Tag Archives: lancashire

Bell Sykes Coronation Meadows Walk ~ Slaidburn.

I was looking for a short ( hopefully cow free ) local hike and I came across this 2.3 Mile Wildflower Meadow Walk , starting from the pretty Lancashire village of Slaidburn. Not sure the mileage mentioned is quite correct ,we ended up doing twice that amount! The directions took us on a wild goose chase a couple of times. Or maybe we just get lost easily. ๐Ÿ˜ƒ

We arrived in Slaidburn about 9-30am on Sunday morning, unaware that we had visited on the day of a Vintage Steam Fair . The village car park was still quiet at that time though , so we found a space and set off to the cenotaph, the start of our route.

Slaidburns War Memorial erected in 1923 on the site of the former market cross ……and whipping post.
Sign at the entrance of the Silver Jubilee Garden.

We turned right at the War Memorial and headed over the bridge and then through a kissing gate into a field on the right. Keeping the brook on our right , we headed across the field in completely the wrong direction. So best to ignore my instructions and follow the route link yourself, if you don’t want to get lost. ๐Ÿ™ƒ

Ford over the brook.

We saw several hares in the grass and it was also a privilege to hear and see lots of flying curlews and lapwings.

Resting Hare.
Alert Hare.

A stone track took us over another bridge and on the right we saw a farm gate with a purple Coronation Meadow Sign on it. Coronation Meadows is a Wildflower Meadow Restoration Project started by HRH The Prince Of Wales. Since the Queen’s Coronation ,Great Britain has lost a huge percentage of its naturally farmed meadows. This initiative started in 2013, aims to protect remaining wildflower meadows, create new ones and get people interested in them. There are now ninety Coronation Meadows in the country with Bell Sykes Farm representing the Ribble Valley.

Approaching a cattle grid.
Over the bridge.
Coronation Meadow Sign.
Bell Sykes Coronation Meadows.

Bell Sykes Farming methods have changed little over the years, hence their inclusion in the Coronation Meadows project. Seeds from the ancient pastures have been used to create new meadows, some are on the farm and others are elsewhere in Lancashire.

A solitary marsh orchid.
Buttercups.
Yellow Rattle.

The meadows were looking resplendent, in them were thousands of buttercups and clover, ribwort plantain, self-heal and yellow rattle. I also spied one orchid, maybe there are more. The diversity of wildflowers encourages bees and butterflies. It was however very breezy on Sunday , so we didn’t actually see many.

Barn.
Bell Sykes Farm.
A path goes through the farmyard and up.
Old Grindstone used for sharpening scythes.
Looking back at the view.
Umbelifers at Lower High Field Farm.
One of many high Stiles.
Yes what Ewe looking at?
Tumbling Lapwing.

Toward the end of the walk we passed through a couple more of Bell Sykes beautiful Coronation Meadows.

Boy in Buttercups.
Eyebrights.
Bistort.
Flower Power.
Heading back to Slaidburn.
Pendle Witch Trail Tercet Waymarker in Slaidburn Car Park. The verse on this one mentions a Devil Dog.

Once back in Slaidburn we had a coffee and piece of cake ( of course! ) sat outside the cafe that looks over the Village Green. By this time the Vintage Steam Fair was in full swing, rousing tunes piping from beautiful fairground organs. ๐Ÿ˜Š I shall leave you with a few photos.

Thanks for dropping by. ๐ŸŒผ

Ten Lovely Places To Stay In The Ribble Valley, Lancashire.

So I do love a bit of online research, especially if it involves finding a gorgeous place to stay. I am lucky enough to live in a beautiful corner of Lancashire called The Ribble Valley ,famed for its lush green countryside and picture postcard villages. If I was a tourist in my own town, I think I would look to one of these lovely destinations for a couple of nights away. In fact my suitcase is already packed!

Coach & Horses, Bolton By Bowland. The Cinderella in me is always totally charmed whenever I see this lovely old coaching Inn with its pumpkin coach sign. Award winning food, micro brewery and seven stunning rooms complete with molten brown toiletries, bathrobes and coffee machines are features of a stay here. The village of Bolton By Bowland itself is very picturesque with two attractive greens, a tea shop and lots of countryside walks nearby. Dog friendly. coachandhorsesribblevalley.co.uk If you like the area The White Bull Inn at Gisburn is another option.

