This page features days out and places to visit in Lancashire that bring you closer to the great outdoors, or provide a great, fun learning opportunity.
Brockholes - Junction 31, M6
At Brockholes you can explore the beautiful reserve, see the wildlife that call it ‘home’ or hunt out the Visitor Village with restaurant and shops, all of which float (yes really!) on one of their lakes. You can also discover the interactive Welcome Centre and learn all about the wildlife that you could see on-site. Be sure to call in to pick up a welcome leaflet that will help you plan your day.
Burrs Activity Centre - Bury
Burrs Activity Centre is ideally situated in Burrs Country Park and with the River Irwell running through the park it is the only UK Activity Centre able to offer white-water kayaking and canoeing on site. In addition our team of fully qualified instructors can also offer both kayaking and canoeing in our purpose built training pool, canoe polo, abseiling, rafting, orienteering, adventure games, archery, and indoor climbing on our own climbing wall.
Cuerden Valley Park - Bamber Bridge The Barn Visitor Centre
(PR5 6BY, Berkeley Drive) located approx. 1.5 miles from M6 J29, via Wigan Road and Shady Lane.
650 acres of gardens, woods, ponds and meadows to explore with the River Lostock meandering through. Historic Pinetum and Walled Orchard for good measure. Jacob sheep. Open FREE every day. 5 car parks (car parking just £1). Tea shop on Saturdays & Sundays. Run by Cuerden Valley Park Trust (an independent charity). Twitter: @CuerdenValleyPK
Farmer Ted's is an interactive children's activity park, sited on a working farm within the beautiful Lancashire countryside. The Farm Park's aim is to provide a fun, family orientated atmosphere where Mums and Dads will feel just as comfortable as the Kids. The attraction offers an educational, safe and fun place for the whole family to visit.
Go Ape - Rivington, Lancashire
With its rugged hills, picturesque reservoirs and woodland, Rivington is hailed as Chorley's mini Lake District... a great location for a Go Ape course. Giant obstacle courses up in the trees using ladders, walkways, bridges and tunnels made of wood, rope and super-strong wire, and top it all off with the country’s best zip lines.
Mere Sands Wood - Nr Ormskirk, West Lancashire
Mere Sands Wood is a wildlife-rich haven in the heart of agricultural west Lancashire. The reserve covers 42 hectares (105 acres) and is made up of lakes, mature broadleaved and conifer woodland, sandy, wet meadows and heaths. The management of the reserve is designed not only to encourage wildlife, but also to provide facilities for people to visit and enjoy seeing the wildlife. The site is nationally important for wildfowl and dragonflies, as well as its geology, and has a fascinating history.
The National Trust protect historic houses, gardens, mills, coastline, forests, woods, fens, beaches, farmland, moorland, islands, archaeological remains, nature reserves, villages and pubs. Then they open them up for ever, for everyone. Search on their website for your local National Trust sites.
North Blackpool Pond Trail - Lancashire
The Pond Trail is a three year project that’s helping to involve local people with our historic but little-known network of ponds and wetlands. Stretching from Kincraig Lake (Bispham Marsh) in the north to the reedbed off Holyoake Avenue in the south this green corridor includes twenty-three ponds. Some of the ponds have great crested newts, others feature flowering dykes and reed beds. Many are regionally important too, classed as Biological Heritage Sites. Everyone’s welcome to enjoy using the Pond Trail, whether it’s for exercise, cycling or a quiet stroll to watch the wildlife. There’s plenty of it to see!
A great family day out whatever the weather. You can hop on a real steam train for a ride, blow a whistle, and see some old locomotives. Lots of family activities going on. Check their website for opening times and train ride time-tables.
RSPB Leighton Moss - Carnforth
Leighton Moss is the largest reedbed in north-west England, and home to some really special birds such as breeding bitterns, bearded tits and marsh harriers. You might see deer too, not to mention butterflies aplenty! Choose from a selection of trails and hides, most of which are suitable for wheelchairs, and get right to the heart of the reedbed. Or take the nature trail alongside two coastal lagoons to see lots of wading and water birds (ask in the visitor centre for more details). Children will love finding out more about the reserve from the displays in the visitor centre and you can also enjoy a home-made meal and a drink in the tea room.
Sankey Valley Park - St Helens
The Sankey Valley Country Park follows the course of England’s first industrial waterway, the Sankey Navigation, and stretches for 15 miles from Carr Mill in St.Helens, through Warrington to the River Mersey at Widnes.The park is overseen by Rangers, both in the St.Helens side of the Park and in the Warrington side. The Rangers at the St.Helens side are based in the Ranger Station at the back of the Ship Inn Public House, which is situated at the end of Blackbrook Road where the road joins on to West End Road. The Station has a range of facilities to offer the public, including toilets for visitors and a large car park. The Rangers are very knowledgeable, helpful and friendly. It is obvious from meeting the rangers, that they are wildlife enthusiasts and enjoy their jobs.
WWT Martin Mere Wetland Centre - Burscough, Lancashire
WWT Martin Mere is a world class nature reserve with thousands of species of wildlife. They have fun events taking place throughout the year - from summer holiday activities to photo workshops. Pond dipping, crafts and play centres to keep children of all ages entertained and engaged.