A trip to Rivington Pike | Days Out

I think we can all agree that January in the UK is basically horrible. So very often at this time of year, M and I take ourselves off to somewhere lovely for a day out. Last year it was Astley Park in Chorley and this year we decided to go Rivington Pike, which is here:

For us, this is about 30 miles/40 minutes from our house and as we had never been before, we weren’t sure where to park. So we pulled into a little cafe and found a space tucked in the corner of the car park. As it turns out, we were still about ¼ mile from the start of all the official walking paths, but we found a nice path to stroll along, which ran parallel to the Go-Ape trails, which are also located there. Good start.

At the end of the first path we reached the “bottom barn”, which also housed a very busy cafe, toilets and an information centre. We popped into the information centre and bought a map, but honestly the map buying was a gesture as a very lovely lady in the centre gave us excellent directions up to the pike. So we set off.

A little like Delamere Forest, there are a few trails that you can follow, which have way markers, denoted on striped posts.

Rivington Barn sign with red route marker

The red route we followed was supposed to be about 3 miles, we followed the markers and ended up walking a little over 4 miles. The route is also described as “challenging” and I would have to agree with that; some uphill, some flat, lots of steps and quite a lot of the paths were very rocky under foot.

There were SO many people on the paths too, even on a damp and cold Sunday in February, it was VERY busy! Also, sidenote, today it was also muddy underfoot as it was raining quite hard for most of yesterday, so it befuddled me why we saw so many people in pristine white trainers, pink boots and most worrying of all, UGG boots?!  All the aforementioned footwear slowly getting ruined with every step.

Anyway, it took us about 1 ½ hours to get to the top and it was worth the hike. Stunning views at the top overlooking Bolton, Wigan and the surrounding areas. Again though, not much solitude at the top as it was very very busy, but we enjoyed it nonetheless.

As a day out, I would give is 9/10 as it really was a lovely walk and we are sure that we barely scratched the surface on our first visit. The only reason it loses a point was the parking. As I mentioned, due to our lack of local knowledge, we parked about a 10 minute walk away from all the main car parks. But it was obvious that even though there is quite a lot of parking, it’s nowhere near enough as everywhere was jammed and we witnessed one particular traffic jam on the narrow roads, all caused by double parking.

My TOP TIP would be go early, to avoid the crazy parking situation, but honestly, well worth a visit!

We will be back.

G x

Non Scale Victories | Getting Healthy

So I am 6 months into this whole weight loss thing and today I experienced a helluva non-scale victory. There is a beautiful waterfall in Ambleside called Stock Ghyll Force and today on a visit to the Lakes we decided to climb up to it. The walk is up a series of stone steps and last time we visited was when our lovely friend Elizabeth visited us from the US in October 2015. I was almost 3 stones (42lbs) heavier back then and I didn’t make it to the top. As evidenced in this vlog:

But today I felt like a new woman! I practically sprang up the hill and it really didn’t feel like that much of an effort! I was breathing a little heavier in the steeper bits, but honestly, I did it no trouble! We took lots of photos of course, including this Insta of me reaching the top!

We also had a chance to try out the camera on M’s new iPhone X. As you can see, it’s pretty awesome. I especially like the selfie in front of the waterfall.

Today was a pretty epic day! G x

A Day Out that Went Horribly Wrong

As we are nearing the end of our week off and I have plans to see a friend tomorrow, we thought we would go out somewhere today. Today is also Southport Air Show so there were certain directions that we couldn’t travel in and so in the end we decided to travel over to the Wirral and visit a village called West Kirkby here:

We set off at 11:30 and made our way down the M62 towards Liverpool with the intention of going through the Wallasey Tunnel, which all told should have been about an hour’s journey. I think you can see what’s coming.

We reached the outskirts of Liverpool OK, but then, due to building and roadworks, got stuck in traffic for over an hour, moving forward 5ft at a time – ‘orrible. When we eventually made it through the traffic we navigated our way to West Kirkby, only to find it jam packed with people & cars and once we were stuck in yet more traffic we decided to bail and go to New Brighton instead -approximately 7-8 miles away, here:

Thankfully we made it to New Brighton without too much drama, but by this time, we had been in the car over 2 hours and I was feeling more than a little frazzled. We took a deep breath and decided to go for lunch, as on top of everything else, I was starving and desperate to pee. We found ourselves in Bella Italia at a table overlooking the water and things felt a little calmer.

I ordered a grilled chicken breast with salad , which I ate with gusto and for once, I decided to eat the accompanying onion rings as I usually avoid them. As you know, I am Lactose Intolerant and sometimes the batter they use on onion rings contains milk, but for whatever reason today, I decided to risk it.

After lunch, we decided to go for a walk on the beach and for 15 minutes we strolled gently along the marina, taking some lovley pics of an abandonded lighthouse. But after about 15 minutes, I started to feel a bit icky and we decided to head back towards the shops and restaurants at the marina just in case. However, the stroll back turned into a speed walk, which turned into a panicky jog as the repurcussions of me eating said onion rings began to make themselves known.

I will spare you the gory details, but it wasn’t pretty and we ended up camped in Starbucks until my medication (which I always carry) kicked in. Grim AF.

So let’s recap. What we aimed for was a romantic “Date” day togther, perhaps strolling round a pretty village or along a picturesque marina. What we actually got, was a 2 hour traffic jam, impatient car drivers, a lighthouse and an upset stomach. Lovely.

We took a route home that was twice as long in distance, but took just 50 minutes of traffic free driving. What. A. Day.

G x