Tag Archives: ribble valley

The Tolkien Trail On A Rainy Day.

Typically, the day we chose to walk The Tolkien Trail dawned damp and grey, a Ribble Valley rainy day. 😐 These kind of drizzly conditions are always a hit with our labrador Hugo though, so we didn’t let them dampen our spirits. Waterproofs on, we set off on our trek through boggy fields, and some of the loveliest countryside in Lancashire, unfortunately obscured by rain clouds.

Writer J. R. R. Tolkien often stayed in the area. He was writing Lord of The Rings , whilst visiting his son who attended Stonyhurst College. He and his family regularly stopped in the grounds of this stately pile, which became a boarding school in 1794 . I have no doubt the author, when out walking in the surrounding woodland and river meadows , drew inspiration from the lush greenery and rolling hillsides of this unspoilt part of Lancashire.

The route we took.

We had with us a walking guide book which contained a map and instructions for our route. Unfortunately after parking in the pretty village of Hurst Green and walking up the long drive to Stonyhurst College, we came face to face with several Private No Entry signs. Aaagh what to do! It turns out the guide book was written in the nineties, when maybe you could walk right up to the front of the building. After much discussion we decided to chance it and follow the route as it is written. Luckily it was such a miserable day that there was nobody about to challenge us!

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Cemetary on the way to Stonyhurst.
Sir Richard Shireburn started building Stonyhurst in 1592. Oliver Cromwell visited once , commenting that it was the ‘best half house’ that he had ever stayed in.
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There are two small lakes at the front of the college and lots of water fowl.

I didn’t manage to get very many photos of Stonyhurst, as I have to admit being a trespasser didn’t really help me on the photography front. πŸ˜— Happilly we were soon back on track, heading through fields with Pendle Hill supposedly on our right, hidden in the clouds.

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Shy Roe Deer.
Woodland.
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Cromwell Bridge, also built by Sir Richard Shireburn. Legend has it that Cromwell’s troops crossed it at the time of the Battle Of Preston.
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Trespassing again! Hugo on Cromwell Bridge.
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Wood Anemone flowering next to the bridge.

The rivers Hodder, Ribble and Calder can all be found in the locality. Perhaps they were the inspiration for the fictional rivers of Brandywine, Shirebourne and Withywindle.

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We walked through Winkley Hall Farm.
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Farmhouse.
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Blackthorn in blossom.
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Saw lots of clumps of primroses.
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Tree Person…..perhaps?
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The point where the waters of the Hodder unite with the Ribble.

A good portion of the walk is on the riverside and at one time a Boat House housed a ferrymen who would take travellers across the Ribble between Winkley Hall and Hacking Hall below. Soon the river Calder also joins the Ribble as it curves through the countryside.

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Hacking Hall.
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Following the Ribble.
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Pussy Willows.
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Goosander. πŸ™‚
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Hobbit Hill.

In the distance we spied the glamping cabins of Hobbit Hill perched above the valley. I wondered if anyone was staying there and if they too would try out the Tolkien Trail. Check out their website for a more up-to-date version of the walking route.

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A house called Jumbles.
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An aqueduct over the river.

Eventually the footpath passes through woodland again and then through a very muddy meadow , before we arrived back in Hurst Green. There are a couple of nice pubs in the village. One is called The Shireburn Arms and is named after the man who built Stonyhurst College and Cromwell Bridge, Sir Richard Shireburn.

Continue reading The Tolkien Trail On A Rainy Day.

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Ribble Valley ~ Glamping Ideas.

Ribble Valley and Pendle Hill by Keith Melling. Click on image for website.

I must admit I am prone to taking for granted the fact that I live in one of the most beautiful parts of the country. If England is a ‘green and pleasant land’ then the gorgeous ‘Ribble Valley’ encapsulates this. Tucked away in the Forest of Bowland AONB , it’s lush meadows, picture-postcard villages and the historic market town of Clitheroe are all lorded over by the scenic slopes of Pendle Hill. Meandering brooks and rivers criss-cross the valley, including it’s namesake ‘the River Ribble’. Hailing from the nearby Yorkshire Dales ,the river makes its merry way through Lancashire and towards the sea, lending it’s name to an often overlooked area of the county. But with it’s thriving foodie scene, cosy watering holes, quirky independent retailers, stunning countryside and fascinating history, the Ribble Valley is the perfect destination for a break away.

