#GrinUpNorth

As someone who was born and raised in the North of England, I have heard the saying “It’s grim up North!” on countless occasions over the years. I’m not sure where the saying originally stems from, perhaps the fact that the weather is notoriously bad in the North, or perhaps just a reflection on the North in general, but having lived here for 37 years, and now raising my family here, I can tell you that, hand on my heart, there is nowhere else in the world I would rather be.

When I was asked to take part in the GrinUpNorth campaign launched by The Cumberland Building Society, I didn’t need to think twice. I love the play on words to show that actually, there is so much to smile about up here in the North, and not only are our people some of the friendliest in the world but we have some of the most beautiful places in the UK right here on our doorstep.

Living in Lancashire we are spoilt for choice when it comes to places to visit, family friendly days out and tourist attractions, but my favourite place is without a doubt Fairy Glen in Parbold. Nestled on the side of Parbold Hill above the rural village of Appley Bridge, Fairy Glen has a tranquil, secluded atmosphere, and with such a magical name, and the reaction from the children when we visit, it doesn’t disappoint.

The site follows Sprodley Brook which has, over time, cut down through the underlying sandstone to create the steep Fairy Glen valley with spectacular waterfalls and cliff faces. We were very lucky to last visit at a time when the bluebells were in full bloom, making Fairy Glen one of the most picturesque woodlands in Lancashire.

Fairy Glen is a linear site but there are plenty of links to the wider countryside through the local public footpath system, making it easy to find a walk to suit everyone. We really enjoy exploring off path and with the promise of an ice cream at the end of the day, my children are happy to walk for miles!

The children’s favourite thing about Fairy Glen is that there is always a rope swing to be found, something which, when you’re three, four and five, is the most fun imaginable.

As a blogger and a keen photographer, it felt as though we had hit the bluebell jackpot at Fairy Glen this year, and the photo opportunities are endless!

It just goes to show that you don’t need to spend a fortune on expensive days out or travel for miles to find something to occupy the children, there really is nothing better than getting outdoors, finding a beautiful spot for a picnic, and just enjoying that time as a family.

It’s places like this, tucked away like hidden treasures, that keep me here in Lancashire. I have been to so many beautiful countries and seen some amazing sights, but to find somewhere truly magical, where it feels like you’re the only people in the world, that’s why my heart lies here in Lancashire. And that’s when I tell those who say it’s grim up North, that they really don’t know what they’re missing.

 

*** This is a collaborative post with The Cumberland Building Society. All words and opinions are my own. ***

Parbold Fairy Glen | If you are looking for a magical day out then you need to visit the Fairy Glen in Lancashire. An enchanting walk through the woods will leave children believing in fairies as they take in the picturesque setting. It is the perfect spot for taking some family pictures amongst the bluebells. A beautiful place to visit in the north of England www.fivelittledoves.com

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90 Comments

  1. June 5, 2017 / 7:41 am

    What a lovely post. It looks a fantastic place to go in the Summer time when the weather is nice!

    • Laura Dove
      Author
      June 5, 2017 / 3:35 pm

      Yes it’s the perfect picnic spot! xx

  2. June 5, 2017 / 7:48 am

    Aww this looks like a lovely place for a family day out and your photos are beautiful (as always!) 🙂

    • Laura Dove
      Author
      June 5, 2017 / 3:35 pm

      Thank you so much Helen. xx

    • Laura Dove
      Author
      June 5, 2017 / 3:35 pm

      It’s so pretty! xx

  3. June 5, 2017 / 8:23 am

    You’re so right – you don’t have to travel far or spend a fortune on days out. There is beauty always just around the corner if you go and look for it. These photos are beautiful and I adore the sentiment of #GrinUpNorth x #BigPinkLink

    • Laura Dove
      Author
      June 5, 2017 / 3:35 pm

      Our best days out are always the ones where we have packed up a picnic and just taken off. I think anywhere is beautiful if you’re with your family, but I do love being a northerner. xx

  4. June 5, 2017 / 8:47 am

    I wonder where that saying comes from? I don’t hear it as often these days. You have some beautiful places to visit and I always feel so welcome when I visit up north. Northerners are definitely more friendly 🙂 x

    • Laura Dove
      Author
      June 5, 2017 / 3:34 pm

      I have to agree with you on that, I think Northerners are far more laid back somehow, whenever I go down south everyone seems in such a hurry and they have less time to stop and chat. Northerners love a good chinwag, hehe! xx

  5. June 5, 2017 / 9:26 am

    Gorgeous photos, I need to go back to the Fairy Glen, I went in winter and was truly disappointed.

