10 great summer days out in Lancashire and the Lake District

PUBLISHED: 00:00 02 June 2017

Martin Mere Wildfowl Reserve

Martin Mere Wildfowl Reserve


Get out and about this summer with our top picks

Martin Mere Wetland Centre

A place for all seasons, you’ll find something different each time you visit Martin Mere. From spotting migrating swans, rare birds and fascinating wetland wildlife, to getting involved in events such as bird watching, photography classes and even a canoe safari, the wetland centre is a great day out for all of the family.

WWT Martin Mere, Fish Lane, Burscough, L40 0TA

Tel: 01704 895181, www.wwt.org.uk/wetland-centres/martin-mere

Lancaster Canal Boats

Avoid sitting in traffic and get out and about on the waterways with a scenic canal cruise. It’s a chance to see Lancashire from a different perspective, hop on the waterbus for the Lune aqueduct experience, take a trip to Carnforth and back or even hire out your own for a tailored cruise.

Lancaster Canal Boats, Aldcliffe Road, Lancaster, LA1 1AZ

Tel: 01524 389410, www.budgietransport.co.uk

Harris Museum and Art Gallery

The collection here includes over 70,000 objects, meaning you won’t struggle to find something interesting to look and learn about whenever you visit. The grade I listed, neo-classical building was opened as a free library and museum in 1893 and has been enriching the lives of visitors and the local community since. Expect to see everything from fine and contemporary art, ceramics, archaeology and local objects, each with their own story.

Harris Museum and Art Gallery, Market Square, Preston, PR1 2PP

Tel: 01772 258248, www.harrismuseum.org.uk

Gisburn Forest

Located in the North East corner of Lancashire and within the Forest of Bowland Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, Gisburn Forest has a wealth of activities for those who enjoy being active, or simply want to relax in the great outdoors. Take in fabulous scenery on one of their way-marked forest walks with a picnic, or try the Stocks reservoir circular walks. For those who like mountain biking, there are different trails and loops of various grades to suit all.

Gisburn Forest, BB7 4TS


East Lancashire Railway

Trains aren’t just for rail enthusiasts; they’re a great way to explore the county, leaving the car at home to do something a bit different. Hop on and off, or take part in one of the events including the popular guided real ale trail. Chug through lush valleys and pretty villages, stopping off at various places on the way to sample a pint of locally brewed ale – while also exploring the area’s fascinating history, heritage and hops. There are also various events for children, including a ‘Day Out with Thomas’ and the Pirate Express.

East Lancashire Railway, Bolton Street Station, Bury, BL9 0EY Tel: 0161 764 7790,


The World of Beatrix Potter

The celebrated author was inspired by the Lake District’s natural beauty and abundant wildlife, and now 23 of her magical tales are brought to life at this attraction. Sights, sounds and aromas have been recreated in 3D displays, giving the whole family the chance to meet favourite characters such as Squirrel Nutkin and Mrs. Tiggywinkle. Don’t miss a look at The Peter Rabbit Garden, which was designed by Chelsea RHS Gold medal winner, Richard Lucas.

The World of Beatrix Potter, Bowness-on-Windermere, Cumbria, LA23 3BX Tel: 015394 88444,


Lakes Distillery

Established by Paul Currie in 2014, this award-winning distillery is situated on a restored Victorian cattle farm. Learn just how the distillery’s handcrafted Lakes Malt, Lakes Gin and Lakes Vodka are made on a fascinating tour, before sampling a few of the drinks in the visitor centre. There is also an opportunity to grab a great lunch or dinner at the Bistro at the Distillery, or even become a member of the exclusive Founders’ Club.

The Lakes Distillery, Setmurthy, nr Bassenthwaite Lake, Cumbria, CA13 9SJ Tel: 017687 88850,


Cumbria Wildlife Trust

The Cumbria Wildlife Trust manages 44 nature reserves across the county, 38 of which are open to visitors and host various events. One of the most interesting is whale and dolphin watching in the Irish Sea, which take place a few times each month at St Bees Beach. The free event is run in partnership with the Sea Watch Foundation. If you’re just after a bit of an adventure, you have to choice of exploring bogs, meadows, ancient woodlands, beaches, and grasslands.

Various locations around Cumbria


Muncaster Castle

There are a variety of things to keep you busy at Muncaster Castle, a 19th century building which is still lived in today by the Pennington family. Take a tour around the haunted castle, wander around the Himalayan gardens and be wowed by the colourful bluebell woods. There is also a Hawk and Owl Centre, where you can watch exhilarating flying displays and get involved in bird of prey experiences. For younger visitors, the MeadowVole Maze, adventure playgrounds and Enchanted Trail are ideal for keeping them entertained.

Muncaster Castle, Ravenglass, Cumbria, CA18 1RQ Tel: 01229 717 614,


Samlesbury Hall

Be transported back in time and enjoy a tour of Samlesbury Hall with Henry VIII or even one of the three Samlesbury Witches. These fun, free tours of a Sunday are a great way to learn more about one of Lancashire’s historic buildings, a half-timbered black and white medieval house built in 1325. To make a day of it, grab something to eat at the restaurant, wafflery or ice cream parlour, and even stay over in one of their Shepherd’s Hut and Lodges.

Samlesbury Hall, Preston New Road, Samlesbury, Preston, PR5 0UP Tel: 01254 812010,


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