Fairytale and ‘Magical’ Parks & Woods

My family and I love to be Out and About! We love a trail, anything that keeps the little legs interested and moving! I’ve put together this list of some MAGICAL places in the North to visit with kids that will make your children fall in love with walking too.

So if you’re looking for a walk in the woods or a magical trail, to swing in the trees or find something a little different then check out this fab list below……

Clifton Country Park– I first wrote about Clifton Country Park when we first discovered their fairytale trail last summer. As well as open woodland, a large free car park, a cafe and toilets and a playground, there’s a fab fairytale trail that your kids will love.

The trail is approximately a mile long which is perfect for little legs. There’s 10 wooden sculptures along the way as you walk (it’s a circular trail), you can even spot The Gruffalo! For more information see here.

Clifton Country Park, Clifton House Road, Clifton, Salford, Manchester, M27 6NG

Etherow Country Park– situated in Compstall (Stockport), is home to many plants and wildlife and covers an area of 200 acres. There’s a pay and display car park, toilet facilities and a cafe that sells bird food (there’s always plenty of birds that want feeding).

There’s also a ‘magical fairy den’ that your children can explore hidden in the forest! To find the fairy den, you need to go into the woods once you reach the weir. Once your in the woods, follow a sign and a track further round and into the woods. Its a wonderful place to visit, certainly worth having a look around. See here for more information.

Etherow Country Park, Compstall, Stockport, SK6 5JD

Delamere Forest– is Cheshire’s largest area of woodland and is the perfect place for kids to let off some steam. Its great for the whole family whether your into walking or cycling. There’s plenty of picnic areas, a cafe, bike hire, pay and display car park plus your little ones can go crazy over The Gruffalo!

In the deep dark forest see if you can find the sculpture and for only £1.50 you can take part in a fun family map reading challenge to see if you can find the 12 Gruffalo markers hidden in the wood! More information about Delamere Forest can be found here.

Delamere Forest, Northwich, CW8 2HZ

Fletcher Moss Botancial Gardens– a beautiful park in Didsbury that we spent a lot of time in over the summer. The gardens at Fletcher Moss are not to be missed (especially at summer time) but there will be plenty to see during the winter. We loved the little paths and stone steps, my little girl thought it was a garden made for fairies.

After a visit to the gardens, head into Stenner Woods and do some exploring. Here we did some geocaching, found some painted rocks but we also found a handmade swing in the forest, this was lots of fun.

We next reached Stenner Woods boardwalk which was another beautiful part of the of the park, there was plenty of wildlife and nature to see. I imagine it would be very muddy and even a bit boggy during the winter months so would recommend walking boots or wellies. From previous visits, playing in the woods are our favourite thing to do at Fletcher Moss.More information can be found here.

Fletcher Moss Botanical Gardens, 18 Stenner Lane, Didsbury, Manchester, M20 2RQ

East Riddlesden Hall- a couple of months ago we stumbled across East Riddleston Hall. As National Trust members, we decided to stop off at the house and gardens on the way home from visiting my mum in Yorkshire. I love finding lovely new places to explore and this was certainly a little gem.

As well as looking around the hall (which was fab for families too as the kids took part in a trail), there was plenty to see and do. We made apple bird feeders in their arts and crafts room but best of all were their gardens.

There’s a natural play area to explore as well as a bird hide and a wild play garden. My three loved this, there was a little Hobbit house, mud kitchen, den building and more. My little girl thought the fairies doors on the trees were the best. See here for more information.

Bradford Road, Riddlesden, Keighley, West Yorkshire, BD20 5EL

Grizdale Forest– is a large area of woodland managed by the Forestry Commission about 30 miles from Windermere. We always visit when we take a trip to the Lakes. There’s lots of different paths and routes to take, suitable for walkers, mountain bikers and prams. There’s a large pay and display car park, visitors centre, toilets, cafe, shop, picnic area and a fab children’s play area.

Last year we took part in the Zog trail which was so much fun! This year I believe its the Shaun The Sheep Farmageddon Glow Trail, more information can be found here. These trails are always lots of fun, my children really enjoy them. The year before we took part in The Highway Rat.

There’s also plenty of sculptures to look out for throughout Grizedale Forest, from small wooden sculptures to huge mental ones. Our favourite ones from our last visit were certainly the magical musical trees! Turn the keys and listen to the musical surround the forest. See here for more information.

Forestry Commission Visitor Centre, Grizedale Forest, Hawkshead, LA22 0QJ

I’m always looking for places to explore, so if you know of somewhere that I should visit with my family please let me know. You can email me at out_and_about_mummy@yahoo.com

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