Monday was one of those bright cold days, perfect for a trip to the coast. It’s been a long time since we visited Lytham so we headed for the Lancashire seaside town, parking not far from the windmill on the Green. The Windmill is open to the public in the Summer , so we could only admire it’s sails set against a winter blue sky.
After a walk along the marshy grass and pebbled beach ( Hugo racing round like a demented dog) we found a cute cafe on Clifton Street in town called Bijou for lunch.
It is the Clifton family that resided in Lytham’s grandest residence , the Grade 1 listed Georgian built Lytham Hall on the outskirts of town. After lunch we headed there as I had heard it’s grounds and cafe are popular with dogs and their owners. It’s a bit of a walk from Lytham, but there is a car park if you’d prefer to drive.
The snowdrops are just starting to bloom in the gardens and grounds. In February there are so many that popular Snowdrop Walks are held every weekend throughout the month. The Hall and cafe and gardens have a friendly community vibe with a gardening club, book and antique sales, park runs and guided house tours. I think it’s somewhere we will return. 🙂
So that’s my idea of a happy January day. Sea Air, Blue Skies and Snowdrops. 🙂
Sunday Sevens is a collection of seven or more photos from the last seven days.
Last Sunday Wil and I were still in Edinburgh, where we had spent the weekend for Wil’s birthday. Sunday morning was spent exploring the monuments on Calton Hill. Well worth a visit! I will have to get round to writing a proper post.
Our favourite meal in Edinburgh and a tick off my bucket list, was this lamb Wellington at The Witchery by the Castle. Talk about melt in the mouth dining , in a sumptuous setting.
Back home to a foggy England. I have actually had the week off work, due to having some holidays to get in before the end of March. Wil took Monday off and we went for a misty wander round the Pendle Sculpture Trail.
Clitheroe had one gorgeous bright cold frosty day which Hugo and I made the most of , with a long walk by the Ribble. I was amused when these two swans emerged from the river and promptly plonked themselves on the path in front of us.
Even though I have been in Scotland this week, I didn’t try Haggis or the traditional Scottish dessert Cranachan. Made from double cream, honey, oats, whisky & raspberries, cranachan is a simple pudding to make….even for me. 🙂 Delicious not only on Burns Night.
Noticed a few clumps of snowdrops whilst out and about this week. And discovered some hiding in my flower beds, once I tidied them up a bit. If your interested, here are a few links to snowdrop walks & weekends. Not sure I will get to go to one myself this year, as were on with decorating the bedroom.
Hawthorn’s Hunt totally crept up on me this month but I managed to scrabble a few pics together. They are all actually taken this very morning! So sorry that they are not exactly the most interesting. And mostly dog themed!
White. Yes more snowdrops in my blog posts. This is the fourth post I’ve done where snowdrops have appeared. But they are so pretty and of course , white, so I couldn’t resist. 😄 These were taken on my walk with H this morning. We sneeked over the cattle grid onto the drive of a private residence called Standen Hall and I quickly took this photo.
Metal/metalic. We came accross this rather scary metal dog face nailed onto a fence near Standen Hall. Never seen it before so I can only assume its a recent addition. Then I thought, maybe its actually a poo bag dispencer for dog walkers? Will look out for bags in the future.
Camouflage. Where’s Hugo? ”You can’t see me Mum. I’m invisible and I’m a Laprador”. Or so he thinks! 🙂
Begins with a J. Spotted this bright red double-decker bus next to nearby Holmes Mill. It made me think of bus journeys and how I used to feel travel sick on buses, but never on double deckers strangely.
Bud. Daffodils coming into bud near Standen Hall.
My Own Choice. A combination of photos from my morning so far…and its not even 10am. I had better get the washing on!
