Tag Archives: walks

Garrigill to Ashgill Force walk πŸ₯ΎπŸ

At the weekend we took a walk from Garrigill in the North Pennines to the nearby waterfall of Ashgill Force. We bought an Alston Moor walk leaflet in the outdoors shop in Alston for 60p.

The route begins at Garrigill’s Village Green, we parked near the village church. Garrigill looks to be a lovely little village , whose pub and shop have seen better days.

St John’s Church.
Village Green.
George and Dragon sign.

The leaflet says that there were once two pubs in Garrigill. The George & Dragon was the haunt of visiting gentry, Tories and shooting parties, whilst the Fox was for miners, poachers and Liberals!

Climb the slippy bridleway to Loaning Head.
A Loaning Head cottage.
Views across the Pennines.
Kestrel.
There are lots of very high Stiles to climb over.
Swaledale Sheep.
One moment, blue skies…
the next, sideways rain..
Meadow Cranesbill.

The weather went a bit wild and after navigating about a million steep stiles we came across the waterfall. Unfortunately we had managed to deviate from our maps directions somehow, but we got there in the end.

Gill scramblers at Ashgill Force.
Ashgill Force.

It is apparently possible to walk behind the waterfall, and indeed ‘ Dance with the Fairies’ , although it looked a bit busy with Gill Scramblers the day we visited.

Hugo was joined in the gorge by another Black Labrador boy, which would be lovely if Hugo actually liked other boy labradors. Fortunately Hugo was more interested in the stones Wil were throwing in the water, than fighting. Phew!

Labradors.
Footbridge.

The rest of the walk was more of a gentle meander, following the River South Tyne back to Garrigill.

An almost stone circle.
Another footbridge.
A beautiful place for a dip.
Fly Agarics beside the river.
Autumn colours.
Buzzard.
A mini waterfall.
Attractive stone bridge.
Hips.
And back to the church.

I really enjoyed this scenic 5 mile walk and hopefully we will try it out again, maybe when the meadows are full of wildflowers come early Summer. πŸ™‚

Back On The Tolkien Trail. πŸ§™β€β™‚οΈπŸ₯Ύ

Although I’ve posted about The Tolkien Trail on my blog before, I walked it again recently with my sister and family, and thought it worth another look. Undoubtedly this tranquil area of Lancashire inspired J. R. R. Tolkien , he often stayed here whilst visiting his son John who attended Stonyhurst College. The Lord Of The Rings author enjoyed walking in the lovely leafy Hurst Green countryside and local place names and landmarks made it into his writings.

On this occasion we followed the route starting at The Shireburn Arms , the 17th century Inn was named after the rich land owning Shireburn family. A river Shirebourn features in The Lord Of The Rings.

Hurst Green village centre.
A Tolkien quote near The Shireburn Arms.
A glorious clump of Purple Loosestrife. ❀️
Aqueduct.

Our walk very nearly got abandoned. At this point we were meant to be following the riverside but a herd of frisky cows showed too much interest in Hugo the Labrador. We made a hasty retreat up a hill and managed to rejoin the river later.

A house called ‘ Jumbles’ named after Jumbles’ rocks, pertruding stones in the river Ribble.
River depth gage.
Hugo.
Hacking Hall in the background.

The heavens kept opening ( and the sun shone too! ) as we followed the trail. To be honest the walk could really benefit from a few Lord of the Rings inspired sculptures or scribbles along the route, I reckon. Anyway above is Hacking Hall from where the Hacking Ferry boat still operated in Tolkien’s time at Stonyhurst. The ferry was possibly the inspiration for his ‘ Bucklebury Ferry’ .

This old oak is mentioned in The Woodland Trusts Ancient Tree Inventory.
Winckley Hall Farm.
Tree climbers.
Cromwell’s Bridge from Lower Hodder.

Cromwell’s Bridge over the river Hodder may have been the inspiration for Tolkien’s ‘ Brandywine’ bridge. It is named after Oliver Cromwell ,who along with his troops rode over the skinny stone structure, on their way from Gisburn to The Battle of Preston. We followed the riverside up through shady woodland past Hodder court.

Corn crops a long the Holder.
Cuckoo Pint Berry Stalks.
Windey path through the woods.
Up above.
Stepping out.

