Delamere Forest, Cheshire
A favourite family day out
I’ve always lived in the North West of England. It may be described as being ‘grim up north’ but I really beg to differ. There is so much to see and do on our doorstep. This is just one of them. The rest will make up more posts in my family travel category.
One place I love to visit as a family is Delamere Forest. It’s in the heart of Cheshire, covers 2400 acres and is looked after by the Forestry Commission. There is something special about Delamere for us. There are numerous walks, most of which you can easily do with a pram or bikes. Some routes can get really muddy and a small few have rough terrain that you could do with a pram that is suited for this teamed with a good bit of muscle power. But if you are after a more gentle stroll then best to stick to the main routes.
Why I love Delamere
What I really love is the fact that I feel like I know most of Delamere. This allows me to choose – The Blakemere route that is popular around the lake, that takes about 1 ½ – 2 hrs with a picnic stop and exploring stops or a quieter route away from the lake. Sometimes the quieter routes are just bliss, you can walk for an age without bumping into a soul or maybe just the odd one or two dog walkers. Sometimes it just me, the OH and the kids. The only sounds are the rustling of the trees, the distant shriek of the gulls on the lake and the giggles and shouts from the kids. There is of course the attraction of The Gruffalo too!
Luckily my OH grew up near Delamere. He has fond memories of biking as a teenager with his friends. The days when you would take off in the early hours with a sandwich made by your mum, not needing to be back until tea time. This means he knows the forest well. I still feel there is so much to discover in this place.
There is also a GoApe. When my daughter was younger and watched cbeebies lots, I used to have her believing that the tree top adventure was where Tree Fu Tom lived! The pleas we would get from her to let her climb up and do the course. Each time we passed she would insist she’d grown and could do it now. Thankfully they have introduced a mini GoApe with the minimum height requirement being 1metre. She just passes. So the promise is when the weather is a little better we will book her in.
Making memories at Delamere
One trip to Delamere that I will always remember, was in the days before she started school. The time when you can visit somewhere mid week and feel like you have the whole place to yourself. This was also pre Pud, so no pram needed either. We took a walk around the whole lake which is 3.6miles. We packed our lunches that she had chosen. Cheese butties, chocolate chip cookies and a banana. It was just Pops and I. Taking our time to walk and take in each moment. Holding hands and giggling at silly jokes. We decided to eat lunch on a bench that overlooked the lake. We sat there, peacefully eating our lunch. Pops swinging her little legs with contentment. She did really well at the age of 3 to walk such a distance.
Recently we did the same walk again. It was half term so considerably busier and this time with Pud. She remembered the spot we had lunch, so again we sat here. I think this will be another happy memory we’ve made.
Later, away from the lake I let Pud out of the pram. It’s that kind of moment where the better mum in me knows I shouldn’t worry about him getting dirty and messy and the can’t be bothered mum is thinking to just keep him in the pram. The better half of me won. He loved it. He wandered in all directions, picking up twigs and then gazing up at the incredibly tall trees. Pointing at birds. Sisterly love was evident in the way she tried to guide him around. I could have watched them forever.
We went again the same week but this time with Daddy at the weekend. Mainly to prove to Daddy that she was tall enough to do GoApe! Same routine, packed lunch, wellies and raincoats in the boot, hats and gloves packed too. All we need now are wellies and an all in one for Pud! This time Pops brought her bike. Daddy is always better at helping her with the bike. I struggle with both the pram and trying to keep an eye on her on her bike. We’re still working on no stabilisers.
By the main car park is a visitor centre with a cafe. Perfect for a hot drink to take with you. We’ve been known to do early walks and finish with a bacon buttie. I know that as long as we are local to Delamere it will remain a firm favourite day out for us. The cafe have ice cream too, perfect for those warmer days.
The forest run many events for all. Check out there website for more information.