BurnleyYep, been on holiday, to Burnley. One of those too good to be true midweek deals in a country manor sort of. I like Burnley anyway. Some of the best weekends of my life have been spent in the Easter Blues festival and the place is quite similar to Huddersfield in many ways. Old manufacturing/textile place surrounded by the hillside beauty of the Pennines. Huddersfield seems to have modernised rather more successfully than Burnley though. Probably down to the University, reasonable council planning and a varied manufacturing/Service sector job market.
The Oakes Hotel and leisure club is on the Colne Road about three miles North of Burnley town centre but a steady walk in. Good quality English Brekky and old world Oak charm everywhere. Staff were good as well. Also used by companies as a seminar base. I had to laugh as I saw a bunch of weary bored looking people listening idly to a confident chancer pronouncing platitude after platitude about breaking barriers down, leadership qualities and blue sky thinking.
The town center was almost dead on a Tuesday afternoon. Returning school kids mingled with their harassed mums and scruffy skinny men wanting loose change. A lot of places didn't even open until Wednesday. Fabulous old stone buildings, remnants from a grander era stood amongst concrete horrors. We had a quick wander around then took a pleasant stroll around the Leeds Liverpool canal that encompasses the town and a couple of beautiful parks before an ale in the bland Wharfe Inn. The best other option was the 'spoons before we moved on to the Aroma restaurant across from the Talbot pub just out of the center. It was very quiet but the tucker was ace and a little different to yer average place. The crab and spinach pancakes were subtly spiced and delicate but we stuck to the tried and tested for everything else. It was all good stuff.
Next day we took to the hills South of the Town and took in the awesome views back. Turf moor prominent in the sunshine amidst the rows of terraced housing around it. High up on the Hills is the Singing Ringing tree sculpture. a collection of pipes welded and fixed in the shape of a 20 foot high hand space gun. It really did sing and ring as the wind whistled and moved through its tubes.
The Bridge In Beir Huis was opened Wednesday and was excellent, a proper alehouse. The ministry of Ale is run by a lad from Seacroft and is a tad more basic and possibly misleadingly named. Friendly though.
The Loom Makers is a lovely bistro, again criminally empty but we put that aside and enjoyed nice fresh Bruchetta and rich Lamb stew with mash. Like a lamb Bourguignon. Reminded me of France.
Had another long walk in the hills the following day, this time taking in the Bronte Circular around the Pendle Hill moorland area. Fantastic. As good a Pennine walk as anywhere, sensational open views, babbling brooks, bleak moorland and pretty stone villages. Capped off with an ace pub The Trawden Arms (formerly The Rock)
Burnley, A bit grim but trying and still alright