Tag Archives: lancashire

Afternoon Tea at Hindelinis, Gisburn, Lancashire.

Down the rabbit hole we go for an Afternoon Tea inspired by Alice In Wonderland. 🐰

Hindelinis Bar & Restaurant situated at The Ribblesdale Holiday Village on The Gisburne Park Estate is where The Mad Hatters Tea Party currently resides.

All through the Summer, The Mad Hatter’s Afternoon Tea is available here at Hindelinis. Fancy a seat by the cosy fireplace on a blustery day or when the sun shines, there’s a lovely dining area outside, the parks resident peacocks and sika deer are occasionally known to visit.

We were given a table in the comfortable conservatory. Sarah and I chose herbal teas which came served in attractive glassware, the other ladies ordered coffees.

The sumptuous savouries and delectable desserts were prettily presented on slate cake stands. A selection of finger sandwiches, sausage rolls and a smoked haddock arancini to start, whilst the vegetarian option included wild mushrooms on sourdough bread. The striped tea cup contained healthy salad leaves. Maybe to hand out to a passing White Rabbit. 😊

I’m sure the Mad Hatter himself would have approved of the tempting array of sweet treats. These included meringue mushrooms , Queen of Hearts jammy dodger, lusious lemon posset , chocolate brownie, macaroons and a Grenadine Drink Me potion.

There were of course the obligatory scones with clotted cream and jam. As you can imagine, as delicious as the afternoon tea was, doggy bags were definitely needed! The lovely staff provided us with take out boxes for our left over goodies.

Thanks to Sarah for contributing her photos.

Have you ever tried a themed Afternoon Tea?

β™ οΈπŸ°β™¦οΈπŸ°β˜•πŸ«–


Gisburn Forest πŸ₯Ύ 🌲 Lancashire.

The recent Easter School Holidays have given me lots of new post material, one lovely place I visited with a friend and her dog was Gisburn Forest , it’s Lancashire’s largest forest!

On a week day morning we had this beautiful woodland mostly to ourselves, except for the odd dog walker and mountain biker.

Gisburn Forest has numerous hiking and mountain bike trails. We parked at the Stocks Reservoir Car Park and set off on the well waymarked Orange Dale Head Ramble.

It felt very peaceful and otherworldly in the forest, many of the tree branches hung with wavy deep green moss, the trees seemed like gentle slumbering giants.

The Dalehead Ramble is about 3.5 miles long. All went well until we found our route somewhat obstructed…….

The website does now say there is a diversion. We struggled through! πŸ˜…

Part of the trail goes along the site of an old railway track beside a beck , where the dogs enjoyed a dip and drink.

After our hike we drove to the nearby village of Tosside , where we enjoyed a tasty lunch at The Old Vicarage Tea Rooms. This was a great refreshment stop ( there is also a cafe in the forest, not open on our visit) with covered areas outside, if you visit with a four legged friend.

Thanks to Sarah for some of the photographs.

Where do you like to go for a woodland walk? 🌲πŸ₯Ύ

A Beautiful Morning Up Grindleton Fell.

I must confess I know very little about Grindleton Fell, but what a very lovely place to visit when the sun is shining. Hugo and I joined a friend and her dog on one of their regular walking routes around the fell, which has conifer tree plantations, heather moorland and far reaching views.

To get to Grindleton Fell my friend drove up Main Street in the village of Grindleton, the road eventually becomes narrower as it heads into fell country. There is roadside parking, we presently turned left up a farm lane and parked near some cottages, starting our walk from there.

There are fire tracks and lesser worn footpaths criss crossing Grindleton Fell, with plenty of opportunities to extend your hike over to Waddington Fell or Easington Fell. We found a small cairn from which we made out various distant hills and closer ones, Pendle Hill was one of course!

It was just so nice to actually feel a little warmth coming from the sunshine. There was a bit of a breeze , but we soon warmed up whilst yomping through the rushes . I actually took my jacket off outside for the first time this year. Spring has been slow coming!

