Morecambe Bay: My favourite hangout place of 2022

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This year, Morecambe Bay has been my favourite beach and hangout spot.

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As you may know, I live in a busy city, so I often opt to find a new quiet spot every year, somewhere not too far away from home where I can make regular trips in addition to my other travel adventures. A place I can relax and take some time to replenish my thoughts while getting some fresh air. This year, Morecambe Bay has been that place for me.

Where is Morecambe Bay?

Morecambe Bay is located just to the south of the Lake District National Park in the Northwest of England.

A bit about the history

Morecambe Bay is a large estuary with the longest stretch of mudflats in the UK.

Morecambe was founded when the Little North Western railway line was forced from Leeds and Bradford to a new seashore. This new shore had formed around the village of Poulton-le-sands, which later became Morecambe Bay.

The railway brought in goods and passengers who were going further afield up north, but this new seashore soon started to attract passerbys, which then saw the growth of entertainment, accommodation and other businesses throughout the nineteenth century.

It has the most incredible sunsets and beautiful backdrop

It is an area of scientific interest because of its location, its natural beauty, and the fact that it is home to lots of wildlife.

It also has some of the most amazing sunsets because of its location. I can honestly say I have witnessed the most incredible sunset I have ever seen right here, and I have seen plenty of sunsets. It’s magical!

In addition, it also boasts the most stunning mountains in the Lake District as a backdrop, which is another reason I’ve loved going here and taking long walks down the lovely promenade.

What a nice surprise!

Normally, when I come here, I walk around the promenade and stop when I find a comfortable spot to sit, but the last time I came, I made the decision to do things a little differently.

I continued walking until I reached the end of the promenade, at which point I turned and climbed some stairs to a charming cafe that overlooked the beach. I then turned right and entered a lovely neighbourhood with a small church. Since then, I’ve learned that this region is known as Heysham.

St Peter’s Church

The little picturesque church is called St. Peters Church. It is a 14th century church with parts dating right back to 800AD and sits right at the top of the cliffside.

The views from the chapel were really breathtaking. As I took it all in, I recall thinking how lovely a surprise it all was.

There was also another little surprise too, Glebe Garden, which is right next to the church. Unfortunately, I didn’t take any pictures of this, but it was a lovely, colourful garden with an oasis of peace and a calming atmosphere.

Thanks for stopping by today

Stay blessed 🙏🏾

Natalie ❤️

I became a National Trust member

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*Please note this is not an advertisement blog and I am not being paid to post this; I just think it’s something that could be of some value to some readers.*

Last month I decided to join the National Trust and I’m super excited about it!

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What is the National Trust?

I’m sure many of you already know, but for those that don’t, the National Trust is Europe’s biggest conservation charity, which looks after over 500 heritage sites across England, Wales, and Northern Ireland as well as coastlines, the countryside, and green spaces so that people and nature can thrive  and this is done mostly through the help of people’s donations through memberships.

What’s in it for the members?

As a member, I now have access to over 500 heritage sites where I will be able to present my card and get free admission as well as free parking to the sites. Of course, it’s not entirely free because you have to pay for the membership card to begin with, but it is a fantastic investment for plenty of fun and adventures for a fraction of the price I would pay as a non-member.

Overseas and non UK citizens

Not only this, my membership also gives me access to similar sites across the globe because The International National Trust and similar organisations are all in partnership.

The membership is also offered to people in the US, but otherwise non-UK citizens can purchase a touring pass ( prices below)

Membership prices

Memberships last for one year, and there are different types of memberships that can be paid for either as a one-time payment or monthly payments. Although it is worth paying for one all at once, you will receive a £15 National Trust gift voucher. Here are the prices:

Membership Prices

Individual – £76.80 a year/ £6.40 a month

Young person – (18 to 25) £38.40 a year

junior – (5 to 17) £10 a year

Joint – (2 adults) £127.20 a year/ £10.60 a month

Family – ( 2 adults and all children) £133.80 a year/ £11.15 a month

Family – ( 1 adult and all children) £83.40 a year/ £6.95 a month

Touring pass for non UK citizens

Individual ( £37 for a 7 day pass or £43 for a 14 day pass)

Two people (£65 for a 7 day pass or £77 for a 14 day pass)

Family pass ( £71 for a 7 day pass or £91 for a 14 day pass)

See here for more information on the touring pass.