    • Laura Dove
      Author
      June 5, 2017 / 3:33 pm

      I’m sure it wasn’t as pretty in the Winter, although autumn should be beautiful! xx

  6. June 5, 2017 / 9:44 am

    As I fellow Northerner, I love this post more than a little. There are indeed some wonderful places to visit and some very happy people living here. #PostsFromTheHeart

    • Laura Dove
      Author
      June 5, 2017 / 3:32 pm

      Thanks lovely, I am so proud to be a Northerner, I think we have some of the friendliest, happiest people in the country up this way! xx

  7. June 5, 2017 / 10:40 am

    What a sweet post. Your children looked like they had an amazing time there. Fairy Glen looks like a lovely place to visit.

    • Laura Dove
      Author
      June 5, 2017 / 3:31 pm

      Thank you, it’s so magical! xx

  8. June 5, 2017 / 11:24 am

    Lol this really brought a smile to my face as my partner is from Grimsby which really can be grim! But you’re right there are so many very beautiful places up North as your photos clearly show. Lovely campaign. xx

    • Laura Dove
      Author
      June 5, 2017 / 3:30 pm

      Thanks Talya. I’ve never been to Grimsby but I have heard people say it is grim! I think there are so many beautiful places in our country, I love hunting them out! xx

    • Laura Dove
      Author
      June 5, 2017 / 3:30 pm

      Thank you so much. xxx

  9. June 5, 2017 / 12:44 pm

    Gorgeous photos and I’m with you all the way about fun cheap days in nature. I’d same the same about Cornwall – well perhaps not today as it is peeing down! #bigpinklink

    • Laura Dove
      Author
      June 5, 2017 / 3:29 pm

      Haha same here, torrential actually! Hoping the weather improves again! xx

  10. June 5, 2017 / 1:49 pm

    Wow, what a beautiful place. And the pictures you captured are stunning. Such a beautiful time of year too x

    • Laura Dove
      Author
      June 5, 2017 / 3:29 pm

      Thank you, it’s such a beautiful place, I can’t wait to go in the Autumn, it will be stunning I’m sure! xx

  11. June 5, 2017 / 3:56 pm

    Sch beautiful pictures, kids with nature. loved the spot to go with family in the summers 🙂

  12. June 5, 2017 / 5:31 pm

    I always thought that the North was beautiful but like you said it is either because of the weather or dependent on where people live. I really like the idea of this campaign to show people that the North is better than what people think.

    • Laura Dove
      Author
      June 5, 2017 / 8:20 pm

      We have some amazing countryside up here, right on our doorsteps, and as much as I love going to London and being in the city, I’m definitely a country girl at heart! xx

  13. June 5, 2017 / 5:37 pm

    That place looks like it came straight out of a fairy tale book!!! Your pictures are beautiful!!!!

    #bigpinklink

    • Laura Dove
      Author
      June 5, 2017 / 8:19 pm

      It’s such a beautiful spot, one of our favourites! xx

  14. June 5, 2017 / 5:51 pm

    Totally agree, as a Londoner who now lives Up North, there is no way I’d go back daaan saaaf again! #bigpinklink

    • Laura Dove
      Author
      June 5, 2017 / 8:19 pm

      Ahh that’s lovely to hear! I love the North!! xx

  15. June 5, 2017 / 5:51 pm

    Lovely kids! And also well done – the photographs look great 🙂

    • Laura Dove
      Author
      June 5, 2017 / 8:18 pm

      Thank you! xx

  16. June 5, 2017 / 7:20 pm

    It looks stunning, absolutely lovely photos. All photographers and bloggers need the compulsory bluebell shots haha 😉 I love the twist on words for this campaign too, it’s great to be proud and positive about where you live!

    • Laura Dove
      Author
      June 5, 2017 / 8:18 pm

      Thank you, are you even a blogger if you haven’t shot photos of the kids in bluebells? xx

  17. June 5, 2017 / 8:50 pm

    Hi, what lovely photos I may be from down south but I like to pop up north and it’s far from grim #bigpinklink

    • Laura Dove
      Author
      June 6, 2017 / 10:01 am

      Thank you Chloe, I love being a Northerner, although we do holiday in the South! xx

  18. June 5, 2017 / 9:23 pm

    What a gorgeous place Fairy Glen is and with the bluebells it’s even more beautiful!! I think the north is gorgeous and never understood that saying. Next time we are up north I’ll defo be heading to explore the fairy glen it looks magical!