On previous walks in the area my friend has encountered shy Sika Deer, sun basking Lizards and Green Hairstreak Butterflies. Today we spotted a hovering kestrel, 2 Red Legged Partridge and a couple of fast fluttering butterflies, not Hairstreaks, but lovely to see all the same.

We passed through a couple of impressive stone gateways on the fell, though I’m unsure if there was once a grand house here or are the stone pillars, simply what is left of the plantation walls? I have no idea.

This is a great hiking area, very quiet, can be boggy/muddy in places. I hope to return!

Thanks for dropping by. 🌸

Brinscall Walk In Early Spring.

At the weekend we headed over to Brinscall near Chorley in Lancashire for another hike from Nick Burton’s ‘ Year Round Walks’ Book. We had chosen a route from the Autumn section. But actually Spring is the perfect time to enjoy the early blossom and flowers that can be seen on this walk. 🌼

We used roadside parking in Brinscall, though there is a carpark next to the Swimming Pool, which looks out over a small lake. Brinscall itself is a nice looking village with The Cricketers Arms Pub , The Cottage Tearooms and a Fish & Chip Shop. The first part of the walk took us through a pretty Nature Reserve on a disused railway line. We followed The Jubilee Path which commemorates the Queens Platinum Jubilee in 2022. Local children designed the cute waymarker signs.

Lots of beautiful early flowering white blossom. I think this is Cherry Plum. It smelt amazing.
Primroses seem to love railway banking.
Jubilee Path.
Fairy tree by the Railway bridge.
Withnell Nature Reserve has lots of different wildlife areas and attracts deer, fox, stoats, frogs, birds and butterflies.
Wil spotted these sweet Scarlet Elf Cups lurking in the mossy undergrowth.
Fungi growing up a tree.
One of the Jubilee Path signs.

After leaving The Jubilee Path we had a quick look at the V C Memorial located just before the Church.

James Miller lived with his parents in the village of Withnell and worked at a local paper mill. The First World War broke out and James enlisted in 1915, joining the 7th Battalion Kings Own Royal Lancaster Regiment. After seeing action at Lens and Loos in Autumn 1915, the young private found himself moved on to The Somme. In July 1916 Private Miller was ordered to deliver an important message under heavy shell and rifle fire …..and told to bring back a reply at all costs!

James Miller was shot almost immediately after leaving the trench, the bullet hit him in the back and moved through to his abdomen. After compressing the gaping hole in his front James bravely delivered the message and staggered back with the reply, where he immediately fell dead at the feet of his commanding officer. He was 26 years old.

VC Memorial to James Miller.
Illustration from Kingsownmuseum.com

The route then took us along a farm track and down through a residential area, back to Brinscall Village. We then turned left along Dick Lane and headed towards the old Victorian Waterway called the Goit.

Sign at the farm track entrance.
Brew stop.
Dick Lane and an even cheekier cottage name. 😁
Dick Lane turns into a tree-lined avenue, leading to Brinscall Hall.

Just before Brinscall Hall we turned left and headed downhill and under the disused railway line.. The next part of the walk would take us through woodland alongside The Goit, this man-made stream connects local reservoirs. Unfortunately we completely lost track of our routes instructions here and missed our loop back. Though happily we did end up at a rather scenic spot!

Alongside the Goit.
Twisty trees.
Mini waterfall.
One of several stone bridges.
White Coppice!
Resting at White Coppice.

We had arrived at White Coppice! I had seen this tiny picturesque hamlet featured on other peoples blogs, though hadn’t even registered that we were within walking distance of it. The green above is actually a cricket pitch. What a scenic backdrop. 🏏

After a brew here , we decided to retrace our steps back to Brinscall. Hopefully we will be back to explore the area, maybe get up onto the moors or find some of the local reservoirs….🌹

Walk 15 Brinscall, Lancashire Year Round Walks Book, OS Explorer 287 West Pennine Moors, 5 miles.

Bright Morning.

Around Standen Hall.

