DATE                     11.04.2010


Not really sure if this should really go in here but seeing as there is a couple of photos and a very small amount of walking why not .

My day started as normal , with me being woken up by Yvonne snoring and what sounded like farting noises letting me know that was it time to get up , being the sort of person that I am , I decided to make as much noise as possible and woke Yvonne up , where do you fancy going today I asked ? Not really sure what the reply was and to be honest I didn’t hang around she is a bit of a grump first thing, (far better to keep out of her way first thing)

Eventually over breakfast I suggested a return trip to the small but delightful wood at Hartburn Glebe which is owned by the Woodland Trust. A small grunt off Yvonne was all I needed and soon we where off and before she could change her mind we pulled up in the small village of Hartburn , gear on and off we went following the well marked path down towards the river. This leads to a pleasant woodland walk. Staying on the path following the way markers leads to a grotto cut into the cliff wall.

Above the entrance are two niches, which are believed to have once been occupied by images of Adam and Eve.

The grotto was excavated by the 18th Century vicar of Hartburn, Dr Sharpe, who carved out Gothic arches and two rooms, one equipped with a fireplace.

One of the uses of the grotto was as changing and rest rooms for swimmers in the Hart Burn.

There is a covered rock passageway from the grotto to the river "for bathers along which they may pass unperceived by the impertinent eye of vulgar persons". Sadly that has fallen into a state of disrepair now.

The walk itself might be small but there is loads to look at from the wild garlic / bluebells covering the trail (if you are there at the right time of year) to the bottomless hole in the river where the villages treasure is hidden so the folk law has it plus the small village itself with its mix of buildings makes for a good morning / afternoon out.

It’s the second time that we have been here, and naturally we picked the wrong time of year (no flowers) but that didn’t matter it’s a lovely small walk. And once again all the locals stopped us for a chat and told us about the history of the place. (It’s nice to see people taking such pride in the village)

Lunch was had by the burn then seeing as how Yvonne hadn’t objected I suggested a trip up to see Rothley Castle which actual is an 18th-century gothic folly built to resemble a medieval castle, It is a Grade II* listed building. It was designed in 1755 by architect Daniel Garrett for Sir Walter Blackett owner of Wallington Hall, from where it is visible on the hillside. A genuine medieval tower, known as Rothley Tower (which stood nearby), was demolished, probably early in the 19th century. I believe that the National Trust own this site but not really sure.

So once again we parked up and had a small wander up to the folly to have a mooch around.

Weather wise we pick a good day bright and sunny and it was very easy walking, unfortunately we couldn’t get onto the buildings and have a view from the top (health and safety?) but even so the views where pretty good, there are a few crags dotted around this area and its not uncommon to see the rock climbers practising there skills here but they must have herd that we where coming and packed up for the day before we got there.

I haven’t got a clue what out total distance was for the day, but that doesn’t matter today was all about just getting out in the sun and getting some fresh air in our lungs.

As normal a few photos from today’s adventure enjoy.

One of the many “posh” stone bridges that are scattered around these woods


Yvonne on the bank of the Hart Burn, the whole area smelt of wild garlic


Looking at the bottomless pit in the burn where rumour has it there is loads of treasure


Close up


Looking up the burn


Yours truly


What could have been a very arty reflection photo if I got it right?


The entrance to the Grotto


Inside looking up at the roof


The arched doorway into the other room


The fire place which showed signs of recent use

Some chairs left by the locals, the signs ask you to return them when you have finished with them.

We stopped and had lunch outside then returned them , I think that these chairs are a nice touch and is a typical example of the good work the locals do around there village

 Taken from the inside look out at the bathers tunnel

Close up


Last look down at the burn as we make our way back to the car


First sighting of Rothley Castle


Getting closer


A few more photos as we approach and wander around


Yvonne by the barred doorway, there are steps inside that take you up to the roof but sadly it’s locked now.


We decide to go back a different way, the view from the back of this folly


The views, on a good day you can see the sea (so they say)


Starting to head down


Last look back


Heading back down passing one of the rocks that they use to practise there climbing skills.