I have been craving ‘ a sea fix ‘ for some time now. Today was finally the day that I got my fix. We headed to Heysham on the Lancashire coast and parked at Heysham Nature Reserve behind the power station. After typing Heysham Nature Reserve into Google maps it told me that we had visited the reserve two years ago. Scary that it remembered. 😜
Heysham Nature Reserve is still open , however the car park and facilities are currently closed. We managed to find a spot near the entrance and Hugo had an off lead wander. At some point we ended up on the rocky shore in front of the power station. Un surprisingly it was easy to social distance beside a nuclear power station. 😊
We walked as far as the striking rust coloured South Pier lighthouse and retraced our steps back to the car.
It was around 11-30 and already cracking the flags at nearby Half Moon Bay when we parked the car on the small car park there. In fact it was getting a bit too hot for Hugo. After a short walk along the cliffs as far as the St Patrick’s chapel remains, we called it a day. Looking back on my post from two years ago, we had a hot weather visit then too! No beautiful new sculptures at that time though. Fab to see the recent editions. 😊
Goodbye beautiful Lancashire coast. Until next time. ❤️
As my other half and I are ‘owned’ by a bouncy black labrador, our days out and holidays are often planned round walks and pet friendly places. With this in mind, here are a few of Hugo’s ( and our) favourite haunts, over the last 3 years.
Allan Bank , Grasmere, Cumbria. There are not many National Trust properties that allow dogs inside. A charming exception, a short walk from Grasmere, is a former home of poet William Wordsworth. Not every room is decorated however, so this Georgian Manor has a relaxed carefree vibe. The grounds are worth an explore too and include a woodland walk and gardens. Sadly there is no cafe on site at present, though you are welcome to make yourself a brew. Open this year from the 10th February. You can read about our visit here.
St Annes Beach Huts, St Annes, Lancashire. What better base for a day at the seaside than a beautiful beach hut! We spent a memorable day with Hugo in St Annes a couple of summers ago…. and we do need to repeat the experience. The huts are fully equipped with a fridge, microwave and radio. The sands in front of them are dog-friendly all year round. stannesbeachhuts.co.uk
Another Place, Crosby Beach, Merseyside. An atmospheric and thought-provoking art installation. 100 iron figures grace Crosby Beach, all identical , all modelled on their creator Antony Gormley, all stand staring out to sea. A stunning spectacle and a great place for a bracing beach walk. Pay and display parking but there is also free parking at nearby Crosby leisure centre.
Castle Kennedy Gardens, Dumfries & Galloway. If you find yourself in Scotland’s much underrated Dumfries & Galloway , these 75 acre gardens surround two lochs and the ruins of a 14th century castle. Great for exploring, you can stay on the estate too, as we did here. 🙂
Conishead Priory, Ulverston, Cumbria. Although this Gothic Priory is now a Buddhist Retreat , the grounds, gift shop and cafe are all open to the public. We have visited maybe three times now with Hugo, for lovely woodland walks that lead down to the beach. A January trip saw the woods abundant with snowdrops. Look out for the Buddhist temple and a giant golden buddha! Parking is free and you can eat with your dog in a comfy lounge, next to the cafe.
East Lancashire Panopticans. Have you heard of The Singing Ringing Tree, The Atom or The Haslingden Halo? All three of these unusual structures are found locally in East Lancashire, and can be incorporated into interesting walks. For more information check out midpenninearts.org.uk
Formby Point Red Squirrel Reserve, Formby, Merseyside. Formby has a great dog-friendly beach with sand dunes and coastal pine forests which are home to Lancashire’s only native red squirrel population. 🙂 The Squirrel Walk is a must if you wish to see these cute tufty creatures. Parking at The National Trust Car park. Dogs on leads in the reserve. You can read about my visit Sea Air ~ Squirrels and Naked Men on the Sefton Coast. .
Ingleborough Show Cave, Clapham, Yorkshire. We had no intention of touring this grand Victorian Show Cave but having stumbled upon it whilst walking along Clapham Nature Trail, we found that dogs are admitted. 🙂 The tunnels are well lit, though low in places. The tours are interesting and the shop at the entrance sells snacks and souvenirs. Find out more here .
Ingleton Falls Trail, Ingleton, Yorkshire Dales. This 7km walk from Ingleton village is £6 per adult, including car parking. The trail takes in several stunning waterfalls and there are a couple of refreshment kiosks along the route. Walking boots are best worn and dogs may need to be on lead in some areas. www.ingletonwaterfallstrailco.uk
Janet’s Foss & Malham Cove, Yorkshire Dales. The Yorkshire Dales is renowned for its beautiful waterfalls and Janet’s Foss is no exception. There is a stunning woodland walk from Malham village ( start at the Smithy) leading to the falls ( home to a fairy) and Gordale Scar. Another walk from the village takes you to the impressive Malham Cove , with its unusual limestone rock formations. I blogged about Malham here .
