Posted by: glenswatman | March 2, 2013

20130221-28 Mini break to the west coast

20130221 Thirst & World of James Herriot (4) 20130221 Thirst & World of James Herriot (3) 20130221 Thirst & World of James Herriot (1) 20130226 4 Crosby, Antony Gormley Another Place scupltures (6) 20130226 4 Crosby, Antony Gormley Another Place scupltures (5) 20130226 4 Crosby, Antony Gormley Another Place scupltures (1) 20130226 2 Formby (2) 20130226 2 Formby (1) 20130226 1 Southport (8) 20130226 1 Southport (7) 20130226 1 Southport (6) 20130226 1 Southport (5) 20130226 1 Southport (4) 20130226 1 Southport (3) 20130226 1 Southport (2) 20130226 1 Southport (1) 20130225 Salmesbury Hall (8) 20130225 Salmesbury Hall (7) 20130225 Salmesbury Hall (5) 20130225 Salmesbury Hall (4) 20130225 Salmesbury Hall (3) 20130225 Salmesbury Hall (2) 20130225 Salmesbury Hall (1) 20130224 Watching the Bradford City game in 3D (2) 20130224 Watching the Bradford City game in 3D (1) 20130221 Thirst & World of James Herriot (22) 20130221 Thirst & World of James Herriot (21) 20130221 Thirst & World of James Herriot (20) 20130221 Thirst & World of James Herriot (19) 20130221 Thirst & World of James Herriot (18) 20130221 Thirst & World of James Herriot (16) 20130221 Thirst & World of James Herriot (15) 20130221 Thirst & World of James Herriot (12) 20130221 Thirst & World of James Herriot (11) 20130221 Thirst & World of James Herriot (10) 20130221 Thirst & World of James Herriot (9) 20130221 Thirst & World of James Herriot (8) 20130221 Thirst & World of James Herriot (7) 20130221 Thirst & World of James Herriot (6)

THURSDAY 21 FEBRUARY – its half term week and Daniel is working at Claire’s but Natasha and Azura join us for a day out.  We head to Thirsk where author Alf Wright ran a veterinary surgery and in later life wrote books about it under the name of James Herriot.  The books became so popular that a TV series “All creatures great and small” and movies were based on them.  The World of James Herriot is in his original home and surgery and shows us where he lived and worked and tells more of his story.  (In line I got a family ticket for £11 instead of £22).  In the vets dispensary we are amazed to see a special medicine from Morgan’s chemist in Market Drayton.  The girls enjoy the interactive areas and both prove they have strength to pull a calf out of a cow.  After lunch in the local pub we head off on a historical trail.  There’s a park where the girls play and much of the walk is along the riverbank where Azure takes great delight in swinging on the kissing gates and counting them.  We walk about 4 miles and return for a warming drink in Wetherspoons before calling the hospital.  The news is good in that Steve’s last test was negative so we can head home instead of to Leeds.  After dropping Azura we head to Bingley and drop off Natasha with Claire so she can go swimming there.  We both feel like quite a weight has been lifted as we really weren’t ready for Steve to go back in so soon.  Having had a hectic few days in the Midlands I think we will take ourselves off for a few days break next week.

KEIGHLEY

FRIDAY 22 FEBRUARY – Unlike last time when I did not tempt fate by doing a big grocery shop the day Steve’s blood test results were due so today we have a bit of a stock up.  It’s noticeable how much fresh meat is being promoted in light of all the horsemeat scandal.  Mavis pops up in the afternoon for me to help here compare car insurance prices on line.  She only does about 1000 miles a year and has already said she might give up the car when the insurance was due for renewal.  The high prices make the decision for her and we now have to decide which Mums car we want to buy.  We’ve been really grateful to borrow Mums car this last year and appreciate her offer for us to buy it but maybe we now have a better option.  I check on line and insurance for my Mum’s older car is much more expensive than on Mavis’s 10 years younger car.  I also do some research on line and through “easy breaks” find a nice hotel in Preston on offer with bed, breakfast and evening meal for £39 a couple.  I email them to check whether the leisure facilities of pool, Jacuzzi, sauna and gym are included and what the evening meal entails.

KEIGHLEY

SATURDAY 23 FEBRUARY – The Swallow write back to me and it is a 3 course meal and all facilities included, unfortunately on “easy breaks” the price has gone up dramatically.  I phone the hotel and negotiate the original price and book next Monday for 3 nights.  We didn’t get any exercise yesterday so decide to walk to town, not the best idea as it starts snowing and gets really cold.   We are taking a slight risk going away to a hotel so want to buy a king size mattress protector to take with us and we will use our own pillows.  Call in to Mom & Dads and agree the car purchase details, it’s only done just over 12000 miles and is a 2005 model Rover 25 I so should do us nicely.  We get a test drive when Mom runs us home.

