Last weekend I joined friends for a walk and Sunday Lunch. The part of the A59 that by passes Clitheroe has been closed at weekends due to the building of a new round-about ( much uproar from residents), so this normally extremely busy road is eerily quiet on a Sunday and you can walk down it ( or indeed sit on it) without being squished by on coming motorists. We managed to walk part of the way to the village of Worston along the road, pretending we were in a zombie apocalypse. 🙂
Meanwhile my other half was decorating the bedroom, and what a grand job of it he has made too. I am super impressed! We went for a teal, mustard and white colour scheme ,which is a change from the pale blue & white it was previously. If your interested, the wallpaper and paint is from Twitter Lane in Clitheroe, the bedding and curtains are from Dunhelm Mill and the free standing lamp is from Next.
At the moment myself and my work colleagues are experiencing an unsettling time at work. Our department will be reducing its hours to Thursday to Sunday in May. My current hours are Monday through Thursday. Oh dear! Anyway we have to apply for the weekend jobs in April ( if we want them) and by then we should also know if redundancy is an option. So it’s looking like come May, I will be either working totally different hours…or be jobless! Neither are a very pleasant thought. I’m going to make the most of my weekends whilst I still have them and am still earning money. 🙂
On Friday I visited Mum in Cumbria with my sister, niece and nephew. The weather was lovely so we had a walk up Askham Fell and made friends with the fell ponies. The sky was blue, the gorse was in bloom and smelt of coconuts.
And yesterday was even more Spring like in Lancashire. It was actually t-shirt and ice cream weather. Wil, Hugo and I did a 12 mile walk and discovered an old pack horse bridge. Long may the sunshine continue!
Thanks to Natalie at Threads & Bobbins for devising Sunday Sevens, a collection of seven or more photos from the last 7 days.
I don’t know about you, but I have always loved going to the cinema. Yet shamefully in years gone by I have almost abandoned this film themed treat, for the comfort of watching movies ( whilst munching on kettle chips) all snug on the sofa at home.
As a child and teenager my memories of the Pictures, meant a trip into Clitheroe to the Civic Hall Cinema ( a long time closed now) where you would sink into red velvet covered seats and queue in the aisles for sweets and ice creams, sold by usherettes. The very same usherettes ( quite stern old ladies) would shine torches at you if you were misbehaving during the film ;). I for one was always mesmerised , as soon as the red velvet curtains swished open and the familiar Pearl and Dean music filled the theatre, I was engrossed in movie heaven. Modern film multiplexes just don’t have the same appeal. I was intrigued then, when I heard that the market town of Longridge near Preston still retains its original old cinema. A trip to this iconic building was a must! I immediately booked a matinee showing of the new Mary Poppins film for myself, my sister and my nephew and niece. 🙂
The Palace Cinema is apparently one of the oldest surviving cinemas in the North West and is tucked away between terraces on Market Place. When I told my niece and nephew we were looking for the Palace, I think they envisioned a colossal castle, not a cute little Picture House. We parked on a nearby street and followed a few families , who looked like they were heading somewhere welcoming and warm.
I had booked our tickets online and simply showed my phone to one of the attendants. However you can purchase tickets at the Palace as well. After bagging our seats ( they are the original red velvet covered ones 🙂 ) in the packed auditorium, my sister and nephew headed to the foyer to buy drinks and popcorn. I was pleasantly surprised that paper straws were provided with our cold drinks and that they are served in paper cups and recyclable cans. Tea and coffee in china cups are £1.
Before the feature started an apologetic attendant told us that the adds, trailers and National Anthem wouldn’t be played that day, as they had got lost in the cloud. This did make me chuckle. Its sweet that the National Anthem is part of the whole cinema going experience here. Soon we were all lost in the whimsical and splendiferous Mary Poppins Returns, which is well worth seeing by the way. 🙂
The Longridge Palace retains all the charm of a vintage cinema with quirky touches and modern ideas , such as mother and baby screenings, film and book club evenings and adjoining café and bar.
There was a time when going out for Afternoon Tea was quite the norm for me. I think one year, I managed to devour ten. I know! But in 2018 I had not participated in this delightful institution until Sunday, when I joined some work colleagues for a Festive themed afternoon tea at Mitton Hall.