Lake District Boat Trips, Cumbria. Did you know that four-legged friends are welcome on the pleasure boats that cruise four lakes in the Lake District? Hugo has taken trips with us on Windermere, Ullswater , and Coniston. I am sure Derwent Water will be on our itinerary for 2018. 🙂
Lowther Castle & Gardens, Penrith, Cumbria. The imposing ruins and gardens within gardens of this nineteenth century castle are a joy to explore. Lots of events all year round and an amazing castle themed adventure playground for the kids. Dogs are also welcome in the cafe and the gift shop. lowthercastle.org
Morecambe Bay Cross Bay Walk, Arnside, Cumbria. In 2016 we walked across the shifting sands of Morecambe Bay between Arnside and Grange-Over-Sands. As you can see walking actually means wading…partly. And some swimming for Hugo! Bay walks are organized group walks and should not be attempted otherwise. You can read about our attempt here.
Pendle Sculpture Trail, Barley, Lancashire. The natural world and the Pendle Witches have inspired this informative ( and stunning ) trail through woodland near Barley. Park at the village car park ( pay via an Honesty Box) and walk for one mile, passing a reservoir, to Aitken Wood. I blogged about a pre Hugo visit here.
Ravenglass & Eskdale Railway, Ravenglass, Cumbria. Traveling 7 miles through gorgeous Lake District Countryside on a miniature steam train is something you can happily do, in the company of a four-legged friend. 🙂 There are hop on and off stops with many opportunities for lovely lakeland walks.Parking and Refreshments available at Ravenglass and Boot. ravenglass-railway.co.uk
Temple Seal Trips, Morston, Norfolk. Dogs are welcome on these popular boat trips, where you can see seals basking on Blakeney point. Colonies of Grey and Common Seals as well as rare arctic terns. Definitely a must do. The red and white boats even have a part canine crew! We loved our experience and here’s my blog to prove it. 🙂
I can only apologise that most of our days out have been in the North of England. But maybe that will be an incentive to holiday here with your hound. 🙂 If you have any recommendations for dog-friendly places to visit ( anywhere) please comment below.
The recent sunshine is making me long for the seaside. I shall have to make do by collecting my pictures together of a lovely coastal walk in Lancashire. 😉
When I think of Heysham, I basically picture it as a Ferry port and the home of Heysham Power Station. I actually had no idea of how pretty the old part of the village is, and how full of history.
We parked up in the spacious village car park ( £1.40 for five hours) and passed a few pretty tea rooms and shops on our stroll towards the start of our walk, St Peter’s Church.
The Rock- Cut Graves that surround St Patrick’s Chapel are actually not unique. There are apparently similar graves in Hexham, Northumberland and in Ireland. The body shaped hollows were carved for the VIPs of the eleventh century, mostly kings and priests. I hope they had lids on!
We continued along the cliff footpath , heading towards the Ferry Port in the distance. It was quite a bracing day in May , so when we spotted the Half Moon Bay Cafe ,we warmed up with a hot drink.
After a welcome brew we made our way back to Heysham, following another criss- crossing path over the cliff tops, an area known locally as ‘The Barrows’.
Back in the village, I picked up a fantastic and quirky map of The Morecambe Bay and Heysham area from the Heritage Centre . The ‘Seldom Seen’ series of maps , ‘map the hidden assets of Morecambe bay’ and are full of interesting facts. I especially like the phrase ‘ Beyond This Place Lie Monsters’. 🙂
Vikings came to Heysham over 1000 years ago and today this is celebrated when the village holds it’s annual Viking Festival. This year’s event takes place 15th ~ 17TH jULY.
By all accounts I was very surprised by Heysham. Now I have my map , I’m sure I will be returning soon. 🙂
Although there was a nip in the air early yesterday morning, it still feels like Summer here in North West England. Even though I have recently written a Twenty Things To Do This Autumn. 🙂 blog post, the warm rays of Summer hang on. 🙂
Last Sunday we traveled home from Grange-Over-Sands as we had stayed the night there after doing the The Morecambe Bay Cross Bay Walk. It’s well worth doing by the way! On our meander home to Clitheroe we stopped off in both Cartmel and Bolton Le Sands.
Cartmel is a pretty medieval village specially famed for it’s Sticky Toffee Pudding, ancient priory, busy race course and a variety of foodie shops. We had a little walk in the nearby woodland and enjoyed a hot chocolate in the village centre.
