Another blog post, another local walk. This one is from the picture perfect village of Downham, where in fact many years ago, I went to primary school. The hike is a 4 mile circular route and was a very peaceful one, we saw only one other person out walking until we arrived back in the village at the end for an ice cream. 😊
We set off from the large car park in Downham, following the brook down through the village. You may recognize Downham from the TV series Born and Bred which was filmed here.
We ended our walk at the little ice cream shop on Hare Green, which also sells brews, cakes and sandwiches.
Recent times have given me opportunity to explore new walks in my local area and also revisit places from my past. Although I live in a small market town, I grew up in the countryside. Of course at 17 I was only to happy to move away to ‘the big City’ , that’s what Clitheroe felt like to a country bumpkin like me back then. 🙂 I will never forget my farming roots though , as much as I love living somewhere with shops, pubs and friends, I do still feel at home clomping round the fields.
This is a walk from Clitheroe, through the pretty village of Pendleton, passing the farm I grew up on at the foot of Pendle Hill and taking in the small village of Worston. Most of the route has featured on my blog before at various times, but there’s usually something new to spot.
We found a peaceful moorland walk on Sunday. I guess it was so quiet because of the drizzly weather. It soon fined up though and we happily abandoned our waterproof jackets. Yay!
Our walk started from a canal side car park near the Anchor Inn at Salterforth near Barnoldswick. This isn’t an area we have explored before and despite having a map and walking book we did get a bit lost ( shocker! ) but it all worked out ok in the end.
The route headed up into the rugged moorland of Weets Hill where there are fantastic views and even some unusual art work. Here are some images from our 6.5 mile hike.
This walk was definitely all about the views , the wildlife ( we were serenaded by the continuous chatter of pippits and skylarks) and those unforgettable sculptures at Duck pond farm.
Walking Book – Walking in the Forest of Bowland and Pendle by Terry Marsh.
I hope to bring you a few more photos from Lancashire walks whilst lockdown continues. 🌹
Higham nestles at the foot of Pendle Hill and the Pendle Way is a walking route which can be accessed from the village. The area has many associations with the Pendle Witches. Higham was home to several reputed victims of ‘ the witch ‘ Chattox. She allegedly turned the ale sour in the village pub ‘ The Four All’s Inn ‘ and bewitched the landlords son to death. She along with eight other people were hung on a hill above Lancaster for witchcraft in 1612.
On a more cheery note Higham was also the birthplace of Jonas Moore, who became known as ‘ The Father Of Time’ owing to his key role in establishing Greenwich Mean Time and the Greenwich Meridian. Not bad going for a Lancashire lad…
This walk is a 5.5 mile hike through a gorse strewn valley with lots of views of Pendle , old cobbled tracks and skies full of tumbling swift’s and swallows on a Sunday morning in May.
The Four Alls on the pub sign denote the following.
The King rules all.
The Priest prays for all.
The Soldier fights for all.
The Common Man pays for all.
I was really surprised by this walk. Lots of history and gorgeous scenery in what was once royal hunting ground ‘ The Forest Of Pendle’ . The area is actually now an AONB and deservedly so I think.
Walking Book – Guide To Lancashire Pub Walks by Nick Burton.
Pendle Sculpture Trail in Aitken Wood near Barley is a great little walk that is brimming with eye catching sculptures. I’ve blogged about this trail before here , and it’s now somewhere we love to bring Hugo. Over time some of the sculptures have naturally eroded but a few more have recently been added too. We visited on a foggy Monday morning, driving through the village of Downham and over a misty Pendle Hill.
There is ample parking in the car park in Barley ( £1 charge) which has a cafe & information centre. No maps featuring the new art installations were available on our visit ,but hopefully this will be remedied soon. To access the Sculpture Trail we made our way through the village , passing the Pendle Inn on our left and then Barley Garage, before following the signs up past two reservoirs and on to Aitken Wood.
The original Sculptures are very much inspired by the tale of the Pendle Witches. In the 1600s nine local women and one man were accused of witchcraft and tried and hung in Lancaster, as part of the Lancashire Witch trials. Of course they were no doubt innocent victims of the superstitious times they lived in. Other sculptures are inspired by the natural world and there are yet more, with a hint of the supernatural about them.
