Day’s out in the North West
The holidays have arrived and we all love a good day out with kids while they are off school. We love to get out and about mainly for our own sanity but also to let the littles run wild and burn off some of that everlasting energy they have!
For me a place needs to have a few things in order for me to want to return:
- Areas for picnics – I much prefer to bring my own food for a day out than battle for a table in a busy cafe or restaurant with a screaming toddler and a bulky pram! Also I’m fed up of paying for food that they then don’t eat.
- Toilets AND baby change in accessible places, preferably in various locations if the venue is large. Nappy explosions aren’t predictable!
- A play area at at the very least a large area for them to run around on without any immediate danger of bodies of water etc.
- Beautiful scenery. Ok, this one is purely for me as the kids aren’t really bothered about that.
- At the moment, paths that are easy to push a pram on are ideal too.
So here is a quick round up of my favourite places to visit. Hopefully it’ll give you some ideas.
Ness Botanic Gardens
A beautiful place for kids to run around. Of course the weather helps but this is a place you can spend most of the day. They have plenty of grassy areas for a picnic. A play area and little nooks for big imaginations to run wild.
A National Trust venue with beautiful gardens, a natural play area called ‘Wolf’s Den’, a cafe and Ice Cream Parlour and a house to explore. As with all National Trust properties they do tend to run events and trails and various times of the year. We only discovered Erddig at the start of this year and already we’ve returned.
Another National Trust venue with gardens, a large park, a house and restaurant to explore. Again a brilliant outdoor space for kids to be kids, exploring, building dens, bug detecting and watching the world go by. There are also deer roaming free which is always a cause for amusement with Pops. This is a place you can just take an easy stroll around and let them run around, no fuss.
Small and compact but has it all. Animals to view and touch. Indoor play area for when it rains, outdoor play area for when our British weather allows, short woodland walks and a cafe. They hold events at seasonal times of the year. The highlight for most kids seems to be the tractor ride from the car park to the farm!
Our local ‘go to’ forest. Delamere is looked after by the Forestry Commission and is a firm favourite for our family. You can read more about why it is special to us on a previous post I have written. Central is a large lake, find the Gruffalo or take part in activities such as den building and bug exploring. There are so many walks you can do here so this place never gets boring.
Another favourite we only discovered last year. Technically not quite the north west but within easy access from the north west! You can read more about why we love it on a previous post. The Trentham Estate is in Stoke-On-Trent and just 10 minutes off the M6. So many spaces for kids to run around and explore. A visit is not complete without doing the barefoot trail or seeking out all the fairy sculptures.
The Ice cream farm
The venue for our daughter’s upcoming fifth birthday. Set in the beautiful Cheshire countryside this place has gone from strength to strength over the years attracting visitors from all over the north west. Beware it can get extremely busy over holiday periods so try to visit early in the day or late on. Don’t let a bit of unsettled weather put you off either, there are indoor areas to retreat to such as the sand and water play area that hold just as much fun as the outdoor areas.
Manley Mere is another place that holds many memories in particular for my OH. He used to visit as a child, windsurfing on the lake. Around the lake you can picnic if the weather allows or you could use the restaurant. But the best part is the trail and actually if you visit when it’s raining or just been raining then it’s even better. You have to accept that here you WILL get dirty. It’s a muddy obstacle course for little kids and big kids. (In fact me and my OH did the trail pre-kids, being the big kids we are!). You can of course bypass the obstacles if you’re with a pram/pregnant/wimpy 😉