Stocks reservoir is just north of Slaidburn in the Hodder valley and edges Gisburn Forest.
The reservoir was begun in 1922 and it's aim was to supply Blackpool and the Fylde coast with drinking water. Up to 500 men and their families were emplyed in the building of the dam and a village called Hollins was built to house and entertain them. This included a cinema and village hall as well as the village having it's own electricity, water and sewage system. A narrow gauge railway was also built, to join in with the mainline railway at Long preston, enabling building materials to be easily transported.When the dam was completed,the villages of Dalehead and Stocks were flooded, along with all the farmland and the reservoir was officially opened in 1932 by Prince George.Today, the construction village has disappeared, fallen into ruins and the forest being planted in it's place.
The reservoir offers 4.5 miles of fishable shoreline and boats can also be hired. Fishing permits can be obtained from the fishing Lodge at Hollins bay.
There is a carpark just after the causway where a circular walk round the reservoir starts from. Numerous cycle trails and bridleways are always popular and cycling events are held in this area regularly.
We stopped to have a look at the fishery and actually decided the reservoir was none too exciting, nor was it scenically beautiful. Fairly plain, in fact. I was moved to realise we were sat for our coffee in a memorial garden where trees were planted for the dead and their ashes sprinkled on to promote the trees growth. What a nice idea.
This area is riddled with footpaths, bridleways and quiet lanes, all offering endless possibilities for the enthusiastic walker. As we are not overly enthusiastic,particularly in wet weather, we opted for a short circular route, supposedly taking in a waterfall and wier.
It didn't actually rain on us but the ground was so wet, even in walking boots our feet soon became wet.In the end, the walk was non too exciting, the river was fenced off, we didn't find the waterfall and we missed the wier. We did pass the beautiful house in the fourth photo and were very envious indeed. What a house and what a location!
We eventually found our way onto the VERY wet and muddy track that took us back to the bike.
The waterfall in the last photo is one we found on another route which was in the grounds of beautiful Hammerton Hall.
I have never seen so many footpath signs, they are literally everywhere. The strange thing was, we hardly saw any people anywhere!
In between the showers we had trips out on the motorbike, exploring the narrow roads in the area. They are ideal for motorbikes and bicycles, being quiet and often climbing steeply to provide stunning views. Many of the roads are "quiet lanes", offering an escape from more major routes.
We had a run out to Stocks reservoir and continued up the steep road beyond,stopping at a viewpoint to have our coffee. We took advantage of a seat placed in memory of a local couple and could fully understand why it had been positioned there.The views were amazing, just a pity the sun wasn't shining.On the odd occassion it made an appearance, it flicked across the heather-clad moorland, lighting it up and creating bright spots,before moving across the fells.
As we drank our coffee, we heard a strange noise and looked round. We were joined by a grouse who came and posed for us. We christened him Godfrey grouse!
Time was running out. We were enroute to our campsite on the Friday and had made the decision we would have lunch out. Well, we missed the pub at Slaidburn, missed the one at Newton and passed the first pub at Tosside. By now it was 1.50pm. and pubs normally stop serving food after 2pm.We pressed on down the road a little and turned off to the advertised Crowtrees pub, in the middle of a residential chalet park. We didn't know what to expect, it just seemed to be a strange place for a pub!
As we parked up, we waved to the chef, standing on the doorsrtep of the pub. He waved and looked at his watch. Oh oh. No problem, said the chef,we were just in time.
We were shown into the restaurant part of the pub, which was a large and airy room with large windows and an intersting mixture of dining furniture. We liked what we saw. The menu was even better. Two meals for £9 or the main menu with lots of nice sounding dishes.
Favorite Dish: We opted for the two for £9 menu and I chose steak pie and Nick sausages and eggs.Well, I was a little worried when I heard the sound of the microwave ping, conjuring up pictures of soggy microwaved pastry, but I needn't have been concerned. My hot plate arrived with an enormous amount of steak in a rich gravy, topped off with a crisp puff pastry pie top. Fresh vegetables, carrots and leeks, were served in a seperate dish, as were the chips. The food was delicious and beautifully hot. Nick's sausages were nothing special but he did get two eggs perfectly cooked so he was happy. We were really impressed with the food, but also with the prompt, friendly service from the owners.
Surprisingly for the beginning of a Bank Holiday weekend,the whole place was eerily empty but we were assured that was not usually the case and they had a lot of evening bookings.
I have no hesitation in recommending the Crowtrees. it is good home-cooked food at very affordable prices.
Returned here Aug. 2012. Still very quiet at lunchtime and the menu was a lot smaller, having only around six items. We chose beer battered cod and chips and liver and onions, both at £6.95. We ate outside as the weather was so good, amazingly. Both meals were enormous, the fish and chips with mushy peas and a nicely dressed salad and the liver and onions in a delicious oniony gravy came with peas and fresh carrots. Wow, were we full after that lot!
This inn dates back to the 1300's, though much of today's building is from the 16thc. The strange name, Hark to Bounty was aquired when the local squire, whilst stopped for refreshments on a hunting trip, in what was then called The Dog, heard the prolonged baying from the pack of hunting dogs. The squire could hear his own dog the loudest and shouted "Hark to Bounty."
We'd been out on the motorbike and didn't want to have to return to the van for lunch so decided to give the Hark to Bounty Inn a try. It is certainly pretty enough, with it's tubs and pots of flowers adorning the outside, whilst inside is pleasing to the eye also. Comfortable seats and settles are to be found in two or three different areas, creating a homely atmosphere.
Lunchtime specials are displayed on blackboards and there is a printed menu also. After such a brilliant value meal the day before, we didn't like the prices too much, although the menu was interesting enough. We didn't fancy a large meal so settled for a bowl of soup each, I had the carrot, orange and tarragon and Nick had the pea and ham. £3.95 a bowl.
Favorite Dish: Our soup arrived, after firstly being given someone else's, and the bowls were large, but fairly flat, so not massive. My soup was actually quite nice but I must say, the pea and ham did not look or taste so good. Funnily enough, I had just noticed a sign advertising fish supper, Friday night, which was the day before. We reckoned the pea and ham soup was the mushy peas left over from this, vaguely liquidised and with not a hint of any ham. it did actually taste just like mushy peas and was quite lumpy and thick. The bowl of bread was homemade, as stated, but was not overly fresh. I know real bread doesn't have preservatives in and goes stale very quickly, so this we can forgive.The good thing was there waas a generous amount of butter with it!
In the end, we think we were undercharged as the two soups at £3.95 each and a pint and a half of cider came to £11.70.
Having said all this, I'm sure the food is a similar price elsewhere(apart from at Tosside!)and it was a nice menu.