Eventually we ended up in the grounds of Stonyhurst college, though I didn’t manage to get many photos. And then back to the car parked in Hurst Green. The trail covered 6 or 7 miles in total.

Stonyhurst college grounds from behind.
Alm houses in Hurst Green.

I must confess I have never read any Tolkien, though I enjoyed watching The Lord Of The Rings films. When walking the trail you probably need to research the areas connections beforehand, as there is no signage or information on the route. Nevertheless this was an enjoyable hike around a lovely area. πŸ₯Ύ

Here is a recent post from The Bowland Climber who was in the area too.

The Tolkien Trail can be downloaded online and can be found in numerous local walk books. I used…

Walks Around Clitheroe ~ Terry Marsh.

Melmerby & Ousby Circular walk.

Here are a few images from a 5 mile walk we did on Saturday in The Eden Valley. This is a nice walk in some parts, but we definitely had issues with some very lively cattle, and had to keep making diversions to avoid them. I love cows the most when they are snoozy, and not galloping down a field toward you. πŸ€ͺ

Also, we had to finish the planned route by road ,as the crops in a cornfield we would have walked through ( on a public footpath) were being collected. It was a peaceful country road though, so not so bad.

We walked through Melmerby, passing rosy stone buildings such as this, the village store.
And a bee friendly area, not for mowing.
A pretty pink poppy, buzzing bee inside.
Bluetit on umbelifer.
A track that takes you up the fell.
But we turned right for Gale Hall.
And were passed by a trailer of bales.
Lane to Gale Hall.
Unsurprisingly Gale Hall is a farmhouse.
A calm cow. Unfortunately I didn’t think to get photos of the lively ones.
Think we are safe from cow stampedes in this field!
Distant crops.
I wondered what a Texas Gate is? It is in fact a cattle grid.
Pony who came for a pat.
Pretty pink mallows.
Feverfew.
Postbox in the Row, a part of the straggling village of Ousby.
Sheep being herded in Ousby.
Foxy pub sign.
A Robins Pincushion, which are created by a Gall wasp on wild rose bushes.
Once back in Melmerby I find a pretty painted pebble. πŸ™‚

Parts of this walk weren’t great, but I did get some nice photos from it at least. 😊

Weets Hill Walk. πŸ₯Ύ

We found a peaceful moorland walk on Sunday. I guess it was so quiet because of the drizzly weather. It soon fined up though and we happily abandoned our waterproof jackets. Yay!

Our walk started from a canal side car park near the Anchor Inn at Salterforth near Barnoldswick. This isn’t an area we have explored before and despite having a map and walking book we did get a bit lost ( shocker! ) but it all worked out ok in the end.

The route headed up into the rugged moorland of Weets Hill where there are fantastic views and even some unusual art work. Here are some images from our 6.5 mile hike.

Leeds & Liverpool Canal.
Canal side way marker.
Buttercup meadow.
A narrow squeeze style which I could barely squeeze through. πŸ˜…
Ground nesting birds sign. We made sure we kept to the bridleway.
This old track is called Lister Well Road.
Caught on camera.
Lister Well Road.
Lower Foulridge Reservoir…maybe. Anybody know?
I can’t help pointing out Lister Well Road ! Lister is my family name. 😊
Blacko Tower in the distance.
Cuteness overload ❀️.
Hungry horse.
Looking toward Pendle Hill.
‘ Heading’ for Duck Pond Farm.
There is actually a head at Duck Pond Farm. πŸ™‚
And another!
A former occupant ( an art teacher) made the large head sculptures.
Fitting all our big heads in a selfie.
Heading away from Duck Pond Farm. A beautiful white horse.❀️
Getting in some dawn chorus practice..
Cotton grass.
Buttercups.
Think there’s a troll under the bridge.
This is Hugo’s cute pose…..only done when he is watching someone eat. Look into my eyes!!
Meadow Pippit collecting nesting material.
Weets Hill Moorland.
Heath Bedstraw.
A Barnoldswick chimney.
Somebody’s watching me.
Foxglove.
Pink grass. Anyone know their grass? 😁
And back to the canal tow path.
The Anchor Inn….. apparently holds an impressive stalactite formation in the cellar.