Pop over to kates blog to see more Scavenger Hunt entrys. 🙂
I had been researching Snowdrop Walks in Lancashire and found two. Both were at historic piles and not to far from the sea .Lytham Hall near St Annes and Hornby Castle , a short drive from Morecambe. I managed to persuade Wil that we could incorporate snowdrops and seaside into a good day out for ourselves and our Labrador Hugo. Off we set on a dreary grey day in Clitheroe, heading for Hornby Castle near Lancaster . We actually ended up blessed with some sunshine. 🙂
Hornby Castle in the Lune Valley overlooks the village of Hornby and the river Wenning. Parts of the building date back to the 13th century and the impressive tower that dominates it’s shape is 16th century. The castle is privately owned and the gardens are only opened to the public a few days a year
It was lovely to see all the many varieties of snowdrops in bloom. They carpeted the woodland, grew in thickets by the river and adorned the lovely walled garden. Hugo’s favourite part was exploring the riverside walk.
I wish I had taken more snowdrop pictures for you all. They really were stunning! Entry to the Snowdrop weekend was £4 per person and included a talk about the castle in the drawing room ( which we managed to miss! ) and you could buy plants, hot drinks and cake in the walled garden. A pottery exhibition was also in the grounds. If you wish to visit Hornby castle yourself, the next opening weekend is 19-20 May, Bluebell season. 🙂
The village of Hornby itself is quite pleasant and Hornby Post Office & Tea Rooms are a very good stop off point for a spot of lunch. The picture above is quite deceptive as the place was absolutely rammed, due I think to the Snowdrop Weekend and a second hand book sale in the village. The old fountain in the village depicts a cat with a rat in its mouth, said to represent the former owner of the castle, Pudsey Dawson, who brought in cats to clear the castle of a huge rat population in the 19th century. Yikes!
In the afternoon we headed to the coast and went for a blustery walk on the beach in Morecambe. Luckily at this time of year you can depend on pup friendly beaches, even if it is somewhat freezing! Morecambe has appeared in my blog quite a few times so apologies for any repetitive photos. Its a very photogenic place though, if a bit worn and weather beaten.
The bracing winds encouraged us to head for the Midland Hotel that looks over the bay and the long stone jetty, decorated ( as much of the town is) with seabird sculptures and poems.
The Midland is a Grade II listed Art Deco design hotel , which was built in 1933 by the London, Midland and Scottish Railway. Like many grand seaside hotels it fell into disrepair and decline. In 2008 it was re-opened to the public, all restored and its elegant curving façade happily housing a lovely hostelry once again.
After enjoying our hot drinks we headed home through the Trough of Bowland, calling in at my sisters for another brew. Can’t get enough of brews in this weather!
Have you been on any snowdrop walks this year? Or bracing beach walks for that matter! 🙂
On Monday Wil and I had a day off together and as I was in dire need of some new walking pants, we headed up to Skipton, a North Yorkshire market town with a good selection of outdoorsy type shops. Skipton also has an impressive medieval castle and the ancient Skipton Castle Woods are perfect for a walk with the dog.
We entered the woodland via the Bailey entrance where a carpet of snowdrops welcomed us. Apparently the woods really come into their own later in the spring, when bluebells, wild garlic and primroses adorn the forest floor.
Skipton Castle Woods are looked after by The Woodland Trust and there are three short trails that meander their way through the canopy of trees. You can’t tell from the pictures but the weather alternated between rain, sleet and snow! We returned to the town through the woods entrance on Mill Bridge.
The town is the perfect mix of high street and independent shops, quirky cafes, old fashioned pubs with names like ‘The Woolly Sheep’ and colourful canal boats. Great for a wander round and a spot of retail therapy. 🙂
We had lunch in Coopers Cafe Bar on Belmont Street. This is a fave cafe of ours in Skipton. A really friendly and relaxing place with good tasty food. Afterwards we did the tourist thing and bought tickets to look round Skipton Castle. Tickets are £8.30 for Adults, £5.20 for children and dogs are accepted, though not in the shop or tearoom.