Already seeing the benefits of this little membership card

I bought the individual one because I usually travel alone, and I’ve already realised how valuable it is to have a membership. I recently took my first day trip using my card and would have had to pay a £10 admission fee if it weren’t for having the membership. My next planned day trip would have cost me a £19 admission fee, so it’s definitely worth it for people who like to take day trips.

For more information about the National Trust and its sites visit here.

I hope you have enjoyed my blog today

Stay blessed 🙏🏾

Natalie ❤️

Greater Manchester: Hollingworth Lake County Park

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Hollingworth Lake is situated in Littleborough, Greater Manchester, England.

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A bit about the history of Hollingworth Lake

The lake was first constructed to serve as the primary water source for Rochdale Canal, but in the 1860s it turned into a well- liked tourist destination.

Early in the 20th century, it started to lose popularity as a tourist attraction and was used as a training camp for the second World War.

Following World War II, Rochdale Council acquired the reservoir and boating rights and designated the surrounding areas as a country park in 1974, giving rise to the name Hollingworth Lake and Country Park, which is now a popular tourist destination once again.

I can’t believe I didn’t visit this location until earlier this year. It is one of the most beautiful places to grab a moment’s peace and quiet and another great find on the outskirts of my city.

I’d say this is a great place for those living or staying in Manchester seeking tranquility, and it’s only a 40-minute drive away from the city centre

Additional information

There are plenty of facilities here, including its very own caravan park. Take a look here to find out more and make the most of your day trip here.

I hope you enjoyed my blog today

Thank you for visiting

Stay blessed 🙏🏾

Natalie ❤️

Greater Manchester: Portland Basin Museum

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Portland Basin Museum is located in a nineteenth-century warehouse in Ashton-under-Lyne in Greater Manchester near a beautiful canal side.

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I visited here with my mum in 2020, just before the first COVID-19 national lockdown for England, hence us wearing our face masks in the photos.

Since I’m blogging more about locations in and around my city, I recently discovered the images on my old phone and decided that this museum deserved a worthy spot for Manchester my blog.

Stepping back into the 1920s

The museum has exhibitions where you can experience what life was like back in the 1920s in Tameside.

The 1920s street

We had a great time exploring the street of the 1920s.

My mum, who educated me with her own knowledge and recollections, made the trip much more informative and enjoyable.

My mum, who is in her sixties, was able to tell me about several things that were still in use in the 1950s and 1960s. I loved hearing about all her memories and stories as she recalled them from each of the items.

It was lovely to see how her expression changed when she came across items that brought back her memories. She was wearing a mask, so I couldn’t see her face, but I could see that her eyes were sparkling.

Exploring the industrial heritage and farm

We had the opportunity to learn about the region’s historical industrial heritage and what it was like to work in the mines by hearing personal accounts from those who had done so.

Life on the farm

There is also a part where you may read in detail about the early days of the local farming. 

We thought this was very intriguing.

Additional information

There is much more to do and learn about here in addition to what has already been covered, but I want to make this post as brief as possible.

The portland basin Museum, in my opinion, is a great place for visitors of all ages and has a lot to offer.

Admission:

Admission is free and the museum it’s usual opening hours are 10am to 4pm accept on Monday when it is closed.

Click here to find out more information if you plan to visit.

Hope you have enjoyed my blog today

Thanks for visiting

Stay blessed 🙏🏾

Natalie ❤️

Greater Manchester:The beautiful Dovestones

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You may recall that I wrote about Dovestone Reservoir earlier this year.

Since I didn’t have many pictures to offer in the other blog, I thought I’d share more pictures on how breathtakingly gorgeous this place is now that I’ve been on numerous occasions.

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I’m constantly in awe of this place because there are so many various circular pathways, and every time I come here, I discover something new.

One of the greatest attractions, the trinniacle (a stack of rock formations), has eluded me up until now; however, my sister and her husband recently found it, and my sister has promised to accompany me there, which I’m super excited about. Additionally, there are a few locations I have yet to visit that I have found on Instagram.

There are magical hidden waterfalls everywhere, and it’s like the gift that just keeps giving.