The fog really adds to the atmosphere of the walk don’t you think? At one point I heard some bizarre sounds, that Wil and Hugo seemed completely oblivious to. Some very strange clickings & chattering’s from deep in the woods. Maybe I was letting the surroundings get to me, but I didn’t investigate further. Wil said I had probably heard a toad. Hmmmmm!
I was definitely starting to believe I was in a Grimm’s Fairy tale by this point. More and more supernatural beings were emerging from the fog.
Also dotted around the woods are several ceramic plaques, one for each of the accused witches.
As we were leaving Aitken Wood I heard a lot of activity in some conifer trees. Looking up, I saw a flock of crossbills , my first ever. A magic moment indeed.
Are there any interesting sculpture trails near you?
Today I thought I would round off my week with a Sunday Sevens, seven or more pictures from the last 7 days.
A Witchy Walk.
Even though we are busy decorating the kitchen at the moment ( when I say we, I really mean Wil ! ) , we did take time out for a walk in Aitken Wood near Barley. Pendle Witch country, the little conifer woods here are home to a spooky sculpture trail that tells the story of the Lancashire witch trials of 1612 . I have now reached 1300 miles walked in 2018, so still hoping to complete 1500 by the end of the year.
Guilty Pleasures. 😈
So I’m in love with the devil ! Fantasy horror writer Neil Gaiman is one of the creators of the supernatural characters in Lucifer, a TV series about the original fallen angel, the devil himself. Now residing in LA, Lucifer is keen to learn more about humanity and is even using his devilish powers for good ( well kind of 😉 ), working as detective Chloe Decker’s wickedly sexy sidekick. Swoon! I am late to the party as usual…but totally loving this show. ❤️ You can watch it on Amazon Prime.
Also very appropriate for this time of year, how about a supernatural romance that begins in Autumn and is set in historical Oxford? Diana Bishop is a young scholar ( and reluctant witch) , who unwitingly stumbles upon an ancient enchanted manuscript, buried deep in Oxford’s Bodleian library. It’s discovery both thrills and disturbs the supernatural community, who all want to get their hands on both it and the young witch who summoned it. Diana finds herself being both hunted and protected by an ancient brooding vampire called Matthew Clairmont. This book has apparently just been made into a fantasy series on Sky, so one to look out for. For now though, I’ll just curl up with this couldron bubbling paperback romance. 🕸️
The first recipe we tried from The Little Book Of Hygge was a success! We made Skipper Stew which is a winter warming stew, perfect for Autumn and Winter. As its name suggests Skipper Stew was originally made on ships. The main ingredients are brisket ( though any meat will do), chicken stock, onions and potatoes. We served it with sourdough bread and pickled red cabbage instead of the suggested Pickled beets and Rye bread though. You can also find the recipe online here.
Wine Tasting. 🍷
Yesterday I was lucky enough to go to a Wine Tasting in Waddington with some friends. At first we were all very professional , swirling our glasses round and declaring ‘ I detect hints of elderflower’ , but it soon descended into chaos when we realised there were fifty bottles to try, in a two hour time slot. Haha. Great idea! If your thinking about wine now , check out www.winesbytimbyrne.co.uk
Its a Christmassy Sunday Sevens this week. If only I had some snow to show you, but its been sadly lacking in Clitheroe. And the snow I did see, whilst travelling with my friend Fi over Pendle Hill last weekend, was beautiful if a smidge scary. I did not want to insist that we stop her little smart car for photographic opportunitys, when we were running late for a Willow Angel weaving morning with ‘ The Willow Witch of Pendle.’ Luckily The Willow Witch was lovely about our lateness and a very patient teacher. Can you believe these Angels were constructed out of 16 bendy willow rods. Quite impressive!
There were 5 of us who took the class and we all came away with an Angel. Some more angelic than others! I love how Louise has wrapped fairylights round the wings of hers. 🙂
After braving a snowy Pendle Hill back , Clitheroe was a bit of a non event snow wise..
Last Sunday I went to Skipton with some friends as there was a Christmas market on. Check out the festive Stilt Walkers! And Christmas is not Christmas without an Afternoon Tea. 🙂 My lovely friend Gill had booked us into Alexander’s
, a gorgeous piano bar and restaurant on the main street. It even has a pop up Alpine Den ( very Hygge) throughout December. I want to go back! My Goddaughter Mady brought her 2 little ones ,and we can definitely say Alexander’s is very family friendly too.