A sturdy castle over 900 years old, Skipton is steeped in history. It was the last stronghold in the North of Engand during the English Civil War between Oliver Cromwell and the Royalists. Legend has it that sheep fleeces were hung over the walls to lessen the impact of cannon fire. My favourite part of the castle is the shady inner courtyard, where Lady Anne Clifford planted a Yew Tree and set about restorations after the battle. There are lots of rooms to explore….and its a great place to escape from the rain!
Welcome to my first Links & Likes of 2018. This is a series where I like to include some links to a few posts I have ♡ recently.
February is a funny month. Spring is just around the corner( hopefully!) ,yet I still feel like hibernating! With snow, sleet, rain and hale all forcasted over the next few days in the North West, can you blame me if I cosy up under the duvet and snooze for the forseeable….
Yet I do have plans. 😁 Febuary is Snowdrop Season and I would really love to witness these first signs of Spring in all their gorgeous glory. Here in Lancashire Lytham Hall welcomes all to wander round their lovely grounds over the next couple of Weekends. Frames high-light the blooms for picture opportunities. Hornby Castle near Lancaster is opening to the public for Snowdrop Walks on the 17th & 18th February. Elsewhere The National Trust has details of early blooming gardens on their website. Hopefully I will be out and about searching for snowdrops in the next few days.
Other plans I have for February include a Ghost Walk at Houghton Tower and a Girls Night In Clothes Swap Party. So really, hibernation is not actually an option. 😄
Christine has been playing Colour Bingo with her camera. A great idea for a blog post!
Amanda visits a Train Station , where an iconic Romantic Movie was filmed in the 1940s.
Hey I’m joining in with Natalie’sSunday Sevens today and posting 7 ( or maybe more! ) photographs from my week.
Above is a photo from Instagram.I am trying to post a piccie each day as part of Kate Gabrielle’s #brilliantphotoaday challenge. Oneday the prompt was Polkadots so my whirly windmill came in very useful. 🙂
Tuesday was of course Valentine’s Day and Wil and I exchanged cards. I got him a humerous yet vaguely insulting card and he got me a lovely romantic card. Hurrah! I celebrate …because for years we chose cards for each other that we would rather have got ourselves. He likes funnies so he would get me something silly. I like pretty romantic cards so that’s what I would get him. We would joke that we should ‘swap’ cards. At last though, we have maybe got it right? Only taken us nearly 12 years! 🙂
On Thursday morning we took Hugo a walk up past Standen Hall, which was a good exscuse to look at all the lovely Snowdrops. It’s a private residence but I couldn’t resist stumbling over the cattle grid and taking a few photos. There were even some turkeys and a grey squirrel too! I hope those turkeys are not being fattened up for Christmas…
Friday night was a great fun night out with the girls…..but I have got to say, I am still recovering! Friend Fi arranged for 6 of us to try out a Cocktail Mixing Masterclass at Escape Coffee & Cocktails In Clitheroe. The class was upstairs in our own little private bar area and after a demo from Ben our Mixologist, we each got to make five very different cocktails….and drink them of course. After experiencing a welcome Belini, a Mojito, a Happy Holidays, a Porn Star Martini, a Delightful Trifle, a Long Island Iced Tea and a glass of prosecco, I may just not be able to remember enough to write a full post about it. ;). All I can say is at £35 per head it was great value for money, and a good time was had by all!