With this in mind , I thought I would look into the glamping scene here. Over the last twelve months several glamping options have sprung up in the Ribble valley. And what better way to enjoy an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. 😊


Camping Pods at Bowland Wild Boar Animal Park.

No tent needed for this back to basics style of glamping. Bring with you everything you’d need whilst camping, except for the tent. The pods are fully insulated and all usual campsite facilities can be found on site. The real charm of these camping pods is the fab location, inside the grounds of Bowland Wild Boar Park near Chipping, which is a very popular visitors attraction, especially with families. With wild animals and farm animals on your doorstep, a large kids adventure playground, tractor rides, riverside walks and a lovely cafΓ©, this glamping option sounds like a fun family favourite. Pods from Β£65 per night. Dogs may stay too for an extra Β£5 per night. wildboarpark.co.uk

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Ribble Valley Wigwams.

Set on a family run farm near Langho, these six luxury heated en-suite wigwams have views towards Pendle Hill and Longridge Fell. All cabins have an integrated shower room with walk-in shower, hand basin & toilet, electric hob, toaster, kettle, microwave, fridge and television. A home away from home! You might prefer to bring your own bedding, however you can hire a bedding pack as an additional extra. A picnic bench and fire-pit outside completes the cosy camp. There is a small shop on site in reception and a riverside walk will take you into the charming village of Ribchester, with it’s Roman Museum, art gallery and selection of eateries. Wigwam prices from Β£75 per night. Three of the cabins are dog friendly. wigwamholidays.com

Yurts at the Red Pump Inn.

I have long coveted a stay in a yurt and these beauties are only up the road from where I live in Clitheroe, in the tiny village of Bashall Eaves. Owned by the Red Pump Inn, there are four fabulous Yurts, set in a private garden area adjacent to the Inn. Each yurt has a king size bed with fur throws, a cosy wood burning stove, fairy lights, electric lamps and sockets and it’s own ensuite bathroom. Breakfast is included in the price and is taken inside the Red Pump , which is also a popular steakhouse and real ale pub. Nearby attractions include Bashall Barn Food Visitor Centre and the historic town of Clitheroe with its many pubs, independent shops and Norman Castle Keep. Yurts prices for a two night stay from Β£250. Dogs are welcome for an additional charge of Β£12.50 per night. theredpumpinn.co.uk

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Hobbit Hill Glamping Cabins.

Did you know that the lush green Ribble Valley inspired the writings of Lord of the Rings author J. R. R. Tolkien? His son boarded at Stonyhurst College near Hurst Green and Tolkien often visited and penned much of his beloved novel here,perhaps taking inspiration from the surrounding countryside for Middle Earth and the Shire. The glamping cabins at Hobbit Hill are set on the Tolkien Trail….and look cosy enough for any discerning Hobbit. Two of the five cabins have king size beds and all have sockets, fridges, toaster and microwave plus a firepit/bbq area outside. There are toilets and shower facilities on site and some very good country pubs and cafes in the nearby villages of Mitton and Hurst Green. Glamping Cabin prices from Β£70 per night. hobbithill.co.uk

For more Lancashire Glamping Ideas, check out this post Can you glamp in Lancashire?

Thanks for reading.

I now feel inspired to walk the Tolkien Trail !

March Photo An Hour 2018.

Hi there on this gorgeous Spring day! We are definitely due the little bit of sunshine that we are experiencing at the moment. 😁 Yesterday I joined in with Louisa and Janey‘s photo an hour over on Instagram, for the first time in ages. I thought I would record my day on my blog too. Here goes….

7am. My clock is fast, its actually just after seven, and everyone is awake. Sigh!

8am. Breakfast is oats so simple with blueberries and a smidge of peanut butter. Wil thinks I’m pretty disgusting. He hates peanut butter!

9am. My washing up view this morning. A breakfasting starling. β™‘

10am. We’ve decided to walk to the nearby village of Waddington and back. We start our walk in Brungerly park and head along the river Ribble.