The Christmas Tree is up at last! As you can see its laden with an eclectic mish mash of decorations and baubles. Over the years I have collected and been gifted various bits and pieces. I am one of those people who find myself buying decs for the tree even in the middle of Summer. I once found a Christmas shop in Sorrento, Italy , in the middle of July…..and a cherry red ‘ Bon Natalie’ bell, has graced our tree every Christmas since. 🌲
The living room is all properly decorated now , thanks to my wonderful other half. 🙂 He has proved himself brilliant at wallpapering, painting, laying the floor and tiling the hearth. I treated myself to a textured black & white cushion from Rafffia in Clitheroe, to celebrate.
All that hard work deserves a couple of drinks down the pub. 🔥🍻
Thanks to Natalie at Threads And Bobbins for organizing Sunday Sevens.
On saturday we decided to leave the car at home and set off on a walk around the places where I grew up. Before I moved to the great Metropolis that is Clitheroe, I lived in the shadow of Pendle Hill on a hill farm called Little Mearley. Nope I never did move to far away…or make my fortune! Not to worry. 😉
Our walk took in a few country lanes, a bridle path/farm track and some farm land. I think we walked about 8 miles or so, so not too shabby. I imagine Hugo our labrador covered even more milage, as he definitely runs circles around me….
We started off by walking through the fields toward Standen Hall and then crossed the busy A59 and headed for the pretty village of Pendleton.
An Egg Wreath.
The folks of Pendleton have decorative Imaginations! I’m not sure about the Egg Wreath ,but I do like the Flower Pot Bees. 🙂
We walked through Pendleton and crossed the Sabden Road , then ambled along a bridle path through the tiny hamlet of Mearley. This eventually turns into a farm track and passes the farm where I grew up.
It felt strange walking past the old place. Little Mearley dates back to 1590. My bedroom growing up, was the mullioned bay window room. The glass has names of past residents etched into it. I might have shared my ivory tower with their ghosts , but I was happily oblivious! Pendle Hill with it’s legendary associations with witchcraft fades into the mist behind.
We then cut through some fields and passed Angram Green Farm & Campsite and walked into the beautiful village of Downham, where my sister and I went to primary school. I didn’t take many photos here, but If you would like to see more, here is a post I did a while back called Downham delights. 🙂
We had lunch in Downham , sat outside a former collegues cute little ice cream shop, that also sells brews, sandwiches, baked goodies and other bits and pieces.
Inside Michelle’s shop on Hare Green.
Hugo eyes up lunch.
We decided to look for an alternative route back , which would take us through fields ,so Hugo could have a lot more off lead time. There is a footpath just over the road from the Ice cream shop that took us through some meadows and past the bottom of Worsaw Hill.
Even for a non- hill climber like me, Worsaw Hill, which reminds me of a mini volcano, looked far too tempting not to climb. At 725ft it’s tiny compared to Pendle, but offers gorgeous views of the surrounding countryside.
After scrambling down the hill ,we continue through fields toward the village of Worston. As a teenager I was a saturday girl at the local pub ,The Calf’s Head. On the way we pass a farm with a movie connection!
Have you ever watched the 1961 film Whistle Down The Wind ? It tells the tale of three farm children who discover a fugitive hiding in their barn, and mistake him for , well, Jesus! Worsaw End Farm is the farm. Local children from Downham and nearby Chatburn starred alongside such acting luminaries as Hayley Mills and Alan Bates.
Once in Worston we take refreshment in the Calf’s Head Beer garden before crossing back over the A59 and heading home.
Thanks for accompanying me on a bit of a journey through my past….
ps It’s Hugo’s 3rd Birthday today. Time is certainly flying by. He will be celebrating later with a bottle of doggy beer from Millie & Ruby’s Dog Bakery. 🙂
At the weekend we went for a drive over to the Pendleside village of Barley , so of course I took my trusty camera with me. Its been a while since I have documented the various flora and fauna I have seen. So heres a few pics from our walk. 🙂
If you’re ever in the Pendle area the Pendle Sculpture trail is a fun thing to do. My post about it is here. 🙂