We stopped later in Bolton le sands near Morecambe for lunch. I wish I had taken some photos of the sea, however I did manage to take the following cute animal pictures. 🙂
Giant rabbits at Red Bank Farm campsite which has a cafe and a pets corner, open to non residents too.
The giant rabbits reminded me of the book I have just finished reading. It’s called When God was A Rabbit. Has anyone ever read it? I loved the first half but the second half wasn’t as good.
Yesterday I made some cookies. Why do they never look as good as in the recipe book? Ha ha.! 🙂
They are pretty tasty though ….and the recipe can be found in Sabrina Ghayour’s Cook Book ‘Sirocco’ ~ Fabulous flavours from the East.
This post is for Sunday Sevens which is devised by Natalie at the blog Threads and Bobbins. where she asks folks to share seven ( or more) photos of their personal week.
At the Weekend I got to tick something off my Bucket List and raise a bit of money for charity. Can’t be bad! For a while now I have wanted to do ‘The Morecambe Bay Cross Bay Walk’ which is a guided walk across the shifting sands between Arnside and Grange-Over-Sands in Cumbria. The walks are led by Cedric Robinson MBE ( the Queen’s Official Guide), who has been escorting thousands of charity fundraisers safely over the bay since 1963. That makes him pretty darn experienced , wouldn’t you agree !
The walk starts on the front at pretty Arnside. No Hugo is not seeing us off. He will be joining us for this 8 mile trek over the bay. 🙂
There are about 200 people joining us too, dressed mostly in shorts and trainers or walking sandals. Some brought the kids and others bring four legged friends. We were soon met by Cedric in his trusty tractor.
Cedric is a bit of a celebrity so he poses for a few photos with fans before we set off.
The sands are so beautiful and stretch out for miles in front of us. They are also very dangerous so it’s important never to cross without a respected guide.
Even in such an impressive turnout, it is possible to enjoy the serenity of the seascape.
Eventually we cross our first channel ! The River Kent creates the channels and we are soon paddling…….
Even these little fellas are doing the doggy paddle. 🙂 One Jack Russell Terrier called Cato still kept paddling with his front paws in mid air,even after his owner picked him up. Aww!
The water comes up to my mid thigh. Yep I’m a short arse! Hugo does swimmingly well. 🙂
I resigned myself to the fact that I would get pretty wet. So did Hugo ! Luckily the weather is kind to us and amazingly we don’t feel cold at all.
We cross several channels in this way. The route is marked by Laurel Branches, chosen because their leaves do not drop.
Cedric keeps an eye out for us all. I ask him if , as the Queen’s Official Guide, he has ever taken Her Majesty across Morecambe Bay. He hasn’t ( yet! ) but he has had the pleasure of accompanying Prince Phillip in the 1980s. He had to tell The Duke off for driving his horse and carriage to fast over the sands!
Our walk takes a little over four hours and ends at Kent Bank station ,just outside Grange-Over-Sands. We amble back to our little B&B muddy, with aching legs and a great sense of achievement. 🙂
If you would like to donate to my Just Giving page please do. We are raising money for ‘East Lancs Hospice’.
Hi Folks, I’m feeling all invigorated and refreshed after a weekend by the sea. Theres nothing like a blast of sea air to make you feel Alive, don’t you think. 🙂
We decided on a campsite near Bolton Le Sands on the Lancashire coast. Red Bank Farm is quite an undiscovered little gem, looking over the salt marshes to Morecambe Bay. And at only £6 per person per night, a bit of a bargain.
The campsite itself consists of two camping fields for tents and campers, along with some static caravans. We pitched up in the top field , with its beautiful sea views. Facilities at Red Bank Farm include a clean toilet & shower block with hot showers, an undercover wash up area, laundry room and a rather nice cafe , converted from an old barn.
The very best thing about the site however, is the stunning location. We loved walking along the sea defenses every morning and especially early evening. The sky here is big and the sunsets are sublime. The salt marshes make for an interesting wildlife habitat too. Elver eels migrate here and all sorts of wading birds can be spotted including little egret. 🙂
The campsite is part of a working farm making full use of fresh produce in the cafe, including free range eggs( chickens roam freely around the site) and their own reared salt marsh lamb. There is also a pets corner which proved popular with the kids…..and big kids like me. 🙂
The sea air on the Lancashire coast is proper bracing , but I have to say there is nothing better than wrapping up warm and taking a blanket, plastic wine glasses and a bottle of wine down to the shore to watch the sun set.
I am almost sorry we are back home now and the camping gear is all packed away until next year. The warm days have returned folks , so its the prefect time for a last camping trip to the sea side , in the September sun……