Tag Archives: ribble valley

Bell Sykes Coronation Meadows Walk ~ Slaidburn.

I was looking for a short ( hopefully cow free ) local hike and I came across this 2.3 Mile Wildflower Meadow Walk , starting from the pretty Lancashire village of Slaidburn. Not sure the mileage mentioned is quite correct ,we ended up doing twice that amount! The directions took us on a wild goose chase a couple of times. Or maybe we just get lost easily. ๐Ÿ˜ƒ

We arrived in Slaidburn about 9-30am on Sunday morning, unaware that we had visited on the day of a Vintage Steam Fair . The village car park was still quiet at that time though , so we found a space and set off to the cenotaph, the start of our route.

Slaidburns War Memorial erected in 1923 on the site of the former market cross ……and whipping post.
Sign at the entrance of the Silver Jubilee Garden.

We turned right at the War Memorial and headed over the bridge and then through a kissing gate into a field on the right. Keeping the brook on our right , we headed across the field in completely the wrong direction. So best to ignore my instructions and follow the route link yourself, if you don’t want to get lost. ๐Ÿ™ƒ

Ford over the brook.

We saw several hares in the grass and it was also a privilege to hear and see lots of flying curlews and lapwings.

Resting Hare.
Alert Hare.

A stone track took us over another bridge and on the right we saw a farm gate with a purple Coronation Meadow Sign on it. Coronation Meadows is a Wildflower Meadow Restoration Project started by HRH The Prince Of Wales. Since the Queen’s Coronation ,Great Britain has lost a huge percentage of its naturally farmed meadows. This initiative started in 2013, aims to protect remaining wildflower meadows, create new ones and get people interested in them. There are now ninety Coronation Meadows in the country with Bell Sykes Farm representing the Ribble Valley.

Approaching a cattle grid.
Over the bridge.
Coronation Meadow Sign.
Bell Sykes Coronation Meadows.

Bell Sykes Farming methods have changed little over the years, hence their inclusion in the Coronation Meadows project. Seeds from the ancient pastures have been used to create new meadows, some are on the farm and others are elsewhere in Lancashire.

A solitary marsh orchid.
Buttercups.
Yellow Rattle.

The meadows were looking resplendent, in them were thousands of buttercups and clover, ribwort plantain, self-heal and yellow rattle. I also spied one orchid, maybe there are more. The diversity of wildflowers encourages bees and butterflies. It was however very breezy on Sunday , so we didn’t actually see many.

Barn.
Bell Sykes Farm.
A path goes through the farmyard and up.
Old Grindstone used for sharpening scythes.
Looking back at the view.
Umbelifers at Lower High Field Farm.
One of many high Stiles.
Yes what Ewe looking at?
Tumbling Lapwing.

Toward the end of the walk we passed through a couple more of Bell Sykes beautiful Coronation Meadows.

Boy in Buttercups.
Eyebrights.
Bistort.
Flower Power.
Heading back to Slaidburn.
Pendle Witch Trail Tercet Waymarker in Slaidburn Car Park. The verse on this one mentions a Devil Dog.

Once back in Slaidburn we had a coffee and piece of cake ( of course! ) sat outside the cafe that looks over the Village Green. By this time the Vintage Steam Fair was in full swing, rousing tunes piping from beautiful fairground organs. ๐Ÿ˜Š I shall leave you with a few photos.

Thanks for dropping by. ๐ŸŒผ

Ten Lovely Places To Stay In The Ribble Valley, Lancashire.

So I do love a bit of online research, especially if it involves finding a gorgeous place to stay. I am lucky enough to live in a beautiful corner of Lancashire called The Ribble Valley ,famed for its lush green countryside and picture postcard villages. If I was a tourist in my own town, I think I would look to one of these lovely destinations for a couple of nights away. In fact my suitcase is already packed!

Coach & Horses, Bolton By Bowland. The Cinderella in me is always totally charmed whenever I see this lovely old coaching Inn with its pumpkin coach sign. Award winning food, micro brewery and seven stunning rooms complete with molten brown toiletries, bathrobes and coffee machines are features of a stay here. The village of Bolton By Bowland itself is very picturesque with two attractive greens, a tea shop and lots of countryside walks nearby. Dog friendly. coachandhorsesribblevalley.co.uk If you like the area The White Bull Inn at Gisburn is another option.