    • Laura Dove
      Author
      June 6, 2017 / 10:01 am

      Oh you should, it’s beautiful! We have some amazing places to visit up North, the Lake District has some of the most beautiful places in the whole of the UK, the views are breathtaking! xx

  19. June 5, 2017 / 9:38 pm

    the north has so many fab places to visit. I love the forest of bowland – lots of litlte hamlets to visit x

    • Laura Dove
      Author
      June 6, 2017 / 10:00 am

      Oh me too! That’s not too far from us either, it’s a gorgeous spot! xx

  20. June 5, 2017 / 10:14 pm

    Love the pictures; you do have adorable kids. Your passion for photography reflects as well. Amazing post.

    http://www.msddah.com

    • Laura Dove
      Author
      June 6, 2017 / 10:00 am

      Thank you so much, photographing the children is my favourite thing to do! xx

  21. June 5, 2017 / 10:22 pm

    Some really beautiful photos and what a great campaign idea! Although I don’t think I have heard of grim up north before! you wouldn’t be able to argue that having seen these photos, and the bluebells look amazing

    • Laura Dove
      Author
      June 6, 2017 / 9:59 am

      Thank you Charlotte. It is actually very grim up North today, torrential rain and gale force winds! Booooo! xx

  22. June 6, 2017 / 4:04 am

    England is on my list of places to visit in the future. Your pictures are amazing btw!

    • Laura Dove
      Author
      June 6, 2017 / 9:59 am

      Thank you so much James, we have so many beautiful places to visit in the UK! xx

  23. June 6, 2017 / 4:10 am

    What an amazing walk! And loved the pics. They are just stunning and the kids are super cute!

    • Laura Dove
      Author
      June 6, 2017 / 9:58 am

      Thank you so much! xx

  24. June 6, 2017 / 5:05 am

    I can see why you thought you hit. the jackpot. It does look like such a magical place. Love the flowers.

    • Laura Dove
      Author
      June 6, 2017 / 9:58 am

      Thanks David, there is nothing prettier than bluebells! xx

  25. June 6, 2017 / 7:05 am

    Chris always says it’s cold up north! I love it as from Leeds. So friendly and loads to do. Very pretty too! Love this post xx #postsfromtheheart

    • Laura Dove
      Author
      June 6, 2017 / 9:58 am

      Thanks lovely. It’s bloody freezing up North today, but we’ve had some amazing weather too! xx

  26. June 6, 2017 / 11:49 am

    It looks absolutely beautiful there! It’s amazing when you find real gems like that, right on your doorstep! And you’re right-the north definitely isn’t grim! Liverpool and York are two of my favourite cities, and me and my husband spent a few weeks exploring Yorkshire, just before the eldest was born!
    Gorgeous photographs, and a great campaign!
    #bigpinklink

    • Laura Dove
      Author
      June 6, 2017 / 4:18 pm

      Oh I LOVE York, we have had some amazing days out there and even a weeks holiday. The train runs directly from my village to Liverpool, we are there tomorrow for the theatre, it’s such a friendly place! xx

  27. June 6, 2017 / 3:04 pm

    Your girls look like they have an amazing bond – i love the bluebell kiss picture! Something to embarras them with in years to come when they argue! lol

    • Laura Dove
      Author
      June 6, 2017 / 4:16 pm

      Ahh thank you so much. They have such a lovely bond, I really do hope that they keep it…..! xx

  28. Needa
    June 6, 2017 / 3:06 pm

    This is so scenic !!! i love your post England is beautiful !! the bonding in your picture is wonderful !! May your family bond together

    • Laura Dove
      Author
      June 6, 2017 / 4:16 pm

      Thank you so much Needa. xx

  29. June 6, 2017 / 3:35 pm

    as a citizen of a place whose inhabitants are very proud and love to promote their territory (with great results in the local tourism industry), I love initiatives like “GRINUPNORTH”. it makes people understand the value and beauty of a place where local live happy and enjoy hight standard of life. I think that there is no BEAUTIFUL PLACE OR UGLY PLACES. THERE ARE LOVED PLACES AND NOT LOVED PLACES.

    • Laura Dove
      Author
      June 6, 2017 / 4:14 pm

      You’re totally right, and I love my place of the world very much! xx

  30. June 6, 2017 / 9:19 pm

    As a Northerner too I love where I live! It is a beautiful part of the country. I know I am not too far from you so I will have to visit some of these gorgeous places. Your photographs are just stunning!!

    • Laura Dove
      Author
      June 8, 2017 / 4:00 pm

      Thank you Natalie. I love being a northerner, although I wish we had some of the sunshine from the south too! xx

  31. elizabeth o
    June 6, 2017 / 10:53 pm

    What a brilliant way to turn the tables on those who think folks up north are dour. I love this campaign! I’m grinning! 🙂

    • Laura Dove
      Author
      June 8, 2017 / 3:58 pm

      Thank you! xx

  32. Ali Rost
    June 6, 2017 / 11:40 pm

    My goodness, your photography is incredible! Your kids are going to be able to look back at such fun and beautiful photos from their growing up years .. and tell you a million thank-yous. We’re doing something similar this year. Instead of traveling somewhere, we’re taking lots of day trips to state parks that we haven’t visited before. I wish we’d have done it sooner .. it’s been so much fun x

    • Laura Dove
      Author
      June 8, 2017 / 3:58 pm

      Ahh thank you so much Ali. These are some of my favourite photos of the children. We have stayed in the UK for the last few years for our holidays and have no plans to travel abroad just yet. There are so many amazing places to visit on our doorstep, have a wonderful time travelling this year! xx

  33. June 7, 2017 / 4:51 am

    Beautiful pictures of nature. I love playing in fields with purple small flowers. Day trips to such a natural place with family is really a bliss.

    • Laura Dove
      Author
      June 8, 2017 / 3:57 pm

      I agree, getting out and about is our favourite way to spend time together! xx

  34. June 7, 2017 / 9:10 am

    kids photos says the best part of this post, Joy and Happiness is there with them, so cute to have such fun moments captured in the best way possible. amazing post.

    • Laura Dove
      Author
      June 8, 2017 / 3:55 pm

      Thank you Lex. I think you’re right, these are the moments that we will always remember. xx

    • Laura Dove
      Author
      June 8, 2017 / 3:53 pm

      I LOVE Yorkshire! We have always been lucky with the weather over that way! xx

  35. June 7, 2017 / 2:36 pm

    We southerners living up north and yes the weather can be grim but it can be equally as grim elsewhere in the country. We do live in England after all. We’ve discovered some absolute gems of places whilst exploring the north!

    • Laura Dove
      Author
      June 8, 2017 / 3:51 pm

      I love the North but we do holiday in the south!! The weather tends to be better down there but when it’s nice up here, you can’t beat it! xx

  36. June 7, 2017 / 4:05 pm

    You can always find beauty on your doorstep. Gone are the days, spending a bucket load of cash to travel overseas.

    • Laura Dove
      Author
      June 8, 2017 / 3:51 pm

      I agree, we haven’t been abroad since 2012 and haven’t missed it at all! xx

  37. June 7, 2017 / 10:01 pm

    Fairy Glen looks magical. You took some beautiful pictures there. X

    • Laura Dove
      Author
      June 8, 2017 / 3:48 pm

      Thank you so much Kerry. xx

  38. June 8, 2017 / 5:45 am

    Great post! I’m from the Midlands (which also gets a bad reputstion) but I do love the North. What a beautiful place to visit, you kids look so cute and happy!

    • Laura Dove
      Author
      June 8, 2017 / 3:45 pm

      Thank you Nay. I think there will always be misconceptions about various parts of the UK, we are very lucky to have so many beautiful places in our country! xx

  39. June 8, 2017 / 2:42 pm

    I haven’t heard the phrase Grim up north because the northern states are considered to be exceptionally beautiful in India. 😀 I loved your post and the Grin up North campaign. The children are too cute for words 🙂

    • Laura Dove
      Author
      June 8, 2017 / 3:42 pm

      Ahh you are very lucky! Us Northerners get a raw deal in the UK, little do the southerners know what they are missing! xx

  40. June 9, 2017 / 12:11 pm

    I was born up north (county durham) but moved south when i was just two so I class myself as a southerner. I do love to visit though as the scenery is so beautiful and you are lucky to have so many gorgeous places to visit on your doorstep

    • Laura Dove
      Author
      June 10, 2017 / 3:12 pm

      Ahh I’ve never been to Durham! I do love the north but I always holiday in the south! xx

  41. June 9, 2017 / 2:39 pm

    I agree with you – the countryside up north is simply stunning! As a child who grew up in Whitby though I do have to admit to some grim memories of cold, wet, miserable winters!! I do even recall ice on the INSIDE of windows – but that’s military housing for you! #postsfromtheheart

    • Laura Dove
      Author
      June 10, 2017 / 3:11 pm

      Oh I LOVE Whitby, it’s one of my favourite places in the north! xx

  42. June 10, 2017 / 12:31 am

    This post is beautiful in so many ways – where to start. Your photos are stunning, and the sets of this stellar place seem to make all very happy and involved. The promise of ice cream does do wonders for the kinder! And it is so wonderful to see families enjoying the beauty and grandeur of the great outdoors, especially a place so aptly named as Fairy Glen! My littles would love it more than Disney I suspect! <3

  43. June 10, 2017 / 12:31 am

    This post is beautiful in so many ways – where to start. Your photos are stunning, and the sets of this stellar place seem to make all very happy and involved. The promise of ice cream does do wonders for the kinder! And it is so wonderful to see families enjoying the beauty and grandeur of the great outdoors, especially a place so aptly named as Fairy Glen! My littles would love it more than Disney I suspect! <3

    • Laura Dove
      Author
      June 10, 2017 / 3:05 pm

      Ahh thank you, it’s a gorgeous place to visit! There is nothing more magical than hunting for fairies, especially in such a beautiful setting! xx

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