I make the most of a cold bright morning and head to the outskirts of town, looking for early Spring blossom. Skirting round the edges of Standen Hall , I spy plenty of gorgeous Cherry Plum in bud and bloom. My camera phone identifies it as Snow! The stately old building and it’s grounds are mostly hidden from view by high walls ( well, high to me! ) and the front entrance has a ‘ Private Keep Out ‘ sign. I walk up the drive as far as I dare, snapping pictures of cheeky squirrels.

In the surrounding countryside a sprawling new housing development is creeping ever closer to the Hall. I hear the echoing drumming of a woodpecker and see a buzzard soaring in the sky. Not another human in sight. I let Hugo run off lead in the fields. The sky is blue and the ground is dry underfoot. Today looks like Spring but it is deceptively cold.

Grey Squirrel.

Primrose Nature Reserve.

On the way home I walk through a local Nature Reserve. The old mill pond is busy with waterbirds including moorhens and a pair of goosanders. I look for the white goose who was brought here by well meaning folk to keep a solitary greylag female company. The two were a pair for a while , but one day I saw her flying off, honking furiously. She never returned.

White Goose by the Chinese Bridge.

Time to get home and make myself a brew. Soon Hugo is snoring away in his bed. β˜•β€οΈ

Sunday Lunch Walk To Mitton.

This tree has an all seeing eye!

I’m blogging a walk I’ve most probably blogged before, but sometimes don’t you notice things that you haven’t previously, like the tree above with its magnificent eye. 😊 The tree by the River Ribble in-between Clitheroe and Mitton has several eyes in fact. But one really does stand out!

Hugo and I met my Sister and Niece for a walk to Mitton ,where my sister had booked us Sunday lunch at the The Aspinall Arms, a favourite countryside pub of all of ours. It’s dog friendly , spacious , does great pub grub, and on a sunny day it’s riverside beer garden is deservedly popular. On this occasion we would be seated inside though, it’s still a bit nippy out there.

This cheerful robin chirped away as it posed for a photo, reminding us of the friendly robin from ‘ The Secret Garden’.

I met my sister and niece at the car park on Edisford Road in Clitheroe , we would then follow the Ribble Way to the pub. This is a pleasant stroll alongside the River Ribble and through some farmers fields.

The River Ribble.
Along The Ribble.

It didn’t take us as long as we thought it might to get to the Aspinall. In fact we were half an hour early. I’m glad we were booked in though as it soon got very busy. Lots of dog customers too, including 2 Basset Hounds and a Cocker Spaniel Pup.

We washed our boots, but only managed to wash one of Hugo’s paws. He’s not a fan of the Dog & Boot wash!
The Aspinall looking dressed for Spring.
Sunday Roast. Yummy!
Beautiful pot of primroses in Ukrainian colours.

Lunch was lovely and not to massive either, we were pleasantly full but not so much that we couldn’t bare the thought of walking back. I had decided on a different route that would eventually bring us out on the opposite side of the river.

We walked over the bridge and past Great Mitton Hall which is a private home, with some unusual guards.
And down past All Hallows Church , a place of worship since 1270.
Looking back at the road lined with Snowdrops.
We saw some black fungi called King Alfred’s Cakes. Also known as Cramp Balls!

We passed through several fields, most with Stiles. Hugo the Labrador, now aged eight and a half, has recently decided he doesn’t like stiles anymore. So between us we managed to hurl him over one, the others he ingeniously found gaps in fences to squeeze under. Dogs hey!

Lambing time has begun.
On the Bear Chair.

It was good to see the Bear Chair is still going strong. We originally discoverd it during lockdown walks.

Into the Woods.
Edisford Bridge.
The Ribble at Edisford Bridge.

A nice ending to our walk. But then…..

As I was heading home I got a phone call off my sister saying she had lost her purse and thought she may have dropped it somewhere. After checking at the pub we ended up retracing our steps , but with no luck. Somewhat disheartened ( and knackered! ) we all gave up the search. Happily though later that evening a nice couple got in touch, they had found the purse whilst out walking. Phew!

