Summer outings in Lancashire and The Lakes
PUBLISHED: 09:42 02 August 2010 | UPDATED: 17:39 20 February 2013
Make the most of the summer holidays with one of these top ten family friendly days out in Lancashire and the Lake District
Southport and Blackpool might be the seaside resorts that roll of the tongue in Lancashire but the smaller, more sedate St Annes with its rolling sand dunes might be a less crowded option. Its Victorian Pier, built on 1885 is home to amusement rides as well as shops and a caf, so there should be no danger of little ones getting bored.
Arnside and Silverdale
For a day on the coast with a difference why not head over to the coastal villages of Arnside and Silverdale. As Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty you can enjoy a walk along the coast or even spend some time watching for the rare butterflies and marshland birds that make their home here. Leighton Moss RSPB Reserve can also be found nearby with numerous daily events taking place all throughout the summer or if youd like to combine your day with a visit to a stately home try Leighton Hall.
Standing at 557 metres high, Pendle Hill dominates the Forest of Bowland landscape with views on a clear day stretching to the coast. The hill is of course best known in connection with the Pendle Witches, however it also provides some great walking and cycling trails for enthusiasts. If youre on the trail of the witches there is a leaflet, the Pendle Witches Trail, you can pick up from Pendle Heritage Centre (01282 677150) following the trail from Barley to Newchurch and Roughlee. You can buy souvenirs and have a cup of tea at Witches Galore in Newchurch and might like to try to find the witches graves at St Marys churchyard. If youd rather be guided round the area try the witches experience mini bus tour (01282 458759).
Spend the day surrounded by flora and fauna in Lancasters Edwardian Williamson Park. Enjoy a picnic in the grounds which boast lake, fountains, caf and childrens play area. The Ashton Memorial is the focus of the park which has great views across the coast and if little ones are getting a bit bored in the park then head to the exotic Butterfly House.
Head over to East Lancashire and the Rossendale Valley where theres plenty to do. A great family day can be had on the East Lancashire Railway, (0161 764 7790, www.east-lancs-rly.co.uk) which runs between Rawtenstall and Heywood, board
the steam train at either end of the route and get on and off at any of the stops you like, taking the time to visit Dickensian Ramsbottom or Bury Market.
If you fancy a more action packed day head to Ski Rossendale, (01706 226457) where you can learn or practice your skiing and snowboarding skills on the three slopes. All equipment and helmet hire is included in the price.
We know that visitors love the Lake District but many miss out on the ruggedness of the western lakes preferring to head to the south. Instead of a day in Windermere head a little further up to Keswick; take a 50 minute cruise on Derwentwater, (Keswick Launch, 017687 72263) or if youre feeling energetic hire a rowing boat. Theres plenty other attractions in the town including the world famous Pencil Museum and you might like to end your day out with a trip to The Theatre By The Lake, (017687 74411).
Back up in the western lakes, why not head for Ullswater - arguably a painters paradise with that quaint boathouse jutting out onto the lake. Visitors can take a trip on the 19th century steamers, (017684 82229), from Pooley Bridge to Glenridding or you might want to combine a cruise with a walk back along the shore line - the walk from Howtown to Glenridding is said to be one of the most beautiful in Lakeland. If you want some more rugged scenery, then head up to Aria Force the beautiful waterfall in the fells above Ullswater.
Dalton is home to Lakelands only zoo; South Lakes Wild Animal Park, (01229 466086) which is reported to be one of Europes leading conservation zoos. Its 17 acres are home to some of the rarest animals in breeding programmes to prevent them becoming extinct in the wild. It is also the only zoo in Britain to have both Amur and Sumatran tigers, the biggest and smallest in the world.
For a wet and wild sporty day out head to Littleborough and in particular, Hollingworth Lake, a water sports venue, country park and nature reserve all in one. Water sports on offer include sailing, windsurfing, kayak/canoeing as well as power boating and raft building. All equipment can be hired from the visitor centre (01706 373421) and if you prefer a more leisurely day on the water you can take a trip on The Lady Alice or hire your own rowing boat. Hollingworth Lake has also recently been voted as the north wests favourite picnic site.
For a magical day of wizards and knights head to Camelot Theme Park, (01257 452100) in Chorley, where King Arthur still reigns and dragons roam the land. Watch the daily jousting between knights, jesters, jugglers and fire eaters; head to Merlins School of Wizardry or Squire Bumpkins Farm as well as enjoying the numerous rides and slides.