Nancroft Cottage, Mearley. Now you could say I’m biased , my cousin’s own this delightful holiday cottage. But my goodness they’ve really gone the extra mile to make Nancroft a welcoming place to stay. This 18th Century farmhouse sleeps 8 , has two bathrooms, a boot room, a wood burning stove , enclosed garden and lots of lovely home comforts. It’s located in the tiny hamlet of Mearley at the foot of mystical Pendle Hill. You feel remote here but are only a short drive into the bustling market town of Clitheroe with its Castle and other attractions. Two pubs are within walking distance. Dogs Welcome . Cottages.Com. Also nearby ~ The Chicken Shed At Knowle Top is a romantic retreat with panoramic views.

Ribble Valley Retreat, Langho. Fancy stopping in a beautiful Bell Tent in the lovely Ribble Valley countryside? These luxurious hideaways are tucked away on a working farm in Langho. I’m smitten! The tents have the most gorgeous interiors and also come with their own fire pits, bbqs and picnic benches. BBQ Packs and Breakfast Baskets are optional extras. The retreat is handily situated near the train station so short trips into nearby Whalley and Clitheroe are a must. Ribblevalleyretreat.co.uk If you enjoy glamping check out Wigwam Holidays , also in Langho.

Spinning Block Hotel At Holmes Mill, Clitheroe. If you prefer to be at the centre of things then this stylish hotel in a bustling former mill will be right up your street. There’s plenty here to entertain including a Food Hall, Bistro Restaurant, Beer Hall ( hosting one of the longest bars in Britain) and an Everyman Cinema. The hotels 39 rooms have a rustic yet luxurious feel and Beercations and Drink It Dry evenings are popular. Clitheroe itself has a wealth of independent shops, cafes and bars to explore. Holmesmill.co.uk The Spinning Block is just one of a selection of James Places Hotels in the area.

St Leonard’s Church, Old Langho. Now for something a little different. Have you ever thought about Champing? That’s Camping in a church by the way. Now I would love to do this, but my friends and family seem a little reluctant. I say , embrace the Quirky, it’s an Adventure! The Champing price includes the provision of Camp Beds, Chairs, Lanterns, Tea & Coffee making facilities and a loo! St Leonard’s is a pretty little church with some ornate features. There’s a lovely pub very close by and this could be an ideal base for exploring The Tolkien Trail, the scenic Ribble Valley did inspire Middle Earth you know. Dogs Welcome. Champing.co.uk Traditional Campsite options are numerous in the Ribble Valley. Angram Green Campsite between Worston and Downham is situated near where Whistle Down The Wind was filmed.

The Lawrence Hotel ~ Padiham. Were right on the edge of the Ribble Valley here, but I cannot resist including this elegant Boutique hotel in picturesque Padiham. The 14 design led rooms range from Snug to Suite and include handy luxuries such as Rainfall Showers, Fluffy Bathrobes and Alexas. There’s an in house no rush restaurant with some lovely looking menus ~ the afternoon tea one looks particularly divine. Take your time to explore the area, Pendle Hill, NT Gawthorpe Hall and The Singing Ringing Tree should be on your itinerary. Dogs Welcome. the Lawrence hotel.co.uk Feeling flush ~ why not try a gourmet break at Michelin Star Northcote Manor in Langho.

The Red Pump Inn ~ Bashall Eaves. I do love a welcoming country Inn and my little corner of Lancashire has plenty of them. The Red Pump at Bashall has a popular steakhouse, cosy real ale bar and eight chic French inspired bedrooms. And that’s not all. Further fabulous accommodation at the Red Pump comes in the form of several glamping yurts and shepherd huts. Nearby attractions include Bowland Wild Boar Park and Browsholme Hall. Dog Friendly. Redpumpinn.co.uk Other lovely country inns in the area include The Inn at Whitewell and The Higher Buck at Waddington.

Hedgerow Luxury Glamping ~ Newsholme. The adults only luxury pods on this gorgeous glamping site all come with their own private patio and hot tub. Each are individually styled and include fabulous touches such as Blue Tooth Speakers, Underfloor Heating and Rainforest Showers. If you can bare to leave your pod there are beautiful communal areas too including a firepit cabin and artisan store. Get to know the other residents at Hedgerow, there are chickens, alpaca, Swiss sheep and Highland Cows! And your base here is on the Lancashire/Yorkshire border, so plenty to explore. Hedgerowluxuryglamping.com Just over the border Peaks & Pods also provide glamping pods with hot tubs.