Nancroft Cottage, Mearley. Now you could say I’m biased , my cousin’s own this delightful holiday cottage. But my goodness they’ve really gone the extra mile to make Nancroft a welcoming place to stay. This 18th Century farmhouse sleeps 8 , has two bathrooms, a boot room, a wood burning stove , enclosed garden and lots of lovely home comforts. It’s located in the tiny hamlet of Mearley at the foot of mystical Pendle Hill. You feel remote here but are only a short drive into the bustling market town of Clitheroe with its Castle and other attractions. Two pubs are within walking distance. Dogs Welcome . Cottages.Com. Also nearby ~ The Chicken Shed At Knowle Top is a romantic retreat with panoramic views.

Ribble Valley Retreat, Langho. Fancy stopping in a beautiful Bell Tent in the lovely Ribble Valley countryside? These luxurious hideaways are tucked away on a working farm in Langho. I’m smitten! The tents have the most gorgeous interiors and also come with their own fire pits, bbqs and picnic benches. BBQ Packs and Breakfast Baskets are optional extras. The retreat is handily situated near the train station so short trips into nearby Whalley and Clitheroe are a must. Ribblevalleyretreat.co.uk If you enjoy glamping check out Wigwam Holidays , also in Langho.

Spinning Block Hotel At Holmes Mill, Clitheroe. If you prefer to be at the centre of things then this stylish hotel in a bustling former mill will be right up your street. There’s plenty here to entertain including a Food Hall, Bistro Restaurant, Beer Hall ( hosting one of the longest bars in Britain) and an Everyman Cinema. The hotels 39 rooms have a rustic yet luxurious feel and Beercations and Drink It Dry evenings are popular. Clitheroe itself has a wealth of independent shops, cafes and bars to explore. Holmesmill.co.uk The Spinning Block is just one of a selection of James Places Hotels in the area.

St Leonard’s Church, Old Langho. Now for something a little different. Have you ever thought about Champing? That’s Camping in a church by the way. Now I would love to do this, but my friends and family seem a little reluctant. I say , embrace the Quirky, it’s an Adventure! The Champing price includes the provision of Camp Beds, Chairs, Lanterns, Tea & Coffee making facilities and a loo! St Leonard’s is a pretty little church with some ornate features. There’s a lovely pub very close by and this could be an ideal base for exploring The Tolkien Trail, the scenic Ribble Valley did inspire Middle Earth you know. Dogs Welcome. Champing.co.uk Traditional Campsite options are numerous in the Ribble Valley. Angram Green Campsite between Worston and Downham is situated near where Whistle Down The Wind was filmed.

The Lawrence Hotel ~ Padiham. Were right on the edge of the Ribble Valley here, but I cannot resist including this elegant Boutique hotel in picturesque Padiham. The 14 design led rooms range from Snug to Suite and include handy luxuries such as Rainfall Showers, Fluffy Bathrobes and Alexas. There’s an in house no rush restaurant with some lovely looking menus ~ the afternoon tea one looks particularly divine. Take your time to explore the area, Pendle Hill, NT Gawthorpe Hall and The Singing Ringing Tree should be on your itinerary. Dogs Welcome. the Lawrence hotel.co.uk Feeling flush ~ why not try a gourmet break at Michelin Star Northcote Manor in Langho.

The Red Pump Inn ~ Bashall Eaves. I do love a welcoming country Inn and my little corner of Lancashire has plenty of them. The Red Pump at Bashall has a popular steakhouse, cosy real ale bar and eight chic French inspired bedrooms. And that’s not all. Further fabulous accommodation at the Red Pump comes in the form of several glamping yurts and shepherd huts. Nearby attractions include Bowland Wild Boar Park and Browsholme Hall. Dog Friendly. Redpumpinn.co.uk Other lovely country inns in the area include The Inn at Whitewell and The Higher Buck at Waddington.

