Brixworth country park-cycling
On visiting Brixworth country park we found some great cycling paths, as were not quite fit yet !! but were doing our best, we decided not to do the full 7.5 mile (12km) circuit, but just do around 6km of it. Brixworth country park also has 3 marked walking only trails, the Kestral 0.5 miles (0.8 km) takes around 15 minutes, Lapwing trail 3/4 of a mile (1.2km) takes around 30 minutes and the Skylark trail 1.25 miles (2km) and takes around 1 hour, the views over pitsford reservoir are just stunning. The cycling is good as it is mostly flat and the circuit is continuous so no jurky T junctions. Brixworth country park is great for families with picnic tables and chairs to sit on and look over the reservoir, whilst enjoying lunch or you could use one of the onsite bbq’s. There is also the willows cafe on site near the bike hire office. The willows cafe is great just for a coffee or for some of their lovely food which includes freshly made sandwiches, jacket potatoes and much more tempting cuisine. Brixworth country park also is a haven for wildlife especially the bird life. The northampton sailing club is near by and we did see some boats out on the reservoir, brrhhh far to cold for us in march !!! but looked very idyllic as they all sailed by.
FUN, FUN, FUN, FUN, FUN, what more can I say, Mill Rythe Holiday village was just that !!! Something for everyone. Although we don’t normally book package style holidays (by choice nothing else). Mill Rythe was great, loads to do and we never got bored. We booked a dancing showbreak for 4 nights with a group we go dancing with and had a ball. The food is superb with lots of choice, they even have a vegetarian choice on the Menu and also a food intolerance section where you can order separately. Saying that there is plenty of meat on the menu. We did everything even the silly stuff, for fun such as sit down cheer leading.
There were dance lessons for all 3 days which included, Rumba on day 1, Tango on day 2 and Samba on day 3. They started with a beginners class then an intermediate in the afternoon followed by a recap of both in the later afternoon. The swimming pool is clean and was nice just for a relax, not for the super swimmers if you wanted to do lengths, but just great to relax those tired aching feet after lots of dancing.
The evening entertainment was just fabulous. We were amazed at the entertainment staff, we thought they had got lost and should be in London on some west end show. On the first night the Manager( Carlton ) sang who has such an amazing voice and the rest of the cast and costumes were wonderful too. The comedian (Tucker) had us in stitches and it was all clean fun without the normal swearing ! that you get from some comedians.It was just comedy from real life and great gag writing, Then to top the weeks entertainment off they did a cabaret on the last night and did snippets of different London shows, we were in awe !. We also did all the trivia quizzes, well lets just say we had a go and leave it at that ha ha.
Some of the rooms have been upgraded and you can choose to pay extra for them, the normal or standard rooms are adequate and for the price of what is included in the break cannot be faulted. I guess some folks prefer more upmarket rooms and if that is the case, much better to book for an upgrade. We didn’t mind as the bed was comfortable, the room clean and we were only sleeping in the room anyway, much too much to do than lounging around the room. We would recommend Mill Rythe holiday village to anyone, It seemed that for families the best time to be there would be the summer months purely for the outdoor activities such as the outdoor fun swimming area with slides and also the climbing wall, crazy golf and other activities that are organized.
We visited Stanwick lakes on the weekend to start our keep fit program, well to get out and about anyway. We took our bikes after getting the tyres pumped up and the wheels oiled after winter. Stanwick lakes is a lovely place to ride for all age ranges due to its flat terrain.
It also has a great kids play area that is made of wood so blends into the natural surrounding area and has a zip wire and also a water play area for the summer months. There is also a bbq area close to the visitor Center. we cycled around the many man-made lakes and found a lovely tea room called Woodford mill near the willy watt marina. lovely little place near the canal and dry docks for the canal boats. we cycled back approx 2 miles through stanwick lakes back to the visitors center.
I think what we found so interesting was how well made the reserve was it centered on bird hides, horse riding routes and even fishing lakes. There is bike hire if you don’t have your own bike and also many picnic areas. The visitors center has a nice gift shop, a soft play area if the weather is bad and also a great deck overlooking the water should you want to have a cool drink to unwind. It’s amazing how you can turn a once working quarry and transform it into a countryside attraction and nature reserve as they have done with stanwick lakes. It’s a great place to go on a budget as the car park is only £2 pounds at the time of writing this.