Also, I finally hiked right up to the top of Chew Valley. It was the first time on top, and I walked across the moorland there. The views of Dovestone Reservoir were stunning. 

If you want to learn more about the history of Dovestones, click here. Thinking about visiting? You can check out my last blog, where you can find details of how to get here.

I hope you enjoyed my blog today

Thank you for visiting

Stay blessed 🙏🏾

Natalie ❤️

Greater Manchester: Saddleworth, a place of rolling moorlands and stone villages.

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Since I featured Dovestone, it is only right I give Saddleworth a worthy mention. Especially as part of Dovestones sits on Saddleworth Moors. Not only this, but I believe Saddleworth to be a great example of the English countryside, a place where many tourists visit each year and people like myself come to escape city life.

If your planning a trip to Dovestones, you may want to visit some of the pretty villages in Saddleworth.

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Location

Saddleworth is a civil parish in Oldham, Greater Manchester, England. It is made up of several villages, hamlets and consists of suburbs in parts of the Pennine Hills which are part of Oldham. I’ve only visited two of the villages up to now, Delph Village and Uppermill Village. I’m still yet to return to visit the others.

Delph Village

Delph is a beautiful village to visit, particularly because the centre of it has hardly changed since the 19th century. It mostly looks the same as it did when it was occupied with textile Mills offering employment to the local community.

It’s name came from an old English word Delf, which means quarry.

Delph is such a beautiful place to take a stroll and breathe in the English Countryside.

I particularly liked the canal trail and seeing all the cute houses.

Uppermill Village

Just a 6 minute drive away, a half an hour walk or an 10 minute bus journey away from Delph Village is Uppermill Village.

Uppermill is one of the most popular stops for visitors. It is one of the most picturesque locations on this side of the moorland, and has has several independent craft shops, restaurants and cafés.

Like Delph and many of these other villages/towns, it was once occupied by the Romans. The Industrial Revolution made the most impact on these villages and towns in this area, with the building of the textile mills. You can learn more about this at the local Saddleworth Museum here.

Unfortunately I wasn’t able to photograph Uppermill much because the phone I was using dropped and broke, but if you are in the area do visit this beautiful village.

For more information on things to do and see in Uppermill visit here

Thank you for visiting today

Stay blessed 🙏🏾

Natalie ❤

Greater Manchester: Dovestone Reservoir

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One of my favourite places to recommend when visiting Manchester is Dovestone Reservoir. This beautiful piece of paradise is located on the edge of Oldham above the village of Greenfield, on Saddleworth Moor in Greater Manchester, and is at the edge of the Peak District.

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It is one of the most spectacular beauty spots near Manchester and is a popular place for walkers, hikers, runners and perfect for a family day out.

To be transparent here, there are a number of reservoirs. I am unsure of just how many and have only visited three times. With this being said, I can’t be too precise, therefore. I will only speak of the locations I visited. I still have a lot yet to discover here.

Main reservoir and surrounding areas

Down at the bottom is the main reservoir and plenty of beauty spots to have a picnic. If you don’t fancy walking around these spots alone, make it a worthwhile visit.

The main reservoir

Yeoman Hey Reservoir

Yeoman Hey Reservoir circular walk is a steady, level, nice walk that is great for people of all ages, and anyone with a wheelchair or pram. The route offers scenic views of several reservoirs and stunning landscapes.

Just beyond Yeoman Hey there are parts that are a little rugged and a slightly inclined surface. However, the path remains.

You’ll start to come to some stunning overlooking views, as if you have had quite a hike when you really haven’t.

More advanced route for hikers

Chew Valley and Reservoir

Chew Valley can be reached through Dovestone Reservoir Car Park, walking by Dovestone Reservoir and the adjacent woodland, then taking the path route to the right. The climb will start from here.

The climb up is quite a challenging one, but the foot path makes it more manageable.

You will truly feel at one with nature surrounded by all the mountain landscapes.

Just before the reservoir, you will reach Chew Valley and its incredible beauty.

Chew Valley reservoir is one of the most beautiful and peaceful places. The reservoir is in an elevated position and sits 1,600 feet above sea level with views of the moorlands and hills.