Mitton Hall near Whalley in Lancashire is a charming country house hotel. It’s the kind of olde worlde pile where a medieval banquet would not look out of place in its traditional oak panelled Great Hall. At this time of year a mahusive Christmas Tree welcomes you on arrival. 🙂 We immediately felt full of festive cheer.
Our Afternoon tea was booked for 5pm, so it was already dark when we arrived. After a quick refreshment in one of the cosy bars, we were lead to our table in the Brasserie.
It wasn’t long before our Afternoon Teas arrived, served on three tiers and piled high with goodies. We had all chosen the standard option which includes any hot drink of your choice and cost £17-50 each.
The bottom tier contained festive finger sandwiches, smoked salmon canopes and pigs in blankets. I always think it’s a shame that afternoon tea is more geared up for the sweet tooth. We would have loved a few more savoury items to feast upon.
However the cakes were to die for. And I am definitely a fan of cake! My personal favourite was the Lemon Drizzle..
Other sweet treats included a mince pie, a chocolate mousse ( unusually flavoured with mango, a hit with me but not for everyone) , a mini macaroon, a stollen bite and of course, plain and fruit scones, served with jam and clotted cream.
And after all that we just had to have a photo in front of the resplendent tree. 🙂
Will you be indulging in a Christmassy afternoon tea this year?
Time for another Scavenger Hunt with Kate & co , over at I Live, I Love, I Craft, I am Me. The words that kate chose are Brightly Coloured, Pattern, Ink, Upside Down, Bag & My Own Choice.
Brightly Coloured ~ Not my hanging basket unfortunately! Mine did not do well at all this year, so here’s one of the lovely brightly coloured ones at The Aspinall Arms in Mitton, a pub we occasionally walk to, across the fields . I love the vibrant pink fuchsia.
Bag ~ Not exactly a bag, but more of a picnic basket ! The above items are on display at a lovely olde worldy train station I visited recently. And they are from a film. Can you guess which one? Blog post to follow. 🙂
Upside Down ~ We managed to take a wrong turn on a walk near Haworth in Yorkshire a couple of weeks ago and ended up walking past this great kids Welly storage. 🙂 It was however the perfect photo opportunity for upside down.
Pattern ~ I always think Speckled Wood Butterflies wings are adorned with a very Autumnal pattern. 🙂
Ink ~ Didn’t really know what to photograph for Ink, but then I thought, well I am writing most days in my Nature Diary. I’m jotting down all the wildlife that I see when I’m out and about ,walking the dog, walking to work etc ,and I have being doing so since April. It has encouraged me to ID various insects and flowers and is a useful way of recording the changing of the seasons, and what wildlife lives where. I’m quite addicted!
My Own Choice ~ Whilst walking to nearby Mitton recently, one of the fields we walk through was full of horses, including these two little Shetlands. They were too busy munching to be bothered by us. I just thought they were so cute!
Over the past few months we have been checking out lots of local pubs, all in the name of blog research, of course. 😉 I actually have the #walk1000miles challenge to thank for this post. If it wasn’t for hearing about this great walking incentive from the lovely Christine , I probably would never have given my walking boots such welly…or discovered how easy it is to reach all these lovely Ribble Valley hostelries on foot, from my home town of Clitheroe. As you probably know by now, we do have the perfect pub dog, a certain bouncy black lab called Hugo. He has definitely enjoyed some longer weekend walks recently….as well as a few extra treats!
As ever if you are walking in the countryside, please keep dogs on lead where there are livestock, shut gates behind you securely and always pick up after your pooch.
Resident Labradors. 🙂
The Aspinall in Spring.
By the fire.
The Aspinall Arms, Mitton. Book in advance for a table with your dog, and he will be saved a place, brought water and given a saucer of dog biscuits at this attractive former Coaching Inn . Yep the Aspinall Arms is one very pooch friendly pub! Even though we have only visited here with Hugo for morning coffee ( the bar opens at 10.30am) or afternoon drinks, Hugo was still brought water, treats and made a fuss of. The Aspinall makes the most of it’s enviable riverside location and has a large beer garden, looking over the Ribble. There is a handy muddy boots & dog wash in the courtyard outside and every last Sunday of the month, an organized 3 mile dog walk starts from the pub, with complimentary bacon butties and brews. www.aspinallarmsmitton.co.ukWalk. 4 miles there and back. Head down Henthorn rd, through Shuttleworth farm and follow the Ribble Way to Mitton, where you will see The Aspinall Arms on the riverside. Retrace your steps home.
