Something for the Weekend: Quarry Bank Mill

Quarry Bank Mill has fascinated me for a while. It’s the most beautiful setting, but sadly it has a very dark past. It’s story was recently told across two series of a Channel 4 drama called ‘The Mill’ – and it didn’t always make for pleasant viewing. Filming of the drama took place at the mill itself – making it all the more realistic.

On a Summer’s day it’s hard to imagine how tough life must have been for the occupants. The grounds have been transformed by the National Trust into stunning gardens which were a riot of colour during our visit. The nearby woodland and village of Styal are equally charming. Cali and I spent many happy hours exploring it all…

The Great Yorkshire Show 2015

I have been dreaming of the perfect day out at Great Yorkshire Show for a while – and this week I got my wish. After missing out in recent years, I finally managed to get time off work to visit this annual celebration of all things rural and Yorkshire.

I grew up in a rural community and love spending time in the great outdoors. I’m also very aware of where my food comes from – I always ensure my food is free-range and do my best to shop local. Events like this are pretty much paradise for a foodie like me, but they also support other local businesses and help to maintain/promote countryside traditions which might otherwise be lost.

After a short journey I arrived at the show ground. The sun was beating down, there were ice cream vans everywhere, and white tents as far as the eye could see. I grabbed a quick mid-morning snack and settled down to watch the sheep shearing competition. It’s safe to say I have no idea what the rules were – or even who the winner was – but it was a terrific atmosphere all the same.

Afterwards I made my way to the fashion tent for the Fashion Show (more on that later this week!) before roaming the show ground and soaking it all in. In the afternoon I settled in by the main show ring for the ‘mane’ event (get it?) – the much anticipated Shetland Pony Grand National – and stayed to watch the show-stopping draught horses compete against each other.

If you happen to be in the area next July, I would definitely recommend you spend a day here.