Yesterday I ventured across the border into West Yorkshire to visit the beautiful wooded valley of Hardcastle Crags – about two miles from the market town of Hebden Bridge.
Hardcastle Crags has over 400 acres of woodland, so there’s plenty of opportunity to get off the beaten track and meander along the winding paths.
Along the way you’ll see an abundance of wildlife, from wild garlic to the most stunning displays of bluebells. I was even lucky enough to see this little fellow in the photo below which I now know to be a peacock butterfly.
If you’re like me and enjoy any opportunity for a bit of tea and cake, then you can take a break along the way at Gibson Mill for some light refreshments.
Gibson Mill is a 19th century cotton mill situated at the heart of Hardcastle Crags. It’s been lovingly restored by the National Trust and turned into a visitor and education centre. Apparently it’s the trust’s flagship sustainable building. It was certainly a welcome pit stop, and only about 1 mile from the car park at Midgehole if you can’t wait that long for a brew!
I had a wonderful day at Hardcastle Crags and would thoroughly recommend a visit if you get chance.
Along the drive from Ramsbottom you can take in the scenery around Todmorden and Bacup. There’s also time for a quick stop in Hebden Bridge where you can mooch around the shops and have another cuppa if you fancy.
Here are some more of my photos from the day below:
When my husband and I meet people on our travels and we say that we’re from Ramsbottom, often we get a smirk or a laugh.
But do you know where the name actually originates from? Surprisingly it’s got nothing to do with rams or the backside of a sheep!
According to local folklore, the name Ramsbottom is derived from ‘Ramson’ which is wild garlic and ‘bottom’, because we’re situated at the bottom of a valley.
Who knows if this is true or not, but it certainly seems more plausible than the first option.
It’s definitely the case that in April and May there is an abundance of wild garlic in the local area. It’s great to get a whiff as you’re walking around and it also looks fantastic!
Ramsbottom’s namesake is celebrated on Ramson Day, which is an event organised by Incredible Edible Ramsbottom, bringing local people together to pick their own wild garlic and try some delicious recipes.
Some of the local restaurants and cafes also join in by using the wild garlic as an ingredient for a few of their dishes. I hear from a good source that Tre Ciccio* do a mean wild garlic pesto (*other local restaurants are available – quite few to be honest!).
I hope it’s not too late to give it a try – I’m heading off down there now!
Oh and if you fancy giving it a go, here are some ramson recipes that I’ve found:
When my husband and I moved to Ramsbottom we didn’t know much about the local area. We’d been for a few walks up Holcombe Hill, but other than that we hadn’t done much exploring.
One of the places we have since discovered in Summerseat is a lovely wooded area which has been funded by the Big Lottery and is managed by CommuniTree – a local initiative providing outdoor education to children and adults.
It’s a beautiful place, and a really tranquil spot to stop and pause for a while.
When the weather allows, I like to take a seat on these lovely benches below and spend a few minutes soaking up the sounds of nature and enjoying the beautiful trees.
Of course, it’s not always silent when the school children are around! But, I must admit, it’s lovely to see and hear them enjoying nature and a really great way to get them connecting with the outdoors.
CommuniTree have worked hard to make this a fantastic project. Everyone is welcome; whether you’re joining in with forest camp activities, or just taking a stroll – as long as you respect the area and look after it. I always take care to make sure my dog is on a lead when the children are about, but other than that I do let him have a little wander as he also likes to explore. Can you spot him in the photo below?!
Sometimes you can find the most amazing and interesting things on your doorstep and this just goes to prove it!
Yes, I know it’s spring but I wanted to share this photo of my dog Bailey looking out across the valley on our local field in Ramsbottom.
It was taken in January when we were hit by an unexpected blast of snow which as always grinds everything to halt!
I was supposed to be at work, but couldn’t make it in due to the bad weather. Instead I spent the day wandering around the local area with my dog Bailey.
I love this photo. I love the contrast between the snow and the colour of the leaves. It also feels like my dog is the the only creature around – everything looks so serene.
Later that day I was sat in front of the TV and the One show started. I wasn’t really paying much attention and was about to switch over when I heard the presenters saying send us your snowy pictures. I emailed the photo and was so excited when I heard the presenter, Matt, saying look at this lovely photo from Ramsbottom – I looked up and there is was on the screen!
The only unfortunate thing was Matt getting my name wrong, but I guess I can forgive him as he also mentioned Bailey and Ramsbottom too.
We’re now heading into spring and summer and the landscape has changed so much. Here is Bailey admiring the bluebells in the local park earlier this week.
I hope you enjoyed my first post. Feel free to share your photos and thoughts with me.