8 great family walks in the North West

(c) Getty Images/iStockphoto/monkeybusinessimages

(c) Getty Images/iStockphoto/monkeybusinessimages - Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

You don’t need to go far to find a walk even the littlest of legs can enjoy. Try these routes in Lancashire and the Lakes that are suitable for the whole family.

Clifton Country Park, Salford
Known as one of Salford's best green spaces, Clifton Country Park sits along the banks of the River Irwell, boasting acres of meadows, open woodland, a large lake and refurbished wooden play area. The designated nature reserve upped its kid-friendly credentials in 2017, opening a fairytale trail featuring ten magical animals sculptures and a full-size Gruffalo.
With plenty of real-life animals to spot along the way, including ducks and geese resting on the river bank, kids will love this park. Plus, tired legs can take a rest at the well-stocked cafe in the car park.
Address: Clifton House Road, Salford, M27 6NG
Length: 1 mile
Time to allow: 1 hour
Baby changing? Yes
Pushchair friendly? Yes

A red squirrel at Formby

A red squirrel at Formby - Credit: Archant

Red Squirrel Reserve, Formby
Red squirrels have seen a huge decline in numbers in recent years, with only about 15,000 currently left in England. Formby is one of the few places in the country where these charming creatures can still be seen and this National Trust site provides the perfect place to go on a squirrel-spotting adventure.
Better-suited to an all-terrain pushchair or confident walkers, this stroll takes an easy-going hour to traverse, and cakes and hot drinks are available at the picnic site near the Victoria Road car park.
Address: Victoria Road, Formby, L37 1LJ
Length: 2 miles
Time to allow: 2 hours
Baby changing? Yes
Pushchair friendly? Mostly

Burrs Country
Park by James Cassidy

Burrs Country Park by James Cassidy - Credit: Archant

Burrs Country Park, Bury
A two mile loop trail, Burrs Country Park enjoys a picturesque spot between the River Irwell and the East Lancashire Railway line. Visitors can enjoy a leisurely stroll around this family favourite, taking in the local wildlife, rushing river and even some pieces from the Irwell Sculpture Trail.
A short walk from the park's popular Lamppost Cafe is a station platform, perfect for watching the steam trains chug on by or even hopping on and off for a ride along the traditional railway.
Address: Woodhill Road, Bury, BL8 1DA
Length: 2 miles
Time to allow: 2 hours
Baby changing? Yes
Pushchair friendly? Yes

Tarn Hows by Janet Danks

Tarn Hows by Janet Danks - Credit: Archant

Tarn Hows, Coniston
A popular beauty spot since the 19th century, Tarn Hows offers spectacular panoramas, stunning woodland and a great country walk for little ones. The estate, which was once owned by Beatrix Potter, is now managed by the National Trust which has since provided pram-friendly pathways and baby-changing facilities to continue its popularity.
The gentle, circular route wraps around the glistening lake, taking in pine groves and views towards Wetherlam, the Helvellyn range and the Langdale Pikes. There are no on-site eateries, so pack a picnic and give yourself an hour or two to fully enjoy the tarn.
Address: Coniston, LA21 8AQ
Length: 2 miles
Time to allow: 1-2 hours
Baby changing? Yes
Pushchair friendly? Yes

Heaton Park views

Heaton Park views - Credit: Archant

Heaton Park, Manchester
Covering an area of more than 600 acres, Heaton Park is the biggest of its kind in the North West. Offering much more than a walk in the park, this diverse green sprawl has several play areas and wildlife galore. In other, words there's plenty here to keep children entertained for hours on end.
The sight-seeing walk is a popular choice, taking in a boating lake, animal farm and a cafe with a small soft play. There are plenty of places to stop and rest little legs but if the route proves too much, a land train is on hand to transport you around the park. The heritage trams are popular, too.
Address: Sheepfoot Lane, Prestwich, M25 2SW
Length: 3 miles
Time to allow: 3 hours
Baby changing? Yes
Pushchair friendly? Yes

Sometimes humans just don't walk quickly enough. This is one of my friends and his humans at grizeda

Sometimes humans just don't walk quickly enough. This is one of my friends and his humans at grizedale (c) Stewart Smith - Credit: Stewart Smith

Grizedale Forest, Hawkshead
The latest Julia Donaldson creation to get the Grizedale trail treatment is Zog, star of the popular children's book of the same name. Following in the footsteps of the Gruffalo and the Highway Rat, the Forestry Commission site has revamped the popular trail to feature the lovable dragon, inviting children to follow markers, collect stars and hunt for hidden images in the woods.
If you have time to spare, there's plenty more to see and do at Grizedale Forest, as well as a cafe, children's play park and woodland picnic areas.
Address: Hawkshead, LA22 0QJ
Length: 1 mile
Time to allow: 2 hours
Baby changing? Yes
Pushchair friendly? Yes

Brockholes Nature Reserve by Vijay Arogyasami

Brockholes Nature Reserve by Vijay Arogyasami - Credit: Archant

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Brockholes Nature Reserve, Preston
It's right next to the M6 at Preston, but Brockholes is the perfect place to get close to nature. There is a range of walks suitable for all ages and lots to see and spot along the way. Discover the Beatrix Potter walk, complete with wonderful wildlife, their favourite characters and an activity sheet to collect brass rubbings.
Several routes are pushchair-accessible including the short Gravel Pit trail which leads guests from the floating visitor centre around a wooden adventure playground. There are regular family events, and a cafe, at the visitor centre. And there are lots of great places around the reserve for a summer picnic.
Address: Preston New Road, Preston, PR5 0AG
Length: 1 mile
Time to allow: 2 hours
Baby changing? Yes
Pushchair friendly? Mostly

Sefton Park by Paula O'Hara

Sefton Park by Paula O'Hara - Credit: Archant

Sefton Park, Liverpool
Sefton Park is one of Liverpool's most popular outdoor spots and with a series of lakes, gardens, and a fairy glen with caves and waterfalls to discover, it's not difficult to see why. A kid-friendly route around the Grade I listed site takes in the main attractions and is perfect for letting little ones get closer to nature.
Make sure you leave enough time to take a stroll around the recently refurbished Palm House. This stunning Victorian glasshouse is home to a beautiful botanical collection, year-round events, a cafe and a children's playground. u
Address: Mossley Hill Drive, Liverpool, L17 1AJ
Length: 1.5 miles
Time to allow: 3 hours
Baby changing? Yes
Pushchair friendly? Yes

All the routes were correct at the time of publication, over time access to certain parts of the walk may be subject to change. We advise you acquire a recent OS map of the area you plan to visit and assure there are no major changes.


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