Useful information

Getting here

I will use Manchester City centre as the starting point

By Car: It’s around a 45 to 50 minute drive depending on traffic. There are two car parks which pay and display and cost £4 for the day. As with many places, you will have to arrive early to get a place. Other than this, there are plenty of street parking in the surrounding areas.

By Bus: Get the train to Greenfield Station, than the 350 bus from Greenfield Station to Dovestones. This route will take just over one hour and 30 minutes.

Another option is to take a bus, either the 84 or the 83 from Oldham Street in Piccadilly. Take the bus to Oldham Town Centre, then take the 350 bus to Dovestones. This journey will take around two hours (buy a day saver for £5.50).

Facilities

There are toilets here including a disability toilet (RADAR key required)

There are no shops here, although there is usually an Ice cream van located in the Dovestone car park.

There is also a sailing club

I hope you have enjoyed my blog today.

Thank you for visiting today

Stay blessed 🙏🏾

Natalie ❤

Part 2 Hilbre Islands: A Uninhabited Island Near Liverpool

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After my dramatic failed attempt of reaching this Island, I can happily announce I successfully made it over two weeks later.

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It was a glorious sunny week and about to get even warmer as we approached the weekend. I figured if it was sunny there would be a fair chance of other people taking walks out to Hilbre Islands, so I booked my trains for the very next day.

I was absolutely right! I arrived at West Kirby beach at 10.45am as the tide was coming in much later than last time. I was confident, very well equipped and a lot more organised than last time. Nothing whatsoever was going to stop me. Walking out to sea, I could see other people walking out and I could also see the coast guard’s vehicle sitting on Little Eye Island as I approached. It felt much safer than last time.

I had already experienced Little Eye, so didn’t stop here and headed straight over to Middle Eye.

Middle Eye

Middle Eye is a small Uninhabited tidal island located to the South of Hilbre Island.

Over on this Island there are interesting rock strata, caves and seasonal flowers. Many rock pools to explore with lots of crabs, shrimps and tiny fish to find hiding in the shadows.

The rock formations and the views from this island are just surreal.

….And I finally made it to Hilbre Island!

At last, I finally made it to Hilbre Island after weeks of hesitation, fear of crossing because of the lack of being unable to swim and one failed attempt. Don’t you just love it when you conquer something you were so fearful of? This felt like a victory for me. 😂

What’s on the Island, things to see and facilities

Houses

There are a few cute houses here, however as I have mentioned I’m my last blog. Nobody has lived here permanently since 2012. However, some of the houses are privately owned.

The last person to live here permanently was a Wirral Council Warden, but since January 2012 it was announced there will be no permanent residents here. This was after the Wirral Council struggled to find a ranger willing to live without electricity or water supply. The rangers now visit on a daily basis.

Could you live here without energy or water supplies?

The Hilbre Bird Observatory

One of the most interesting buildings here is the bird observatory. This is where birds are monitored for the recordings of a national network of observatories. And as a place of nature reserve, you bet you will spot some of the more unique birds.

The Old life boat station and slip way

The old life boat station was built in 1839 and remained in service until 1939 after being abandoned.

It was built here along with a long slipway so the life boats could be used even if the tide was low. But it was abandoned for the tractor that towed the boats across instead.

Enjoy the panoramic views

Enjoy the panoramic views where you can look out to The River Dee Estuary, the mountains of North Wales and the Wirral Coast line.

The views here are breathtaking! You’ll be glad you took the walk out.

Spot the grey Seals

The island has a colony of grey seals. Apparently the best place to spot then is behind the old life boat station. I didn’t know this until I had left the island and unfortunately didn’t get to see any.

Bird watching

The island is a prime spot for bird watching. There is an array of different birds all throughout the year. They fall into four groups estuary birds, sea birds, migrating birds and breeding birds.

Facilities

There is a little seating area with a shelter on the island as well as two toilets

If you would like to know more advice and tips on visiting the island stay tuned for my next up and coming post.

Thank you for visiting my blog today

Stay blessed ❤🙏🏾

Hilbre Islands Part1: A beautiful Uninhabited Island near Liverpool

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Travelling to Liverpool? You may want to take an adventure over to these cool islands located between England and Wales.

