Tag Archives: lancashire

Searching for Panopticons in East Lancashire.

Despite being a Lancashire lass born and bred, the East Lancashire Panopticons have totally passed me by. Until very recently that is, when Richard’s post  ‘ Its Grim Up North’ ( honestly it’s not that bad ! πŸ˜‰ ) , brought Burnley’s iconic Singing Ringing Tree to my attention. Ever since I have been very keen to visit this amazing structure and its fellow Panopticons. Panopticons. Panopticons. I love that word! πŸ™‚

On the Mid Pennine Arts  Website  I found this description of a  Panopticon.

Panopticon  ( noun) Structure, Space or Device providing a comprehensive or panoramic view.

East Lancashire is home to 4 such sculptures and on Saturday Wil, Hugo and I managed to hunt down two of them. Thankfully it wasn’t a bad day weather wise ( unlike Richard’s experience) and my home county was bathed in sunshine. πŸ™‚

First we drove to the town of  Rawtenstall in Rossendale and parked at The Whitaker Museum & Art Gallery  on Haslingden rd. The museum is set in a pretty park and car parking is free. There is a cafe and a bar in The Whitaker and a children’s playground in the park. Therefore  it is  a great place to start and finish a walk up to The Halo Panopticon on Top O Slate , in the hills above Haslingden.

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We followed a footpath from Haslingden Old Road up Cribden Hill.
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And found ourselves on ‘The Shoe Trail’ that celebrates Rossendales Shoe Industry.
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Saw some friendly sheep.

 

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And these guys had been rolling in the mud. πŸ™‚
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The Halo !

It didn’t take to long to find  The Halo an 18 metre diameter  steel structure , supported on a tripod. It definitely resembles a Flying Saucer don’t you think ??

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Hugo and  The Halo.
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Yes Hugo it’s a Panopticon..

In daylight this Panopticon is the perfect vantage point for admiring the panoramic views over  Rossendale.  But it is when darkness falls that The Halo really stands out. The structure lights up at night and it’s blue glow gives the impression that it’s hovering over the valley. Maybe it does get mistaken for a UFO. πŸ™‚  Check out haslingdenhalo.co.uk  for more images.

After our spaceship discovery we walked into Rawtenstall , had a nosy around the shops and enjoyed some refreshments at  Fitzpatrick’s Temperance Bar &  Emporium.  Fitzpatricks Temperance Bar on Bank Street has been serving Lancashire folks alcohol free tipples since 1890.  In fact it is England’s only remaining original temperance bar !  Having recently been refurbished, Fitzpatricks now sells delicious cakes, icecreams, floats, coffee & tea , as well as  its famed vintage  cordials.

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Fitzpatricks.

We sat outside with a couple of hot cordials. Wil had a Blood Tonic and Orange and I had a Lemon & Ginger cordial. Of course we had to sample some cakes as well. πŸ™‚

These  lovely  Temperance Bar goodies set us up for our next Panopticon.  The Singing Ringing Tree  is situated about 15 minutes drive from Rawtenstall at Crown Point above the town of Burnley. Taking the form of a tree bending in the wind, this unusual musical sculpture is made from  galvanised metal tubes.  The wind whistleing through them creates a humming sound, as though the tree is singing. πŸ™‚

The Singing Ringing Tree.
Play those pipes. πŸ™‚

We were treated to a harmonious wailing up there in the Pennine landcape,which I find hard to describe. Think a cross between angels singing in old black & white movies…and a pack of howling dogs. Hugo was most intrigued..

Hugo being serenaded.

With far reaching views over the urban sprawl of Burnley and to the hills beyond ,this Panopticon  gives the town dwellers and visitors a new appreciation of the surrounding countryside……as well as its own personal backing track. πŸ™‚

So thats two East Lancashire  Panopticons bagged and two more to go, the others being  Colourfields in Blackburn  and  The Atom in Wycollar Country Park. My Panopticon Quest continues….. πŸ™‚

Have you visited any ? 

Which is your favourite Panopticon? 

Escape CC Cocktail Masterclass.

One of my favourite places in Clitheroe to meet for a coffee or even a cocktail , is the warm and welcoming  Escape Coffee & Cocktails in the centre of town.  This attractive bar with it’s industrial yet  cosy interior runs Cocktail Making Masterclasses for groups of 4 people or more, upstairs in a private bar space. When my friend Fi suggested a girly get together to celebrate ‘Galentine’s Day’ ( Yep thats a thing!) , I jumped at the chance to develop my somewhat non existent cocktail making skills. πŸ™‚

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The upstairs Bar.

Upon  arrival we were treated to prosecco bellinis in the bar upstairs where our instructor Ben introduced himself and handed us our Cocktail Menus. We would each be making Five cocktails over the course of the evening, three classics and two that we had chosen  beforehand. I must admit to feeling dubious about drinking five cocktails. But I was willing to try!

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Firstly…….Mojitos!

