This certainly wasn’t your average Saturday night. It was a winter's evening and I was at Wellbeing Farm in Edgworth (between Darwen and Bolton), right on the tops (in thick fog I hasten to add) about to take part in The Wellbeing Sausage Experience. My cohorts were two girls in their late teens, that had been bought the course as a Christmas gift, a pig farmer, his partner and their son who was training to be a chef. We were all equally intrigued about the evening ahead.
Inglewhite to Chipping via Scorton Miles 32 – Terrain, undulating
With a definite nip in the air, my cycling friends and I donned gloves and helmet in the glorious sunshine as we cycled out of the pretty village of Inglewhite. We climbed through the Forest of Bowland towards Beacon Fell Country Park taking us onto Bleasdale Moor, up towards Lancaster and eventually bringing you to the village of Scorton. As is usual, we stopped for a well-deserved rest at the Priory Inn Café for homemade soup, sandwiches and a warm fire fuelling us up for the route back to Chipping.
This year the English Tourism Week (14-22 March) coincides with the first day of Spring – so what better way to celebrate Lancashire’s fantastic choice of visitor experiences than with our Top Five Things to do in Lancashirethis Spring.
1. Celebrate the natural world with a visit to a nature reserve. See Avocets at WWT Martin Mere Wetland Centre, Burscough which is celebrating its 40th year with events throughout 2015. The new hide at Brockholes Nature Reserve near Preston (just off J31) with floor to ceiling glass gives visitors a brand new way to view the birdlife on No 1 Pit Lake and the new Sand Martin Wall. See more nature reserves in Lancashire
A recent study has found that on average dog walkers cover a distance of over 548 miles a year with their faithful hounds and where better to rack up those miles than Lancashire.
With towering mountain ranges, rolling moorland, the wilderness of The Forest of Bowland AONB and of course not forgetting the famous Lancashire coastline, including a 137 mile footpath that takes in spectacular views of Morecambe Bay, the Bowland Fells and the Lake District, there is plenty to explore. And of course a dog isn’t compulsory in order to enjoy the breathtaking scenery that you will discover on these adventures.
The Beach House on Blackpool Promenade has long been a favorite hangout of mine and I always make a point of calling in whenever I’m in town. With laid back beats, amazing cocktails and stunning sunsets it reminds me a little of Cafe Mambo in Ibiza and it certainly looks and feels the part. The modern, minimalist decor, excellent service and a relaxed atmosphere put this bar at the top of my list for a pre-show Bellini before heading across to the Tower.
Lancashire Life’s Sue Riley road tested Lancashire’s luxurious cookery school and came away with almost everything she ‘kneaded’ to know.
Michael Vanheste led the inaugural beginner’s bread making course and as head tutor he will take most of the sessions at the new cookery school at Langho, with chef patron Nigel Haworth and executive chef Lisa Allen also running occasional masterclasses.
During the day I learnt about flour and its protein content (look for 12-14% if making bread); that fresh yeast can be bought cheaply or sometimes given away free at supermarkets; kneading by hand or in a machine takes exactly the same amount of time and that the first proving of a dough is all about the flavour. But that was just the theory. The emphasis was on practical techniques, so Michael quickly embarked on a demonstration of how to make a wholemeal Coburg loaf. Then to our workstations to make our own.
Sue Copp works for Sandcastle Waterpark and was voted 2014 Lancashire Tourism Super Star by public vote. She is is now going 'head to head' with nine other superstars from all over England, who are competing to be crowned VisitEngland Tourism Superstar 2015 supported by the Daily Mirror.
We caught up with Sue to get her top tips for the year ahead in Blackpool.
Can you suggest a Blackpool hidden gem? I love spending time at Stanley Park in Blackpool and feel that everyone should experience this fantastic park which is a great free facility for a family dayout. My family also really enjoy the Model Village which is sometimes overlooked for the bigger attractions.