BRING THE FAMILY
WITH the summer holidays fast approaching, day trips and staycations are on the cards for many of us, so it’s time to unleash your wild side and enjoy some great outdoor adventures. To help you plan a summer of fun, here are some suggestions for days out in the North West...
QUARRY BANK Wilmslow Discover a complete industrial community and explore the worlds of those who lived and worked at this giant cotton mill.
Families can go back in time in the Apprentice House to learn about the child workers, while in the mill you can feel the floors shake beneath your feet as the historic machinery thunders into action. The gardens and woodland are the perfect playground for nature explorers. Little legs can follow a nature trail, tick off some ‘50 things to do before you’re 11¾’ activities, and run wild in the natural play area.
SPEKE HALL Liverpool This iconic black and white Tudor manor house on the banks of the River Mersey is the home of five centuries of stories, fables and tales. Families can begin their summer story here by following the Giant Childe of Hale sculpture trail, based on the local legend of 9’3” tall John Middleton. More adventures can be found in the play area with a zip wire, a woodland obstacle course and a giant hedge maze.
LYME Stockport Nestled on the edge of the Peak District, Lyme’s 1,400-acre estate has plenty of room for full-day adventures. The grand regency house is packed with Legh family treasures, while the surrounding gardens, moorland and deer park are alive with wildlife.
Climb the hill up to a historic watchtower, known as the Cage. Once at the top, it’s the perfect spot for a picnic or kite flying. Less energetic visitors can take a gentler stroll around the Edwardian rose garden and spot bees and butterflies dancing among the flowerbeds.
DUNHAM MASSEY Greater Manchester A wildlife haven and a house filled with 300 years of history is waiting for visitors to Dunham Massey. This green oasis is a young explorer’s paradise with its resident herd of deer, tree trail through the woods, and a log pile to play on. There are sporty challenges to get stuck into this summer, with the ‘active outdoors’ trail. Families can hopscotch, hula-hoop and dance their way around the parkland to earn their place on the winner’s podium.
SIZERGH near Kendal, Cumbria Just five minutes from the M6, and at the gateway to the Lake District, this 1,600-acre estate surrounds a castle-like building. With wetlands, woodlands and orchards, you’re never far from Sizergh’s resident wildlife. Families can test their navigation skills to find the woodland play area, hopping along tree trunks, balancing on beams and crawling through tunnels.
FELL FOOT near Newby Bridge, Cumbria Sitting on the southern tip of Lake Windermere, Fell Foot is the place to be for paddling and swimming this summer. Families can make a bigger splash with rowboat, kayak and paddleboard hire. For those who prefer dry land, there are sports and games for family tournaments, and a colourful wildflower meadow for gentle strolls. The children’s play area includes accessible equipment so everyone can enjoy scrambling, swinging and sliding this summer.