This walk was definitely all about the views , the wildlife ( we were serenaded by the continuous chatter of pippits and skylarks) and those unforgettable sculptures at Duck pond farm.

Walking Book – Walking in the Forest of Bowland and Pendle by Terry Marsh.

Map – Explorer OL21 ( South Pennines).

Down by the river in Clitheroe.

This morning Hugo and I headed down to the river Ribble on one of our usual walks. I thought I would share some photos on here.

A glance back at the castle.
Weir.
Waddow Hall, which is used as a base for Girl Guiding UK.
River Ribble.

We walked to Brungerley park where there is a Sculpture Trail , which I blogged about previously.

I never noticed this bench in Brungerley Park before with its snake arms.
Three fish sculpture.
Heading through Brungerley park.
See the swan.
Bush vetch.
Otter sculpture.
Someone’s name perhaps?
Hunched heron.
Here’s my close up.
Watching for wildlife. πŸ™‚
Watery poem.
Brungerley bridge view.
Female Black cap.
Banded Demoiselle.
Sunbathing.

Loving the sunshine at the moment. ❀️

Worsaw Hill Walk.

Before the sun broke through the clouds yesterday and all the social distancing sunbathing and street parties commenced, we headed out for a walk up Worsaw Hill. The grassy limestone knoll is walkable from my hometown of Clitheroe, we managed an eight mile circular route before lunch time. πŸ™‚ Here are a few images from our morning.

Lambs and Pendle Hill.
Blossoming Horse Chestnut Tree.
Hello Nanny 🐐.
Sheep sculptures ~ Worston Village.
Bunting ~ Worston Village.
Footpath sign after the Calf’s Head pub in Worston.
Footpath with Worsaw Hill ( I only took one actual picture of the hill itself, doh! ) In the distance.
Curious cows.
Water Avens.
View to Pendle Hill from ( almost the top of ) the much smaller Worsaw Hill.
View of Pendle. We rested and ate an Aldi version of a Tunnocks Tea Cake. Hugo had half an apple. πŸ™‚
Downham Hall and Church from the other side of Worsaw Hill.
And views toward Kemple End and Clitheroe.
Violets.
Pretty path towards Chatburn village.
Tortoishell butterfly.
From Chatburn we headed for the river. Hugo had again rolled in something dead! Time for a dip.
The Ribble between Chatburn and West Bradford Bridge.
Bad dog! πŸ™„
Mute Swan.
Any ideas botanist bloggers? On the Riverside.
Canada Geese.
Dandelion clocks.
Hanson Cement works on the outskirts of Clitheroe.
Heron doing a Greta Garbo. πŸ˜…
Dusky Cranesbill.

This was a quiet walk with great views, wildlife and if done in the future, places to find refreshment. Also for film buffs, Worsaw Hill appears in Whistle Down The Wind , which was made locally.

Thanks for joining us. Hugo is clean again. 😘

Salthill Quarry Walks & A Blue Lagoon.

This morning we had a ramble up to Salthill Quarry which is one of two nature reserves in my hometown of Clitheroe. We also had a wander there last weekend and found a new route back, so here are a few pictures from both walks.

I always look at this sign and think ‘hmmm where are those bullfinches?’. I have in the past seen the Bee orchids though. 😁
Wild Strawberry or maybe Barren Strawberry flower.
Birds Foot Trefoil, I think.
We always try our best to get a photo of Hugo on this fossil inspired seat, with little success.
More cowslips.

I have seen a few photos recently on Facebook of what can only be described as a ‘ Blue Lagoon’. I told Wil I really wanted to see this local landmark/ quarry pit for myself. Apparently as a teenager him and his mates would go scrambling round it. Boys will be boys!

Anyway the aquamarine water is a result of the limestone, which is quarried. Clitheroe’s limestone is made into cement and there has been a cement works in Clitheroe since the 1930s. I remember the town being known as ‘Cement City’ on CB radio. Haha.

The lagoon can be seen from a field off the A59 Link road.
There is no public access to the lagoon. I did see some mallards on it though.

After the blue lagoon excitement we walked back into town on a footpath we found last weekend, also off the A59 link road.

