Molly gets call of the wild. . .

Big country: Molly Rlaphson out and about
Big country: Molly Rlaphson out and about

When mother-of-two Molly Ralphson neared 40 years of age she had a bit of a crisis.

After having her own company, Tiny Trumpets, where she went out with puppets and instruments educating toddlers through music in Colne, Nelson and the surrounding areas, the triathlete decided she wanted a different direction, something which involved her love of the outside,

So Molly took a risk, sold her company, went on an MSc in international events management at Manchester Metropolitan University and has set up her own business Hills and Mills offering guided running, walking and cycling breaks in Burnley, Pendle and the Ribble Valley.

“I turned 40 this year and I guess, just prior to it, I had a mid-life crisis,” said Molly, who lives in Simonstone with husband Dean and their two children Sally (15) and Patrick (14).

“Being an experienced and enthusiastic fell runner and multi-sports athlete, I decided I wanted to combine my love of organising events with my love of being outside.

“I also want to shout about what is a fairly well-kept secret which is the wild beauty of this little corner of Lancashire, While outsiders may hear the name Burnley and conjure up an image of an industrial town, where everyone lives in terraced housing, walks around wearing flat caps eating pie, chips and gravy, I want to show people the real town: the one that has been voted Britain’s Most Enterprising Place, the one that is home to Britain’s Best Day Spa in Crow wood Leisure and Fitness, the one that is surrounded by breath-taking scenery, wild rugged moorland and the majestic Pendle Hill whose surrounding villages are steeped in tales of folklore and witchcraft.”

Molly, who was brought up in Trawden and competes for Trawden Athletic Club, is offering away weekends – or weekdays – which include walking, running and cycling around the outskirts of Burnley and she has linked up with Crow Wood to offer accomodation, spa and fine dining –the relaxation after all the activity.

“I think people get the best of both worlds – the great outdoors and then relaxing indoors,” added Molly. “I also will cater for the needs of individual groups so if we have people who want to shop, we have places like Boundary Mill and Oswaldtwistle Mills, or people who enjoy history, there is Towneley Hall and its surroundings as well as Gawthorpe Hall.

“This corner of East Lancashire has such a lot to offer and I think we should shout about it and encourage people to see it.”

For further information, go to www.hillsandmills.co.uk