Hugo in a Downham meadow.
The Assheton Arms, Downham. We arrived at this historic Grade II listed village pub one Sunday morning for coffee and sat out front enjoying the May sunshine. Inside you can dine with your dog in the relaxed bar area and enjoy the Seafood Pub Company menu. Bagsy the cosy nook by the fire. 🙂 Walkers may be happy to know that the Assheton Arms opens early for weekend breakfasts too. On our visit water bowls were provided and Hugo was brought a sausage . If you wish to stay here with your four legged friend, there are pet-friendly rooms available. www.asshetonarms.comWalk. 8 miles there and back. Cross the A59 and walk to the village of Worston , using the cycleway. After the Calf’s Head pub turn left along a track with a public footpath sign. Continue through fields passing Worsaw Hill on the left and Pendle Hill on the right. Once in Downham the pub is at the top of the village. Retrace your footsteps back, perhaps stopping for a pint in Worston. 😉
The Brown Cow, Chatburn. Newly refurbished with an attractive beer garden, the Brown Cow was our destination for a Saturday walk and lunch with family. Dogs are welcome in the bar area and Hugo was given a treat by a friendly member of staff. We all enjoyed our food which was great value for money. I particularly liked the pudding! Unfortunately I forgot to take any photos here. 😦 Walk. 6 miles there and back. Walk through Brungerly Park, turn left at the otter sculpture and follow the footpath along the river to West Bradford Bridge. Cross over the road and follow the riverside on the right hand side path. Eventually it takes you up through a patch of woodland and fields into Chatburn. The pub is the second of the two pubs on the left. Retrace your steps back to Clitheroe.
The Buck Inn, Grindleton. Since our walk to this friendly village pub, I think it may have temporarily stopped serving food. But business as usual when it comes to enjoying a pint of good real ale and the Buck has a roaring fire to snuggle next to on cold days. Walk. 6 miles there and back. Walk through Brungerly Park, turn left at the Otter sculpture and follow the footpath along the river to West Bradford Bridge. Cross over the road and follow the riverside on the left hand side path. Eventually it will take you into the village of Grindleton where you will find The Buck on the main road out of the village. Retrace your steps back into town.
The Calf’s Head, Worston. The large beer garden complete with stream and views of Pendle Hill is definitely a big draw for this popular watering hole and eaterie. On a Winter’s day walk with Hugo however, we enjoyed sitting by the roaring fire in the bar area. One of the friendly staff brought Hugo an ice cream tub of water and there are dog treats available at the bar. www.calfshead.comWalk. 4 miles there and back. Cross the A59 , turn left and use the cycle way to walk into Worston. The pub is a short walk through the village on the right. Retrace your footsteps back.
Tasty Lunch Wrap.
Enjoying a pint.
Whalley Abbey Gatehouse.
The Dog Inn, Whalley. Originally this traditional village Inn was called The Spotted Dog! Having a canine name pretty much guarantees a warm welcome to four-legged friends and their humans. Hugo was given lots of fuss and attention by the bubbly bar attendant and we enjoyed a delicious and great value light lunch and refreshments. www.dog-innwhalley.co.uk Walk. 9miles there and back. Head out of Clitheroe up Whalley Road, turning right after Barraclough house. Walk along the country lane until you reach a small hamlet, bear left round the side of a cottage and go through a gate. Follow a trodden path through Standen Hey, crossing over the railway and walk through fields until you cross Barrow Brook and enter a small wooded area that brings you to Mitton Road. Cross the road , turn left and walk a short way before turning right up a track. From there follow the footpath signs to Whalley, eventually going under the busy A59, Whalley Viaduct and through the abbey gatehouse. The Dog is on the main street in the village where you will find other pubs, bars and shops. If you fancy a few pints you could always cut this walk short and catch a bus or train back to Clitheroe. If not, retrace your steps back to town.
