Sunday, 7 February 2016

Mow Cop Castle

Mow Cop Castle

So the start of February has been just as inspiring weather-wise as January with rainy, blustery days that change plans and put a frown on my face. Saturday was no exception with a blanket of grey boring rain cloud casting a bleak look on our snowdrop walk and changing plans that involved the leisure centre instead.

On the way home I felt we must go and see something since 1970's council architecture hadn't quite fulfilled the need of some weekend interest, so we took a detour from Congleton up the low gear climb of the Killer Mile to the top of Mow Cop.

Your prize for reaching the gritstone outcrop is a look at the curious folly of Mow Cop Castle, built in the mid 18th century as a summer house for Randle Wilbraham I of nearby Rode Hall.

Of course this wasn't the day for closer inspection and as much as the romantic ruin enticed us, we weren't going to get soaked. Instead I hung one arm out of the car with the camera and we stopped in the car park to admire this mock creation.

One for sunnier days to soak up the 360 degree view across Staffordshire and Cheshire, followed by walk across the heathland and quarried rocks that have many stories to tell of Primitive Methodist camp meetings and Georgian picnics. 

Sunday Snap

Thursday, 4 February 2016

Cheshire boat marina

Cheshire boat marina We have driven past the entrance to the boat marina so many times but never ventured in but on a cloudy, wet day just ambling around the area, we thought we would take a look. LB loves boats so it was worth stopping off at to see the rows of pretty canal boats.

There's a cafe/restaurant here that is useful to know for the future as it seems a nice relaxed location just off the Shropshire Union Canal for us to come for lunch one day in the spring/summer when we can sit on the terrace and enjoy the view. 

I love finding these little secret places in my local area when we have our quick trips out, we get so used to travelling further afield that we often forget what's on our doorstep.
The Gallery Aqueduct Cheshire Church Minshull boat marina Aqueduct Marina Church Minshull Cheshire canal boats at the marina

Wednesday, 3 February 2016

Snowy church

Christ Church Burbage Twilight softly descending on a snowy landscape and finding a church equals an instant solemn atmosphere. A silent place made all the more still and whispering by the blanket of snow. Heaped against tombstones and cloaking angels against the chill, making pathways through tree arched holloways that seemed a shame to disturb with my footprints. How those stark branches reached both for me and the tops of memorials, a scene of contrasts - all of us black ink on crisp white paper.

Christ Church, Burbage up near Buxton and certainly no stranger to a cold blast during the winter and early spring. A Victorian build and one I'll be back to in August for their Clypping Ceremony custom where the congregation link hands around the church. The village of Burbage has a brass band that regularly plays here and it looks to be a friendly place with great community spirit. The snowy view and the feeling of solitude is a beautiful feeling. A canvas for deep thoughts and to feel as spirited as the eddying snowflakes.
view from Christ Church, Burbage snow angel churchyard snow snowy churchyard path

Tuesday, 2 February 2016

Home improvements that really add value

According to a recent survey, 40 per cent of people undertake renovations to improve the look of their home, while 33 per cent do it to add value*.

As house prices continue to rise, home improvements are a top choice for British families. The research revealed that aesthetic alterations (47%) and redecorating rooms (46%) were two top priorities for home owners looking to add value to their home.

So, if you’re looking to refresh your home with a new look that will add value to your home, there is one very effective solution that will make a real difference…upgrading your stairs.

hallway ideas
The hallway is one area where simple changes can have a big impact. Replacing the stairparts can create a stylish centrepiece and that all important ‘wow’ factor when you walk through the door… and better still it’s easier and more cost effective than you might think.

When selecting the type of wood for your staircase, consider the materials that have been used elsewhere in your home. For example, white oak is a popular choice for flooring, doors and kitchens, so if this is used in other other areas of your home, continue the theme throughout, by selecting the same wood for the stairparts. Such attention to detail creates consistency, resulting in a unified look and feel.

When it comes to fitting pre-drilled handrail and baserail systems with pre-cut spindles make installation easy, while ready to finish stairparts mean there is no need to wait for paint or varnish to dry, saving time, while minimising mess and disruption.

Classy stair handrail
The Elements with Glass range from Richard Burbidge features striking glass infill panels reflect light and will make your hallway appear more spacious and light. Exuding luxury, the Elements range offers an affordable way to make a real style statement, creating a stunning centrepiece in your home.

Available in white oak it is supplied with gun-metal connectors or fittings, and is also available with a choice of solid metal spindles.

Upgrading stairparts is one of the easiest ways to add perceived value, and will make a big difference to the look and feel of your home. For more DIY inspiration and to see the wide range of stairpart styles available from Richard Burbidge, please visit

*Lloyds Bank
Images from Richard Burbidge

Sunday, 31 January 2016

Ghost signs

I love a ghost sign, faded and forgotten and walked past perhaps without even noticing. 

This one is in my home town of Northwich in Cheshire and is on the side of the once tobacconists in the high street, Cheadle & Sons Limited. I find these kinds of signs so beautiful, have you seen any? There's a great UK database of them here

Sunday Snap