Tag Archives: Midland hotel

Snowdrops and the Sea ~ Hornby Castle and Morecambe.

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I had been researching Snowdrop Walks in Lancashire and found two. Both were at historic piles and not to far from the sea .Lytham Hall near St Annes and Hornby Castle , a short drive from Morecambe. I managed to persuade Wil that we could incorporate snowdrops and seaside into a good day out for ourselves and our Labrador Hugo. Off we set on a dreary grey day in Clitheroe, heading for Hornby Castle near Lancaster . We actually ended up blessed with some sunshine. 🙂

Hornby Castle in the Lune Valley overlooks the village of Hornby and the river Wenning. Parts of the building date back to the 13th century and the impressive tower that dominates it’s shape is 16th century. The castle is privately owned and the gardens are only opened to the public a few days a year

Hornby Castle from the weir.

It was lovely to see all the many varieties of snowdrops in bloom. They carpeted the woodland, grew in thickets by the river and adorned the lovely walled garden. Hugo’s favourite part was exploring the riverside walk.

I wish I had taken more snowdrop pictures for you all. They really were stunning! Entry to the Snowdrop weekend was £4 per person and included a talk about the castle in the drawing room ( which we managed to miss! ) and you could buy plants, hot drinks and cake in the walled garden. A pottery exhibition was also in the grounds. If you wish to visit Hornby castle yourself, the next opening weekend is 19-20 May, Bluebell season. 🙂

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The village of Hornby itself is quite pleasant and Hornby Post Office & Tea Rooms are a very good stop off point for a spot of lunch. The picture above is quite deceptive as the place was absolutely rammed, due I think to the Snowdrop Weekend and a second hand book sale in the village. The old fountain in the village depicts a cat with a rat in its mouth, said to represent the former owner of the castle, Pudsey Dawson, who brought in cats to clear the castle of a huge rat population in the 19th century. Yikes!

In the afternoon we headed to the coast and went for a blustery walk on the beach in Morecambe. Luckily at this time of year you can depend on pup friendly beaches, even if it is somewhat freezing! Morecambe has appeared in my blog quite a few times so apologies for any repetitive photos. Its a very photogenic place though, if a bit worn and weather beaten.

Eric Morecambe Statue.

The bracing winds encouraged us to head for the Midland Hotel that looks over the bay and the long stone jetty, decorated ( as much of the town is) with seabird sculptures and poems.

The Midland is a Grade II listed Art Deco design hotel , which was built in 1933 by the London, Midland and Scottish Railway. Like many grand seaside hotels it fell into disrepair and decline. In 2008 it was re-opened to the public, all restored and its elegant curving façade happily housing a lovely hostelry once again.

After enjoying our hot drinks we headed home through the Trough of Bowland, calling in at my sisters for another brew. Can’t get enough of brews in this weather!

Have you been on any snowdrop walks this year? Or bracing beach walks for that matter! 🙂

A Pocket Mountain Book of Northern Delights.

 

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Another Place, Crosby Beach ( image via pinterest).

I recently purchased a little gem of a book that has definitely inspired me to explore the more quirky attractions on my doorstep. The book is called Northern Delights and is described as ‘A Guide to the Hidden Joys of Northern England’. As a Northerner I was very excited to find it! 🙂

The author ‘Anne Ward’, loves nothing better than to wander about aimlessly with a camera. She made it her mission to  discover peculiar places  and family holidays meant leaving no stone unturned in her quest to discover the North’s hidden gems.

Here is just a small selection of the attractions mentioned. A couple I have happily already discovered under my own steam, the other’s  are awaiting my visit!

Another Place ~ Crosby. One hundred cast iron figures looking out to sea, straddle 3km of Crosby beach near liverpool. Designed by artist Antony Gormley the statues are modelled on his own body.  The guide says they are sometimes adorned with sun-hats,motorbike helmets and even santa outfits. And are a handy place to leave your flip-flops!  I found a great post about Another Place at  kathyathy.com .

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Saltburn Cliff Lift ( image via pinterest).

Saltburn-By-The-Sea Cliff Lift and Pier.  The funicular railway is the oldest operating water balance cliff lift in Britain, according to Northern Delights. Visitors can ascend and descend the cliffs in style here in this little known Victorian resort. The Pier at the bottom is the most Northerly surviving pleasure pier in Britain and the surf at Saltburn rivals that of Cornwall. Visit   www.saltburnbysea.com  for more info.