11am. We happen upon some friendly fellas. Alpaca and Llama. They are very inquisitive and the black and white llama does try and take a chomp out of my rucksack. 🀣

12 Noon. Early Lunch. A tuna toastie in a cafe in Waddington.

1pm. On the way home through Waddow Hall estate.

2pm. Vibrant crocuses. Spring is here in Clitheroe at last. 😁

3pm. A brew at home and a slice of homemade ginger cake. I have decided to no longer buy in biscuits and cake. Because I hardly ever bake ( even though I have a sweet tooth! ), this will hopefully be an incentive to do more and be slightly healthier….hopefully.

4pm. Chillin with this girl. πŸ™‚

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5pm. And now chillin down the pub and trying to work out where we should stay on our way home from the Hebrides in August. Thinking maybe somewhere round Oban, but not sure yet.

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6pm. Some pub companions. Stan and Smudge the Springer’s. πŸ™‚

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7pm. Hadn’t planned on stopping in the New Inn this long! So resorting to taking a photograph of my hare brooch that is pinned to my earth squared bag. Both were presents from my lovely friend Jo. πŸ™‚

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8pm. We called in at an Indian takeaway on the way home , so here’s salad, dips and poppadoms.

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9pm. Wil is watching Californication on Netflix but I am pretty much beat ! My day ends here and bed beckons. I am officially sad!

Thanks very much for dropping by. I had better go and sort out that alarm clock!

Were All Mad Here ~ Callooh ! Callay Tea Rooms in Clitheroe.

Ah but where in Clitheroe can you find a White Rabbit, a March Hare, a sleepy Dormouse and a Mad Hatter taking tea? There’s a very good chance you might, at Callooh! Callay , an Alice in Wonderland inspired Tea Room on Moor Lane. If your up for a Mad Tea-party…. or simply a tea-time treat, this is the place to come. ♀♑◇♧

Now Callooh Callay has been open for a few years now. In fact I had my 40th Birthday ( or should that be Un-birthday) tea-party here, four years ago. Sob! How time flies and where’s my pocket watch. Its recently become under new ownership and happily the owners have continued with the Wonderland theme.

My friend Lisa and I bobbed in for a brew yesterday and we couldn’t resist the tempting array of cakes on display. Lisa chose a slab of delicious millionaires shortbread and I ordered a slice of starry chocolate cake. It went very well with my March Hare Perk Me Up Peppermint Tea. Delightful. πŸ™‚

As you can see everything comes served upon lovely mis-matched vintage china. Pink flamingos adorn the cafe walls.

After our refreshments we bobbed upstairs for a nosy. There are two further rooms and a cute bathroom on the first floor.

Upstairs you can browse in the newly opened craft shop and there are plans afoot for Craft and Natter mornings.

The cafe now extends to upstairs too. I love the ambience in this cosy room. Now available to hire for private parties, the dressing up area in the corner is a nice touch. I can see my niece and god daughters loving it here. 😁

Callooh Callay is open every day 10 ~ 5pm and 12 ~ 4pm on Sundays. Maybe Alice herself will welcome you!

And hast thou slain the Jabberwock?

Come to my arms, my beamish boy!

O frabjous day! Callooh! Callay!’

He chortled in his joy.

From the poem JABBERWOCKY by Lewis Carroll ~ Alice’s Adventures Through The Looking Glass.

January ~ New Challenges.

The first few days of 2018 have been a bit of a wash-out. Its rained alot here in Clitheroe, plus I started the year with a stinker of a cold. 😦 Happily I felt much better by the weekend ,so I have decided to start the New Year with a New Challenge!  Inspired by fellow blogger  Christine


 , I signed up to the #walk1000miles challenge organised by Country Walking Magazine.  Walking 1000 miles in twelve months seems like a HUGE thing, but actually it’s pretty do-able, if you split it into sections. Walking 3 miles a day,  every day would mean that I’d complete the challenge easily. I have joined the #walk1000miles facebook group for tips and friendly advice. Should be fun! 

