There’s nothing better than getting outdoors with the kids for some fresh air and a good run around. It builds up an appetite too and they sleep much better at night! Here’s some great ideas for getting out and about with the kids in Cheshire.
Treasure trails is a real life adventure which can involve the whole family exploring a chosen area in your locality or somewhere new you may be visiting. These self-guided treasure trails contain clues to crack along the way which unlock stories from the past to solve a mystery at the end. Trails are available for most counties in the UK and look like great fun!
There are several trails for purchase in Cheshire for £9.99 including around Stockport, Chester, Wrexham, Ruthin, Northwich, Nantwich, Daresbury, Lymm, Leek, Macclesfield and Knutsford.
Teggs Nose Country Park
Teggs Nose Country Park is near Macclesfield. It is a popular area for walking and attracts visitors from the local area and beyond who come to the park to enjoy the stunning views across the Cheshire plain, as well as learn more about the history of the area. Our own children have attended several events there with the East Cheshire Rangers but unfortunately these are not going ahead at the moment. There’s a lovely tea room too. Teggs Nose really is a lovely place for a family walk.
For more details check out our review of Teggs Nose Country Park
Lyme Park, Disley is managed by the National Trust and a very popular country park for all ages. The garden and estate are now open. In order to manage numbers in the park you have to book online for a timeslot on the day you want to visit. Their website has all the latest information and how to book. A refreshment kiosk is open in the car park, serving a limited range of takeaway hot and cold drinks, and some light snacks. The 1,400 acre estate has a medieval herd of red deer, offers fantastic walks and stunning views and is a really great place to be active and get some fresh air.
Brereton Heath Local Nature Reserve
Brereton Heath is between Holmes Chapel and Congleton. 50 acres of woodland surround a 15 acre lake and there are also areas of heathland, a wildflower meadow and wetland areas to investigate. You can spot lots of different birds in the woods and around the reserve. A wheelchair accessible route follows the perimeter of the lake. A pay and display car park means you can enjoy the countryside for as long as you like – take a walk and a picnic!
Marbury Country Park
Marbury Country Park in Northwich is a lovely place to stroll along the avenues of trees and arboretum to see views of Budworth Mere.The last hall, built in the 1850s, was a fine looking house modelled on the French chateau at Fontainebleu, with an imposing carriage drive entrance. There are several paths to wander and a picnic area. Its network of surfaced paths provides many routes accessible to all and appeals to a variety of users including horseriders, cyclists, nature lovers and families. The park also links in with the North Cheshire Way and a number of national cycling routes. Biking the Backroads is a gentle bike ride of 20km/13 miles around the lanes of Anderton and Great Budworth.The car park can get quite busy on good weather days so plan your visit.
Etherow Country park
Etherow Country park in Compstall, near Stockport is a lovely park, woodland, weir and lake for a stroll to watch the numerous birds – over a hundred species have been recorded there! This is a Local Nature Reserve and the starting point of the Goyt Way. It was one of England’s first country parks and definitely worth a visit. When you’ve had a walk and fancy a snack there is a cafeteria at the car park near the wier (please check website and facebook page for opening hours) Parking is pay and display and can get quite busy so be sure to plan your visit.
Have fun on a family walk exploring the woodlands and trails at Bramhall Park.
Walk, cycle, picnic and play in the park for free. Tatton Park parkland has 1,000 acres of deer park as well as woodland areas and meres to explore. Visitors are welcome to walk, cycle, picnic and play in the park for free. If you wish to visit the beautiful 50-acre Gardens, you’ll need to pay for tickets and book in advance.
The Middlewood Way was reclaimed from a former railway line to provide a natural attraction for walkers, cyclists, horse riders and nature lovers. The route is 11 miles (16km) and follows the line of the former railway from Macclesfield to Marple on the Peak Park fringe with car parking, toilets and information points and fine views over the Cheshire Plain. The way runs close to the Macclesfield Canal, and there are several options for other walks. The Middlewood Way is accessible from Poynton and Bollington car parks. It also has well surfaced routes suitable for pushchairs and wheelchairs.
