Friday, 30 July 2021

Photo Scavenger Hunt July #5 :: Bike

Hi there everyone πŸ˜€

The theme for Astrid's photo scavenger hunt today is ... bike.

Now, like most kids, I used to ride a bike all the time when younger ... I distinctly remember a particularly nasty incident involving a lamp post from many years ago ... but have been pretty much bikeless for the majority of my adult life.

Back in 2012, on the back of the Olympics held in this country ... and probably along with half of the population ... Martin and I decided it would be a good idea to get ourselves some bikes. I was hankering after a snazzy Victoria Pendleton design but ended up with something less snazzy but more comfortable.

I wouldn't say we were ever regular enthusiastic cyclists but from time to time since then we have ventured out locally or even stuck the bikes on the carrier and ventured a bit further afield. The bikes haven't really been out of the shed much over the last couple of years but I've had a dig through the archives to see what I could find ...

This first photo was taken at an old priory quite close to home. We can cycle there either along the local canal or via cycle routes and these were taken on our first local bike rides ...

It's quite funny really that my first photo would be from this location as this is the spot where Martin and I took our very first photo together ... no selfies back then ... this was on the self timer on the camera ...

It's only six years ago but we look sooooo young and lots slimmer πŸ™ˆ

The next photos I could find were from a week's stay in The Peak District in Butterton back in 2015, where we took the bikes and did a ride along the Manifold Trail and here we are ... not looking particularly athletic, but definitely riding our bikes ...
We were then out and about riding along the canal over the Easter break in 2016 ... I think we may have been checking on our Geocaches ...
In May we loaded up the bikes and took them with us to Yorkshire, where our holiday cottage was just a stone's throw from 'The Cinder Track' ... a disused railway that had been converted to a cycle track ... that just happened to lead us to a very nice tea garden at the old station ...
The cottage we stayed in here was amazing ... it even had bike washing facilities ...
2016 was clearly the height of our cycling adventures as here we are again ... this time in The New Forest in September ... trying to avoid the local traffic ...

... avoiding hazards ...
... and stopping for lunch ... 

There then seems to have been a big gap in our cycling adventures as the next photos I could find are from 2018, when we had a ride round the National Trust estate at Calke Abbey ...



In 2019 we spent Valentine's Day on our bikes at another National Trust property. This time we were at Clumber Park in Nottinghamshire ...

Sadly ... I think that's about the last time we went on a cycling adventure. We didn't even get the bikes out during lockdown ... I actually feel a bit ashamed of myself for that. I think this year we really need to try and get back out there and have some new adventures πŸ˜€

**********************************************************************************

Monday, 26 July 2021

A Week in The Yorkshire Dales #5 :: Cauldron Falls

Hi there everyone πŸ˜€

I know our trip to Yorkshire seems an age ago but we are back there for today's post ... searching for our next waterfall fix.

It was Wednesday and we didn't go too far for this one. We headed to West Burton, which is another lovely little village in The Yorkshire Dales, not that far away from Askrigg where we were staying.

There was plenty of roadside parking on the Main Street and it's a really short walk to Cauldron Falls, through the cottages at the bottom of the village ...
It' s a really pretty little spot ... with plenty of lush greenery and a stone bridge across the river ...

It was a bit dull on our visit but I can imagine it's the perfect spot for a paddle on a brighter day ...

There are footpaths taking you quite close to the falls on either side of the river and we started with a wander along the right hand side ...

Martin was fascinated by the shell fossils in the rocks and he took loads of photos but sadly they were all really blurred so I've not included them.

We retraced our steps and crossed the old stone bridge to have a look from the other side ...
We could get even closer on this side ...
... and could even actually walk across the rocks into the middle of the river for a really great view ...
... and we managed to get a decent photo of a shell fossil ...

Having lingered a while we retraced our steps along the river bank ...
... and back across the bridge ...
We headed back to the car and had a drive into Leyburn for the afternoon, where we had a spot of lunch and bit of a mooch round before making our way back to Askrigg ...

***********************************************************************************

Friday, 23 July 2021

Photo Scavenger Hunt :: July #4 ... Ice Cream

Hi there everyone πŸ˜€

Today the theme for Astrid's weekly photo scavenger hunt is … ice cream … and I’m sure there has been plenty of that consumed up and down the country this week as we have been baking in heatwave temperatures.

When I was looking for picnic photos for last weeks challenge I found a couple of ice cream photos that I knew would fit the bill for this week so here we go …

This was the ice cream we had when walking along the river in Knaresborough on a stop off from a weekend spent in Harrogate. We loved Knaresborough, especially down by the river and this treat was just the job ...
We sat in the sunshine, reflecting on a fabulous weekend with friends, enjoying our treat, the sunshine and the view ...
 
This next ice cream is definitely one of the best and most needed ever. We’d just finished a fairly challenging walk on a really warm day in Milldale in The Peak District … it really was just the job …

I stood in a queue at this little shop for ages, in the shade of the building across the road ...
... but it was worth every minute as we sat eating them by the river just chilling out and enjoying the view ...

This next one was the first ice cream treat of our holiday in Devon last year, it was our first full day and we’d walked along the coast in Budleigh Salterton … we went big with this one ...
... and again ... the view was as good as the ice cream ...

My last photos were taken earlier this week when we spent the day in Beacon Park in Lichfield, with mum and my nephew Bobby. It was an absolute scorcher and the little man just could not lick quick enough to stop the inevitable happening … good job Auntie Carol had a bag full of emergency wipes and tissues … he was cleaned up in no time …

I think it's safe to say that he quite enjoyed it πŸ˜€

See you next week for the theme of 'bicycle' ... I may have to dust some cobwebs off πŸ˜‚

**********************************************************************************

Monday, 19 July 2021

Exploring :: Whittington Open Gardens

Hi there everyone πŸ˜€

At the end of June we had a real treat ... a visit to our first village open gardens event in what seems like absolutely ages. We'd never been to the open gardens at Whittington before, even though it is literally just down the road, and we had a lovely couple of afternoons exploring the village gardens and open spaces.