Beautiful Apple Blossom ❀️.
Magic Mushroom Graffiti under a stone footbridge.
Bluebells.
Stitchwort.
Stoney track. Spring flowers on both bankings here.
Daisies.
“I’m watching you “.
Old unlived in farm house.
Heading back through upbrooks, a part of Clitheroe that I didn’t really realise was here until recently.

One good thing about having to hang round home, is new walks found, and new parts of town explored.

Have you found any ‘new to you’ footpaths in your local area?

Seven days of wildflowers. 🌸

For the past seven days I’ve chosen a wild flower that I’ve seen on my daily walk with Hugo, and found out a few facts about each flower.

Saturday ~ Bluebell. There’s nothing more stunning than a carpet of bluebells in the Spring. I saw clumps of these gorgeous violet blue flowers on a walk today through a patch of woodland by the river. Here are a few facts about bluebells.

Other names for Bluebell include Wild Hyacinth, Wood Bell, Granfer Giggle, Witches Thimble, Cuckoo’s Boot, Bell Bottle and Lady’s Nightcap.

It is against the law to pick, uproot or intentionally destroy bluebells.

Bluebells can also be pink or white.

The bluebell is the flower of St George.

In folklore fairies ring the bells to gather together their fairy kin. If humans hear blue bells ring however, disaster will befall them. 😬

Sunday ~ Cowslip. There are lots of cowslips in bloom at the local nature reserve in Salthill Quarry. They tend to thrive in meadows, dry grassy banks, grass verges and in open woodland. Here are a few cowslip facts.

Cowslip apparently means cow pat! It has been noted that the flowers spring up around where cows have ‘slupped’.

Tea made from the flowers can be used to help cure headaches and insomnia.

In countryside tradition cowslips were strewn along the church path at weddings and put in May Day garlands.

Other names for cowslip include Bunch of Keys, Lady’s fingers, Yellowdrops , Freckled Face & Fairies Flower.

Cowslips are the food of the Duke of Burgundy caterpillar.

Monday ~ Germander Speedwell. These little beauties were growing amongst a patch of primroses next to Mearley Brook. I love the bright blue colour of speedwells. πŸ’™ Here are a few facts about the Germander Speedwell.

Other names that speedwells go by include Birds Eye and Cats Eye.

The flowers are a good luck charm for travellers. A speedwell worn in a button hole will ‘ speed you well ‘ on your journey.

The speedwells Latin name is Veronica Chamaedrys. It is said that a St Veronica wiped Christ’s forehead on the way to his crucifixion and an image of Jesus’s face was left imprinted on the cloth she used. Speedwell flowers resemble little faces.

In Germany speedwells are also known as ‘ mannertreu ‘ or ‘ men’s faithfulness ‘. Ironically the flowers wilt very quickly once picked.

In ancient medicine speedwells were used to cure many ailments especially coughs and congestion.

Tuesday ~ Yellow Archangel. As well as bluebells, the woodland floor near Standen Hall is covered in a hooded spring flower , the Yellow Archangel. Though I prefer to call it by one of its other names, the Yellow weasel snout. πŸ™‚

Although it is a member of the Dead-Nettle family, the Yellow Archangel doesn’t sting.

If you want to know what a weasel smells like, crush the plants leaves. The rank aroma will give you some idea apparently.

The Yellow Archangel flowers near the 27th of April, a day dedicated to the Archangel Michael.

The flower has been used in the past to protect cattle against a black magic disease.

Red Dead-Nettles and White Dead-Nettles are closely related to their yellow flowered cousin.

Wednesday ~ Wild Garlic. An indicator of ancient woodland, this time of year is ideal for foraging the leaves of ramsons or wild garlic. They can also flower on roadside verges, where I saw the above. Here are some facts about Wild Garlic.

Wild garlic leaves and flowers can be used in many recipes including garlic scones and wild garlic pesto.

The plant is also known as Bear Garlic. It’s Latin name is Allium Ursinum ( bear leek). On the continent brown bears like to feast on the leaves.

Cats are apparently repelled by the smell of wild garlic.

In Ireland wild garlic bulbs were put into the thatched roofs of cottages for good luck.

If you forage wild garlic leaves , do not confuse with the similar looking Lily of the valley, which is highly toxic and should not be eaten. The best way to know your garlic is to check with your nose.

Thursday ~ Bugle. Down by the brook I spied several bugles. They can be found in damp grassland and woodland.

