Keep safe!

Keep safe!
You are responsible for your own safety and that of your dog. The walks listed in this blog are not detailed guides. Plan your route! Click the landrover image for safety advice from Bowland Pennine MRT.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Autumn walks

Some photos from Ainsdale Beach, Worden Park and Winter Hill

Friday, August 31, 2012

A circuit of Pendle Hill

Pendle Hill is like a magnet. Its distinctive profile draws our eyes from each of our regular walking routes. It takes a little longer to reach than the West Pennines so we don't visit that often, and most of our visits have involved a quick sprint up and down from the Nic of Pendle.

A couple of weeks ago saw a lovely sunny afternoon after a morning of seemingly endless rain. It was a perfect day to visit Pendle Hill.

Unbeknown to us our visit coincided with the Pendle Witches walk, to commemorate the famous trials. In some ways that was a blessing as it meant we took a new route to avoid the crowds.

From the Nic of Pendle we took the lower path up on to Spence Moor. The views over Burnley and beyond are great and the ground not too bad underfoot. An incredibly rough and steep descent to Ogden Reservoir followed before the long climb up to Pendle Hill. By the time we reached the top it was relatively quiet, but nothing like the solitude of Spence Moor.

From the summit we headed over faint tracks across Pendle Moor and Mearley Moor. The ground was rough and very boggy in parts, but the peace and views over the Ribble Valley make it worthwhile.

Eventually we joined the road near the ski slope and made our way back to the car.

It was an unexpectedly rough walk, but great all the same. Sheep graze throughout so the flexi lead came in handy.

Saturday, July 07, 2012

Another holiday with the dog in Cornwall

It's a week since we got back from our latest holiday in Cornwall. Holidays with dogs in Cornwall are great.

The weather since we got back has been so miserable that I've not felt like blogging. Lying in the sun in the garden this afternoon whilst the rest of the country seems drenched does though seem like the perfect time to do an update.

On this visit we stayed at Natural Retreats, just outside St Austell. It was a third trip to a Natural Retreats site. Our weekend trips to Yorkshire and Wales are in last years blog entries. Our expectations from past stays we're high, and we weren't disappointed.

The site itself comprises 30 or so timber clad houses. None more than a couple of years old. It has a very rural feel despite being only half a mile or so from St Austell. A number of houses are dog friendly, but still of a very high standard.

We spent a lot of time on the adjacent fields which were perfect for a short walk or just lazing around. The grass had though been recently cut, so it might have been a little different had we arrived a few weeks earlier.

We enjoyed a few nice local walks from the site. Footpaths, bridleways and the Pentewan cycle trail mean you can walk to Pentewan or Charlestown in an hour or so (brisk walking). A little further afield, the walk along the cliffs to Black Head is stunning!

Most days we drove down to Porthluney Beach at Caerhayes, stopping off at Lobbs Farm Shop en route to buy a picnic lunch of various salads, olives, Homity pie, quiche or some other great tasting food. The weather wasn't great for most of our visit so the beach was quiet. As always, the dog loved it.

We had a drink at the dog friendly Polgooth Inn nearby. Although we didn't eat there the menu looked good. Be warned that although the nearby Kingswood Restraunt serves food to die for it isn't a place to take your dog, although they did say they'd be happy for us to sit on the large decking with him had the weather been good enough.

A little further afield we discovered The Ship Inn at Fowey. As perfect a pub as I've ever been in. Dogs welcome in the bar and Sunday roasts are amazing. We also visited Par Sands for the first time. Very dog friendly but to be honest it needed a good clean up. I know from their website the friends of par beach are trying very hard to make it a great place to visit but it's not somewhere we'll revisit given the choice of other places to go.

All in all another good, albeit quieter than usual, holiday. Already looking forward to the next one!

Monday, June 04, 2012

Great Hill (Again and again)

A final post for the day and some more photos from my favourite short walk in Lancashire, to the top of Great Hill on the edge of the West Pennine Moors.

I could never tire of the views across to Merseyside of north to Bowland and South Lakes beyond. Up and down takes only about an hour and a half, whether from the Lodge at Brinscall or White Coppice. Given either is only 20 minutes drive from Preston it makes a perfect longer morning or afternoon trip. Early mornings are our favourite, when even the morning fell runners haven't risen from their beds.

During the summer it's not a good route for off lead walking. Sheep abound although there are some nice off lead paths through the woods above the Goit. It's a good idea to take a flexi-lead with you.