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The Hilbre Islands are an archipelago made up of three Islands: Little Eye, Middle Eye and the largest of the three, Hilbre. They are located at the edge of the estuary of the River Dee, at the border of England and Wales. The Islands can be reached by foot during low tide from West Kirby on the Wirral peninsula, Merseyside and can take anywhere between around 50 – mins to an hour and a half to get to all three, depending on your own pace.

Once you arrive, it offers amazing photo opportunities of beautiful beach houses, panoramic sea views, and wildlife. If your lucky you may even spot some grey Seals!

Most Challenging trip of my year so far

This adventure has been my favourite adventure so far this year, but it has been my most challenging of the year so far.

I first made the discovery of the Islands back in February. I was super excited so couldn’t wait to do the adventure. Although, I hesitated for around two weeks before booking the trip.

The thought of crossing over was causing me to feel a little nervous. I kept reading about how the tide comes in so quickly and about people who had to be rescued after getting caught in the tide. Also, I was a little confused about the safest times to cross over. I understood it to have a safe journey. You must cross 3 hours after high tide and be back on the mainland at least 3 hours before the tide comes in. The times of low and high tide are stated clearly on the few websites I visited, but the times stated for low and high tide were always six hours apart, which didn’t make sense. Therefore, I wasn’t sure if these were the times I should head out and come back, or wait three hours after the times shown 🤔. I eventually found some really helpful websites that put my mind at ease ,which I’m so grateful I did as the ones shown on the beach were confusing. ( I will share these websites along with other advice and information in a later blog)

It was a little frightening

I eventually booked the trip in the first week of March. I arrived at the beach around 8.45am and started to walk out, but got cold feet when realising no one else was walking out to sea. I headed back and asked a kind man with a dog if I was heading in the right direction. Looking quite worried about my wellbeing, he said “Yes, but have you checked the tide times? Be careful the tide comes in quickly”. His reaction made me want to check to see if a coastal guard was around, but there didn’t seem to be any around. I spotted a lady working near by the lake, so asked her if it was a good time to walk out. She, like the man earlier, had the same reaction. She explained to go immediately, but to not hang around for too long once there. She also told me the safest way to reach all the islands. Well, I am definitely a lot more nervous now. Regardless, I started to head out there.

The further out I got, the more my fears grew to the point of wanting to turn back. It was an incredibly frightening experience for someone who can not swim. 🤣 Nonetheless, I would not allow myself to turn back with the promise to myself of being allowed to turn back after reaching the first tiny little island.

I had tortured myself enough, Therefore, I didn’t want to force myself to reach the other two. Well, not this day anyway, but definitely next time.

Once there, I felt better, but still didn’t feel brave enough to attempt the other two Islands. However, was really proud of myself for facing this challenge.

On Little Eye are the remains of a brick and concrete moorings a long with a substantial iron bolt remaining in place. The island is mostly made up of red bunter sandstone and grass.

I must admit it felt great heading back to the mainland having not been swept out to sea 🤣.

My return journey was much more successful. I will share that in the next blog.

Thanks for reading

Stay blessed 🙏🏾❤

Manchester: A new love for an old place

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Nowdays I often think of how incredibly fortunate I am to be from one of the best cities here in the UK. But, I must admit I have not always felt this way. Instead, its been a kind of love hate relationship thing. Loving the place for all my connections such as family and friends, but hating how incredibly tired and bored I had become of it, truly believing the next cities were much better.

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It wasn’t until Covid came along that I found this new revitalised love for my city.

As challenging as covid has been it has left many of us with silver linings such as teaching us to love harder, to be kind, to appreciate and have gratitude for all we have been taking for granted. Reconnecting with my city has been one of my many silver linings.

Coming up on Nattytravels…

As part of my new reconnected love and appreciation for Manchester, it will now have a well deserved spot on my blog. The blogs will consist of places I have been to revist and new discoveries in the city.

Also in the next up and coming months I’m excited to announce I will be starting to travel abroad again after three very long years 🙌🏾. So you’ll be seeing more blogs on places abroad.

For all those who have been enjoying the UK blogs, I will still be continuing to travel the UK, therefore there will be plenty more👍🏾.

Thank you for all your support

And on this note I would like to take the opportunity to thank you all for your continued support here at Nattytravels, regardless of all the incorrect typo’s 🤣.

I really do appreciate it.

Thank you ❤🙏🏾