Otter’s Rest ~ Clitheroe. Let’s finish with a secret hideaway in Clitheroe, so secret I’m not quite sure of where it is… Doesn’t it look idyllic. This award nominated Eco House sits by the waterside, somewhere near Primrose Nature Reserve. Inside the lodge is cosy and stylish and completely in tune with its woodland surroundings. I love that there are two terraces where you can sit , relax and enjoy the tranquil sound of the babbling brook. There is definitely a good chance of seeing Kingfisher, Dippers or maybe even a shy Otter. And your only ten minutes walk into Clitheroe’s bustling town centre. Airbnb Pendle View Holiday Lodge at nearby Barrow also has an enviable waterside location.

Hope you like my Ten Choices for Lovely Places to Stay in the Ribble Valley.

Of course there are many many more too! It’s a wonderful area to explore.

Where would you choose to stay in the Ribble Valley? Have you any recommendations?

Paythorne Walk.

We got out for our first longish walk this year, a year which we started off by catching covid. Oh joy! Luckily for both Wil and I, our experience of the virus was pretty tame. We both had colds, runny noses and sneezed alot. We watched alot of Netflix. The End. Though I must admit, it was good to take our boots off when we finished this hike, it tired us out more than we care to admit….

Again I dipped into Nick Burton’s Lancashire Pub Walks guide for inspiration.

Paythorne is a small village ( well more of a hamlet really) between Gisburn in the Ribble Valley and Hellifield in North Yorkshire. Theres not much there except a pub, a tiny Methodist church and a large Caravan Park. At the moment there is definitely some sort of dispute in the village regarding a proposal to extend the caravan park. Everywhere you look there are orange signs saying ‘ Say No To More Caravans ‘ , I think there are more signs than houses.

We parked in the village car park opposite the pub and set off. The walk is one of bridleways, fields and country lanes and is 6 or so miles long.

The Buck at Paythorne.
Sign for the large Caravan park at Paythorne.
A Bridleway through twisted thorns and Holly trees. I have decided to call it Hey Holly Lonnin. ๐Ÿ˜
Gorse can flower all year round.
I do love an old freight train carriage. Growing up my sister, cousins and I were lucky enough to have one to play house in, until our Grandad gave it to the chickens!

Quite a bit of road walking.
Just liked the name. ๐Ÿ˜
Another farm ~ with chickens.
Curious Shire Horse.
The cutest ๐Ÿ™‚
The Cockiest.
Hen Harrier Sign for The Forest Of Bowland.
I – Spy ~ a white pheasant. It is possible that these white coloured birds are bred for pheasant shoots as markers, to identify the whereabouts of other pheasants. Therefore they are usually safe from the bullet, unlike their more common cousins.
View of the River Ribble.
Sham Castle ๐Ÿฐ ruins. These were once the kennels that housed the Lords Ribblesdales hounds.
Hugo saying that living with us is much nicer than living in a sham Castle. Really!
Gisburne Park estate is used for weddings and other events, hence the light bulbs everywhere.
Fields.
Woody path.
Paythorne Bridge.
Back into the village.
Tiny Methodist Church. Grade 2 listed dating from the 1800s.
The Route.

Thanks for dropping by. โ˜บ๏ธ

Whalley Wander. ๐Ÿฆ‰

Ready for a gentle wander around Whalley? Here are a few photos from Sunday mornings stroll around this attractive Ribble Valley village, a couple of miles from my hometown of Clitheroe.

We parked near the impressive 48 arches of the red and blue bricked viaduct that spans the river Calder. Whalley Viaduct is the longest railway bridge in Lancashire and if you travel from Blackburn to Clitheroe by train, you will cross this impressive structure.

Whalley Arches.
A peek through the trees.

Nearby is the fourteenth century Whalley Abbey Gatehouse which belonged to the Cistercian abbey in the village. I can almost imagine the monks passing through the archway.

Whalley Abbey Gatehouse.

If you look closely in the trees around Whalley you may be surprised to see some life-like bird sculptures. Delighting those who spy them amongst the greenery, the wrens are lovingly handcrafted by a lady in the village. Most are sweet little wrens , but you never know who could be watching you from above.