Yesrerday I did manage to emerge from the house and meet up with a pal for tea and cake at Callooh Callay in town. This Alice In Wonderland inspired tea room has had new owners of late, so we were a little worried it may have changed beyond recognition. Happily it is still devoted to all things ‘Alice’ ,though the new proprietor isn’t English, he presented us with some dates to try before our tea came. I guess that only adds to the quirkyness! 🙂
On the way home from a recent weekend away in the Lake District we decided to stop for lunch in the pretty village of Clapham. This lovely Yorkshire village deserves a whole day out to appreciate it’s babbling beck, it’s little stone bridges and it’s wonderful walks and nature trails. We will return! For now, here are a few snaps I took on a brisk walk round. 🙂
Thanks for stopping by. More posts about my Lake District trip coming soon. X
February is here and at last there is hope that Spring is round the corner. The 2nd of February is celebrated as Candlemas Day in the Christian religion. Candles are lit in churches to symbolise Jesus,hope and light. Before Christianity the day was known as ‘Feast of Lights’ and celebrated the daylight hours increasing as winter gave way to spring. Whether you are religious or not, it is lovely to light candles around the home. I am sat writing this post with the lovely scent of my favourite Earl Grey Tea scented candle filling my nostrils. 🙂
Snowdrops have been known as Candlemas Bells and according to superstition they should not be brought into the home until now. A bunch of snowdrops symbolise the ending of Winter and looks beautiful in a little vase. I bought my snowdrop plant today and hope to replant it in my flower bed……once the stormy weather wanes. Even better why not see snowdrops in all their spring time glory on one of many Snowdrop walks in the UK.
In Anglo Saxon times February was known as Solmonath which is apparently translated as Sun Month and Mud month. The mud seems very appropriate after today’s Mud Bath – esque walk with Hugo! The Saxons baked Cakes for their God’s in February. This seems like a good excuse to me to bake a cake or even better why not book an Afternoon tea for you and a friend. Here are a few places I’ve enjoyed Afternoon Tea 🙂, always guaranteed to cheer you up on a drizzly day.
I thought I would start a series of round up posts of bits and pieces that I have enjoyed and discovered each month. Hopefully I will stick to it! I’m a bit rubbish at keeping up with things. But I will give it a go. 🙂 So without further ado, here is what I have enjoyed about January.
Books ~ Keeping up fine with my personal challenge of reading one book a month.Doesn’t sound a lot as I used to read tons. Then I lost my reading Mojo! Shhhh don’t say anything but I think I’ve got it back.:). Picked up The Miniaturist one winters afternoon and couldn’t put it down. Swiftly followed by The Curvy Girls Club and now ( rather behind the times) whizzing through Gone Girl. So busted my target already. 🙂
Films ~ If you like rom coms, 50’s fashion and France , then you may also like Populaire , a french film that combines all the above in a tale of a clumsy secretary, a speed typing competition and a dishy Professor Higgins type. Saw Cathy’s recommendation on her lovely blog and rented the dvd straight away.Loved it! Also enjoyed the rather silly but fun chick flick ‘The Other Women’ , starring Cameron Diaz and Leslie Mann. And another flirty film set in France Chocolat which was on freeview recently. Mouth watering chocolate and a youthful Johnny Depp. Whats not to love! 😉
Travel ~ This month I was lucky enough to spend a week in a cottage on the coast. Being able to walk on the beach every day ( even in January! ) was a dream come true. It has made us want to get away to the seaside again and we are now thinking of booking somewhere in Whitby, near the end of the year. 🙂 I’m also planning a few days away in London in May. Can’t wait!
App ~ Being January, I thought I had better try and make a bit of an effort to lose some weight! My fab work colleague Hermione told me all about My Fitness Pal which is a free calorie counting app you can put on your mobile. If you like making lists like me, its a great and easy way of tracking your calories and fat intake. My new pal first helped me work out how many calories I should be eating each day. Then I logged down what I ate for each meal from the gigantic food database. You can also add food to the database, though I think it has just about every edible item going on it. And it takes into account any exercise you do too. Oh and it memorises the foods you log, so you don’t have to search for them again. Soo is it working? Well, Yes! I’ve lost 4 pound…..and not for once, through paying for a weight watchers meeting!
Nature ~ Saw my first wild snowdrops of the year in the grounds of ‘Conishead Priory’ and spied oystercatchers, curlews, redshank and shelducks whilst holidaying in Baycliff.