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Great Family Days Out in North West England

Home > Manchester > Family | Fun for Children | Fun Things To Do | Outdoor
by Jenny Scott (subscribe)
I'm an award-winning online writer and journalist.
Published October 7th 2012
Stuck for ideas on where to take the family? Read on
Gormley figures at Crosby Beach
Antony Gormley figures at Crosby Beach
Looking for a great family day out in north west England? Here are my top recommendations for some great days out with the kids across the North West.

Imperial War Museum North, Greater Manchester
This Imperial War Museum is the sister museum of the London attraction. It's sited in a futuristic building that sits aside Salford Keys like a glimmering rock.

Inside its huge hull you'll find two enormous storeys of 20th century history, plus a gift shop and a large coffee shop. It's a great place to take your kids to help them understand both the horror and the human face of war.

The First World War exhibition, in particular, is really powerful and moving, with letters from ordinary soldiers and their families sitting alongside glass cases of exhibits. But there are also interactive cabinets where kids can get their hands grubby and sample the sights, sounds and smells of life in the trenches. There are also exhibitions dedicated to World War Two, the Cold War, other 20th century warfare and more recent conflicts while, every so often, the room darkens for a 360 degree audio visual display about the effects of war.

Jodrell Bank Discovery Centre

Voted the nation's greatest unsung landmark in a BBC poll, the famous Lovell telescope at Jodrell Bank has played a crucial role in our ability to track the solar system. Families can get up close to the telescope at the visitor centre, as well as learning more about the planets, the Big Bang, Black Holes and stars in some fantastic exhibitions and displays.

The Lake District
You may think this is a bit of an obvious one. But besides the obvious references to stunning scenery, there are some fantastic family-friendly experiences to be had in the Lakes. Windermere is, of course, usually packed to the hilt during the holidays but one thrilling place to visit is the Lakes Aquarium, that allows you a breathtaking underwater glimpse of lake-life.

Or, if your tots love Beatrix Potter's classic children's stories, such as The Tale of Peter Rabbit, you'll be interested in visiting the cottage at Hill Top where she wrote many of her most famous works. It's now a National Trust property and children love exploring all the different rooms and spotting some of their favourite furry friends who have taken up residence in the house.


Wild Boar Farm, Bowland, Lancashire

This Bowland riverside location is stunning. Families can enjoy seeing the wildlife, including llamas and deer, hand-feed the animals or play in the children's peddle-tractor area... and even go on a guided wild boar walk.

Knowsley Safari Park, Merseyside
Only eight miles from Liverpool city centre, Knowsley is one of Britain's best-known safari parks. It has a massive variety of animals from baboons and bison to meerkats, tigers and white rhino. There are also fairground rides, a sea lion show and a farm.

Martin Mere Wetland Centre, Lancashire
Of the nine wetland centres across the UK, this one at Martin Mere is really special. It includes wild ducks and geese during winter, a play area and a seasonal duckling nursery. Buy feed so your children can meet ducks and geese from across the world – and a few flamingos! There's a lot of walking to be had, which may be hard work for tiny tots, but you can also relax in the cosy coffee shop. Autumn and spring are particularly spectacular times for a visit.

Crosby Beach, Sefton, Merseyside
The secluded setting of sculptor Antony Gormley's Another Place - which consists of 100 cast-iron figures, all gazing out to the horizon – makes for a stunning, and free, north west attraction. It's perfect for a Sunday morning stroll or a picnic. Children will love running around and playing hide and seek among the statues.
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Why? A fantastic day out with the kids
Phone: 01704 895181
Where: Fish Lane, Burscough
Cost: Adult: £8.50
Your Comment
Some great ideas here... love Martin Mere, will definitely check out the rest!
by Rachael McIntyre (score: 1|56) 501 days ago
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