Welcome to West Lancashire, an historic borough with so many family friendly attractions, you could spend months here and not get bored. Whether you’re a wildlife lover, a historic building aficionado or just a lover of being outdoors, West Lancashire has got something for the whole family. Check out our favourite days out in West Lancashire.
Beacon Country Park
Nestled between the beautiful village of Dalton, Skelmersdale and Upholland, Beacon Country Park is a stunning place to take the kids, especially in the Summer and cooler Autumn months. Beacon Country Park offers a mix of woodlands and 300 acres of grasslands whilst offering beautiful panoramic views across Lancashire. We love taking the kids here for long walks across the grass and exploring in the woods, hoping to stumble upon the Gruffalo who has been carved out of a tree. The perfect place for long walk, a bike ride or just relaxing with a yummy picnic.
Free entry and free car parking available.
Martin Mere Wetlands Centre
Located just down the road from Windmill Farm, Martin Mere Wetlands Centre is the perfect day out for wildlife lovers, especially those who love birds. Of course, you don’t have to be a particularly interested in birds to have a good time, our kids love the outdoor play area, boat trips on the wetlands and taking part in pond dipping sessions. Throughout the year there are numerous activities and demonstrations for kids including ducklings hatching in the Spring and the arrival of over 30,000 pink footed geese signalling the beginning of Autumn in September. Bring a picnic or enjoy a delicious lunch in the on-site cafe.
Open all year round, seven days a week, prices for entry start from £7.
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Definitely my toddler’s favourite day out in the whole of West Lancashire- he’s very lucky that he gets to go here once or twice a month with his childminder who adores this place as much as we do!
Jollie’s Barn, located at Leisure Lakes, Mere Brow, is the ultimate soft play for toddlers, especially those under 3. What I love most about Jollie’s Barn (aside from the price which is a bargain!) is they also have an outdoors play area for those hot summer days. There’s also a cafe on site so you can chill with a coffee while your toddler goes mad in the soft play!
Free entry for under 2s at off peak times and £3.95 for under 4s. Family tickets available. Open seven days a week, all year round.
West Lancashire Light Railway
Our toddler is absolutely train mad and loves a day out to West Lancashire Light Railway which is located in Hesketh Bank.
The light railway is run by volunteers who give up their Sundays and Bank Holidays to run this toddler friendly attraction with huge smiles on their faces. From the purchasing of tickets in the vintage ticket office, to getting on the train and riding down the track for a quarter of a mile, your kids will love the experience of this live steam train. The best bit? Once you’ve purchased your ticket, you can ride as many times as you want! There’s also a gift shop on site offering teas, coffees and juice, and lots of toy trains for the kids to play with once they got bored of riding the locomotive.
Ticket prices start from £2.50 and there’s free parking on-site.
The ultimate farm in the North West and a must visit destination for any child. Farmer Ted’s always has so much going on for children and adults alike. Located between Formby and Ormskirk on Flatman’s Lane, there’s a world of things to do when you arrive such as meeting farm animals, go karting, exploring the adventure maze, archery, watching birds of prey and an indoor and outdoor play area. Check out the website for seasonal activities including Easter egg hunts in March/April, pumpkin carving in October and gingerbread decorating in December.
Prices start from £4.75 with prices going up slightly on the weekend. Open all year around except for January and two weeks in November.
Windmill Animal Farm
If you’re looking for days out in West Lancashire that will keep you busy for the full day, then look no further than Windmill Animal Farm, based just outside of Burscough. Offering indoor soft play, a light railway, outdoor play areas, access to a huge range of farm animals, cute furry pets and a lovely cafe with coffee and cake to die for, Windmill Animal Farm keeps our energetic toddler busy for hours on end. Pumpkin picking in October and the lambing season in March are two events not to be missed.
Open seven days a week, entry starts from £7.50 with discounted family tickets and half price weekday tickets available.
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Fairy Glen is the most fantastic place to bring little ones who are looking to find a little bit of magic and fairy dust. Hidden just off A5209 at the top of Parbold Hill, Fairy Glen is a lovely picturesque hiking trail through a wooded valley. We love climbing the bridges over the stream, capturing photos in front of the waterfalls and stumbling upon fairy doors whilst looking around for fairies. A truly magical place to bring kids, and a picnic of course!
Entry is free, with free car parking in a lay-by across the road from the entrance.
Mere Sands Woods
Located just down the road from Rufford Old Hall, Mere Sands Woods is a nature reserve which sits where the huge Martin Mere, which was the largest body of fresh water in England, was until it was drained in the mid-19th century. The name Mere Sands comes as this location was the shoreline of Martin Mere.
Within the reserve are lakes, sandy wet meadows, forest, six bird hides and several walking path routes which are accessible for both wheelchairs and prams.
As well as using the bird hides to look out for magnificent kingfishers, woodpeckers and sparrows, you can also see foxes, squirrels, deer and water voles around the reserve.
Truly a nature lovers paradise, I love bringing my toddler here to safely spend a couple of hours exploring the paths of the reserve while learning all about the insects, mammals and birds we stumble across.
Entry into Mere Sands Woods is free, however it costs £2 to park your car for the day.
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Rufford Old Hall
Located in the historic village of Rufford, Rufford Old Hall is a 500 year old fine Tudor building which used to be home to the Heskeths before they moved to Rufford New Hall in the mid 18th century.
As well as the historic hall to explore, Rufford Old Hall boasts large grounds including a one mile nature trail, perfect for kids who love to spy butterflies and dragonflies. Why not take part in one of the garden games on the lawn- chess or croquet or explore the woods and build a den? There’s so much to do at Rufford Old Hall and it’s a fantastic day out for the whole family. We love bringing along a picnic, but if you can’t be bothered to make sandwiches. the site has a gorgeous tearoom, complete with children’s menu.
Free entry for National Trust members, adult ticket prices with gift aid cost £10.50 and under fives go free. Check website for opening times as these can vary depending on the day of the week and season.
What are your favourite days out in West Lancashire? Have I missed any out?