Whalley Wren.
What a hoot !

A spot of quiet contemplation ? The peaceful garden of the English Church Of Martyrs nextdoor to Whalley Abbey is dotted with benches, full of flowers and there are several religious statues.

English Church of Martyrs was built in 1926.

We head to the River Calder via the pretty stone terraces on Calder Vale.

Calder Vale.
Spot the Barn Owl. ๐Ÿ™‚
Pretty White House on the river.
Whalley Weir.
Whalley Weir.

Whalley Weir is a man made weir on the river and is said to be the reason why the monks of Whalley chose this spot for their abbey. It’s a tranquil place to watch the ducks. ๐Ÿฆ†

Whalley Old Grammar School.

Back in the village and here is the Old Grammar School, now used as a pre school and for adult education. The War memorial is a focal point.

The Tooth Fairy resides here. ๐Ÿงš

Whalley has many independent shops and cafes, no shortage of places to stop for a brew. We headed over to Cafe Autisan at Whalley Abbey. They do a wonderful rocky road, demolished before I remembered that I should of taken a photograph. ๐Ÿคฃ

Whalley Abbey.
Another Wren.
The cafe service is still take away only, with outdoor seating in the courtyard.
Tudor houses across from Whalley Abbey.

Hope you enjoyed my bumble around a popular Ribble Valley village. ๐Ÿ’–

Ribble side ramble. ๐Ÿฆ†

The weather is so surprising at the moment. Blue skies then snow. Warm sunshine. Then snow. And repeat.

I am wondering what to wear for a week night beer garden drink. Looking in my wardrobe, I seriously haven’t bought any new going out clothes since 2019! Pjamas ~ yes. Walking pants~ yes. But no new tops or dresses. However I suspect I will still be frequenting my warm puffa jacket for any approaching social activities!

At present social activities still revolve around walking, so here are some photos from yesterday’s walk along the river to Chatburn and back. A repeat of a post I did earlier in the year, but a little more wildlife on display. ๐Ÿ™‚

One of many picture slabs in Brungerley park. A fox and a hare gaze at the moon.
A hunched heron.
Greylag and Canada Geese.
Golden forsythia blossom.
A lone mute swan.
Hipping Stones.
Mary Horner’s bench.
Gushing.
Beautiful blackthorn.
Twisty tree.
Bridge at Grindleton.
In the Woods.
Primrose.
By the Ribble.
Hipping Stones.
Hipping Stones.
Female Goosander. A favourite water bird. Love her Nut brown quiff.
Hugo waiting to play ball.
Wood Anemones or Wind Flowers.
Dog Violet.
Love this cherry blossom painting.

Hope you have had a pleasant weekend.

Easter Staycation.

It’s not often that Wil and I have a week off work together and don’t book at least a few days away. . So recently it’s actually been quite nice for us to spend some time at home pottering, doing a few jobs and erm ….eating cheese!

We started our week with a ginormous order of cheese from Tipsy Cows in Great Harwood. Their amazing cheese bags are ยฃ35 and include a pie, pate, smoked sausage,ย  crackers, bread, a bottle of wine, chutney, grapes and of course a shed load of cheese. Still getting through it now..

From Monday we were allowed to meet up with friends & family for outdoor walks again. We met up with my sister and the kids and walked further into the Dunsop Valley. A truelly beautiful place.

On Wednesday we decided to go up to our caravan in Cumbria, mostly to check that it was still in one piece. Luckily it was! And everywhere we went there were daffodillions of daffodils. On the way we stopped in Kirkby Lonsdale for a walk.

Daffs at St Mary’s in Kirkby Lonsdale.

The caravan ~ still standing.

Daffodillions of daffodils on Melmerby village green.

Gallivanting Geese.

Hugo amongst the daffs.

Easter display.

A pew with a view.

We turned the water back on at the caravan and gave it a quick spring clean. The weather was really warm.


Back in Clitheroe, the new Nature Reserve has opened at last. As we live nearby it has definitely become our go to place for a stroll with Hugo. One morning we bought breakfast from Marks Artisan Bakery on Whalley road after our walk. Sooo good! I am making a note of the wildlife I have spotted at the reserve, which includes Little Egret, Mallards, Teal, Grey Heron and Canada Geese. I will get working on a post soon.