A Happy outcome after all.

Thanks for reading. 🌸

RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch 2023. 🐦

It was the 44th year of the Big Garden Birdwatch at the weekend. It’s an hour long survey run by the RSPB, helping them to get an accurate idea of how our UK Birdlife is faring.

On Saturday I did the birdwatch from my kitchen, camera and pencil poised, ready to record my feathered visitors. I have had quite a variety of birds show up in my back yard recently, so was very pleased when a few arrived in the hour.

8 Sparrows.

2 Bluetits.

2 Jackdaw.

2 Long Tailed Tits.

1 Blackbird.

1 Wren.

A few of my visitors.

Both my total tally and varieties of birds are up on last year and in fact are up on the last few years too. Positive news for my corner of Lancashire. πŸ™‚

On Sunday I joined my Sister and Niece for their bird count, lemon drizzle cake baked for the occasion. Walt the cat didn’t fancy joining us this time, but plenty of birds did appear at the feeders. My sister lives in the countryside , so it was especially nice to see Nuthatch and a Pheasant put in an appearance. That pheasant looks well fed!

Some of my sister’s visitors.

Did you join in with the RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch?

Lune Valley Stay With Walks In Glasson And Wray.

Recently we spent a night near Lancaster in the Lune Valley area of Lancashire. It’s a fairly little known area to us, so it was good to dig out a couple of walks books and discover some new places.

Walk 1 ~ Conder Green & Glasson Dock.

Map OS Explorer 296 Lancaster, Morecambe & Fleetwood. 3.5miles. Lancaster Year Round Walks by Nick Burton.

This walk actually starts from Conder Green in the book but we just had to be different, we parked at Glasson Dock, had lunch and set off.

Glasson at the mouth of the River Lune was once the busy port of nearby Lancaster. Today the village still thrives , taking in 150,000 tonnes of cargo yearly. There is a small marina, a couple of shops, pub and a cafe.

Glasson Marina.
The area is popular for cycling. The Bay Cycle Way is 81 miles long and connects Walney with Glasson Dock.
We loved The Quayside Cafe. It’s very dog friendly too.
Lunch at the Quayside.

The first part of the walk took us along beside the Lancaster Canal. The towpath was quite icey though, so it was hard going. I enjoyed spotting a heron amongst the reeds and flocks of geese in the surrounding fields.

Canal locks outside The Mill at Condor Green.
Grey Heron.
Lancaster Canal.

The next part of the walk involved tramping through some fields and crossing water. We saw lots of Hares bounding through the grass, a joy to watch.

After some road walking it was good to get back to the coastal scenery. The Stork Pub at Conder Green looks out over the reed beds. I especially enjoyed our hike for all the wildlife we saw, waterbirds in particular. Hopefully we can return in the Spring or Summer!

The Stork is a former Coaching Inn.
The River Conder.
The benches that look out over the water have this Sea Monster ? figure on them.
Glasson Dock.
A bonnie boat β›΅.

The weather was certainly chilly so after our walk it was time to drive inland to find our accomodation.

Our Stay.

Located in-between Lancaster and Kirkby Lonsdale, The Fenwick at Claughton is the ideal place to stay on a wintery weekend. With comfortable cosy bedrooms and warming log fires, the historic inn is a Steak and Seafood pub with an ever changing menu. It’s also very welcoming to your four – legged friends, so definitely a hit with us. πŸ™‚

The Fenwick Arms.
Eat and stay.

Walk 2 ~ Around Wray.

Map O S Explorer 0l41. 2 miles. Lancashire 40 Favourite Walks by Alastair Ross.

The pretty village of Wray was our second walk of the weekend. Situated on the edge of the Lune Valley, Wray is set around two rivers, the Hindburn and the Roeburn. Back in the sixties th e normally quiet waters of the Roeburn rose after heavy rain and swept away 13 houses. Luckily it stopped dry for us.

River Hindburn.
A stone cat or perhaps fox on the river bank.
Saw a few dippers in the river.