Hedgerow Luxury Glamping ~ Newsholme. The adults only luxury pods on this gorgeous glamping site all come with their own private patio and hot tub. Each are individually styled and include fabulous touches such as Blue Tooth Speakers, Underfloor Heating and Rainforest Showers. If you can bare to leave your pod there are beautiful communal areas too including a firepit cabin and artisan store. Get to know the other residents at Hedgerow, there are chickens, alpaca, Swiss sheep and Highland Cows! And your base here is on the Lancashire/Yorkshire border, so plenty to explore. Hedgerowluxuryglamping.com Just over the border Peaks & Pods also provide glamping pods with hot tubs.

Otter’s Rest ~ Clitheroe. Let’s finish with a secret hideaway in Clitheroe, so secret I’m not quite sure of where it is… Doesn’t it look idyllic. This award nominated Eco House sits by the waterside, somewhere near Primrose Nature Reserve. Inside the lodge is cosy and stylish and completely in tune with its woodland surroundings. I love that there are two terraces where you can sit , relax and enjoy the tranquil sound of the babbling brook. There is definitely a good chance of seeing Kingfisher, Dippers or maybe even a shy Otter. And your only ten minutes walk into Clitheroe’s bustling town centre. Airbnb Pendle View Holiday Lodge at nearby Barrow also has an enviable waterside location.

Hope you like my Ten Choices for Lovely Places to Stay in the Ribble Valley.

Of course there are many many more too! It’s a wonderful area to explore.

Where would you choose to stay in the Ribble Valley? Have you any recommendations?

Afternoon Tea At Mitton Hall.

A friend’s Birthday and her choice of celebration ? Afternoon Tea. I was there! Mitton Hall near Whalley was her destination decision. This impressive country manor dates back to the 15th century and boasts a timber framed great hall with a walk around gallery. Outside to the rear an attractive stone terrace looks out over gardens and the meandering River Ribble.

Mitton Hall from the rear.
Anyone for ๐Ÿฅ‚ Champagne?

Our sumptuous Afternoon Tea was served in the decadent dining room with its busy wallpaper and portraits of nattily attired canines. Mitton Hall is dog friendly by the way. On this occasion though, I was glad not to have a drooling Labrador waiting to devour my dainty sandwiches and fluffy scones. โ˜บ๏ธ

Afternoon Tea ( photo A Garley ).
Keeping an eye out for treats?

Most of us opted for the Traditional Afternoon Tea ( ยฃ19-50 per head) which came displayed on an elegant curved stand. The savoury selection was excellent and included three finger sandwiches, smoked mackerel & horseradish pate en croute, caremelised onion tartlet and a mushroom cappuccino, which I especially enjoyed.

Savouries.
Scones on top.

The scones too were delicious and baked to perfection. They came served with the obligatory jam and clotted cream.

Sweet Treats Below.

The sweet treats were a little hit and miss with everyone. I loved the After Eight Brownie and the Blueberry Macaron. The Chestnut & Chocolate Swirl was a bit meh and I wasn’t too keen on the Banoffee Pie or the 3 Leches Sponge. I totally forgot to photograph the tea! I enjoyed my Raspberry & Elderflower.

That Fireplace! ( photo A Mader).
On the Terrace ( photo R Preston).

I have sampled Afternoon Tea at Mitton Hall several times over the years, it’s always a nice place to return to. A relaxing and ideal setting to meet up with friends.

Ps ~ It was still the Winter Menu on our visit.

Paythorne Walk.

We got out for our first longish walk this year, a year which we started off by catching covid. Oh joy! Luckily for both Wil and I, our experience of the virus was pretty tame. We both had colds, runny noses and sneezed alot. We watched alot of Netflix. The End. Though I must admit, it was good to take our boots off when we finished this hike, it tired us out more than we care to admit….

Again I dipped into Nick Burton’s Lancashire Pub Walks guide for inspiration.

Paythorne is a small village ( well more of a hamlet really) between Gisburn in the Ribble Valley and Hellifield in North Yorkshire. Theres not much there except a pub, a tiny Methodist church and a large Caravan Park. At the moment there is definitely some sort of dispute in the village regarding a proposal to extend the caravan park. Everywhere you look there are orange signs saying ‘ Say No To More Caravans ‘ , I think there are more signs than houses.

We parked in the village car park opposite the pub and set off. The walk is one of bridleways, fields and country lanes and is 6 or so miles long.

