Top summer days out in Lancashire and the Lake District.
PUBLISHED: 23:14 30 July 2012 | UPDATED: 21:41 20 February 2013
There is no shortage of places to visit for a great day out in Lancashire and the Lake District. Amanda Griffiths selects ten you might like to try
The print version of this article appeared in the August 2012 issue of Lancashire Life
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Join the safari
There is plenty to see at this famous nature reserve all the year round and it has all the ingredients for a great day out. There are more than 100 types of rare and endangered water-birds, resident beavers and otters and an imaginative playground for young adventurers plus an inspirational eco garden.
One of the highlights is the self guided Canoe Safari (5 per canoe) which sees three people sitting in a Canadian-style canoe for up to an hour to get close to nature spotting insects and wildflowers as well as species like bearded tits, sedge warblers and reed warblers.
WWT Martin Mere Wetland Centre, Fish Lane, Burscough, L40 0TA. 01704 895181
Lovely for ducks
This is where you can explore a magical world which brings to life all 23 of Beatrix Potters enchanting tales.
Meet your favourite characters including Jeremy Fisher, Peter Rabbit and Jemima Puddle-Duck and step into Peter Rabbits garden and see the cos lettuces that Benjamin Bunny nibbled on and the gooseberry bush where Peter got caught in a net as he tried to escape from Mr McGregor.
Theres free activity sheets for children, a themed caf and fabulous gift shop to take a little bit of Beatrix Potter magic home with you.
The World of Beatrix Potter, Bowness-on-Windermere, LA23 3BX. 0844 504 1233
Kick-off the holidays
If young football fans are missing the Euros and want a fix before the season starts head to Manchesters new National Football Museum.
Taking over the whole of the citys landmark Urbis building, the new museum will provide a world-class home for the greatest collection of football memorabilia ever assembled and is set to become one of the biggest visitor attractions in the UK.
Over several floors, the museum is home to more than 140,000 objects, artefacts and memorabilia including the UEFA European Winners Cup, a unique Peppers Ghost video illusion featuring Gary Lineker and Sir Geoff Hurst, a shirt from the worlds first international match played in 1872, the 1966 World Cup final ball and the shirt worn by Maradona during the infamous hand of God quarter finals match between England and Argentina.
National Football Museum, Urbis Building, Cathedral Gardens, Manchester, M4 3BG, www.nationalfootballmuseum.com
Come and get lost
Children and adults alike will be impressed by this 12 acre, annually changing, uniquely designed maze. As well as the main maze, which follows a different theme each year theres also a mini maze for toddlers and a large indoor and outdoor play area and picnic tables to enjoy the (hoped for) sunshine.
Singleton Maize Maze, Mount Farm, Carr Lane, Singleton, FY6 8LG. 01995 670381
What a terrific boar
Set in the heart of the Forest of Bowland, the Wild Boar Park has more than wild pigs. Ramble along the footpaths and see all kinds of animals from llamas, wallabies and lambs to the various sized wild boar playing in the park.
Theres also usually the opportunity to feed (and pet) some of the animals as well as a large play and picnic area to really make the most of your day. If this wasnt enough theres tractor and trailer rides as well as a farm shop offering some tasty treats.
Bowland Wild Boar Park, Forest of Bowland, Chipping, PR3 2QT. 01995 61554
Park yourself here
Come rain or shine theres usually something to do in Lancasters stunning Williamson Park, 54 acres of beautiful parkland with enchanting walks and play areas and breathtaking views to the Fylde coast and the Lake District.
The tropical butterfly house has mini beasts such as lizards, birds and small mammals to fascinate children and add a touch of the exotic to a family day out.
Williamson Park, Wyresdale Road, Lancaster, LA1 1UX. 01524 33318
Take a stroll around the 14th century Cistercian Abbey ruins and their beautiful gardens and woodland beside the River Calder for a relaxing visit.
The gift shop sells tickets to the grounds and theres a woodland walk. The shop also has souvenirs, books and gifts and an exhibition portrays the historic and spiritual roots of the Abbey.
Whalley Abbey, The Sands, Church Lane, Whalley, BB7 9SS, 01254 828400
A mine of excitement
Take a fascinating trip into the heart of the hillside and learn about Honisters quarrying history and how the late Mark Weir brought this mine back to life.
The adventurous might also like to try the Via Ferrata, a cliff-edge assault course on the slopes of Fleetwith Pike, using the old Victorian miners footpath which aims to simulate the high dramas faced by mountaineers (without any previous experience) and show the hardships of those Victorian miners.
Honister Slate Mine, Honister Pass, Keswick, CA12 5XN, 017687 77230
Out of farms way
If you are heading for the north Lancashire coast, stop off at Greenlands Farm Village. Children will love the open farm where you can pet storybook farm animals, ride a horse and trap, pedal a mini tractor and picnic in the paddocks.
Elsewhere in the artisan village you can meet talented craftspeople, discover regional produce, savour home cooked fare and treat yourself to hand-selected gifts, including plants and wine from a well-stocked on-site merchant.
Greenlands Farm Village, Tewitfield, Carnforth, LA6 1JH, 01524 784184, www.greenlandsfarmvillage.co.uk
Askham for an outing
Visitors can meander through the gardens which include long terraces of colourful herbaceous borders, topiary, ponds, meadows and wooded areas as well as a kitchen garden and stunning views of the River Lowther and Lowther Church as well as enjoying a bite to eat or homemade ice cream in the newly opened Kitchen Garden Caf.
Askham Hall, Askham, Penrith, CA10 2PF. 01931 712348