This walk is short and sweet, taking in Wrays surrounding countryside as well as Riverside paths through the village.

Doggy day.
Wrays primary school which was a gift from a Captain Pooley along with the sum of Β£200 forever.
Holy Trinity Church.
Hornby Castle in the distance.

We noticed a pub and a cafe In Wray, so refreshment stops are available if you visit. And the village holds an annual scarecrow festival in the Spring. A reason to return. πŸ™‚

Two New Years Walks In Lancashire.

The New Year πŸ’• brings in new possibilities. One I hope, is more Lancashire walks on this blog. We’ve recently purchased two new pocket walking books, so here are our first two walks.

Lock Keepers Cottage, Barrowford.

Barrowford and the Canal.

Lancashire 40 Favourite Walks by Alastair Ross. Distance 9.5km, Map OS Explorer Ol21.

We started this walk from The Pendle Heritage Centre in Barrowford, a museum and cafe ( completely Dog Friendly apparently 🐢) which was unfortunately closed on our visit. Parking is available on an inexpensive Pay & Display Car Park opposite.

I enjoyed parts of the walk more than others. It’s always nice to amble by the canal side, imagining who lives or holidays in the brightly painted barges. The route also takes you under the noisy M65 Motorway and crosses over a busy Dual Carriageway.

The Florence. Go With The Flo.
Foulridge Tunnel.
Slipper Hill Reservoir. We were greated here by a Springer Spaniel called Martha. Hugo completely monopolises this photo though. πŸ€ͺ
Follow the sign to Colne.
Through Alkincoates Woodland. The peace is disturbed after here though, with busy roads to cross.
And back to the Leeds and Liverpool Canal.
A gushing wier on Pendle Water.
The Pendle Heritage Centre.
Witchy Tercet Poem at Pendle Heritage Centre, this one is for convicted Witch John Bulcock. The centre has a Pendle Witches exhibition inside.

Chipping ~ Deer Park Below The Fells.

Lancashire Year Round Walks by Nick Burton. Distance 6.4 Km. OS Explorer Map OL41 Bowland & Ribblesdale.

We parked on the free Village Hall Car Park. This walk takes in the historic village of Chipping , soon heading into lovely pastoral countryside. A former Deer Park, Small Hill and well preserved limestone kiln are featured. The hike appears in the Spring Walks section of the book ,was still a good one to do in Winter, though was quite wet underfoot.

Chipping selfie.

Chipping has a couple of dog friendly pubs serving food and a couple of cosy cafes . We enjoyed a brew and sausage roll , sat outside the Farm Shop in the village.

Open Parkland.
Shadow photography.
Crooked Tree.
Footbridge over Leagram Brook.
Approaching Knot Hill.
Lime Kiln.
Old Tree.
St Bartholomew’s Church in Chipping.
Brabins Store is England’s oldest trading village shop.

Thanks for dropping by. 🐾

A Festive Venue Opens In Clitheroe for Christmas. πŸŽ„β„οΈ

A Christmas Styled Cafe Bar has opened in Clitheroe for Christmas!

Miracle On Shawbridge Street is located in the former Smug Fox interiors shop on Shawbridge Street, just a little further down from and opposite the Dog & Partridge Pub.

The Cafe Bar is family friendly and festive themed, perfect for snapping snuggly selfies with Santa’s reindeer and a giant Nutcracker Soldier.

On the menu are various winter warming drinks such as mulled cider, mulled wine and fancy pants hot chocolates, , coffees, cocktails and milkshakes.

Image via Facebook.

Local delicatessen Georgonzola provides tempting cheese and charcuterie boards and Finch Bakery cakes are always a delicious treat.

Miracle is open Thursday to Sunday 11am to 11pm and well behaved dogs are welcome during the day.

I did wonder what might happen to the venue once Christmas is over? Well the owners are hoping to style the space to coincide with the different seasons. Beach bar in the Summer maybe??

But for now, why not head on down to Miracle On Shawbridge Street πŸŽ„ for festive tunes and cheer.

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