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Weekends are definitely the best time for a good yomp around the countryside. On Saturday Wil, Hugo and I walked from Clitheroe to Mitton and back via Standen Hey. We stopped for a coffee at The Aspinall Arms, and because it was morning, we were the only customers, and got to sit next to a roaring fire. πŸ™‚

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Managed to squeeze through this gate!
Hugo at The Aspinall Arms in Mitton.

Yesterday dawned one of those gorgeous clear frosty days. Ideal walking weather!  In the afternoon we visited my sister and her family in Cowark and walked the 3 miles to nearby Whitewell. Another Country Inn beckoned before we headed back through the beautiful Forest of Bowland countryside.

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Roe deer.
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Whitewell.
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Above Cowark.

I’m proud to say those two walks, plus shorter weekday dog walks as well as  walking to work and back everyday, added up to 26.5 miles. So I am well on target!  I am using the Samsung Health App on my phone to record the distance, thanks to Christine’s suggestion. πŸ™‚

A few ticked off The Bucket List.

Another challenge for 2018 is to cross off a few more entries on my 25 Before 45 Bucket List which I wrote a couple of years ago. I don’t think I will manage to cross everything off, as I will be 45 this year. Big eeeek! I’m not sure where time goes. The photo above captures a few things I have done since starting the List ~ Morecambe Bay Cross Bay Walk, Photograph a Kingfisher, Harrogate Turkish Baths, Hugo in a dog show, Llama Trekking and East Lancs Rail Ale Trail. 

Still to do include ~ Swim in a Lido, stay in a bothie, see the Northern Lights, Learn to crochet, Make an Honesty Box Meal and have Afternoon Tea at Cloud 23 in Manchester.  Wish me luck! 

Have you set yourself any challenges for 2018? 

A countryside walk with some old haunts.

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. πŸ˜‰

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.

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The Swan with Two Necks in Pendleton is a popular Real Ale pub.

The folks of Pendleton have decorative Imaginations!  I’m not sure about the Egg Wreath ,but I do like the Flower Pot Bees. πŸ™‚

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Mearley.

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.

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Little Mearley Hall.

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.

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Wil ended up detangling this Tup. He had got his impressive horns stuck in the barbed wire.

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. πŸ™‚

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Quiet country lane to Downham.

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.

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.

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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.

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Kind of breezy up here!
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Green pastures and Pendle Hill.
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Surveying my kingdom. πŸ™‚

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!

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Worsaw End Farm.

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.

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A pint of Worston Witch for Wil at The Calf’s Head.

Once in Worston we take refreshment in the Calf’s Head Beer garden before crossing back over the A59 and heading home.

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Heading home , with Pendle Hill in the background.

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. πŸ™‚

 

Photo An Hour Sat August 26th.

Yesterday was Photo An Hour Day on Instagram, organized by the lovely Janey and Louisa.  I joined in so here’s  some random shots from my day. πŸ™‚

8am.  Muesli and blueberries for breakfast. Trying my best to be more healthy at the moment….and have been doing pretty well, so far!

9am.  We are off on a walk, so map and waterproofs packed.

10am.  Walking through the village of Pendleton and say hello to a goat. πŸ™‚

11am.  And now walking past a campsite. It feels strange that we haven’t gone camping ourselves this bank holiday.

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12 Noon. Time for a pit stop. We are in the pretty village of Downham and have lunch at the tea room/ Ice cream shop on the village green. Hugo hoping for titbits as usual!

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1pm.  We walk to the top of  Worsaw  Hill and admire the views across the valley and Pendle Hill.

2pm.  Stopped in a pub beer garden for refreshments.

3pm.  Home now and the sunshine has dried all the washing, except the rag rugs.

4pm.  Slinky is making the most of the sunshine. ^^
 

 

5pm.  The widflower seeds in the flower bed are doing well….though most of them happen to be daisies! 

6pm.  Straightening my hair as I’m off out later.

7pm.  A bit of light reading, from the Bridget Jones era. πŸ™‚

8pm.  In the pub with my friend Jo. Think it’s locals night!

9pm.  We get last minute tickets to a Stone Roses tribute band.

10pm. ‘ I am the Resurrection!’

11pm.  And end the night playing Jenga in the Ale House.

 

Having a lazy day today after yesterday. Hope you are enjoying your bank holiday. Catch you soon!