The Bugles Latin name is Ajuga reptans. Reptans means creeping & crawling, rather like how the plant spreads on underground runners.

The sixteenth century physician and naturalist William Turner described the plant as ‘ a black herb that groweth in moist ground and shadowy places’. It was used in ancient medicine to stop bleeding.

Bugles are popular with bees and butterflies.

The herb was made into a tea in Austria to help with respiratory conditions.

Friday ~ Red Campion. Today’s flower is pretty in pink , one of the first pink blooms of Spring. Red campions grow on woodland edges, in hedgerows and fields. These were by Mearley Brook. Here are some facts about Red Campion.

Red campion is also known by the names of Adder Flower, Red Catchfly and Robin Hood.

On the continent Red Campion are a scorpion scarer! Scorpions are not fond of red campions , throwing one at a scorpion renders it’s sting useless apparently. Don’t think I would want to try this out!

In fairy folklore Red campion is said to have been used by fairy folk to protect their honey stores.

Another name for the pink flower is Bachelor s Button, perhaps the flower was worn in single fellows button holes at country weddings, once upon a time.

Red campions roots were once used as a substitute for soap.

Of course every day more and more flowers appear! It’s so lovely to see them on my daily walks. What wild flowers have you noticed this week?

Spring !

Spring Lambs.

Getting out and about in the fresh air is one of my greatest pleasures. I’m just thankful it’s something I’m still able to do in these strangest of times. Happily the sun has decided to shine this weekend so I took my camera on some local walks.

Coltsfoot flowers and leaves can be dried and used to make a tea that gives relief from coughs and congestion apparently.
Grey Squirrel
Female Blackbird.
The primrose is the ‘ first rose’ of Spring.
Feral Pigeon.
Cherry Blossom.
Goldfinch.
Pussy Willows.
Dogs Mercury.
Blackthorn. The blossom arrives before the leaves.
Daffodils with Pendle Hill in the very distance.

Thanks for stopping by. Stay safe and well. ❀️

Hawkstone Park Follies ~ Shrewsbury.

Whilst looking for somewhere to stop off on route to our recent break in Shropshire, I came across Hawkstone Park Follies, a unique 100 acre country park near Shrewsbury. In the 18th Century this rocky sandstone landscape was developed into caves, grottos, towers and arches and became one of the most visited tourist attractions in the country.

It was in 1700 that King & Queens diplomat and Lord of the Treasury Sir Richard Hill inherited the Hawkstone estate and together with his younger brother John ,started making changes to the scenery. Over the years more and more turrets and towers were added until eventually the Hills family money ran out and by the Twentieth century Hawkstone was all but abandoned, overgrown and forgotten. Luckily in more recent years the area has been designated a Grade 1 listed park by English Heritage, allowing it to be restored to its former glory.

Dogs are permitted to visit as long as they are on lead, so we spent a couple of hours exploring the follies and then had lunch in the glasshouse tea room.

Near the start of the trail.
The Urn ~ Sir Richard Hills commemorative monument to his ancestor Rowland Hill, a staunch Royalist.
The White Tower ~ originally thought to have been white washed, this is a Grade 2 listed Summerhouse.

The park has a Troll trail especially for children. We found ourselves following it, completely by accident of course. πŸ˜‰

Californian Red Woods and other magnificent conifers adorn Hawkstone.

Another monument commemorating Sir Richards ancestor Sir Rowland Hill. He must have admired him!

We soon found ourselves regretting not bringing Hugo’s water with us. It was a humid type of day and Mr H was puffing and panting quite a bit. Unusually the park didn’t seem to have any brooks or ponds for him to dip in either. We decided to only look at a few more follies before turning back.

Swiss Bridge. We didnt see any trolls living underneath.

Green copper ore in the rocks.
Gingerbread Hall. Also known as the Temple of Patience, this was where visitors used to wait for their guide whilst enjoying a drink of lemonade and gingerbread.
Not totally sure what these strange looking flowers are growing on the rocky crags.
Ravens Shelf.
The Grotto ~ A myriad of caves encrusted with shells.
Gothic Arch.

We did miss a few other follies such as The Hermitage and Foxes knob. Not sure what that is! Have you ever visited Hawkstone?