The Buck at Paythorne.
Sign for the large Caravan park at Paythorne.
A Bridleway through twisted thorns and Holly trees. I have decided to call it Hey Holly Lonnin. ๐Ÿ˜
Gorse can flower all year round.
I do love an old freight train carriage. Growing up my sister, cousins and I were lucky enough to have one to play house in, until our Grandad gave it to the chickens!

Quite a bit of road walking.
Just liked the name. ๐Ÿ˜
Another farm ~ with chickens.
Curious Shire Horse.
The cutest ๐Ÿ™‚
The Cockiest.
Hen Harrier Sign for The Forest Of Bowland.
I – Spy ~ a white pheasant. It is possible that these white coloured birds are bred for pheasant shoots as markers, to identify the whereabouts of other pheasants. Therefore they are usually safe from the bullet, unlike their more common cousins.
View of the River Ribble.
Sham Castle ๐Ÿฐ ruins. These were once the kennels that housed the Lords Ribblesdales hounds.
Hugo saying that living with us is much nicer than living in a sham Castle. Really!
Gisburne Park estate is used for weddings and other events, hence the light bulbs everywhere.
Fields.
Woody path.
Paythorne Bridge.
Back into the village.
Tiny Methodist Church. Grade 2 listed dating from the 1800s.
The Route.

Thanks for dropping by. โ˜บ๏ธ

Lovely Lytham.

It’s been a couple of years since I visited the Fylde Coast, Bank Holiday Monday seemed the perfect day for a bracing beach walk. My was it cold! Luckily we wrapped up. The wind was determined and even whipped away our Parking Ticket ( probably into the North Sea! ) so another had to be purchased. Despite that, it was a pleasure to be in Lytham once again….

Lancashire’s Fylde Coast is home to Seaside resorts such as Blackpool and St Annes. Lytham is the one with the Windmill on the Green, looking out over the Ribble Estuary. Just in case you weren’t aware. The town has changed a little I think, even since my last visit two Winters ago. There are a wealth of new independent shops and cafes on the tree lined wide pavemented streets, away from the chilly seafront. A Summer trip is much overdue.

A Mussel Shell ๐Ÿš Sculpture on the site of the old Mussel Tanks , near the RNLI Lifeboat Station.
Up until the 1940s freshly caught Shellfish were cleaned in the Mussel Tanks. The site has recently been preserved for history.
Adorably kitch Wreath.
Too cold for ice cream.
However , Chells on Clifton Street is a great place for lunch.
My Lunch.
On Clifton Street.
Newly opened Pie & Sausage Shop.
Old favourite ~ Tom Towers Tasty Cheese Shop.

The seafront at Lytham is actually an estuary front , with a 800 metre promenade that links the resort to its nearest neighbour St Anne’s. There are views over the River Ribble towards the twinkling lights of Southport and even to Wales. The marshes are home to thousands of migratory birds. I should have brought a pair of binoculars!

Shipwreck!
Looking towards the marshes.
A White Wagtail. A migratory species whose cousin is the more common Pied Wagtail.
Marshland.
A Kestrel finds a perch.
Lytham Green and Windmill.

Lytham Windmill is undoubtedly the town’s most iconic landmark. Built in 1805 it stands proud on the Green, looking out over the marshes. It was a flour mill but ceased trade in the 1920s. Today it houses a museum, though I have never ventured inside.

Lytham Windmill and old Lifeboat House.
Anchors. These were restored after being caught the nets of a Fishing Trawler called ‘ Biddy’ in the 1980s.
A boardwalk to the sea.
My purchase. Half price Christmas cards from the RNLI shop. I have put them away ‘ somewhere safe’ for this year.

Have you been to the coast this Winter?

Whalley Wander. ๐Ÿฆ‰

Ready for a gentle wander around Whalley? Here are a few photos from Sunday mornings stroll around this attractive Ribble Valley village, a couple of miles from my hometown of Clitheroe.

We parked near the impressive 48 arches of the red and blue bricked viaduct that spans the river Calder. Whalley Viaduct is the longest railway bridge in Lancashire and if you travel from Blackburn to Clitheroe by train, you will cross this impressive structure.

Whalley Arches.
A peek through the trees.

Nearby is the fourteenth century Whalley Abbey Gatehouse which belonged to the Cistercian abbey in the village. I can almost imagine the monks passing through the archway.

