Local Attractions & Family Fun
Our area is a nature lover’s dream destination with countryside gems nestled around every corner. It’s a perfect place to spend time exploring, relaxing, walking, cycling or visiting our popular attractions.
Runners, ramblers, cyclists and boat enthusiasts will feel at home on the Leeds and Liverpool Canal. The historic man made waterway provides scope for miles of interesting exploration. The canal has branches at Lathom. Scarisbrick, Rufford, Parbold and Tarleton. Fettlers Wharf and St Mary’s Marina in Rufford are mooring for boats and provide access to fabulous walks. There are also the delicious pubs and cafes situated alongside the canal which can enjoy to break up up your walk or cycle.
Holmeswood Road, Rufford, L40 1TG. Tel: 01704 821809
This reserve is a wildlife rich haven and it is as beautiful as it is secluded. It covers 105 acres and is made up of lakes and mature woodland. The site is nationally important for wildfowl and dragonflies. Kingfisher, watervoles, woodpeckers, warblers and turtle doves and among the creatures living here. In all, 17 species of mammal. Over 170 bird species and over 200 species of fungi have been seen on the reserve.
Fish Lane, Burscough, L40 0TA. Tel: 01704 895181
Martin Mere attracts tens of thousands of visitors a year. It plays host to a permanent collection spanning 100 rare and exotic bird species, while providing a temporary home for thousands of migratory swans, ducks and geese. Also after a 500-year absence from Lancashire, four European beavers have taken up residence at Martin Mere, It’s the only attraction in the North West where visitors can watch beavers in their natural habitat. There is also a huge outdoor play area, den building, wild walk and canoe safari.
This is one of the most important places for wildlife in Europe. The area has a contrasting coastline that each day has something different to offer. It stretches along the coast between the resorts of Southport and Lytham St Annes facing each other across the water. It takes in natural attractions to the south of the estuary and continues up river to the east of Preston where gateway attractions are being developed. It is one of the most important places for birdlife in Europe and home to internationally significant numbers of ducks, geese, swans and wading birds.
Starting from Crook Hall Farm, you could walk for miles along the lovely local lanes and public footpaths and just enjoy the beautiful countryside. However, there are are few designated woodland walks just a short drive away and a couple are detailed below.
Hunters Hill in Hilldale was a former quarry that has since been to make the most of its beautiful woodlands, shrubs and rock faces by creating footpaths, seating and picnic areas as well as scenic view points. It is a particularly good site for bees and butterflies in the summer months and for fungi in the autumn/winter months. Aslo, nestled on the side of Parbold Hill, Fairy Glen has a tranquil, secluded atmosphere. The site follows Sprodley Brook which has, over time, cut down through the underlying sandstone to create the steep Fairy Glen valley with spectacular waterfalls and cliff faces. These features, interspersed within the ancient broadleaved woodland, make Fairy Glen one of the most picturesque woodlands in the area.
Beacon Lane, Upholland, WN8 7RU. Tel: 01695 622794
This green flag status park consists of over 300 acres of rolling countryside and has some amazing vantage points overlooking the Lancashire Plain to the west and the Pennine Hills to the east. The site also boasts wildflower meadows, grassland, natural ponds and areas of semi-natural woodland. An extensive path network means that everyone can explore the park and there is plenty of space to walk, run, cycle or just relax.
Cliffs Farm Activity Centre, Wood Lane, Mawdesley, L40 2RL. Tel: 01704 822644
Here you can have an exciting and exhilarating day out. You can choose from over 15 different activity sessions. They are all situated on their 180-acre site and they have activities for all age groups and abilities that can either be land or water based. There is climbing, abseiling, canoeing, archery, high ropes, raft building, orienteering and rifle shooting. They can design your visit to however you would like it, whether you either just want to have some fun or you want a team building or competitive element to it.
Red Cat Lane, Burscough, L40 0RE. Tel: 01704 892282
This fun attraction offers visitors the chance to experience the every day running of an actual working farm while still having the chance to watch, feed and touch the animals. They also have three great children’s play areas, one of which is indoors if it’s a rainy day. They also have a fun miniature train that takes you across the farm.
Station Road, Hesketh Bank, PR4 6SP. Tel: 01772 815881
This is Lancashire’s only narrow gauge railway and is a short 2ft-gauge passenger line in the village of Hesketh Bank, between Southport and Preston. It features locomotives, wagons and other equipment from long-gone industrial sites in Lancashire, other parts of the UK and overseas. They run steam trains on Sundays and Bank Holidays from Easter to the end of October.
Grove Mill, The Green, Eccleston, PR7 5TZ. Tel: 01257 451889
This unique shopping experience is fabulous for historians of all ages. You will find vintage clothing and furniture, collectable artwork and memorabilia from yesteryear. It has more than 500 stall holders spread across 5 enormous floors.
Back Lane, Mawdesley, L40 3SY. Tel: 01704 822038
This is within walking distance and is a great local trip out. It has a selection of unique shops from clothes and accessories to art and crafts. It also houses businesses from interior design to hairdressers and beauty and photography. There is also a great coffee shop, food shop and café and outdoor play areas for the children as well as a small walk about farm where you can get close to the goats, sheep, pigs and chickens.
Wood Lane, Heskin, PR7 5PA. Tel: 07599 831907
Here visitors can experience over 50 unique shops including craft, gifts, cards, clothing, accessories, upholstery, beauty salon and hairdressers, jewelry, art, pottery painting, butchers, farm shop, antiques and collectibles. There is also a café where you can enjoy a glass of wine.