The Edisford Bridge, Clitheroe. Clitheroe is surrounded by lovely pubs and Inns in the neighboring countryside. However, if you don’t wish to venture to far, The Edisford Bridge sits on the outkirts of the town, looking down towards the river and the bridge that it is named after. Why not combine some splashing time in the Ribble with a pint or meal here. Although dogs are allowed in the bar area, there are only two tables that you can dine at with your dog, so booking is advisable. Outdoor seating at the front and beer garden at the rear. Walk. 3 mile circular route. Walk to the end of Woone Lane then bear right past a new housing estate and down a track towards fields. Head under the railway bridge and follow the stream down the fields until you get to Henthorn road. Cross over and continue straight ahead and join the Ribble Way. Follow the river towards the bridge. You will see the Edisford Bridge Pub over the bridge and up the hill on your left. To return, walk down the hill, over the bridge and follow the road into Clitheroe.
The Lower Buck, Waddington. All three of the pretty village of Waddington’s pubs welcome dogs , so be prepared to be spoilt for choice. The Lower Buck has three open fires and serves good hearty food. This is a proper family friendly and dog friendly pub that embraces muddy paws with open arms…..or at least plenty of friendly warmth and a couple of treats. Lots of fuss from the locals too. www.lowerbuck.comWalk. 6 miles Circular. Wander down Back Commons fields and walk along the Ribble, Waddow Hall is across the river on your left. Walk across Brungerly Bridge and along the road 1.5 miles into Waddington village. The Lower Buck is past St Helens Church on your left. Head back using the back roads to Clitheroe, cut through the grounds of Waddow Hall, cross Brungerly Bridge and retrace your steps along the river.
There be logs!
Stained glass at All Hallows Church.
Three Fishes, Mitton. One of the welcoming Ribble Valley Inns group, this flagged floored country pub has colourful contemporary interiors , crackling log fires and a good selection of local cask ales. Having eaten here with family before , I know that the food is pretty good too. On our visit with Hugo , we were given a very warm reception. I’m not sure he has ever had so much fuss and attention! There again, our naughty Labrador now seems to take it as a given, that bar staff are there especially to give him a treat. 🙂 The nearby medieval All Hallows Church with its alabaster tombs is well worth a visit. And just down the road is another pet friendly pub, The Aspinall Arms. www.thethreefishes.com Walk 5 mile circular. Setting off from Edisford Bridge, walk along the road for 800 yards , turn left onto a farm lane ( with a sign for holiday cottages) and follow the footpath signs that lead you over stiles, through fields and eventually onto Church Lane in Mitton. Turn left at the church and you will see The Three Fishes. To return, turn right as you leave and head over the bridge to The Aspinall Arms pub. Cross a stile to the right of the pub, head up through the fields and follow the Ribble Way signs back to Edisford.
Waddy Arms Interior.
A great spot!
Coronation Gardens in Waddington.
The Waddington Arms, Waddington. James Places pubs in the Ribble Valley are all very welcoming to four-legged friends. The Waddy Arms in the centre of the village is no exception.Boasting outdoor seating to the front and rear, flagged floors and roaring fires, this warm country Inn serves good food & ales and has dog-friendly rooms. Hugo loved the crunchy bonio biscuits he was given by the chatty bar staff. www.waddingtonarms.co.ukWalk. 6 miles Circular. See Lower Buck, Waddington Walk.
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.
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!
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. 😗 Happilly we were soon back on track, heading through fields with Pendle Hill supposedly on our right, hidden in the clouds.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 Podsat 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 café, this glamping option sounds like a fun family favourite. Pods from £65 per night. Dogs may stay too for an extra £5 per night. wildboarpark.co.uk
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 £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 £250. Dogs are welcome for an additional charge of £12.50 per night. theredpumpinn.co.uk
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 £70 per night. hobbithill.co.uk
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.
This is my diary of the wildlife where I live in Oxfordshire, and sometimes the places I visit. I am a 16 year old young naturalist with a passion for British wildlife, especially Badgers and Hares. I have been blogging since May 2013 and you can read my old blog posts at www.appletonwildlifediary.blogspot.co.uk