Whalley Abbey Gatehouse.

If you look closely in the trees around Whalley you may be surprised to see some life-like bird sculptures. Delighting those who spy them amongst the greenery, the wrens are lovingly handcrafted by a lady in the village. Most are sweet little wrens , but you never know who could be watching you from above.

Whalley Wren.
What a hoot !

A spot of quiet contemplation ? The peaceful garden of the English Church Of Martyrs nextdoor to Whalley Abbey is dotted with benches, full of flowers and there are several religious statues.

English Church of Martyrs was built in 1926.

We head to the River Calder via the pretty stone terraces on Calder Vale.

Calder Vale.
Spot the Barn Owl. ๐Ÿ™‚
Pretty White House on the river.
Whalley Weir.
Whalley Weir.

Whalley Weir is a man made weir on the river and is said to be the reason why the monks of Whalley chose this spot for their abbey. It’s a tranquil place to watch the ducks. ๐Ÿฆ†

Whalley Old Grammar School.

Back in the village and here is the Old Grammar School, now used as a pre school and for adult education. The War memorial is a focal point.

The Tooth Fairy resides here. ๐Ÿงš

Whalley has many independent shops and cafes, no shortage of places to stop for a brew. We headed over to Cafe Autisan at Whalley Abbey. They do a wonderful rocky road, demolished before I remembered that I should of taken a photograph. ๐Ÿคฃ

Whalley Abbey.
Another Wren.
The cafe service is still take away only, with outdoor seating in the courtyard.
Tudor houses across from Whalley Abbey.

Hope you enjoyed my bumble around a popular Ribble Valley village. ๐Ÿ’–

Ribble side ramble. ๐Ÿฆ†

The weather is so surprising at the moment. Blue skies then snow. Warm sunshine. Then snow. And repeat.

I am wondering what to wear for a week night beer garden drink. Looking in my wardrobe, I seriously haven’t bought any new going out clothes since 2019! Pjamas ~ yes. Walking pants~ yes. But no new tops or dresses. However I suspect I will still be frequenting my warm puffa jacket for any approaching social activities!

At present social activities still revolve around walking, so here are some photos from yesterday’s walk along the river to Chatburn and back. A repeat of a post I did earlier in the year, but a little more wildlife on display. ๐Ÿ™‚

One of many picture slabs in Brungerley park. A fox and a hare gaze at the moon.
A hunched heron.
Greylag and Canada Geese.
Golden forsythia blossom.
A lone mute swan.
Hipping Stones.
Mary Horner’s bench.
Gushing.
Beautiful blackthorn.
Twisty tree.
Bridge at Grindleton.
In the Woods.
Primrose.
By the Ribble.
Hipping Stones.
Hipping Stones.
Female Goosander. A favourite water bird. Love her Nut brown quiff.
Hugo waiting to play ball.
Wood Anemones or Wind Flowers.
Dog Violet.
Love this cherry blossom painting.

Hope you have had a pleasant weekend.

Bolton- by- Bowland walk. ๐Ÿฅพ

The Coach & Horses pub.

It looks as though for a little while longer, local walks are on the cards. Actually I don’t mind too much, we have been discovering more of our beautiful Ribble Valley by way of  dusty walking books, barely ever glanced through before.

The following images are from a route found in a Walks Around Clitheroe publication by Terry Marsh ~ Walk 8 ~ Bolton-by-Bowland.

Bolton-by-Bowland itself is a charmingly pretty village boasting two village greens, a lovely looking pub with a pumpkin coach sign and an attractive church.

Along the surfaced drive of Bolton Park.
Sheep in the parkland. Nearby Bolton Hall was  the ancestral  home of  Sir Ralph Pudsay ,who had 25 children. ๐Ÿ˜ฏ
Not a captivating photo, but tumbling lapwings ducked and dived over this waterlogged field.
Footbridge over Skirden Beck.
Young bulls after Hague Farm.
Pendle Hill in the distance.
After Rodhill Gate Farm, an ancient highway ascends for some distance.
We are basically walking up a stream. ๐Ÿ˜†
A fallen tree provides the perfect rest stop.
Wil waiting for me as usual.
Still heading up the gully.
Wil waiting for me as usual. ๐Ÿ˜
Just after this photo, Hugo disturbed a hare in the grass. Not that he tried to chase it. Hugo prefers smelly dead things. Yuck!
We did get lost a bit, then found our way eventually.

