I am currently trying to catch up on blog posts from all the places that we visited last year and I wanted to share Brockholes as it is going to be teaming with birds and wildlife come Spring and I wouldn’t want you to miss out!
We visited in March last year and although pretty cold and wet it was great for a walk and spotting birds and wildlife in the lake and surrounding woods.
Brockholes is located just off the M6 in Preston (in fact you can see it running along nearby while you’re exploring). It is a great place with a play area, floating visitor centre, cafe and accessible walking routes for both buggies and wheelchairs. With it being a wildlife reserve though, there are restrictions on bringing your dogs (check the website for more information) although there are walks nearby that can be accessed from the car park that allow dogs.
There is plenty of space to park so even on busier days you should be able to find a spot. And they allow you to pay online within 48 hours of your visit so you can drop by even when you don’t have any change to hand – something we find handy when we choose to nip somewhere on a whim!
To get to the reserve lake you have to pass by the play area. And if you’re there on a quiet day and there aren’t any kids wanting to play, I thoroughly recommend having some fun on the zip slide! It is so good having a play and whizzing along over the mud, that you really mustn’t resist letting your playful side out! (we visited on a Monday, which seem to be one of the quieter days as the Visitor Centre is shut on Monday) When I get chance I’ll compile the videos of us having a laugh in the playground to inspire you to have a go too!
Anyway, back to the walking route!
The walking path takes you around the reserve lake, which if I remember correctly is man-made. The sound of the birds fills the air, but it can sometimes be a bit of a challenge to see them in the reeds and in the distance. If you want to see them, binoculars are definitely recommended.
Considering how close you are to the motorway at the reserve there is only a slight hum of traffic in the background and it certainly doesn’t bother the wildlife in the area. Having visited Mountain View and San Francisco, I realise that major roads seem to be a good place for parks and reserves. I suppose you’re less likely to get developers wanting to build there too, so the land is safer.
The hides around the edges are absolutely gorgeous and a perfect place to watch the birds and wildlife (or for us to have a cup of tea from our flask!) If you happen to be there on a Monday you will more than likely find that it is a very tranquil place to visit. There are the odd bird watcher in the hides and photographer lurking in the rushes and woods, but mostly you’ll be meandering the paths in peaceful solitude.
As I wasn’t expecting to be writing a blog about our outside adventures at the time I didn’t take as many photos as I would now. That doesn’t mean to say that there won’t be more in the future as I know we will be going again – not only for the views, tranquility and play area, but also to visit the floating visitor centre. Which I have to say looks and sounds fantastic!
Quirky little things
No, I don’t mean the birds! One of my favourite things about visiting new places is hunting out the little quirky bits and the hidden details and excitement. We spotted this chair in the woods to the side. It is fun making up stories as to how it came about. Was it just how the tree fell or did someone cut it into the shape of a chair. The little fun details is what makes every visit different and shows you the hidden side to a place.
The floating Visitor Centre
As you head back to the car park from the path, you will see the Visitor Centre in the distance. It is a large building and amazing that it floats! I would certainly have loved to have gone to an away day or meeting there when I was working in the Third Sector.
We’ll be back!
I know this is only a short post with a few pictures, but I do hope that it is enough to inspire you to take trip to Brockholes Reserve. We have planned to revisit on one of our days off so that we can see the Visitor Centre and explore a bit further (as well as have another go on the zip slide!) Perhaps we’ll catch you there and we can play, wander and explore together…
Have you made plans for the weekend yet? I’ll be sharing some ideas tomorrow so keep your eyes on the blog!
Do you live near any nature reserves? When was the last time you played in a playground?
Let me know in the comments below!
Brockholes Nature Reserve
Preston New Road
Features: Parking (paid), Toilets, Bird Watching Hides, Wildlife, Visitor Centre (not open on Monday), Hard standing paths, Easy Walks, Cafe (when Visitor Centre is open), Rules about dogs (there are routes suitable, but they are short)