Schools Out

Entertaining the kids this summer doesn’t have to cost the earth. The North West have loads of fantastic fun free days out for all ages and all weather, so get your wellies on and head to Tam O’Shanter Urban Farm in Wirral. There are loads of adorable animals to see.Keep those wellies to hand as you may need them again if you Head to NW Lancashire for a fun day out at Fairhaven Lake. There is something for everyone whether it’s a quiet stroll around the lake stopping to feed the ducks, having a go on the boats or a muddy sludgy adventure on the estuary mud looking for creatures that the birds come to eat. There are also good museum’s to be found in the North West and you certainly won’t be disappointed by Manchester’s Museum of Science & Industry. There is something for all, adults and children alike.

We all know how irreplaceable parks are, a must to let off steam and mix with other kids. This one in Bolton is by far no exception, what could be better after having a good play around than a walk around Animal World and Butterfly House.

Don’t forget to breathe in that fresh air! Most of us love the outdoors and Cumbria has some fantastic forests to get you and your kids enjoying what nature has given us. Pack a picnic and choose from Whinlatter Forest or Grizedale Forest, both offer stunning views and both have an excellent adventure playground.  After all that exploring you’re probably in need of some relaxing and what better way to relax than by the sea. Soak up the sun in the Sunny Isle of Man where there is a lovely clean beach called Finella Beach. It has passed the Marine Conservation water Quality tests so grab those costumes!

With all that money saved on entry fees head to Cheshire Ice Cream Farm and treat your little angels to a deliciously locally produced ice cream, there are over 40 irresistible flavours to choose from.

A Date for the Diary – 4th August, 2018 Oswestry Show

On the 4th August, the Oswestry Show will bring more than 100 trade stands and a large variety of displays and activities to the town, all with the aim of promoting Agriculture and Rural Ideas.

There’s a packed schedule of events throughout the day with main ring entertainment from The Squibb Freestyle Motorcycle Stunt Team who are being Sponsored by Ridgway Rentals and also the Kipperidge Gundog Training together with Farming through the Ages an insight from old to new ways of farming.

Elsewhere the Village Green will have lots going on to keep visitors entertained from Gymnastics to the Fun Squad Circus Workshop and Punch and Judy.

The Show boasts a large horse section from Shetland Ponies right through the breeds to Heavy Horses and Retrained Racehorses.

In the Livestock Area there will be a large selection of Cattle, Sheep, Pigs and Rare Breeds and the ever popular Sheep Shearing competition which this year forms part of the 2018 Welsh Lamb Shearing Circuit.  There is also a Small Livestock Section which includes Rabbits, Cavies and Pigeons and Poultry.

Also included at the show is a Vintage Section with Cars, Motorbikes and Tractors; W I and YFC.  This year sees the return of the new extended Horticultural Marquee to showcase the best of Oswestry and surrounding area has to offer together with Craft, Business, Shopping and Food Marquees.

Truly something for all the family.  Visit our website www.oswestry.co.uk  for further information.

Experience the Best of Wales…on rails

The Cambrian Railway spans 120 miles of unspoilt natural beauty and is one of the most scenic rail routes in Britain. From Shrewsbury in Shropshire, the Cambrian Main Line takes you over the border into Wales, through rugged mountain terrain, quaint market towns, World Heritage sites and castles, cross country towards the picturesque West coast of Wales. Here it merges into the Cambrian Coastal route offering spectacular views, coastal walks and places to visit along the length of the Gwynedd coast.

Walking distance from Aberystwyth’s main station you can take a trip down memory lane with a ride on the famous Vale of Rheidol Steam Railway a must for both the young and young at heart.

Opened in 1902, the railway is a masterpiece of engineering and has been delighting passengers young and old for generations. Although the line no longer carries lead ore from the mines it has been carrying tourists to the beauty spot of Devil’s Bridge, 12 miles up into the Cambrian Mountains for over a hundred years!

Watch the scenery passing by your window, the countryside ever changing as you travel through wide open fields, ancient woodland and stunning mountain scenery, twisting and turning, clinging to the hillside to reach Devil’s Bridge- home of the famous Mynach Falls and Devil’s Punch Bowl.

Have a buzzing day out at Martin Mere this summer as GIANT Bionic Bugs invade the centre

Breaking news – GIANT Bionic Bugs are invading WWT Martin Mere Wetland Centre this summer searching for the World’s Largest Bug Hotel.

Have a bug-filled adventure this summer as Martin Mere is taken over by six giant Bionic Bugs from Saturday 28 July to Sunday 2 September. Meet a 6ft long dragonfly, 6ft wingspan butterfly, ant, grasshopper, 4ft buzzing bee, all brought to life with state of the art animatronics and sound effects.

