Tag Archives: east lancs railway

25 Before 45 Bucket List ~ How did I do??

So as November is my Birthday month , I thought I had better check on my 25 Before 45 Bucket list progress. Considering I am now almost the grand old age of 45 ( Sob! ), I think I haven’t done to badly with the list. I have managed to cross off 15 out of 25 of the entries I wrote down two and a half years ago. Some I still would like to do and I am sure I will probably write another list soon, and add them to it. But for now , here is how I did.

1.Learn to crochet. Discovered this isn’t my bag. 😐

A friend and I had a crochet lesson and I just couldn’t master it. Kind of knew I would find it difficult, as I can’t knit either. Imagine me looking quite confused and then thoroughly bored, with my hands tied in woolly knots.

2.Find a keep Fit Regime I like. Done! I have enjoyed the #walk1000miles challenge and am still continuing. Hopefully 1500 miles this year and maybe 2000 in 2019.

3.Eat a Dutch Pancake in Amsterdam. Haven’t got round to visiting Amsterdam yet. Its definitely somewhere I intend to go for a long weekend.

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Kingfisher , spotted by a boat in Knaresborough.

4. Photograph a Kingfisher. Done! Got my photo on the river Nidd in Knaresborough. 🙂

5.Make an Honesty Box Meal. Still need to create a meal from produce bought from the side of a country road.

6.Read To Kill A Mocking Bird. Done! Bought the book from a second hand book shop in Fargo village in Coventry and loved it. I then just had to watch the Gregory Peck film from the 60s and found it to be a great adaptation of the novel.

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Wrap up warm for Picnic Cinema. Bear suits optional.

7.Watch a Film outdoors. Done! Wil and I Saw a British black comedy called Sightseers at Lowther Castle, under the stars. Sightseers at Lowther Castle~ with Picnic Cinema.

8.See the Northern Lights. Maybe another trip to Iceland beckons. We chased the lights four years ago , with little success. I don’t really need an excuse to revisit !

9.Have a Vintage Make over. I’m not to bothered about this one anymore. Glam is just not me , to be honest. Does a Wham Tribute night , where my friends and I dress up in Eighties style Choose Life T-shirts and tutus count? 😉

10.Swim in a Lido. Well I can’t believe I never got round to swimming in a Lido! Ilkley Lido in Yorkshire is the nearest one to me, so hopefully next Summer……..

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Real Ale Rail Trail.

11. Go on a proper picnic with a picnic hamper. Done! Bought a hamper from a charity shop and enjoyed a picnic by the stream in Dunsop Bridge. Unfortunately Hugo took a chomp out of the cake!

12. Be Nine Stone! A-hem, Nope!

13.Stay in a Bothy. Definitely in two minds about this one. The type of bothy I mean is one of the very basic Mountain Bothy Association stone buildings that you find in remote parts of Scotland etc. They are free to stop in, though you might have to share with other hikers. I wrote a post about them called Would you stay in a Bothy? I think I may actually prefer Wild Camping though, as you are zipped up in a tent, and there is no danger of a mouse running up your trouser leg…….

14. Photograph a Barn Owl in the wild. When I wrote this I had actually seen Barn Owls several times. Since then, none at all. 😦

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Our Llama trying to appear as short as us. Cheeky!

15. Do a Rail Ale Trail. The East Lancs Rail Ale Trail from Bury to Rawtenstall. Done! All Aboard for a Rail Ale Trail Tour.

16. Take Part in a sponsored Charity Event. Done! Raised money for the East Lancashire Hospice, whilst walking across Morecambe Bay. The Morecambe Bay Cross Bay Walk.

17. Have Afternoon Tea at Cloud 23. I have really been slacking in the Afternoon Teas department in 2018. Up to press , I haven’t indulged in this very British Institution, all year. I do like the idea of partaking in Afternoon Tea in the clouds though, so Cloud 23 ( at the top of Beetham Tower) your still on my list. 🙂

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Hugo and I doing the doggy paddle over Morecambe Bay.

18. Enter Hugo in a Doggy Competition. Done! Entered Hugo in a bonnie dog category at a local pooch show. He didn’t get placed, even though he is of course, the most handsome boy in the world. I am one highly prejudiced doggy Mum!

19. Get Engaged! Haha.

20. Bathe in a Turkish Baths. Done! The Turkish Baths in Harrogate are a relaxing and fun experience. 🙂 If your ever in Harrogate , treat yourself….

21. Go trekking with llamas in the lakes. Done! Loved spending time with family and some very cute llamas ~ Llama Trekking in the Lakes. 🙂

22. Experience a night out down Canal Street. Done! The rainbow village in Manchester, a top night out!

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Let Snoozy Cats lie. Cat Café, Manchester.

