The day was sunny and what little wind there was, was warmish. Last time we walked in this area the wind had been bitter. "Wide skys", the best way to describe the early part of the walk, and river embankments with the constant sound of shooting from the clay-pigeon shoot near the River Lostock. At Red bridge, painted green for some reason best known to the landowners or council, we left the River Douglas and headed towards the more wooded part, and more interesting part of the walk. (The URL for this route is: http://www.gmap-pedometer.com/?r=1418604) We were greeted by a large dog and a useless owner as we joined the road; the owner had little or any control over the dog! He did say sorry, in a very loud voice, and repeated the apology when we 'glowered' at him.
The walk to Bank Hall, with the autumnal colours was very enjoyable. Bank Hall dates from 1608 with extensions from 1832, although there has been a building there since mediaeval times. It was used as a control centre for all troup movements in NW England during WW2. It missed out in the first BBC Restoration series but the 'Action Group' has started things moving.
You can find out more about the hall at http://www.bankhall.org.uk/html/intro.html.
Those of you who know my better half, Chris, will know her feelings about cattle. Well you can imagine her comments, worries etc. when we had to walk within 5 yards of this fine beast!
She was not amused but bravely kept me between her and the Bretherton Bull!
The rest of the walk was enhanced by the thought of a short stop at the 'Corn Mill' for food, drinks and a browse among the antiques.
Yesterday Chris and I went to look at the Turner Prize entries, at the Tate Liverpool. An interesting experience. The four artists who have been shortlisted are Zarina Bhimji, Nathan Coley, Mike Nelson and Mark Wallinger. It is the first time the prize has been held outside of London, at Tate Liverpool, as a curtain-raiser for Liverpool European Capital of Culture 2008. The comments made by the public are well worth reading and I wont spoil it for you by typing any here! Chris feels the film of the man dressed as a bear should win! Again I'll say nothing :-)
I did enjoy some of the current exhibits and feel that if any readers get the chance, go and take a look yourself.
Today the day started with heavy rain! However for once the weather forecast was spot on and by 10ish the sun was out. We headed for the main task of the day; collection of sloes for sloe-gin. I wont say where we go to collect sloes as we don't want others to beat us to picking them in future years. All I will say is we have started this years off and look forward to Christmas to sample last years.
Having picked the sloes we headed towards Rivington with the aim of looking at the changes made to the gardens on Rivington Pike. Apparently they have had to clear all the rhododendrons because of some disease. What a difference this has made. The 'ravine' was so much more striking as the tiers of waterfalls cascaded down the hillside. Damn camera batteries! I was unable to capture this spectacular scene as the batteries failed just when I needed them.
Chris and I couldn't get over the 'openness' of the gardens and had mixed feelings about if it was an improvement or not. The buildings and steps were, without a doubt, far more imposing than before, when they were hidden among the now removed foliage.
The URL for our walk today is: http://www.gmap-pedometer.com/?r=141835.
You can read more about Rivington Pike at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rivington_Pike.
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