Out & About… Bingley

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mossy wall overlooking a humpback bridge and river

Last Sunday we went Out & About in Bingley, West Yorkshire. The walk was organised by Natalie on behalf of Turtle Mat. It brought together various bloggers from the Yorkshire area.

Yorkshire bloggers on a quick stop in St Ives Estate's picnic area

Bingley is a town we’ve always wanted to see a bit more of; we’ve driven through it a couple of times, but have always been on our way somewhere and couldn’t stop.

Fudge drinking from a stream in Bingley

Our guide for the day was Cedric – originally from France, but a firm Yorkshire fan and indeed, Bingley resident. We can say straight away that from first impressions it’s a lovely little place.

Historic Butter Cross in Bingley town centre

We all met up at the train station and, from our brief view of the town centre, we could see that there were lots of beautiful buildings & interesting corners to save for later visits. A river & canal run through its centre and there seems to be real history all around. By the looks of things, there’s no shortage of shops, pubs & cafés too.

alleyway off the main street in Bingley

Within a few short minutes of setting off, we’d found ourselves in an attractive open park, then passed some charming & well-tended allotments – then into pretty countryside and the grounds of St Ives Estate.

Adelle walking in St Ives Estate, Bingley

We stopped to take in the view on rocks overlooking the valley and Ilkley Moor beyond.

Cedrick, Justin & Fudge on a rock overlooking Ilkley Moor

From here, we dropped back down into town to have our lunch at the Brown Cow pub. We started with a well-deserved pint from a good range on offer. Adelle chose bubble & squeak with poached egg and watercress sauce.

Bubble & squeak with poached egg, tomatoes and watercress sauce at the Brown Cow, Bingley

Justin opted for traditional fish & chips – Fudge was hungry too and was hoping for a dropped chip!

Justin eating fish & chips with Fudge looking on intently

Despite not having much space left, we couldn’t resist dessert to finish. Treacle tart with raspberry coulis for Adelle…

treacle tart with raspberry coulis at the Brown Cow, Bingley

…and waffles and ice cream for Justin.

Waffles with vanilla ice cream and chocolate sauce at the Brown Cow, Bingley

We were each given a Turtle Mat to take home… perfect for post-walk muddy boots and dirty paws.

Turtle Mat mat with pair of walking boots

On the day of the walk we enjoyed beautiful warm sunshine, so no mud to speak of that day. We’ve had plenty of opportunity to test out the mat since though – well, we live in the Pennines after all!

Fudge in the lounge with the Turtle Mat mat

It’s found the perfect home by the front door and it really does work wonders. Our carpets and rugs might now stand a chance of staying clean!!

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Rain

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detail of Simon Armitage's 'Rain' poem carved into rock at Cow's Mouth Quarry, near Blackstone Edge on the West Yorkshire/Greater Manchester border | H is for Home

We had a lovely long walk last weekend, taking in Blackstone Edge which sits right on the border of West Yorkshire & Greater Manchester (Lancashire really!!).

Cow's Mouth Quarry, near Blackstone Edge on the West Yorkshire/Greater Manchester border

As we walked along one of the bridleway tracks this striking outcrop of gritstone rock came into view.

Simon Armitage's 'Rain' poem carved into rock at Cow's Mouth Quarry, near Blackstone Edge on the West Yorkshire/Greater Manchester border

Lovely in its own right, but it had a little extra secret to unveil as we got closer.

Simon Armitage's 'Rain' poem carved into rock at Cow's Mouth Quarry, near Blackstone Edge on the West Yorkshire/Greater Manchester border

Expertly chiselled into its surface was a poem entitled RAIN.

Simon Armitage's 'Rain' poem carved into rock at Cow's Mouth Quarry, near Blackstone Edge on the West Yorkshire/Greater Manchester border

We suspected it might have been written by Simon Armitage when we saw the SA, but weren’t sure. Having since done a bit of research, we now know that it’s one in a series of elemental works by him entitled The Stanza Stones dotted around the Pennines. They were commissioned by Ilkley Literature Festival. Other titles include Snow, Mist, Dew, Puddle and Beck.

Simon Armitage's initials from his 'Rain' poem carved into rock at Cow's Mouth Quarry, near Blackstone Edge on the West Yorkshire/Greater Manchester border

Ironically, it was a glorious sunny day but the Pennines are certainly no strangers to the watery stuff. It’s a fundamental force in shaping this landscape.

 detail of Simon Armitage's 'Rain' poem carved into rock at Cow's Mouth Quarry, near Blackstone Edge on the West Yorkshire/Greater Manchester border

It’s a beautiful poem and we found it very life affirming – and strangely wished that we were standing in the rain reading it – the rock’s surface glistening and droplets running down our faces. Justin read it out loud and we recorded it on a mobile phone – so we’d be sure to have the words when we got home. We needn’t have worried as there’s a lovely book available called The Stanza Stones published by Enitharmon. Justin is a bit embarrassed, but his open air reading has been embedded at the bottom of this post – his Northern accent suits it! 🙂 All that’s missing is the pitter-patter of rain in the background.

 detail of Simon Armitage's 'Rain' poem carved into rock at Cow's Mouth Quarry, near Blackstone Edge on the West Yorkshire/Greater Manchester border

We’re now very keen to read the book and visit the other works in this series.