First cocktail on our list ‘The refreshingly popular Mojito!’ as modelled by Ailyn and Fi. According to the Masterclass menu ( which someone helpfully slipped into my bag, thank you πŸ™‚ ), Mojitos first became popular in Cuba, where rum was in abundance. Add Lime juice,Crushed Ice, Mint and Sugar syrup and hey presto…the most refreshing combo ever. Our friendly Bar man demonstrated how to make every cocktail first of course, and even gave us a brief history of each. I’m afraid to say my memory is a little hazy. I totally blame the alcohol !

My favorite Cocktails of the evening were two, designed by ‘Escape Mixologists’ themselves. The ‘Happy holidays’ is a refreshing blend of Gin, Rose Liqueur, Grenadine,cranberry juice and freshly squeezed lemon juice.  A sugared rim and lemon soaked strawberry added to it’s celebratory vibe.  The ‘Delightful Trifle’ is actually a pudding in a glass. No pictures  sorry but imagine a heady combination of strawberries, blackberries, salted caramel vodka and creme de mure , capped with fresh cream.

And a cocktail that everyone loved equally was The ‘Porn Star Martini’. Unfortunately it also gave me heartburn. 😦  But rest assured, I was swiftly created a heartburn cure. It worked and I was able to continue with the rest of my night. πŸ™‚

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This is called Rimming. Ho Ho. πŸ˜‰
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Possibly seeing stars…

At some point in the evening we were given a quick fun quiz on some of the cocktail related facts we had learnt along the way. A bottle of prosecco was our prize, which we decided to share after the Masterclass finished. That was not before we made our fifth and final creation ‘ The long Island Iced Tea’ , probably ( according to the Masterclass Menu) first concocted in NY to resemble an Iced Tea, when in fact it contains Rum, Vodka, Tequila, Cointreau ….and Coca-cola.

The Cocktail Masterclass at Escape costs Β£35 per person and includes five cocktails, tuition to make the five cocktails, a welcome drink and a fun quiz. It’s the perfect evening for getting together with friends. Just book the following day off! πŸ™‚

Sunday Sevens Sun 19th February.

Instagram #brilliantphotoaday Polkadots.

Hey I’m joining in with  Natalie’s  Sunday Sevens today and posting 7 ( or maybe more! ) photographs from my week.

Above is a photo from Instagram.I am trying to post a piccie each day as part of Kate Gabrielle’s #brilliantphotoaday challenge. Oneday the prompt was Polkadots so my whirly windmill came in very useful. πŸ™‚


 Tuesday was of course Valentine’s Day  and Wil and I exchanged cards. I got him a humerous yet vaguely insulting card and he got me a lovely romantic card. Hurrah!  I celebrate …because for years we chose cards for each other that we would rather have got ourselves. He likes funnies so he would get me something silly. I like pretty romantic cards so that’s what I would get him. We would joke that we should ‘swap’ cards.  At last though, we have maybe got it right? Only taken us nearly 12 years! πŸ™‚

 

  On Thursday morning we took Hugo a walk up past Standen Hall, which was a good exscuse to look at all the lovely Snowdrops. It’s a private residence but I couldn’t resist stumbling over the cattle grid and taking a few photos. There were even some turkeys and a grey squirrel too! I hope those turkeys are not being fattened up for Christmas…

Friday night was a great fun night out with the girls…..but I have got to say, I am still recovering!  Friend Fi arranged for 6 of us to try out a Cocktail Mixing Masterclass at  Escape Coffee & Cocktails
 
In Clitheroe. The class was upstairs in our own little private bar area and after a demo from Ben our Mixologist, we each got to make five very different cocktails….and drink them of course. After experiencing a welcome Belini, a Mojito, a Happy Holidays, a Porn Star Martini, a Delightful Trifle, a Long Island Iced Tea and a glass of prosecco, I may just not be able to remember enough to write a full post about it. ;). All I can say is at Β£35 per head it was great value for money, and a good time was had by all! 

Yesrerday I did manage to emerge from the house and meet up with a pal for tea and cake at Callooh Callay in town. This Alice In Wonderland inspired tea room has had new owners of late, so we were a little worried it may have changed beyond recognition.  Happily it is still devoted to all things ‘Alice’ ,though the new proprietor isn’t English, he presented us with some dates to try before our tea came. I guess that only adds to the quirkyness! πŸ™‚ 

Thanks for dropping by.β™‘β™‘
 
 

  

 

   

 

Lunch at the Freemasons in Wiswell.

Tucked away down a quiet ginnel in the picturesque village of Wiswell in Lancashire, the Freemasons is almost hidden from the eye, a secret place , that if sought out, delivers the most delicious food in a cosy country pub setting.

It seems a while ago now but a group of us congregated here for  New Years Eve Lunch. I was almost tempted to sit outside, all wrapped up in one of those lovely plaid blankets that are draped over the benches. The promise of pre-luncheon drinks lured me indoors , where fox and stags heads adorn the walls and a roaring fire welcomes guests.