Delamere forest is south west of Manchester and has some lovely trails for walking or cycling through the forest. The trail to find the Gruffalo in the form of a tree sculpture from Julia Donaldson’s classic story is currently not available but will hopefully be soon.There is a cafe (please check website for opening times) but there is a picnic area and mobile catering at Old Pale trail. The car park can get busy as families are keen for some fresh air so plan your visit.
Haigh Woodland Park
Haigh Woodland Park is near Wigan and has plenty of activities for walkers and an exciting adventure playground for children. There are some current restrictions on the playground to keep everyone safe and to ensure that it is regularly sanitised so please check on line and read notices when you are there so that everyone can still have fun. There is also a woodland adventure golf (please check the website for opening times, this will be closed during Covid 19 restrictions). The Kitchen Courtyard shops are open for takeaways or you can have a picnic in the lovely grounds. There is a miniature railway, and high ropes activity which are currently closed but check when they hope to re-open. There’s still plenty of space to explore and burn off some energy so it’s definitely worth a visit if you have local access.
Quarry Bank in Styal, Wilmslow is a great day out as there is a lot to see and do in and around the mill, gardens and countryside. As a National Trust property increasing aspects of the site are re-opening over time so check before you go. Currently you need to book online for timed entry and there is a charge depending if you are a National Trust member or not. The car park, gardens and woodland are open so you can enjoy some fresh air. The Mill, Apprentice House, Quarry Bank House and workers cottages are currently closed but the upper garden café, is open for take away and the toilets are open. Check website for opening times.
Dunham Massey is another lovely place for a countryside stroll managed by the National Trust. The car park, deer park and gardens, ice cream parlour, cafe kiosk and picnic area are all open. You’ll need to book tickets before you visit. Members can book for free, while non-members will need to pay when booking. Tickets are released every Friday. You can pick up a leaflet or look online for three different walking routes one of which takes you near to where the deer roam. There is lots to see and hear in the woodland!
Alderley Edge is another place to visit by the National Trust is a red sandstone escarpment with views over the Cheshire Plain to the Peak District. The highest point on the Edge which was originally a Bronze Age burial mound, later used as a fire beacon site which would have been lit as a signal to warn of the imminent invasion. You can also explore several orienteering and self- guided walks through open pasture, mature pine and beech woodland. The Wizard Tea Room is open and offers a take away menu at the moment. This is a great place for children to walk and run off some of their energy!
Check out our review of the Wizard Walk at Alderley Edge.
Sale Water Park
Sale Water Park is easily accessible and has free parking on site. There is a metro link tram stop close by for those travelling on public transport. The main visitor centre is closed but the toilets, cafe and boathouse restaurant are open at the moment all offering a take away service. It’s a good place for a walk around the lake and the chance to spot wildlife around the woodland and water. The gravel path is pram friendly too.
Chorlton Water Park is a Local Nature Reserve comprising of a lake surrounded by grasslands and woodlands. There is a small playground for under 12s, picnic benches and a network of accessible paths. The paths are concrete surrounding the lake which are good for pushchairs and wheelchairs. There’s also several bike tracks you can follow. The car park is relatively small but there is some residential parking nearby and it’s accessible by public transport. This really is a stunning place to visit on a lovely day with great views from around the lake and lots of wildlife and grassy areas to explore.
Astbury Country Park and Mere
Astbury Country Park, Congleton offers lovely walks around the lake. There are several benches and grassy spots along the way to stop for a picnic or to take in the view. The visitor centre is closed but the toilets are open and the café is offering take away service. Good parking facilities and it’s a great place to go for some fresh air and a family walk.
In 1824 the Lymm Dam was constructed to make way for a road, which is now the A56. The beautiful village of Lymm is perfect for a trip out. The dam is a central point with a variety of footpaths, canal paths and the Trans Pennine Trail providing stunning local walks. The area surrounding the dam is renowned for richness in wildlife, whilst the dam itself is a Site of Importance for Nature Conservation (or SINC), and the woodlands surrounding the dam contain a variety of trees and a carpet of wildflowers. Birds and bats are prevalent in the area and are often seen around the dam.Lymm Dam is the perfect place for a good countryside stroll with lovely views along the way. Look for the wildlife, birds and squirrels. Lymm village is close by for a browse too.