Worsaw Hill.

Looking towards Pendle.

Hugo and Jo having a moment. Or maybe Hugo is watching a ham sandwich, out of shot.ย 

On Good Friday we met some friends for a walk from Worston to Downham and back. We are so lucky to live in the lovely Ribble Valley and have definitely discovered lots of new local walks and rediscovered old favourites during the numerous lock downs.

There have also been less energetic pursuits. On Saturday I met some friends for a Hip flask walk. We didn’t get very far. From one bench to another in the local park..๐Ÿ˜€

Park Bench Crawl.

We had planned to stay home on Easter Sunday and enjoy our new fire pit. ๐Ÿ”ฅ

Wil bought a fire pit. ๐Ÿ”ฅ

But after checking the weather forecast we realised we would have to head back up to the caravan again and drain it down. Forcasted minus 7 temperatures meant we had obviously been too previous in opening the van up for Spring. So here are some more lovely Easter views from Melmerby where the van is based.





We also called in at my Mum’s in Askham and had a brew in the garden. Got introduced to these cuties. โค๏ธ

Cute calves.


Farm kitty’s.

Today ( Easter Monday) the sky outside is deceptively blue. It is freezing out there! There was even a smattering of snow this morning.

Happy Easter. ๐Ÿ‡๐Ÿฃโค๏ธ

In The Dunsop Valley. ๐Ÿฆ†

I have posted about the lovely Dunsop Valley before but I couldn’t resist showing some images from a 5 mile walk on Sunday morning. Only 20 minutes drive from home, the scenic Trough Of Bowland is every bit as picturesque as the Dales of Yorkshire, yet this is a Lancashire gem through and through. The area can also claim to be the Centre Of The United Kingdom, though quite a few other settlements in Northumberland, Yorkshire and even Wales claim to be also. The weather was both blustery and calm, it didn’t really know what to do with itself….

Right here ๐Ÿค—
Into the woods.
Hebridean sheep in Lancashire.
Here’s my close up. ๐Ÿ˜Š
A vibrant green moss on the woodland floor. Almost star spangled.
Not a muddy walk for us today.
Daffodils.
River Dunsop.
Mrs Mallard.
Footbridge.
Witches Butter or Orange Brain Fungi..
Onwards.
Sheltering sheep.
Scenery. ๐Ÿ˜Š
Curly Tup.
Cock Pheasant.
Brew stop.
Water Intake.
There are a few United Utilities information boards in the valley.
We walked as far as this footbridge, but hope to go further next time.
Mini Monkey Puzzle.
Stonechat.
Alder Catkins.
Dog days.
Nearly back in the village of Dunsop Bridge.
Puddleducks.

A well deserved breakfast butty topped off the end of our walk from Puddleducks in Dunsop Bridge. ๐Ÿฆ†

Weekend Wanderings. ๐Ÿฅพ

Well it’s been another weekend of walks and wanders. I can’t promise any different blog content really , Im not the crafty or cooking sort and I’ve really slowed down on my reading. Definitely looking forward to a change of scenery, whilst still appreciating how lucky I am to have so many local walks on my doorstep. The grass is always greener hey….

There are a couple of good walks groups on Facebook that I have been following over lockdown. Both have been quite informative and inspiring when it comes to planning where to go.

  • Lancashire Walks With Frank & Lee.
  • Ribble Valley Walking Forum.
Fairy Bridge over Swanside Beck.

One route I found via the forum was a circular walk that can either be started in Sawley or Chatburn. It takes in an old packhorse bridge and the ruins of Sawley Abbey. The Fairy Bridge was so cute. What a beauty. ๐Ÿ˜Š

Hugo takes on the Fairy Bridge.
Pink primrose.
Fresh new garlic leaves.
Sawley Abbey.

A popular Clitheroe walk takes in Brungerley park with the Ribble Valley Sculpture Trail at its heart. Recently some of the art works have had a well needed spruce up and a local community group ‘ The Hawthorn Placers’ have been brightening the walk further with colourful painted slabs. โค๏ธ

Brungerley Park.
Newly cleaned Otter sculpture.
An explosion of White Butterburs.
Kingfisher sculpture.

There are lots of painted slabs to find. Should keep the kids busy in the Easter Holidays. ๐Ÿ™‚

Colourful art depicting April Fools Day.
And Easter.

