The North West of England is a region of rich history and beautiful scenery. From the stunning Cheshire Peak District to the two bustling, metropolitan cities of Liverpool and Manchester, the North West is a place of great diversity and different ways of life. For families, the region offers numerous great days out. Here is a county-by-county guide to some of the most fun and unusual days out that the kids will love…
Lancashire is home to the seaside town of Blackpool. Known by some as the ‘Las Vegas of England’ due its variety shows, arcades and party atmosphere, Blackpool is also a great day out for kids. Blackpool Pleasure Beach is a brilliant theme park which kids of all ages will enjoy – older kids can get their thrills on the 64 metre tall Ice Blast ride, while younger children will love the newly-opened Nickelodeon Land. For a more relaxing day out in Lancashire, Turbary Woods in Preston offers visitors the chance to see some of the world’s most impressive birds of prey up close. The owl and bird sanctuary is home to over 90 different species including eagles, vultures and hawks. Daily flying displays give you the opportunity to see these amazing creatures acting as they would in their natural habitat. This is a great day out for the family, and all money goes towards keeping the sanctuary open.
Cheshire is a beautiful, rural county where there is plenty to see and do. Firstly Gullivers World Theme Park in Warrington is a must-visit for any families with children under 12, as the park is specifically aimed towards younger children. The newly-opened Gullivers Hotel allows you to prolong your visit to the park by staying overnight – and having another go on the rides the next day! Also in Cheshire, the Blue Planet Aquarium will fascinate kids and adults alike. There are over 100 displays to see on your visit, including some of the most beautiful and endangered sea creatures in the world. It is also home to Europe’s largest collection of sharks, and Blue Planet even offers you the chance to go diving with these extraordinary creatures!
Peter Rabbit, Jemima Puddle-Duck and a host of other characters all await you in The World of Beatrix Potter in Cumbria. Both you and your children will love seeing these classic stories from childhood brought magically to life at this attraction. Sights, sounds and even smells are included to make these recreations a truly enchanting experience for the whole family. To see some real-life animals, a visit to Ducky’s Park Farm is also a must. Children have the chance to visit, pet and even feed a wide variety of farm animals, from the traditional pigs, lambs and goats, to the more unusual residents including racoons and llamas.
Football-mad families simply cannot go to Manchester without paying a visit to the National Football Museum. Learn all about the nations’ favourite game through a variety of fascinating exhibitions, and use the museum’s interactive displays to test your knowledge. Entry to the museum is free, but die-hard fans will love the option of the Football Plus package, which allows you to take part in a range of exciting activities including penalty shoot-outs and a football commentary challenge. For an alternative family day out, head to Manchester’s indoor ski slope, the Chill Factore. Whether you’re a family of experienced skiers and snowboarders, or just fancy trying something new, there are slopes and activities for people of all abilities. There is even an Alpine Street where you can enjoy a spot of shopping after your time on the slopes.
There is plenty to see and do in Merseyside. One of the best days out is undoubtedly Knowsley Safari Park. Bring the spirit of Africa to the UK as you drive your car through the park, seeing a number of exotic animals including giraffes, African lions, elephants and the Siberian tiger amongst others. There is also a ‘walkaround’ area of the park where you can stretch your legs and visit some of the other exhibitions such as the bat house, the sea lion pool and the birds of prey displays. For older kids with more macabre interests, a great alternative activity when visiting Merseyside is Haunted Liverpool. This night-time ghost walk takes place through some of the most remote places in the city, including the terrifying St James’ Gothic Grave Yard. Not for the faint-hearted, the tour leader guides you through the city’s haunted streets – and the stories really come to life with the help of live costumed characters.