Centre Manager, Nick Brooks, said: “With the invasion taking place I guess I should tell you to remain calm and stay indoors – but actually I think it will be better to get outdoors and become very excited as we need families and children of all ages to visit Martin Mere and find these bionic bugs this summer. In 2017, Martin Mere received the Guinness World Record for the World’s Largest Bug Hotel, standing at a massive 18.36 cubic metres, it is no surprise that giant bugs were going to attempt to move in – it’s going to be a buzzing day out for the whole family.”

Grab your free bug book when you arrive, and start your bug-tastic adventure, collecting stickers for doing eight activities including spotting the GIANT bugs, having a go at bug hunts, glide along on the Canoe Safari or boat tour bug trail, delve into our Pond Zone, make bug crafts, learn about bugs in the food chain and take the your own bug picture.

If you collect six or more stickers, you can get a special bionic bug sticker at the daily award ceremony at 3.30pm.

For further information and a full list of activities visit wwt.org.uk/bionicbugs

WWT Martin Mere Wetland Centre is open every day (except Christmas Day) from 9.30am to 6pm and parking is free of charge. Situated off the A59, it is signposted from the M61, M58 and M6.  The Centre is also accessible via the Southport to Manchester and the Liverpool to Preston line by train from Burscough Rail Stations.  Visit the web site http://www.wwt.org.uk/martinmere/ to find out what’s on all year round at Martin Mere and the other eight WWT Wetland Centres.

Escape 2 Travel is one of Barrow in Furness competitive coach hire business’. Established in 2013 the family run business accepted the challenge of making people happier within their travelling. It is only a small family business including father and daughter companionship.

Escape 2 travel is a fast growing business from handling one coach up to 2015 and now up to five coaches in 2016. We specialise in quality coach hire and executive coach hire centrally located in Barrow in Furness. Cumbria’s coastal gateway to the lake district.

If you are looking to hire a coach for Business, Tours, Educational Trips, Airport Transfers, Sightseeing Holidays, Weddings or even Sports events, Escape 2 Travel welcomes enquiries from both private and corporate clients including schools and colleges. Within then business we can offer 49, 51 or 53 seater but can join up with our Colleges Kt’s Coaches of Kendal who can help us upgrade to a 70 seater.

Our friendly, professional drivers have extensive local knowledge of the North West of England and are always pleased to help you make the most of your tour, visit or outing by passing on their comprehensive knowledge of attractions and places of interest, ensuring an enjoyable experience.

north-west-front-pageNorth West’s top 10 beaches

The coast here is made up of 1,400km of pure glorious sand, making it the largest stretch of undeveloped coastline in England, and with over 80% of it protected, the sea and sand here are well worth a visit. It includes a World Heritage waterfront and two areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

You’re never too far away from golden sand, and with summer here, there’s never been a better time.

The following are beach locations we consider to be the best in the region. Happy summer!

1. Formby is a National Trust-owned nature reserve on the Mersey coast and is a thing of diverse beauty. Red squirrels in the pine forest, rolling sand dunes with a vast, flat expanse of beach with parking on site. Mersey Railway station is only a mile or so down the road but you’ll need to bring a picnic as there are no cafes or shops.

2. Crosby is a short drive from Formby and is a lovely little beach with car parking on site with no cafes or shops.

3. Llandudno West Shore has a beautiful Victorian pier and a popular funfair with rides. This crescent-shaped beach is overlooked by the Great Orme whose cable-operated tramway to the top of the hill is the last still operating in Britain. Take a picnic or be prepared to queue at the café.

4. Gaddings Dam, Todmorden is a beach strangely nowhere near the sea. It is said to be the highest beach in England, and can only be accessed via a steep footpath. When you get there there’s a little patch of sand lapped by the waters of the four-acre reservoir. No vehicle access; footpath via Lumbutts Road, Todmorden (park opposite the Shepherd’s Rest Inn).

5. Lytham St. Annes, is close to Blackpool but a world and a half away from flashing lights, and is what is known as a “traditional” seaside resort. Think nature reserves, village greens, cosy pubs and windmills. There are plenty of local cafes and teashops.

6. Hilbre Island is tidal island two miles from the town of West Kirby. It can be reached by foot at low tide and is actually a series of three small islands, with the largest (and furthest away) being Hilbre. Now a nature reserve, Hilbre is part of an area known for its wildfowl and waders. Grey seals can also sometimes be bobbing about in the water, while the tiny Telegraph Station is occasionally open to visitors. Check the tide tables before you set out.

7. Morecambe Bay beach has a fantastic restaurant positioned right at the top giving spectacular views across the dramatic-looking bay. Good antique and junk shops can be found nearby, as can the coastal village of Heysham and the South Lakes too.

