grounds of Bolton Abbey.

November is my Birthday month so another trip was planned. πŸ™‚ Stopped in Ravenglass on the Cumbrian Coast for a few days with friends, went to a chocolate making evening and enjoyed a birthday night out round Clitheroe.

And so it is December and 2018 is nearly at an end. I feel like its been an enjoyable month and looking back, a pretty fantastic year !

Enjoying a Wham Tribute Night in December!

Having walked 1649 miles this year too, I am definitely motivated to carry on walking in 2019, and hopefully get even more mileage under my belt.

Thanks again for stopping by. Wishing you lots of great adventures in 2019. X


Spooky walk at Bolton Abbey.

I have visited the beautiful Bolton Abbey Estate on the banks of the river Wharfe many times in both the Spring and Summer, but never in Autumn before. A mistake I believe, as this is now my favourite time of year to explore the Priory ruins and the acres and acres of woodland trails. We were meeting up with my Sister and her family as well as our cousin and her husband, who were holidaying in the area.

Autumn Half Term is a great time to visit with the kids, as spooky goings on are happening deep in the woods. A family friendly Pumpkin Trail with hidden clues to unravel a witches spell, is proving a spooktacular attraction. πŸ„ You can pick up a leaflet from the Cavendish Pavillion Shop.

The estate is also pet friendly with miles of on and off lead walks to enjoy. And plenty of chances for a dip in the river. πŸ˜‰

Car parking is quite expensive. Β£10 per vehicle, although the ticket does let you move round the various car parks on the estate. Make the most of your day there and pack a picnic or visit one of the cafes on site. We liked The Strid Tearooms , a short walk from the end of the pumpkin trail, and they welcome four legged friends.

As well as completing the trail, the kids also enjoyed the Welly Walk, playing in the river and looking for wildlife. The Wharfe was teaming with various bird life including Herons, Dippers, Kingfisher, Grey Wagtails and Ducks.

Here are a few photos from our day. We spent a good five hours exploring and loved the Autumn colours. πŸ™‚

Bolton Abbey.
The graveyard of the priory church of st Mary & st Cuthbert.
Celtic cross.
Hugo and Stepping Stones.
Through the spooky gates to the start of The Pumpkin Trail.
Witches legs. πŸ™‚
The Strid, River Wharfe.
Male Mandarin Duck.
Grey Heron.
Autumn colours.
Fairytale Fungi. πŸ„
Family on the trail.
Giant Pumpkin.
Spooky Spider.
Caught in a web. πŸ™‚
Crayfish catch.

Past posts from visits to Bolton Abbey, if you wish to read them ~Β Camping trip ~ Catgill Campsite, Bolton Abbey, Yorkshire Dales. andΒ Easter Holiday Fun at Bolton Abbey.

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. πŸ™‚  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. πŸ™‚

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. πŸ™‚ 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. πŸ™‚

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. πŸ™‚ 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. πŸ™‚ 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. πŸ™‚

The Countryside Llama Trek is Β£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! Β 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 toΒ Made With Love.image

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

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Cream ~ Β 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. πŸ™‚

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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 ~ Β Hugo and I take this familiar route round Clitheroe Castle grounds quite often. πŸ™‚

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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. πŸ˜‰

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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 HallΒ here.Β 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. πŸ™‚ 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. πŸ™‚


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. πŸ™‚

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. πŸ™‚

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. πŸ™‚

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 ( Β£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. πŸ™‚
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. πŸ™‚

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

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. πŸ™‚

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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. πŸ™‚

Thanks for dropping by.

Clitheroe Castle and Museum.

Clitheroe Castle is a Norman Keep and one of the smallest in the country.
Clitheroe Castle is a Norman Keep and one of the smallest in the country.

Despite featuring Clitheroe Castle in a recent post I thought I would return for this months #take12trips challenge. I’m not planning on travelling very far in March so where better to explore than right on my doorstep. πŸ™‚ I persuaded my friend Becky to tag along with the promise of a brew in the Castle’s Atrium Cafe. Although we both live locally neither of us have visited the Clitheroe Castle Museum for years and years. Now seemed a good a time as any !

The Atrium to the right of the museum.
The Atrium to the right of the museum.

Firstly we had a catch up in The Atrium. Becky was quick to point out that The Atrium isn’t really an atrium as it doesn’t have a glass roof. But we didn’t care as it does do a nice slice of homemade treacle and ginger cake. πŸ™‚ The menu here is quite simple. Sandwiches, jacket potatos, chips etc. There are some good cake choices with gluten free , dairy free and even vegan on offer. Somewhere to take my vegan friends then when they visit. πŸ™‚


After our refreshments we had a quick look in the Stewards Gallery which exhibits local artists and then on to the museum.


The museum has loads of information on the geology, wildlife, history and folklore of the local area. Spread over two floors, there are plenty of exhibits and some interactive bits and bobs including guessing games, dressing up clothes and a mini animated film about the Castle Keep. We tried to get into the spirit of things. πŸ™‚

Victorian Kitchen.

Defending the castle  ~ Well, Kinda!
Defending the castle ~ Well, Kinda!
An Otter and traps. :(  Not interactive, thank God!
An Otter and traps. 😦 Not interactive, thank God!
Mini Animation.
Mini Animation.
Manning the phone in the Collector's Study
Clitheroe has devilish connections!

The area has associations with not only the devil but the Pendle Witches and drowned water spirits. Yikes! And there have been many famous people connected with or have visited Clitheroe including Tolkien , Frank Whittle ( the inventor of the jet engine) and Gandhi. You can learn more in the museum. πŸ™‚


We probably spent a little over an hour wandering round the museum and then had a look round the small shop which has various souvinirs, books and childrens toys.

Witchy stuff.
Witchy stuff.
Colourful souvineers.
Colourful souvineers.

Prices for the Museum ~ adults Β£3-85. Children under 16 free.

The Castle Keep itself is always worth a visit as there are 360 degree views of the whole town and beyond from the top. Built in Norman times it is said that the hole in the side of the keep was made by Cromwell in the civil war. Another legend has it that the Devil himself shot a cannon ball through it….

The Castle from the creative Activity Space and Play area.
The Castle from the creative Activity Space and Play area.

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A bit of a grey view i'm afraid.
A bit of a grey view i’m afraid.

Explore the castle grounds and you will find a bandstand, a creative activity space, a children’s playground, skate park, tennis courts, bowling green, beautiful garden areas , sculptures and a war memorial. The park is popular with the locals and visitors alike. We enjoyed our afternoon at Clitheroe Castle and the museum is somewhere new to take the kids on a rainy day. πŸ™‚

The War Memorial commands a view over to Pendle Hill.
The War Memorial commands a view over to Pendle Hill.
Snowdrops. Yay. :)
Snowdrops. Yay. πŸ™‚

If you would like to take part in the Take Twelve Trips Challenge head over to Claire’s Blog at http://www.needanotherholiday.com or check out #take12trips on Twitter. πŸ™‚