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Pennington Flash

Home > Manchester > Family | Nature | Parks | Picnic Spots | Walks
by Rachael McIntyre (subscribe)
I'm a freelance writer working in Manchester.
Published February 15th 2017
It's time to blow away those cobwebs
Pennington Flash offers beautiful scenery and the chance to watch the world go by in a true haven for nature. If you haven't come across it before, now is the time to make the trip.

Pennington Flash, bird watching, nature, sailing, kids, horse riding, walks
A tranquil hideout


There are several paths that can be taken, depending on what mood you are in and how far you want to walk. If you park at the main car park, you can choose to walk up to and along the canal, or you can head towards the golf course for a more varied walk. Whichever path you take, Pennington Flash is very flat, making it ideal for prams, bikes and little legs. In wet weather, the paths can get very muddy, so make sure you and the kids are armed with wellies.

If you are a nature lover, or simply want to get your children more involved in wildlife, it's the ideal place to do so. Throughout your walk around Pennington Flash, you will come across various hides — there are 8 hides in total — where you can shelter from the elements and watch unseen as cranes, herons, swans and squirrels go about their own business. Over 240 species of bird have been recorded at Pennington Flash. It's a truly peaceful way to spend a few hours. Well worth a visit is the Bunting Hide which holds a feeding station that entices wildlife to visit. It's easy to get hooked bird-watching; no doubt, next time you will be back with your binoculars.

Pennington Flash, bird watching, nature, sailing, kids, horse riding, walks
The stunning landscape of Pennington Flash


Due to the flatness of its landscape, Pennington Flash can feel pretty exposed. On a windy day, it can truly take your breath away. The lake itself is perfect for sailing — Leigh and Lowton Sailing Club is attached to the Flash — and it is exciting to watch the sailing boats out on the lake.

If you are visiting with children, there are the usual facilities you would need, including toilets and a good playground. Bring a packed lunch and enjoy the views over the lake, and throw some bread to the ducks. If you fancy something a little warmer, there's often a snack van parked up next to the car park. If you have visited Pennington Flash before, and have always parked in the main pay and display car park, it's worth noting that there's a car park on the left, just as you come off the road, which is much smaller, but offers a different starting point to explore.

Pennington Flash, bird watching, nature, sailing, kids, horse riding, walks
Plenty of birds to feed


It's interesting to note that a 'flash' is actually a lake formed over time from mining subsidence. So what is now a place of refuge for nature was once a place where vast amounts of coal were extracted, resulting in the sinking of the land. It was only in the 1960s and 1970s that the idea of creating a place for recreation and conservation came about, and in 1981 Pennington Flash was born.

Other facilities at Pennington Flash include a 9 hole pay-and-play golf course, angling at designated banks, and horse riding on designated paths. It is also easily accessible; simply follow the signposts from the A580 (East Lancs).

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Your Comment
Nice work on the article and well done on the award :)
by RC (score: 3|1218) 302 days ago
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