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Friendly tree at the Forbidden Corner  ( image my own).

The Forbidden Corner ~  Coverham.  Here’s my  post   from a couple of years ago, about this delightful collection of statues,mazes,follies,castles and water features set in woodlands and beautiful gardens in the Yorkshire Dales. 🙂 A magical place indeed.

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Pontefract Liquorice Festival ( Image via Pinterest).

Pontefract Liquorice Festival ~ Pontefract.  Well I had never heard of this colourful event celebrating all things liquorice until I found it in the book. Apparently liquorice was introduced to Pontefract by monks as a medicinal herb and kind of took over the town. Sugar was added and the  well loved confectionary was invented. The festival is held every July  www.yorkshire.com

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Seahorses at the iconic Midland Hotel . ( Image my own).

Midland Hotel ~ Morecambe. The beautiful art deco building in the Lancashire resort of Morecambe graces the promenade and enjoys vistas over the bay. Restored in the last few years to its former glory, it is once again an elegant place to stay and hosts eclectic events such as  Vintage By The Sea .

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Carnforth Station ( Image via Pinterest).

Carnforth Station ~ Carnforth. Maybe the most romantic train station, you will ever visit.  This unassuming Lancashire platform was the setting for the classic 1945 film ‘Brief Encounter’. The story follows a budding romance between a couple who meet at the station, but it is a romance that can never be. Have railway goodbyes ever been so bittersweet. A 1940s style tea room welcomes visitors, for their own brief encounters apparently.www.carnforthstation.co.uk

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Marsden Grotto  ( Image via Pinterest).

Marsden Grotto ~ South Shields. Britain’s only pub in a Sea Cave is here apparently. According to my little guide book, visitors can walk down the 137 zigzag steps ( or take the lift) and enjoy a drink in the shady nook. It’s history tells of smugglers hiding their contraband in the cave and the grotto is said to be haunted by those rum suping spirits. Spooky!

I hope you enjoyed this small selection of Northern Delights. You can find the book yourself at  www.pocketmountains.com

Any interesting or quirky places in your neck of the woods?

Sea air ~ Morecambe, Arnside and Silverdale.

Quirky seabird sculptures adorn the promenade in Morecambe.
Quirky seabird sculptures adorn the promenade in Morecambe.

Easter Monday and blue skies and sunshine. The perfect day for a trip to the coast. We ventured firstly to the Lancashire seaside town of Morecambe, taking the scenic route through the beautiful Trough Of Bowland. Thankfully we didn’t run over any pheasants on the way. The trough is highly populated with them !

Morecambe has gone through a little revamp since my last visit. The promenade anyway is looking fantastic with its quirky seabird sculptures. The iconic Midland Hotel was brought back to its former glory and reopened a few years ago. This imposing example of art deco architecture looks over the bay.

The promenade with the Midland Hotel in the distance.
The promenade with the Midland Hotel in the distance.

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After wandering along the promenade and admiring various sculptures, rhymes and the statue of Eric Morecambe we decided to head further along the coast for our lunch. Not before having a nosy in the Old Pier bookshop which is so crammed full of old books that if a shelf fell on you , you might not be found for days. 🙂

Arnside.
Arnside.

Next stop was a few miles up the coast to the pretty village of Arnside which looks over the river Kent estuary. We bought a bit of a picnic and ate it while’st watching the world go by. 🙂 There are a few gift shops,cafes and a couple of pubs on the front to peruse if you wish.

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And then it was back to Lancashire and the nearby village of Silverdale. We walked down to the cove and watched the tide coming in ( very quickly ) over Morecambe bay. Noticed lots of people out with dogs today. We have made the decision not to get another dog until the end of the year but seeing so many playing and having fun chasing sticks in the sunshine made us smile a little longingly.

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The cove at Silverdale.
The cove at Silverdale.
A yorkie surveys his kingdom. :)
A yorkie surveys his kingdom. 🙂
Hello from Silverdale.
Hello from Silverdale.

It was interesting to find out that Silverdale has literary connections. Elisabeth Gaskell wrote some of her Bronte biography here and Charlotte Bronte apparently holidayed here herself.

This post is my April blog for the #take12trips challenge. I really loved my day by the sea in Lancashire and Cumbria. 🙂