Tag Archives: woodland walks

Into The Woods. 🌳

Skipton Castle Woods is a lovely place to wander whatever the season. I always seem to be drawn here in the Winter , when it is easier to spot birds busy in the bare branches of this centuries old woodland.

Spirit of the Medieval Huntress by Anna & the Willow.

The Woodland is looked after by The Woodland Trust. Eller Beck runs through the valley and Skipton Castle is nearby. You don’t even have to imagine the medieval hunting that went on amongst the shade of ancient oaks. Anna Crosses evocative willow sculptures give you a glimpse of what it was like here all those years ago.

Stag by Anna & the Willow.
Treecreeper.
Stalking Horse by Anna & the Willow.

After a saunter around the Woods a Hot Chocolate was a welcome treat. The Chocolate Works on the High Street ( there’s one in Clitheroe too) was a great choice. 🙂

The Chocolate Works.
I took this photo purely because of all those smart doggys in the window. Looks quite a specialist shop though!

Skipton Canal.

Do you have a favourite woodland you like to have a wander in?

Tockholes Walk. 🥾

Hi there, hope everyone has had a good Christmas break. On Boxing Day, despite it being a bit drizzly and damp, we were up for a good walk to blow away the cobwebs. Out came the Guide To Lancashire Pub Walks by Nick Burton. We decided to try the last route in this handy little pocket size book, taking in moorland and woodland near the West Pennines village of Tockholes. I am sure parts of this trek have been covered by other bloggers I follow, but it is an area myself and Wil definitely need to explore more.

We parked near The Royal Arms pub, which looks to be a popular ramblers Inn with toasty fires , serves food and is dog friendly. In no time we were walking up Darwen Moor, heading into the mist.

Darwen Moor and a sign for its popular landmark, not a rocket 🚀 but Darwen Tower.
Moorland horse.
On the move.
And so are we, in the opposite direction.
Back onto moorland by Stepback Brook.
We didn’t head for the tower, which at the moment is obscured by scaffolding anyway, but followed the signs across the fell and back down toward woodland.
Zig Zagging across the Moors, we heard Grouse calling to one another.
Once in Roddlesworth Woods saw lots of Winter Fungi.
Witches Butter Fungi aka Yellow Brain.
Turkey Tail Fungi in the Moss.
In the Woods, the rather spooky remains of Hollinshead Hall, including this old Well House, where pilgrims stopped on the way to Whalley Abbey.
This lovely Pack Horse Bridge was perfect for a pit stop.
A view from the bridge over Rocky Brook.
Tockholes Tourists.
Some kind person had spread bird seed along the opposite bridge wall. Coal Tits, Nuthatch and even Grey Wagtail ( above) were enjoying their Christmas feast.
Nuthatch.
Hugo found an Orange ball which he decided to roll down every little hill he came across.
He also had fun in Rocky Brook.
Pixie Cup Lichen.
We followed the woodland path as far as Roddlesworth Reservoir.
And then turned back on ourselves and found a wooded path back up to The Royal Arms.

This was a good 4 -5 mile walk and I’m hopeful we will make it back to the area soon. Loved all the wildlife seen and the rugged Lancashire landscape.

Autumn in Strid Wood.

If your thinking of partaking in a Woodland walk this October, you can’t go far wrong with a wander along the woodland trails at the Bolton Abbey Estate in the Yorkshire Dales.  We took our dog Hugo here this morning and despite it being a soggy rainy day, we had a fab time enjoying the sights and sounds of Strid Wood. The Autumn colours are stunning at this time of year. And after despairing of not finding any fungi on local walks near where I live in Clitheroe, here at Bolton Abbey there are mushrooms and toadstools galore….
Here are a few images from our time on the estate. If you can identify any of the fungi I haven’t ( which is most of it! ) I would love your help. 🙂

Male and female mandarin ducks. Saw lots of these beautiful birds.






Cauliflower Fungus.


Robin.

A rare sighting of a kingfisher sitting still. 🙂


Possible Mallard Hybrid.


Beech nuts.

Have you enjoyed any Autumn walks recently?

Ramsons.

I happened upon a carpet of star shaped flowers today. A woodland of wild garlic. Not quite as impressive as a forest floor of bluebells, but lovely all the same. Also known as Ramsons & Bear’s Garlic, the leaves of Wild Garlic can be made into a pesto or shredded finely into wild garlic scones.

Ramsons are an indicator of ancient woodland. Thousands of bulbs together create a dazzling white carpet like this one.

The second half of its Latin name ‘Allium Ursinum’ refers to the fact that brown bears who used to roam on British soil, fed on the bulbs. The only bear like creature I saw was a black Labrador!

Where Ramsons flower in April to June, so too do Cuckoo Pints. These unusual hooded plants often share the same habitat as Wild garlic, but they are definitely not edible.

A woodland in Spring is such a magical place. ☺️

Skipton Wanderings.

Sometimes I love to revisit places on my blog and Skipton is no exception. On Friday a friend and I took a bus over the Yorkshire border to this pretty market town, often known as The Gateway to the Dales. With its 900 year old Castle, cobbled shopping streets and beautiful woodland walks, Skipton makes for a grand day out. 🙂

As my friend had never visited Skipton Castle, we decided to head there first. The incredibly thick walls of this formidable fortress held off a three year siege in The Civil War. Visitors can explore the many rooms including The Great Hall , the Muniment Tower and the charming Conduit Court. In the grounds Spring brings a glorious display of dancing daffodils.

After aquainting ourselves with the Castle, we felt a bit peckish ! This tasty pie selection in Farmhouse-Fare was to much temptation. Pies bought, we ambled toward Skipton Castle Woods ……. in search of sculptures.

Skipton Castle Woods is a rare ancient woodland with over a thousand years of history. It’s diverse wildlife includes dippers, kingfishers, woodpeckers, deer, bats, badgers and bluebells. Paths follow Eller Beck , meandering through a green carpet of wild garlic leaves. We used the Mill Bridge Entrance to access the woods.

Spirit of the medieval hunter.

Since my last wander in Skipton Castle Woods two beautiful willow sculptures have appeared, both looking incredibly natural in their forest surroundings. Other new installations include an Eller Beck Information Board and a gorgeous kingfisher carved bench.

The stalking Horse.

After our walk and nosy round the shops we finished our day off with cake. 🙂

My favourite place to go for tea and cake in Skipton is the colourful and Quirky Cakeole in the Craven Court Arcade.

Yorkshire Curd Tart, anyone?