8. Southport Sea is very far out, so much so that it has “Britain’s longest overland pier” complete with its own tramline.

9. Glenridding, Ullswater might not be quite a beach as we know it, but Ullswater is one of the Lake District’s finest freshwater spots and, even during peak season, one of its quietest. It is best experienced by boat. Take the Ullswater Steamer to Glenridding, there the lakeshore boasts gently sloping beaches that are perfect for paddling, wading and enjoying the spectacular views. Glenridding is also close to Aira Force, one of the most beautiful waterfalls in Britain.

10. Blackpool is of course one of Britain’s most famous beaches. Seven miles of golden sands with car parking on site, lots of cafes, places to eat (Yorkshire Fisheries is good for a sit-down fish supper) and oodles of entertainment.
‘The North West Times recognises that families in the UK are always looking for something new and something exciting to try. Our
‘What’s On’ Features have become increasingly popular over the years. We ask our readers; “So you’re trying to plan another day out for the whole family, but just aren’t sure where to start?” And then naturally, we give them some ideas!

Our advertisers range from smaller, more localised attractions or tourist hot spots around the North West through to the bigger, national theatres, theme-parks, castles and events.

A favourite amongst readers have always been the the more subtle atmosphere and educational aspect of the more local parks, farms, zoos and aquariums. Everyone likes a trip to the Zoo – today it’s more about conserving our world wild life and children can learn about the caring aspect, as well as have a super day out. In addition to featuring numerous zoos scattered throughout the UK – there have been plenty of specialized wild life centres specialising in small animals, birds, insects and butterflies that have benefited from their feature in the ‘North West Times’.

One successful feature we ran recently for example was;

“For those who what a change why not visit an exhibition or museum?”

We focused here on the fact that ‘Museums are no longer those stuffy places to visit you might remember when you were younger; instead they now provide hands-on experiences for even the youngest children and cater for all types of genres.’ We explained to readers that; ‘Whether its dinosaurs, a celebrity or certain time period that you and your family are interested, if you look hard enough there is certain to be a specialist exhibition in a museum somewhere to cater for your desires.’ The advertisers featured in this piece commented after the feature that the response was even better than predicted.
Below are some of our regular advertisers who have all benefited from the North West Times marketing their business and their products to the numerous couples, families and groups that pick up our publication.

Inglenook Farm

The farmhouse café serves the very best of British food, using fresh, locally sourced ingredients*.  Whether you stop by for fresh coffee & homemade cakes or linger and enjoy one of the seasonal specials, the cafe offers great value, freshly prepared food, friendly service in a bright fresh farmhouse setting.

The farm shop also sells everything from jams & chutneys to fresh, local fruit & veg – all representing the best of what the region has to offer.  They have sourced hundreds of products from small producers throughout the region, with fantastic seasonal produce available all year round!

Of course, Inglenook is still a farm, and under the expert eye of Steve, they  grow Chamomile and Lavender in the fields. Chamomile has distinctive daisy like plants and is  distilled & bottled in Inglenook’s on-site laboratory to create a unique essential oil. Available in the shop will be over 80 varieties of essential oils, hydrosols, carrier oils, soaps and other distinctive skincare products from shampoos to face creams..

As part of their desire to help the local community they now source all their  fruit & vegetables for the shop & cafe from local community initiative the Neighbourhood Services Company. Larkins Farm is a105 acre community farm located on the urban fringe in Croxteth.  The farm is a community-owned resource delivering a range of activities and services for the local community.

With unique shops such as African Dream, Crafts with Spirit, Phish for Plants, The Wood Works and Fine Feather selling contemporary crafts, jewellery, home furnishing, mystic gifts, plants, shrubs and bird food to name a few, complemented by the Boonric Art Gallery Inglenook Farm is the perfect place to spend an hour or two.

Also on site is Re-Nu therapies. Established for over 3 years, they offer a wide range of beauty, aromatherapy, holistic treatments and pamper days in tranquil and relaxing setting in the farmhouse.

‘Crafts with Spirit’ is a unique combination of fabulous hand made crafts with spiritualist readings & workshops.

There is also a regular Artisan Craft Market selling local and regional food and crafts every second Sunday of the month.  These are proving very popular with swing music playing in the courtyard by the Cotton Town Hot Club.

Barbara and Sarah invite you to come along and visit Whitey the Donkey, Lucky the Sheep, April, Bill and Bugsy the Goats and Mia and Perry the Miniature Shetlands.  Enjoy the farm and café and all it has to offer.  There is no admission cost and there is free parking.  Visit their website at www.inglenook-farm.co.uk  to keep up to date with all their news and what the shops have to offer.

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