Family-Friendly Walks in North-West England
There’s nothing better than setting out on an adventure with the family. While many may dream of jetting off to explore faraway lands, many beautiful parts of the UK remain mostly unexplored, one being the north-west of England. Whether you’re heading on a staycation to see the beautiful lakes for yourself or you live nearby and want to get to know all the best walking spots in the area, we’ve put together a list of walks in this spectacular corner of the world. Make sure to add these to your walking bucket list!
Sefton Park, Liverpool
A fantastic city to visit as a family, Sefton Park is not to be missed during your time in the north-west. There’s a plethora of gardens, caves, lakes and waterfalls to discover and a great place to play games outside. One child-friendly route encompasses all of the main attractions within the park and is ideal for introducing the little ones to nature. Recently, Palm House has been refurbished, and the stunning Victorian glasshouse will often host events, has a fantastic café and boasts an impressive botanical collection. The entire route is pushchair friendly.
Tarn Hows, Coniston
Offering remarkable panoramas, enchanting woodlands and a brilliant walk for young children, this beauty spot has been frequently visited since the 19th century and was once owned by Beatrix Potter. Now managed by the National Trust, a gentle stroll around these grounds will take you around the glistening lake and will provide extensive views of the hills, moors and countryside nearby. There’s no cafes or eateries here, so pack a picnic and head out on an adventure!
Pendle Hill, Lancashire
Beginning at Barley car park, this is a circular route near Pendle Hill, between Burnley and Clitheroe in the northeastern area of the county. Along the way you’ll come across fantastic views over the Ribble Valley, Yorkshire Dales and the Forest of Bowland and, on a clear day, you’ll be able to see the Lake District and Snowdonia. For those walking with children, this might be an excellent opportunity to learn about the famous Pendle witches from the 17th century and is arguably one of the most iconic witchcraft trials in English history.
Clifton Country Park, Salford
The best green space to be explored in Salford, Clifton Country Park is located along the banks of the River Irwell, and the whole family can explore meadows, open woodland and a large lake. The nature reserve boasts a fairy-tale trail that features several sculptures of magical animals as well as a full-sized Gruffalo, making it ideal for those with younger children. The main route through the park is approximately one mile long, is pram-friendly and will take no longer than an hour to complete – depending on how long the children want to stay in the wooden play area that is! There’s also a well-stocked café in the car park for those that half walked up an appetite.
A relatively short hike up this 451m hill is excellent for little legs, and while the route can get steep in places, you’ll be rewarded with views of mountains and lakes as far as the eye can see at every angle from the summit. Children will feel like they have climbed a peak, and it’s a great way to set kids with a challenge and give them a feeling of accomplishment. We recommend tackling the incline in the anti-clockwise direction as the slightly trickier parts are easier on the way up while the steps on the other side of the ridge will ensure a smooth, safe descent.
Brockholes Nature Reserve, Preston
Located next to the busy, loud and uninspiring M6 at Preston, this might not be the first place you think of for a family walk, but this nature reserve is home to a range of trails suitable for all ages and abilities. There’s lots to keep your eye out for along the way, including the renowned Beatrix Potter walk, demonstrating the incredible animals that call this place home, along with their favourite characters and an activity sheet to complete. It’s worth checking before your visit whether anything is on during your time here, as family events are held regularly throughout the year. For those lucky enough to experience pleasant weather during their time in the north-west, this could be the perfect spot for a picnic.
Red Squirrel Reserve, Formby
Red squirrels have seen a considerable decline in recent years, with just 15,000 currently left within England. One of the best places to spot these beautiful creatures is in Formby, and the Red Squirrel Reserve is a National Trust site that could be the perfect location of your next family adventure. The approximate length of the main trail is two miles, but we recommend leaving at least two hours to complete this walk to accommodate all the stops for squirrel spotting. If you’re walking in colder temperatures, head to the café at Victoria Road car park for some cake and a hot drink.
Remember, these are just some of the best family-friendly walks in the beautiful north-west of England! If you’re heading to that part of the world and are looking forward to some walking adventures, why not check out our extensive range of men’s and ladies’ outdoor boots? Exploring with comfortable footwear will make sure you can focus on the fantastic views rather than sore feet, and the length of these walks are ideal for trying out new gear. For more inspiration on UK adventures, check out our recent blog post on six beautiful places to visit in the UK this winter.