KEIGHLEY

SUNDAY 24 FEBRUARY – Claire, Richard and friends are off to Wembley today to watch Bradford City against Swansea City whilst we head over to Lisa & Mick’s to watch it on TV in 3D.  Other than missing out on the atmosphere Steve realises he hasn’t missed out on a success as Bradford loose 5-0.

KEIGHLEY

MONDAY 25 FEBRUARY – Heading towards Preston our first stop is at Boundary Mills where I pick up a better quality mattress topper that can be washed at 60 degrees to eliminate dust mites etc.  We are on the motorway when I realise I have forgotten to pack our own pillows so we return to Boundary Mills to buy a couple of pillow protectors.  The Swallow at Preston is a 3 star hotel but in receivership and in need of a bit of TLC.  We get a good welcome from staff and we have a nice quiet room overlooking a green area at the back.  The room is more than adequate and I soon have out protectors on the bed (on top of the ones they use!).  It’s a short drive to the magnificent building of Samlesbury Hall.  Parking and grounds are free and the building itself a very reasonable £3pp.  It is excellent inside and out with a lovely chapel used for wedding and a fabulous “great hall”.  Many of the rooms are crammed full of antiques for sale and another area tells stories of the Pendle Witches.  Back at the Hotel Steve sits poolside whilst I do 20 minutes swim then make use of the steam bath and Jacuzzi.  The evening meal is very good with difficult choices to be made as it all sounds really nice.  The meal alone is priced at £21 a head so at £39 all in for half board we have had a bargain.

SWALLOW HOTEL PRESTON

TUESDAY 26 FEBRUARY – Preston is a great area for making visits to the coast and other places of interest.  We start in Southport and set out to walk the long iron pier.  Lord Street is the original shopping street with beautiful arcades and canopied shops.  Part way along at a bank we see a film crew filming the movie “Noble”.  There’s another pedestrian only back street with all the modern shops so overall something for everyone.  Heading down the coast we drive right onto the beach at Ainsdale.  The tide is quite a long way out and although a great beach for walking it doesn’t look much good for swimmers.  Pontins is here with signs out advertising great rates on apartments. We check them out and even the most luxurious recently renovated ones are pretty grim, there’s even a barbed wire fence surrounding the camp, no doubt to stop people escaping!  Next stop is Formby where Steven Gerrard lives in amongst hundreds or seriously large post houses.  At the southern end of time we park to walk over the dunes to the beach but give up at a lookout when we see where are not even half way.  Final stop along the coast is Crosby famous for the Antony Gormley “Another Place” statues in the ocean.  100 figures are stretched out along the beach and heading out to sea so when the tide is in all you can see are their heads.  It’s quite strange but makes for an interesting walk.  Back at the Hotel Steve watches TV whilst I do 15 minutes in the gym and 15 minutes swimming, not bad considering we have already walked over 5 miles today.

SWALLOW PRESTON 2

WEDNESDAY 27 FEBRUARY – It only takes half an hour to drive to Blackpool where we park in the back streets near the tower.  I’ve got a map of a new graffiti trail and we set out to admire some of the artwork.  The tower is having a lot of renovation work done but it is still free to view the ballroom from the balcony and although we have seen it before it is still worth and admiring look.  On the promenade we read the sayings of famous comedians on the comedy carpet before walking out on North Pier.  It’s a beautiful sunny day with blue skies but still a nip in the air and we are well wrapped up whilst others stroll around in T-shirts like the middle of summer.  We move to the car up to Stanley Park which has undergone a bit of a transformation and is now a really pleasant place to stroll around. We’ve covered a lot of miles this last couple of days and are happy to leave early afternoon to return and relax at the hotel.

SWALLOW PRESTON

THURSDAY 28 FEBRUARY – The countryside looks lovely under a light frost and we can see it should turn into another sunny day.  We decide to detour and do some sightseeing on our way home starting in Clitheroe where we climb up to the castle to admire the views. Ambling round the countryside we pass many farms that closed due to the foot and mouth disease but have now emerged as restaurants and farm shops.  We are now in “middle earth” of Tolkien fame and in fact Dunsop Bridge is the village closest to the exact centre of Britain and a commemorative BT phone box marks the spot.  It’s a pretty little village with river, ducks and village green as is Slaidburn a little further east.  Our ex Doctor and now personal friend worked at the health centre here so we walk around to check it out, from the outside only!  Arrive home mid afternoon after a really enjoyable break.

KEIGHLEY


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Categories

%d bloggers like this: