The village of Bardon Mill is a 30 minute (downhill) walk from Layside and well worth a visit if only to appreciate a good coffee and home-made scone, cake or sandwich at the Village Store and Tea Room. Positioned adjacent to the Village Green, the store is at the heart of the village and owner Mike provides a warm welcome seven days a week. Opposite is the Errington Reay pottery which started life as a water-powered woollen mill in the mid-1700s before it was burnt down by an employee, Harvey, whose ghost is said to remain in the upstairs of the building. The pottery was founded in 1878 by William Reay and Robert Errington. Originally specialising in clay sewerage pipes then from the 1970s (following the advent of plastic pipes), it diversified to produce garden pots, which quickly became popular with clients from across the country.
The park is also well worth a visit – Bart took a short stroll following the Pitman’s Trail which was once the site of the Bardon Mill Colliery (once employing 300 men and producing more than 156,000 tonnes of coal every year). Following the hard work of a team of local volunteers, the reclaimed woodland is flourishing and provides a great backdrop to the state-of-the-art community building (the UK’s only earth-sheltered village hall)!