As is now a December tradition, I am sharing my year in photos. It’s been a pretty fab one. Life is looking good!
In January I started the #walk1000miles challenge again, determined to beat the 1600 plus miles I did in 2018. Had great fun doing the RSPB Big Bird Watch with my sister’s family, including Chloe the cat. And spent a weekend in Edinburgh. for Wils birthday.
February was pretty quiet , we changed the colour of the bedroom. I’m glad my other half is a dab hand with a paint brush. 😁
There was a weekend away in March with some walking in the fells near Coniston.
May felt strange, as I left my job of twenty nine years. I took my redundancy and have basically spent the rest of the year spending it! Highlights in May included Badger Watching at RSPB Haweswater and my friend Gills wedding. Wil and I scrubbed up ok.:)
June was the only time we managed to get a camping trip in. This is my fave photo from our weekend in Ingleton with friends. Our dogs on a date 😁~ Hugo & Bel the Bedlington terrier. Later this month I bought a static caravan in the Eden Valley in Cumbria!
In July we spent a tranquil four nights in a Tree Dome in Shropshire ( booked before my impromptu caravan purchase), got the caravan kitted out and I found work in a local cafe. I’m still there but it’s not the most stable of jobs. Who knows what the new year will bring..
August was mainly about exploring the area local to our van. Much of the rest of 2019 was devoted to this pursuit. 😁
I visited Amsterdam for the first time in September and the girls and I spent a chilled weekend at the caravan.
November is my birthday month and Wil treated us to a night away at the Haweswater Hotel. 🙂
And now it’s December and we are away yet again, this time in a cottage in Keswick, also booked before we bought the caravan. Despite losing my job this year, it seems I have taken more trips than any other! I know I have so so much to be thankful for and this little blog is definitely one of those things…..
I’d like to wish you all the best for 2020. Here’s to a healthy & happy New Year. Xx
I’ve wrote my new Bucket List, though I can’t say I’m loving the title! But yes I am now 45 years old and having written a 25 Before 45 Bucket List when I was a mere age 42, I thought I would continue with the bucket listing lark, through the rest of my forties. 🙂
There were a few items on my previous list that I never got round to ticking off, so I have included some of them on here. I would still like to swim in a lido, see the Northern Lights and try a Dutch pancake in Amsterdam. And there are plenty of new ideas too, such as watching a starling murmuration, collecting sea glass from the beach at Seaham in County Durham and eating ice cream in a vintage ice cream parlour. I’m excited to get cracking!
And I’ve already crossed two things off my new Bucket List. I managed to take a photo of a Barn Owl that was hunting in the field next to my sisters house ( wow, they are such beautiful birds) , plus I went to watch a movie in an old vintage cinema , which has definitely made me want to do more of the same in the future. 🙂
My Bucket List.
Watch a film in an old vintage cinema.
Climb ten more Wainwrights.
Eat out at The Witchery in Edinburgh.
Go on a guided wildlife walk.
Swim in a lido.
Walk The Dales Way.
See the Northern Lights.
Try a Dutch Pancake in Amsterdam.
Collect sea glass on Seaham beach.
Stop in four quirky holiday lets.
Go wild camping.
Afternoon Tea at Cloud 23 in Manchester.
Explore more of the Outer Hebrides.
Stay a few days in the Peak District.
Go to the No 6 Festival in Portmeirion.
Photograph a Barn Owl in the wild.
Ride a street car in Lisbon.
Watch a starling murmuration.
Go Ice skating outdoors.
Make an honesty box meal.
Be Nine stone.
Visit Dungeness in Kent.
Eat ice cream in a vintage ice cream parlour.
Cycle round the isle of Cumbrae.
Meet Felix the Huddersfield Railway Cat.
Go for a cream tea at the home of the Yorkshire Shepherdess.
As you can see, I have left a few gaps in my list, in case I think of a few more things I would like to do.
Do you have your own list?
Have you seen or done anything that I have mentioned here? x
Wow, its the end of another year and happily its been an enjoyable one. 🙂 Its always nice to do a round-up post and I originally found this idea on Bev’s Blog, way back when. Next year I will have been occupying this little space in the blogger sphere for seven years. How did that happen! I still feel a constant compulsion to share my life with you all ~ so here’s my 2018 in photos……..
In January I started a walking challenge. Inspired by fellow blogger Christine, I signed up for the #walk1000miles challenge and joined this helpful facebook page for ideas and motivation. The idea is to walk 1000 miles in twelve months. I was pretty confident I could do it, but how fast? Also in January Wil and I spent A Long Weekend In The Lake District. , where we walked round Derwent Water and made snow angels in the snow. 🙂
February was abundant with snowdrops this year, so I dragged Wil on a Snowdrop Walk near Morecambe and we also saw lots on an amble round Skipton Woods.
We spent the most freezing cold night away in Haworth in March. I have never felt so chilly!
By April Spring had arrived at last! I was still donning my walking boots more than my party shoes. We explored the Tolkien Trail in nearby Middle earth country and discovered this countries very own Ayers Rock on the Lancashire/Yorkshire border.
The wonderful weather continued in June. We had another camping weekend at Bolton Abbey. I walked up another of The Yorkshire Three Peaks and went to a Festival in Gisburn Forest. Fabulous Summer memories.
It was amazing to catch up with my old school friend/now Canadian citizen Lou in July, after not seeing her in nine years. She hasn’t changed a bit!
Highlights from August included reaching 1000 miles in the #walk1000miles challenge. Yay! I didn’t stop walking though. I kept those boots on and hoped to reach 1500 miles by the end of the year. This month Wil, Hugo and I had the best holiday in Scotland with two weeks spent exploring North Uist in the gorgeous Outer Hebrides and Kilmartin Glen.