RAIN

Be glad of these freshwater tears,
Each pearled droplet some salty old sea-bullet
Air-lifted out of the waves, then laundered and sieved, recast as a soft bead and returned.
And no matter how much it strafes or sheets, it is no mean feat to catch one raindrop clean in the mouth,
To take one drop on the tongue, tasting cloud pollen, grain of the heavens, raw sky.
Let it teem, up here where the front of the mind distils the brunt of the world.

© Simon Armitage 2010

Click the little triangle on the left to hear Justin reading the poem

Stanza Stones is available from Amazon.

If you fancy giving the walk(s) a go you can download the poetry trail guide from the Ilkley Literature Festival website.

Towneley Park birdsong

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Justin was off to an auction view this morning so I decided to go along for the drive and take Fudge somewhere different for his walk – Towneley Park.

It’s a beautiful, well maintained park in Burnley – the former grounds of Towneley Hall, where the BBC film Antiques Master with Sandi Toksvig.

Anyway, it made a lovely change – lots of different sights & sounds to our normal stomping ground. So much so that I stopped and recorded a 30-second clip of the beautiful birdsong. The volume’s a bit low, but get your twitcher hats on, click the red button and tell me how many different calls can you recognise?

Lakeland Break

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Loughrigg Tarn, Langdale, Lake District | H is for Home

In last week’s Wednesday Wish post, we mentioned a recent trip we took to the Lake District.

wood & rope swings hanging from an oak tree, Chapel Style, Little Langdale, Lake District, Cumbria

We thought we’d just share a few snaps of our short stay – perhaps for any fellow Lake District lovers who haven’t been for a while (and are in need a quick ‘virtual visit’)… or maybe for anyone who’s always fancied going and need just a little further tempting.

a single tent pitched in Baysbrown Farm, Chapel Style, Little Langdale, Lake District, Cumbria

How about this for a view to wake up to?

For all you campers out there – this photo was taken at the Baysbrown Farm campsite in the Great Langdale valley.

trees with beautiful autumn leaves in the churchyard, Ambleside, Lake District, Cumbria

The stunning, seasonal colours had started to emerge…

Chapel and roofs in the mist, Chapel Style, Little Langdale, Lake District, Cumbria

…and we had a couple of those glorious autumn days with morning mists giving way to bright sunshine.

close up view of moss, Little Langdale, Lake District, Cumbria close up view of a spider's web on a stone wall, Little Langdale, Lake District, Cumbria

Around every corner you find beauty – whether on a small or large scale.

road dry stone wall and farm gate, Chapel Style, Little Langdale, Lake District, Cumbria

We have some very nice walking country of our own here in Yorkshire where we live…

Loughrigg Tarn, Langdale, Lake District, Cumbria

…however, Lakeland really takes some beating!

Winter wonderland

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footprints across a snowy field

Hope you all had a great Christmas.

close up of snow-covered red berries close up of snow-covered black berries

We’ve had picturesque, snowy landscapes in these parts…

cottage on Todmorden Edge in the snow

farm on Todmorden Edge in the snow

looking down on the railway line with grass in the foreground

…this meant lovely walks throughout the holidays…

flock of sheep in a snowy landscape

flock of sheep in a snowy landscape

..with crackling fires, hot tea & mulled wine on our returns home.

Statue of a bird and fir trees in a snowy landscape

It made this year’s Christmas very special.

snow-covered branches

snow-covered trees in Centre Vale Park, Todmorden

We remembered to take our camera out with us quite a lot and captured some of the stunning scenery…

Todmorden Town centre in the snow

snow-covered gravestones in Todmorden Unitarian churchyard

…and we even have a bit of action footage to share with you!!

Thanks for all your support & encouragement throughout 2009.

snow covered seed head and trees in the background

Wishing you all the very best for the year (and decade) ahead.

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Out & about… Autumn

It’s been a long time since our last Out & about post – we even missed the whole of summer!

Flower-filled fields feel a distant memory…

…the flowers gave way to autumn leaves…

…mushrooms…

…and berries.


For the first couple of weeks of autumn we had the best of both worlds – sunshine as well as amazing seasonal colour.

We were seeing butterflies until quite late in the year…

…but there was no doubting that summer was over, as the winter-visiting geese were beginning to arrive.

Even the autumn sunshine is now a thing of the past – it seems to have been raining non-stop for almost a month. But now we’re into December, this rain will hopefully turn to snow which will mean a magical white Christmas!