Priest Biggins Farm. A do er upper!
Grey Alder Catkins.
Tree Lichen.
I like this sign. There was also a deer statue in the farm yard. Sika Deer live in the area.
Approaching the hamlet of Holden.
Spring colour ~ Crocuses. ๐Ÿ™‚
Holden Beck.
We walk along the road a short while, heading back to Bolton by Bowland.
Glorious yellow Winter Aconites.
St Peter & St Paul church.
Stocks on the village green.
A Yew Tree Cottage, with a giant yew tree.
Map of our walk.

I think we will return to Bolton by Bowland , I suspect there is alot more to discover. ๐Ÿฅพ๐Ÿ‘โค๏ธ

Seeking Out Sika Deer. ๐ŸฆŒ

Unbeknown to me until recent times , the Gisburne Park estate in Gisburn is home to a herd of Sika Deer. The deer roam free and are wild, they are often spied in the local area. I had never seen one though…until now.

Sika deer were introduced into the UK from the Far East in 1860. And they were brought over to Gisburn from Ireland by Thomas Lister ‘ Lord Ribblesdale’ in the 19th century. The parks fallow deer herd had declined and it was hoped that the Sikas would make good sport. Lord Ribblesdale had a band of buckhounds used for hunting deer. All was looking good , but the imports were having none of it. They didn’t like hanging out in the open, and would make a dash into the trees if disturbed. Soon the Lord’s buckhounds were disbanded and the sika deer became feral. Their descendants roam the estate today.

Entrance lodges.
Fields of sheep.
Snowdrops.

Wandering round Gisburne Park early morning is a delight. Some areas are private but there are public footpaths through the grounds too. All was calm and peaceful and Hugo was able to have some off lead time. We saw several buzzards including one that landed in a tree just metres away and disturbed a long billed bird that flew out from the edge of the woodland into the fields.

A bonnie bridge.
Riverside House.
Hello Hugo.

Most exciting though was coming almost face to face with a stag, one of Lord Ribblesdales Sika Deer descendants! He stood his ground for quite a while, which gave me ample opportunity to take a couple of photos. As we quietly passed, he stamped his hoof and turned into the trees.

Our Sika deer are probably originally descended from Japanese sika deer.
The word sika comes from the Japanese word Shika ~ meaning deer.
Peering through the Catkins.
Handsome chap.

As Sika deer are an introduced species they are not protected wildlife. Their numbers are not encouraged, especially if in an area where there may also be native Red deer, which they sometimes breed with. As far as I’m aware, there are no red deer here so the sika are safe. ๐Ÿ™

Gisburne Park mansion, now a private hospital.
Ivy on a stone post.
Daffodils on an old cottage door.

Do you have any deer living locally?

Thanks for dropping by. ๐ŸฆŒ

It’s Cold Outside.

Brrrrrr, it’s been so chilly recently, but also as I said in a previous post, perfect walking weather for dogs and shoes. No mud!

I hear the temperatures may be in double figures by Monday. Advantage being new growth willย  peep through what is at the moment cold hard earth.

For now some photos of a walk from home around the meadows and lanes of Waddington civil parish.

We find a footpath through fields, off this road signposted Bashall Eaves.

One of a flock of lapwings. Lovely to see. ๐Ÿ™‚

A beautiful old house called Bashall Hall.

Bashall Hall buildings and fallen tree.

Hide and sheep.

A cold looking Pendle.

Friendly flock.

Frozen brook.

Icicles. โ„๏ธ

Fairy Bridge.

Hazel Catkins.

We settle for a brew and sandwich on a mossy bridge.

Hugo sat nicely ( on ice!) because we are eating and he’s waiting for crumbs.

Heading to Waddington.

Snowdrops in a little wooded area by a stream.


Cold as ice..โ„๏ธ

Fairy door.

The Lower Buck. An excellent stop off in usual times. They have roaring fires in there.

Once back home, time for a brew and thaw out. โค๏ธ

Enjoy the rest of your weekend.