Lots of walks in September , my favourite being a Railway Children Walk around Haworth, finding locations from the classic film.
Autumn arrived and so did crunching through leaves. We went for a Spooky walk with family in the grounds of Bolton Abbey.
November is my Birthday month so another trip was planned. 🙂 Stopped in Ravenglass on the Cumbrian Coast for a few days with friends, went to a chocolate making evening and enjoyed a birthday night out round Clitheroe.
And so it is December and 2018 is nearly at an end. I feel like its been an enjoyable month and looking back, a pretty fantastic year !
Having walked 1649 miles this year too, I am definitely motivated to carry on walking in 2019, and hopefully get even more mileage under my belt.
Thanks again for stopping by. Wishing you lots of great adventures in 2019. X
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.
As it is now a yearly tradition of mine to post a quick photo round-up of the year, I thought I had better get cracking with this 2017 post. I definitely have no regrets about 2017. It has been pretty fantastic with lots of short trips away, days out and fun times with family and friends. 🙂
January. We celebrated Wil’s Birthday with a weekend break in his favourite Lake District town Keswick.
Mostly this consisted of walks by beautiful Derwent Water and of course frequenting Keswick’s many watering holes. 🙂
April. It was my little sister’s 40th Birthday this month and we celebrated with a mini break in the Big City ( London) with our younger brother and other halves. Our trip included The Natural History Museum, Afternoon Tea at Claridges and watching The Lion King. You can read all about it here.
June. This month I participated in The Wildlife Trust’s #30dayswild challenge , where I attempted ( though that’s no hardship!) to appreciate the beauty in nature every day in June, whether that meant noticing the different wildlife I would see on my daily walks with Hugo, or using natural ingredients in recipes such as Rose Petal Jelly. The challenge also coincided with my first ever visit to Norfolk, which I shall always remember for it’s many many beach huts, beautiful wildflowers and those yummy Dutch Pancakes in Wells-Next-The-Sea. 🙂
Beach Huts Galore in Norfolk.
Dutch Pancake on The Albatross.
July. Already well into Summer now. We spent a couple of nights camping in the Dales and walked this tiny stretch of The Dales Way and we took Hugo on his first ever trip on The Ullswater Steamer . I think this is my fave ever photo of my two boys. 🙂
August. Anyone for Afternoon Tea? I can certainly recommend a fun, quirky and delicious one at The Cake ‘Ole in Skipton. And August is a great time to go camping with the kids, as we found out when we accompanied friends to Meadow Falls near Ingleton.
September. We had a bit of an Indian Summer this month, which made up for a damp squibby August. Luckily we got to make the most of the sunshine on a day out with my niece and nephew in Morecambe and we spent a week in the The Lake District , bagging my first wainwright fell and enjoying the incredible views over Wastwater.
October. Days out in October included A family friendly bike ride on the Lancashire Cycleway from Lancaster to Morecambe and back. It was my first time on a bicycle for many a year, so I was pretty happy that I made it!
November. My Birthday month was made so special when Wil booked us two nights in the Yorkshire Spa town of Harrogate.
I have always wanted to visit the Turkish Baths there so I checked us in for a morning, which was really enjoyable. We also visited nearby Knaresborough with its ancient castle and railway viaduct.
December. And its nearing the end of 2017 now after a fairly quiet but lovely December. Highlights included Hugo opening his Christmas presents ( he is very good at unwrapping, just need to train him to wrap up 😉 ), The traditional Christmas Morning Walk, Willow Angel Weaving and a Festive Afternoon Tea at Alexanders in Skipton.
I would just like to say a big thank you to everyone who drops in on my little blog every now and again. It really has made my year. 😁
All the best for 2018. I hope its a great one for everyone. Xx
I quite forgot that at the beginning of the year I wrote myself a Bucket List ! It’s been sat in my bedside drawer for nearly six months now. Now I’ve rediscovered it, I thought I would put it up on the blog. This might help me get a wiggle on. 🙂
1.Learn to crochet. Discovered this isn’t my bag.
2.Find a keep Fit Regime I like. I have enjoyed the #walk1000miles challenge and am still continuing. Hopefully 1500 miles this year and maybe 2000 in 2019.
3.Eat a Dutch Pancake in Amsterdam.
4. Photograph a Kingfisher. Got my photo on the river Nidd in Knaresborough. 🙂
5.Make an Honesty Box Meal.
6.Read To Kill A Mocking Bird. Bought the book in Fargo village in Coventry and loved both the book and the film.
22. Experience a night out down Canal Street. The rainbow village in Manchester, a top night out!
23. Do the Morecambe Bay Cross Bay Walk With the Queen’s Official Guide. Done! See number 15.
24. Visit the new Cat Cafe in Manchester. My friend Lisa and I spent some quality time eating cake and stroking cute kitties.
25. Cook a proper Sunday Roast Lunch ( I almost never cook!).
So there you have it. I’ve actually managed three already this year, which is a good start. I’ve read To Kill a Mockingbird and it was as good as everyone said, I went on a night out down Canal Street with some work mates ( Interesting!) and Wil and I thoroughly enjoyed The East Lancs Rail Ale Trail Tour from Bury to Rawtenstall. This gives me two and a half years to attempt the rest.Maybe I should book that Llama trek. 🙂
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 .
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.
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.
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
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 .
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
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?
Dog friendly hikes and exploring, mostly around New England. Our Adventures includes: waterfalls, the beach, conservation land, lighthouses, state parks, the woods, the mountains, statues, and castles.