Once inside we were promptly shown to our table. As there were 11 of us eating, we had the advantage of a small intimate room to ourselves with a long wooden dining table. Chef Patron ‘Steven Smith’ has turned the bustling  Inn into an aclaimed Gastro-pub with accolades including the highest ranking pub in 2017’s Good Food Guide .There are apparently also plans for several boutique bedrooms! But back to the food……

 The delicious selection of breads that were brought out before the starters were divine and soon devoured. I didn’t have a starter but options included Wester Ross Salmon and Crispy Hen’s Egg with gammon & pineapple. Definitely a ‘ Fish n Chips’ girl , I ordered the Panko crumbed Haddock for my main course. Served with chips and mushy peas and the most lip smacking tartar sauce, I confidently declare this to be my favourite ‘ Fish n Chips’ dish in a long time. πŸ™‚

For dessert several of us chose the Quince. It came with a stem ginger icecream and brownies….and many questions about Runcible spoons. πŸ˜‰ Wil decided upon the Artisan Cheeses, which he really enjoyed.

Some of my glamorous dining companions.:)

With some starters costing more than your average main , the Freemasons is somewhere I would return for a special occasion or celebratory treat. Hmmm maybe I should hint to Wil about a certain date in February!

www.freemasonsatwiswell.com 

Photo an Hour Sat 29 October. β˜†

On Saturday I joined in with louisa’s and Janey’s Photo An Hour challenge. Here’s how my day went…

8am.  Enjoying a brew in bed.

9am.  Changing the bed. Love my Orla Kiely duvet set but the colours ran a bit the first time I washed it. 😦

10am.  One snoozy dog ( after his walk) and one awake cat. πŸ™‚

11am.  Looking Up.

12pm. In a local cafe waiting for lunch.. I had a savoury cheese scone with chutney and salad. This is the view from the window.

1 pm.  Back home and Wil has assembled ingredients for a stew. Halloween themed of course. Hobgoblin ale going in. πŸ™‚

2 pm.  Put this table in the bedroom and wondering if it looks out of place? However fellow blogger Janet thinks a pile of vintage books or a jug of dried lavendar will look great on it. I agree. πŸ™‚

3pm.  Updating Hugos Lake District Map. Whenever we go to the Lakes we try and take Hugo and photograph him paddling and swimming in various lakes and tarns. The map is slowly filling up now. πŸ™‚

4pm.  In the local pub having a quick one before we go to our friends kids Halloween party. 

5pm.  Loving my friends pumpkins. πŸ™‚

6pm. Halloween Selfie. Vast improvement I think!!

7pm. All wrapped up. Monsterous Mummies!

8pm.  A pumpkin and a Witch aka my 2 Goddaughters. πŸ™‚

9pm. Last pic. Supper is the stew and the first two episodes of Orphan Black. 

Hope you have had a good weekend. Happy Halloween! 

 

Wildlife pics every day in October. Week One.

Inspired by the lovely Louise at Ramblings of a Roachling   , I have decided to take a photo of something ‘Wild’ every day this month. Louise who is a veteran of June’s ‘Thirty Days Wild’ is continuing with the ‘Wildness’ through October on her blog. I thought a picture a day , would be a great way to appreciate the changing seasons, as well as being  a nod to her enthusiasm!

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1st October. A Robin rests on a signpost. Robins seem to be one of the less shy birds that I see when I’m out and about. Always asociated with Christmas, because of their cheery red breasts, it is also said if you see one on Valentines day…you will marry a sailor!

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2nd October. A Red Admiral butterfly feasts on Ivy flowers. The gentle October Sunshine means that butterflies are still visiting my back yard. πŸ™‚

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3rd October. The sunny weather this week followed beautiful Sunrises  with gorgeous pink skies. The line from the old rhyme ‘Red Sky In The Morning , Shepherd’s Warning’  did not ring true.

4th October. Typical that when I spied these two lovelies, I didn’t have my good camera with me. Whilst walking Hugo through the fields I came accross a  Dipper with it’s bright white bib, bobbing and dipping in Mearley Brook. Dippers are small aquatic birds that can walk underwater to feed. I also saw a Goldfinch flittering amongst the dried yarrow seed heads by the riverside. In Autumn they are full of inscects which the finches feed on.I was alerted to this pretty bird by it’s musical notes. The collective name for a group of Goldfinches is a ‘charm’ taken from the Old English Charme and the Latin Carmen, meaning magical spell or song. πŸ™‚

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5th October.  I could not resist this beautiful pink Hydrangea in The Castle grounds. The summer flowers are so showy and bloom into Autumn.

 6th October.  One thing I love about Autumn is the abundance of Autumn fruits, nuts and seeds. Clitheroe  Castle Park is home to lots of Grey squirrels and it looks as though most of the Horse Chestnuts have been feasted upon already, judging by the amount of empty shells scattered around. I did find a couple of shiny brown ‘conkers’ that the rascals must have missed though.:)

7th October. Quite a miserable day weather wise , but I did notice the changing colours of leaves this morning on my way to work.

What have you noticed wildlife wise recently?

You can also bob along to Christine’s Blog and find out what she’s been photographing in October. πŸ™‚

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. πŸ™‚

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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 Β£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’. Prices from Β£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 Β£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 Β£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 Β£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. πŸ™‚ Prices from Β£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 Β£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. πŸ™‚  Dog friendly. Prices from Β£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 Β£50per pod, per night. www.snatchems.co.uk.

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

Are you tempted?