The weekend is almost upon us and the weather forecast for the region is looking pretty good! With some sunshine, dappled clouds and warm temperatures, it is going to feel positively springlike (according to the reports when I type this, so do check closer to the time!) So of course, it is time for some weekend out and about ideas and things to do near Manchester.
Although we might be losing an hour this Sunday (the clocks are going forward) there is no excuse not to get outside for some walking, playing and exploring, especially as the sun is going to be shining down on us. A vast improvement from the recent wind and rain, so make the most of it!
Many of the National Trust properties are starting to open again from this weekend so my first suggestion for some time out is a visit to Dunham Massey. Only a short drive outside of Manchester with plenty for all the family. The grounds for walking and playing, the house for a wander, garden for the spring bulbs and the surrounding village for that bit extra.
There is a charge for parking, visiting the house and garden if you are not National Trust members, but for the cost of parking (£6) you can enjoy lots of walks around the grounds. There is also a lovely cafe, restaurant and ice cream stands as well as a gift shop, so you won’t be short of things to enjoy even if you don’t fancy the house and garden.
Dunham Massey (National Trust)
Woodhouse Ln, Altrincham WA14 4SJ
Features: Picnic Area, Flat Paths, Parking (£6 to non-National Trust Members), Toilets, Cafe, Restaurant, Gift Shop, Plant Sales, House and Garden (free to National Trust Members), Dog Play Area, Dogs on leads in grounds, Nature, Deer, Flat Grass areas for playing, Family Friendly
Haigh Hall Country Park
If you’re looking for something a bit more energetic to be able to run some steam off the kids (and dog too!) then head over to Haigh Hall Country Park where you can enjoy the really big and exciting play area or pay to have a go on the Tree Top Adventure, Crazy Golf, Train Rides and more. There are cafes and restaurants (and delicious hot chocolate) to keep you going and the grounds have three walks if you fancy seeing some of the woods and surrounding areas.
There is a charge for the parking, but for the amount there is to do for all the family, it is definitely worth the small cost.
Haigh Hall Country Park and Woodland
School Ln, Wigan WN2 1PE
Features: Cafes, toilets, cheap car parking, HUGE play area, crazy golf, golf, walled garden, shopping, views, woodland walking routes (x3), treetop adventure, mini railway dog friendly.
If you didn’t know, it was International Day of Forests on Wednesday this week so I couldn’t leave out a forest suggestion for you. And besides, in lovely weather a forest is a brilliant place to explore.
Delamere is just on the outskirts of Frodsham so easy to get to on the M56 and by train (there is a train station right next to it) and has so much to do tat you will be planning your next visit before you have even left! Seriously! The parking is pay and display (but very reasonable for the day and that it helps keep the forest going) and you’ll have more than enough to keep you occupied in that time too.
There are three walking routes (one of which is suitable for wheelchairs and buggies as they have hard paths. There are some up hill parts, but I have seen lots of people manage,even with a bunch of kids and the pet dogs too!) If you’re there to spend a bit of cash, you can take a trip on the Segways,have a go at Go Ape or hire a bike to enjoy the forest on two wheels. You can spend as much or as little as you want really.
We always take a picnic and have never had any trouble finding a table or bench to enjoy our food and the view too.
Linmere, Delamere, Northwich, Cheshire CW8 2JD
Features: Camping, Picnic Areas, Parking (paid), Nearby Train Station, Play Areas, Circular Walks, Bike Hire, Cafe, Shop, Bike Repairs, Segway, Go Ape, Dog Friendly, Picnic Areas.