I have started tracking our walks on a free walking app called Relive. It makes handy little map videos of your hikes.

Relive App.

Hope you’ve had a good weekend. ๐Ÿ˜Š

A Wander To Wiswell. ๐ŸŒผ

After studying our O S maps, ( Wil is better at this than me ๐Ÿค—) we found another walk from home, using footpaths we were not previously aware of. For this dear lockdown 3, I am grateful…

We plotted a route to the village of Wiswell and back via Barrow village and Standen Hey community woodland. The weather on Sunday was clear and bright, spring was definitely detected. On our walk we heard woodpeckers drumming, curlews calling and saw buzzards soaring. I noticed a solitary tortoishell butterfly and spied sunny clumps of primroses and celandines.

Heading out of Clitheroe to cross the busy A59.
And on into fields in the shadow of Pendle.
Hugo was happy to find a brook.
Plank bridge.
A huge house, actually newly built.
And into Wiswell village.
Hugo at the watering hole.:)
Wiswell.

Wiswell is a small village that lies at the foot of Wiswell Moor. Pronounced Wizzel, the settlement is possibly named after Old Molly’s Well , which became known as Wise Woman’s Well or Wise Well. We didn’t see the well though. Anyhow we sat and enjoyed a flask of coffee in the village centre a while. A greenfinch merrily chirruped in a nearby Conifer.

Greenfinch. ๐Ÿ™‚
The Freemasons public house ~ definitely on our list for future pub walks.
Heading away from Wiswell to Barrow.
Early plum blossom?
Berkins Deli in Barrow.

We got a bit lost in Barrow trying to find footpaths that had been either blocked off or diverted because of new housing development. Eventually we found ourselves on the right track, crossing a train track..

Safely across.
An unsuccessful selfie with Hugo.
Onto a familiar path, the old Roman road and stone cross base.
Community woodland.
Primrose.
Celendines.
Catkins.
Crocuses.
Alpaca ๐Ÿฆ™ on the outskirts of Clitheroe.

This walk was a little over 8 miles , started off chilly and ended up quite warm.

Os Explorer Map West Pennine Moors 287.

Bolton- by- Bowland walk. ๐Ÿฅพ

The Coach & Horses pub.

It looks as though for a little while longer, local walks are on the cards. Actually I don’t mind too much, we have been discovering more of our beautiful Ribble Valley by way of  dusty walking books, barely ever glanced through before.

The following images are from a route found in a Walks Around Clitheroe publication by Terry Marsh ~ Walk 8 ~ Bolton-by-Bowland.

Bolton-by-Bowland itself is a charmingly pretty village boasting two village greens, a lovely looking pub with a pumpkin coach sign and an attractive church.

Along the surfaced drive of Bolton Park.
Sheep in the parkland. Nearby Bolton Hall was  the ancestral  home of  Sir Ralph Pudsay ,who had 25 children. ๐Ÿ˜ฏ
Not a captivating photo, but tumbling lapwings ducked and dived over this waterlogged field.
Footbridge over Skirden Beck.
Young bulls after Hague Farm.
Pendle Hill in the distance.
After Rodhill Gate Farm, an ancient highway ascends for some distance.
We are basically walking up a stream. ๐Ÿ˜†
A fallen tree provides the perfect rest stop.
Wil waiting for me as usual.
Still heading up the gully.
Wil waiting for me as usual. ๐Ÿ˜
Just after this photo, Hugo disturbed a hare in the grass. Not that he tried to chase it. Hugo prefers smelly dead things. Yuck!
We did get lost a bit, then found our way eventually.

Priest Biggins Farm. A do er upper!
Grey Alder Catkins.
Tree Lichen.
I like this sign. There was also a deer statue in the farm yard. Sika Deer live in the area.
Approaching the hamlet of Holden.
Spring colour ~ Crocuses. ๐Ÿ™‚
Holden Beck.
We walk along the road a short while, heading back to Bolton by Bowland.
Glorious yellow Winter Aconites.
St Peter & St Paul church.
Stocks on the village green.
A Yew Tree Cottage, with a giant yew tree.
Map of our walk.

I think we will return to Bolton by Bowland , I suspect there is alot more to discover. ๐Ÿฅพ๐Ÿ‘โค๏ธ