There were 13 sites to visit in all, quite spread out around the village, and over the course of the weekend we managed to get to see them all.

On the Saturday we visited with mum, my brother, his partner and my nephew Bobby and Bobby's other grandma ... if that makes sense. It was a late start so we only managed a few gardens on our first visit. Martin and I then made another visit on Sunday afternoon to see the rest at our leisure.

I didn't take photos in all of the gardens but here are some of those that we particularly enjoyed ...

1 - Rock Farm
Described in the leaflet as a 'licquorice allsorts' garden ... with a bit of everything. It was the perfect description and there was a real variety of interesting bits and pieces to enjoy. There was plenty of cottage garden style planting ...
... a pond ... with bridges for people ... and for fairies ...
... hidden pathways ... or secret paths as Bobby excitedly described them ... if you look closely you may just see him running off through the archway to explore ...
... and interesting paraphernalia finding a second life in the garden ...
12 - North Cottage
This was my favourite garden from our visit on Saturday. It was absolutely stunning and had everything ... glorious borders, a fabulous pond, a wildflower meadow, a vegetable plot, plenty of spots for wildlife and ... secret pathways, that Bobby was thrilled to explore.

It was immaculately kept and there were lots of lovely spots to sit and take it all in ... it definitely ticks all my garden goals boxes ...

We only visited another couple of the gardens on the Saturday before having a pitstop in the garden of The Bell and then running out of time as the last garden entry was 4.00pm.

When going back to the car park for the car the chap on the gate asked how we'd got on and when we said we'd only managed to see a few he told us we were welcome to come back again on the Sunday to see the rest and that is exactly what we did.

On the Sunday we decided we would park closer to the gardens we wanted to see, to make it a bit easier on our creaking knees. We started off at ...

3 - Whittington Wharf
This was a small garden in a lovely spot and the best place to view it from was the other side of the canal ...

From here it was just back across the canal and across the road to ...

4 - Swan Meadow
Swan Meadow is part of the Whittington and Fisherwick Environment Group's 'River of Flowers' project. It really was a lovely open space, with lots of wildflowers and places for wildlife to thrive ...





We really enjoyed our wander round the meadow and could only imagine how lovely and well used this space will have been over the last year through lockdowns.

We backtracked from the meadow to ...

2 - Noddington Lane
This was a real surprise and a real treat. It was a fairly small garden of a fairly normal sized modern home and wasn't what we had been expecting at all. It had been professionally designed and the space had been used really well to fit an awful lot in, without it feeling cramped and overwhelming. We both really liked it ...




From here we jumped in the car and headed for ...

5 - Middleton Bridge Garden
We have actually seen this garden before ... a few years ago when we were out walking along the canal. It's a community garden that lines the edges of the footpath up to the canal bridge. It's really lovely and obviously available all of the time for anyone to have a look at and to enjoy ...

6 - Middleton Road
This was a pretty 'walk past' front garden, with some plant sales going on. For some reason this is the only photo I took here ...
From here it was back in the car to the next garden right on the outskirts of the village ... we could have walked along the canal but went for the easier option.

7 - Fisherwick Road
This garden was my absolute favourite. It was just remarkable. It was peaceful, with lots of secluded spots to sit and relax. The planting was amazing ... really well established and there were lots of interesting and quirky features to take in ...


It was the kind of garden where you would feel like you'd had a day out if you spent a day out there ... I can only imagine the amount of work involved in looking after it though.

From here we had to go up the road to turn round and I couldn't resist taking a few photos of the field boundary ...


We now just had three gardens left to visit ...

8 - The Community Orchard & Brownies Bee Garden in Jubilee Park
This was another lovely open space, with a BMX track at the back and outdoor gym equipment spread throughout the park ...


We didn't explore the whole of the garden but we did sit for a while in the Brownies' Bee Garden, where there were plenty of bees buzzing around ...

There were just two gardens left for us to visit ... 

9 - Cloister Walk
This was a very unusual garden being the site of an original sunken garden of Whittington Old Hall in the Victorian period. The house almost seems to built in a pit, with the ground floor pretty much underground on three sides.

The front opens onto the sunken garden ...

... which is accessed via some fairly steep steps ...
There was a small stream running down the garden ...
... and the planting was just lush and totally suited to the microclimate that the environment created ...
Whilst the sunken garden is at the front of the house, a higher level garden surrounds the house on the other three sides, with lots of mature trees and the tallest delphiniums we'd ever seen ... easily 7ft high ...
These are the views looking back across the sunken garden from the side of the house ...

13 - New Fulfen Cottage
This was the last garden that we visited and was a short drive out of the village. It was a fairly new garden, having been transformed just over 10 years ago and is divided into six separate interconnecting 'garden rooms' surrounding the house...

There is a formal front garden ...

... a family back garden ...
The back garden led to a pretty courtyard garden ...
... then onto a woodland garden ...
... and last, but definitely not least, a beautiful rose garden ...
So that was it ... we'd managed to see all of the gardens and had really enjoyed exploring the village and seeing what lay behind some of the garden gates ... it was a lovely way to spend a weekend. A big thank you to everyone who had opened their gardens and us all in to visit and had put so much effort in to making sure they all looked at their absolute best 🌷🌸🌹🌺🌻🌼

***********************************************************************************