We went to the area where the Battle of Flodden took place or sometimes as its known the battle of Branxton on Flodden field and it was quite amazing. The Battle of Flodden Memorial can be seen high on the hill and stands out and feels a little eerie, We love to go to battle sites and walk around and try and imagine the battle itself. The clashing and scraping of metal on metal and depending on the time gunshot and the smell of cannon fire after the ball has left its chamber. The battle of Flodden was a conflict between Scotland and England that took place in Northumberland on the 9th of September in 1513.
The scene today is quite different being very serene and quiet as you walk around and try and imagine the battle. Todays battle field site has picture boards with a description of what you would have seen, had you been standing in the spot where the board is. Each one explains about the terrain and how the muddy undergrowth played a huge part of the demise of James the iV of Scotland and his army, which inevitably claimed his life.
Contributing to this was also the choice of ground combat weaponry, which was the pike; a long weapon about 5 foot in length not good for close fighting nor the soil condition. The English commanded by the Earl of Surrey, who were better armed with a weapon called a bill. This was a much shorter weapon and had 5 spikes at its head. There were many casualties and the approximate amount where 4000 English and 10.000 Scots. There is a lovely Memorial on top of the hill and you don’t have to pay the access the site. There is a car park easy walking distance to the battle grounds. I hope you enjoy it as much as we did
Selkirk town on the Scottish border may at first appear to be somewhat of a drab little town (sorry if you live there) however you only have to scratch the surface to find some fantastic people, history and craft in and around the area. Sir walter Scott was the depute sheriff of Selkirk town for some 30 years and spent many years in the border towns. A magnificent statue of Sir walter scott is also present in Selkirk town.
Whilst visiting the area you can see quite clearly why Sir walter Scott was taken by the stories he was told by his elderly relatives as a young child of the border towns and all the history that inspired so many of his stories and poems focusing on the past. There are many lovely places to see in an around Selkirk town such as Melrose where the abbey is situated and also legend has it that Robert the Bruce heart is buried. Their are many other border towns around the area, but it would be a shame to miss out this little town on your way. You may even find a beautiful tartan kilt or a soft and plush cashmere that can be found in and around the area of Selkirk,
The Glen Hotel selkirk situated in on the Scottish Borders is a quaint hotel. We arrived late in the evening and due to its proximity it was a little bit of a walk to Selkirk center (well on a cold night anyway). we decided to eat in the glen hotel itself. We settled in to our room, which was a nice size and the heating was on so it was nice and warm compared to outside. We had ensured we booked a room with a bathtub and we had a family room.
The food was really nice we ordered goats cheese bruchetta and deep fried brie, both where cooked perfectly and where served on a lovely bed of salad and dressing. I had a vegetarian stir fry and lance had a steak with a beautiful pepper and blue cheese sauce. yum yum !!! I just had to have some too! and I ordered a little jug separately.
We decided to have a little night cap of some white wine before retiring to our room. Breakfast was cooked perfectly and we had cooked Scottish breakfast ( of course !!!) the poached eggs where soft and had a gooey yolk and perfectly cooked !!
Antoinette,Steve and their family made us really welcome, we had commented on the music they had been playing in the bar and they gave us a full list of artists and songs that we could check out. We stayed 2 nights at the Glen hotel Selkirk and ate at the hotel for both of them. We had checked out the town to see if there was anywhere else to go to eat but places were a bit thin on the ground with anything that even read as appealing on the menus and the food was so good at the glen hotel we had to have seconds.
Check it out Here !!
Canons Ashby Daventry
This is a lovely stately home set in Dav when we went for a visit we found the house to have a rich historic feeling entwined with a welcoming home environment. Built over an original medieval priory the custodians ‘the Drydens’ were passionate about history. As we wandered through the Canons Ashby house we entered a room called the book room, originally a billiards room but with no one to play with Sir Henry converted it into his very own room of study and like today his own man cave !!.
His passion also encompassed gardening and if you where to visit he would happily put on his gardening boots that where in his book room, pluck out some gardening trowels and get you to join him in the garden. When Sir Henry was a boy his father fanned the flames of archaeology whilst helping him to excavate the priory buildings next to the church. He later went on the pursue this all over the British isles. Sir Henry was very much a gentlemen, and only wanted to marry, once he had the right funds and family setting. He married quite late to ( Frances Tredcroft, lady Dryden) and they had a child by the name of Alice, who was equally curious about life as her parents . There are many lovely painting on display on the walls and a lovely painting on the wall in the second bedroom, painted directly on the lime wall. Canons ashby is well worth a visit and if you have time also visit St Marys Church next door which is a quaint little church.