These are some shots from our last couple of trips. As you can probably tell I'm enjoying the camera and editing software on my iPhone!

Arnside Knott

We love Arnside. Provided you get the tide times right the walk along the shore with views across to Grange Over Sands and Heysham is fantastic. Once you reach Far Arnside the path up to the Knott gives stunning views over the Lakeland Fells. For a relatively short walk, I can't think of much better! As long as it's quiet much of the walk can be done with your dog off lead, but don't let the dog (or yourself) stray from the shoreline or you risk being caught in treacherous quicksand or stranded by the rapidly advancing tides.

A month or so ago we had what was probably our best trip there. The cold weather seemed to have put others off so we saw only a handful of others en-route. If you've never been, go!

The Centurion Tank

Our dog has never really liked the car. As a puppy he was sick on one of our first trips out (only as far a Chorley). Perhaps that memory has something to do with it, as we only go to places which he appears to love once we get there. Sometimes though he makes it abundantly clear that the car is off limits for the day in which case I often set off to walk to a particular point of interest (sometimes for me) rather than a walk to the park.

It must have been spring when we walked up through Lostock hall and Farrington to the Centurian Tank at Flensburg Way. It's an impressive landmark, passed by thousands each day. A small plaque tells a bit of Leyland's tank building history which took place not too far away.

Having taken a few photos we wandered across the footpaths over the moss to Whitestake and back past Newgate Nurseries to the end of Bee Lane.

Not a spectacular walk, but not bad if you fancy leaving the car at home.

Saturday, June 02, 2012

Entwistle, Wayho and Jumbles Reservoirs

Turton and Entwistle Reservoir is a favourite spot. The top end in particular is stunning. On a quiet morning or evening you could imagine being in the wilds of Scotland.

Until a couple of weeks ago we had only extended the reservoir walk up on to the moors, rather than following the more usual walk which joins up Entwistle with the adjacent Wayho and Jumbles Reservoirs.

Route finding wasn't hard. Although we did have our trusted Viewranger maps on the iPhone they weren't really needed. A decent look at a map beforehand and a few mental notes would see you through.

Entwistle still remains my favourite. Wayho was nice, but a little less wild. If you visit make sure you spend some time (in early summer) admiring the rare wild meadows. Jumbles was also nice, but very very busy.

All in all it was probably 10 miles or so to loop the 3. All easy going.

Gardening Leave

It's been a busy few months. We have got some great walks done but much of the time at weekends has been spent doing a spot of garden redesign.

The dog loves the garden, particularly when the beds are muddy (I didn't managed to train him to stay off) and the kitchen floor has just been cleaned.

It wasn't the intention that he had his own seat, it was for me and my lovely wife, but who cares what we think!

Sunday, April 08, 2012

Gregson Lane Ramble

I never like travelling far at Easter. Why spend hours in traffic trying to get to places that will be unbearably busy when you arrive? With that in mind we walked a new route (for us) yesterday, starting and ending at Gregson Lane.

The route took us from the Community Centre up towards Brindle, through farmland and past the impressive Brindle Lodge, before crossing Beeston Brook and heading out to Roach Bridge. The return was a little more direct.

The route was pretty easy underfoot and although there were plenty of stiles none were too much trouble for the dog, with a little help.

This and a number of other rambles and health walks can be downloaded from the South Ribble BC website

We have created a map of the route we took here

As the walk starts and finishes at the park in Gregson Lane there is every chance of a game of fetch. Although we didn't see much livestock, most of the fields were crossed were ploughed so the dog was mainly on the lead.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Variety is the spice of life

I like March. I tend to first notice around mid February that morning walks are no longer in pitch dark. By March spring seems well and truly on the way. Everywhere you go, things are coming to life. Birds sing in the early morning, you notice when the first solitary daffodils are ready to burst open and places that are the sole domain of dog walkers for the winter months start to fill with people enjoying the first signs of spring.

This month saw our first trip to the Wirral. After a good lunch in Raby we spent a few hours enjoying the hazy sunshine on the beach at West Kirby, a dog owners Mecca if ever we saw one.
It certainly won't be our last trip.

Preston's most recent cultural attraction, the Global Rainbow, also provided an evening walk with a difference. Preston Docks was, for a few nights a least, transformed into a wonderful setting for an amazing display of rainbow coloured lasers streaking across the sky.

Finally, the warmer weather meant we could relatively easily and safely ascend the Lakeland peaks once more. We had a great but misty walk up the Langdale Pikes on an increasingly rare chance of a last minute day off.

Summer is on the way!