23. Do the Morecambe Bay Cross Bay Walk With the Queen’s Official Guide. Done! See number 15.

24. Visit the new Cat Cafe in Manchester. Done! My friend Lisa and I spent some quality time eating cake and stroking cute kitties. Cat Cafe Manchester.


25. Cook a proper Sunday Roast Lunch ( I almost never cook!). Done! I know its a shocker that up until my 45th year, I had never made a roast dinner. Please don’t judge me. ;). Thanks Wil for overseeing my attempt at Sunday lunch. Yes I did cheat somewhat as I bought ready made gravy, Yorkshire puds and a tray of pre prepared veg to roast. But It still counts….I hope. 🙂

Sunday Dinner. 🙂

What would you put on your Bucket List?

All Aboard for a Rail Ale Trail Tour.

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Saturday dawned, sunny but chilly.Just the ticket for a day of exploration along the East Lancs Railway. 🙂  My Birthday Present for the O H this year was a Rail Ale Trail Tour which started at ‘Bury Bolton Street Station’, stopping off at the Lancashire towns of Ramsbottom and Rawtenstall. Happily Wils brother very kindly gave us a lift to Bury, where we immediately made ourselves at home in the station’s The Track side bar on Platform two.. After a quick coffee we got straight onto the Ale ( or in my case,cider) and Wil bought a hunk of homemade Pork Pie. ‘The Track side’ has up to ten real ales as well as award winning ciders and perries.

By 11-30am our Tour Guide Suzanne had rounded us up and with childlike excitement ( on my part, anyway! ) we boarded the train. There’s something quite thrilling about taking a journey on an old fashioned steam engine. I felt like I was channeling my inner Railway Children. 🙂

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Our Train Arrives. 🙂

Whilst on the train there was time to buy bottled beers and our guide regaled us with a few titbits of information about the countryside we were chugging through. The track is twelve miles  of Heritage Railway , it’s upkeep is solely done by hard working volunteers. It spans some of the  Irwell Valley’s  picturesque Pennine scenery. First stop was the vibrant market town of Ramsbottom. Lunch is provided on the tour and after trackside photo opportunities we piled into Owens Restaurant & Bar  for Fish and Chips. This comfy  modern restaurant has two ales on tap. It’s also dog friendly, as is the Rail Ale Trail Tour. 🙂 If we had realised beforehand we might have brought Hugo.Not sure he would have been well behaved enough though!

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Lunch at Owens.

After lunch Suzanne took us to a fab little micropub called The Ramsbottom Tap on Bolton Street and bought everyone a quick half. The Tap is a bright and cozy space with retro prints adorning the walls and a good selection of ales and ciders.

Ramsbottom seemed to have a varied selection of interesting independent shops, tearooms and pubs so I think it would be somewhere we would return to in the future.The town even has it’s own brewery. Our next stop was indeed the Irwell Works Brewery which is situated back down the hill from the ‘Ramsbottom Tap’, in a former Steam,tin,copper & Iron works. The bottom half of the building houses the brewery which makes several  beers including ‘Copper Plate’ bitter,’ Iron Plate’ Lancashire Stout  and the brilliantly named ‘Marshmallow Unicorn’ Milk stout. These are served upstairs in  the Brewery Tap along with most other tipples you can think of. 🙂

 

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Irwell Works Brewery and Rail Trail regulars below ; Bliss and Misca. 🙂

Mid afternoon , and we were back on the steam train and meandering our way to the town of Rawtenstall. Rawtenstall is actually famously the home of England’s oldest original  Temperance Bar Fitzpatricks, which I would have loved to visit. I am a big fan of their Rose Hip and Rhubarb Cordial!  However we decided to remain in the vicinity of the station and enjoy a couple of drinks there. Buffer Stops offers five ales and one cider as well as locally made pies, outdoor seating and a traditional style waiting room area. There were plenty more photo opportunities of our mode of transport for the day too….

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The great thing about the East Lancs Rail Ale Trail Tour is that your not strictly confined to sticking with it all day.As Rawtenstall is a little nearer home than Bury, we decided to remain here a while instead of joining the others back to Bolton Street Station.Wil’s brother very kindly picked us drunkards up at five and took us back to Clitheroe. We definitely owe him one!  If you are interested in doing one of the many types of tours along this beautiful stretch of railway check out the  East Lancs Railway Website for more information.  The tour we took cost £35.50 each and included lunch, a bit of beer sampling and a professional Blue Badge Tour Guide. It is also possible to ride the train and explore the area yourself without doing an official tour. We will be back!