Wednesday walk – keeping it local

I hadn’t originally intended to post this walk as there’s nothing special about it and it’s also one I featured in 2018, however with the recent constantly cloudy and rainy weather keeping me close to home I haven’t really taken the dogs anywhere worth photographing or writing about.
I walked this route for the first time this year on a lovely sunny day during the Easter weekend then did the same walk again yesterday to get some contrasting photos now the trees have fully come to life, although this time the sky was also contrasting. Clear blue in one direction but grey and cloudy in another it certainly gave me some different shots, though several times I had to contend with the sun disappearing just at the wrong moment.
Ten minutes walk through the avenues close to home brought me to the playing fields at the secondary school where I once worked as a supervisor, and close to one corner was a tree which, for some unknown reason, I’ve had a particular liking for over the years. Another few minutes brought me to the garden at the side of the Grade ll listed pavilion, once the home of a local tennis club established in 1923 but now owned by a local micro brewery since 1995, then round the corner was the top of Yew Tree Lane and an enclosed area of spare land housing what I can only describe as a large Hobbit house. Shed, garage, workshop? – whatever its purpose it was almost completely covered in trees, with only the door being visible.
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At the bottom of the lane was Yew Tree Cottage, now hardly visible through the leafy tree branches, and a footpath leading past the cottage’s extensive garden to a bridge over Eagley Brook. At the far side of the bridge I went down to the riverside yesterday, the first time I’ve ever been down there, although I couldn’t go very far before I had to go back to the path.
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Back above the river the path took me steeply uphill to the cobbled lane leading past the side of Hall i’th Wood museum, and fastening the dog leads to the museum gates at Easter I was able to get a shot of Snowy and Poppie together, although it took several attempts as Snowy wouldn’t stand still. Going round to what was once the front of the museum I took a few shots in the parkland, though in a huge contrast to Easter the sky yesterday looked ominously dark over the distant Winter Hill.
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Back on the cobbled lane I followed it down past the boundary wall of a local business premises partially hidden by the trees then along a short path above the river to another bridge and a second cobbled lane leading up to the main road. At the top of the lane and set back off the road was a small triangle of land which displayed some lovely daffodils at Easter, then just beyond it was Watermillock, once a gentleman’s country mansion house set in extensive grounds.
Constructed between 1882 and 1886 for Thomas Thwaites, one half of Eden and Thwaites bleachworks owners, it was subsequently inhabited by local mill owner T M Hesketh and his family, then after ending its days as a private residence it became a military hospital in WW1, run by the Red Cross for pilots with horrific burns and other serious injuries. In 1937 the house was used as a hostel for refugee children evacuated from Bilbao during the Spanish Civil War, though they only stayed for about a year before going back home to Spain.
In subsequent years Watermillock became an old people’s home and also acted as a subsidiary to the local hospitals’ laundry; it stayed as an old people’s home into the 1990s when it was finally closed, and eventually it was converted by Banks’s Brewery into a restaurant with function rooms, though for the last few years it’s been a Toby Carvery.
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From Watermillock it was all road walking to get back home though zig-zagging though various avenues on both days gave me the opportunity to photograph several colourful shrubs and trees in different gardens along the way.
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So there you have it, the same walk on two different days, it’s just a shame that yesterday’s blue sky was interrupted by varying degrees of cloud though the dogs enjoyed the walk anyway. Fingers crossed there will soon be lots of blue sky and sunshine to come and we will be able to explore other places not quite so close to home.

14 thoughts on “Wednesday walk – keeping it local

  1. Nice idea to document the same walk at different times of year 🙂 You could add this to Jo’s Monday Walks challenge – it would be perfect for it!

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    1. I’ve taken part in Jo’s Monday Walks many times since early 2017 but these days I don’t really have time to read through other people’s walks, especially when there’s quite a lot, so I don’t think it’s fair to add my own. I wouldn’t have added this one anyway as it’s just a simple local walk with nothing special about it, but maybe when I go somewhere more interesting I’ll link up with Jo’s blog again occasionally 🙂

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  2. I like that tree too, my Dad had a fondness for trees and yes it’s a beauty. Lovely to see Snowy and Poppie together on their walk. The weather has been so unpredictable lately with so much rain. It’s nice and sunny at the moment but set to change and we’ll have gales and torrential rain apparently for the remainder of the week. I don’t blame you staying close to home for your walks, me too,

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    1. I’m not old enough to have been a full-blown hippy in the late 60s although I did like the whole ‘flower power’ thing and I had some cow bells decorated with flowers. I think I could quite easily have become a tree hugger so I put my love of trees down to the hippy movement 🙂

      Weather-wise we had a heavy thunderstorm and torrential rain a few days ago, and the last couple of days it’s turned out really nice in the late afternoon/early evening while I’ve been at work. As I type this at 7.15pm we have glorious sunshine and there’s hardly a cloud in the sky but having just got home from work I don’t feel like going anywhere now.

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  3. What lovely walks you have locally. Thanks for taking us along to see beautiful old architecture & the colourful spring blooms & foliage. Not seen the dogs for a while so glad you got a good snap of them together. Take care, stay safe & hugs.

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  4. It’s a lovely walk at this time of year when everything springs into life and there are so many colourful shrubs in people’s gardens. Did you notice the twisted up dog leads? – Snowy just wouldn’t stand still so it took a while to get that shot 🙂

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  5. Hall i’th Wood (literally meaning ‘hall in the wood’) is a lovely old building with a lot of interesting history attached to it, and thanks to Lord Leverhulme’s bequest many years ago it’s always been free to visit and look round. It marks roughly the halfway point of this walk which I’ve done many times, but I’ve only ever been in the Hall twice.

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    1. I’m glad you like the photos, the colourful shrubs are especially lovely. Snowy is so lively the only way I can get a pic of the two together is by fastening the leads to something 🙂

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