Lancashire Post Covid Bucket List
31 March 2021
As an end in sight appears on the horizon, our post lockdown plans feel more real. Our dreams and lists have kept us going while we’ve been stuck indoors, but now they can become reality.
So today, we’re sharing our Lancashire post covid bucket list, exploring some of the things we’ve really missed in lockdown.
Go Wild at Blackpool Zoo
We all know how being outdoors can improve mental health. Studies have found that zoos can have the same effect, with the added bonus of the animals! Blackpool Zoo is a gorgeous, sprawling park with giant cats, gorillas, macaws, penguins, reptiles and more. They offer a range of animal experiences, including meeting the animals, being a keeper for a day, and even encountering elephants. Blackpool Zoo usually offer talks about the animals, but right now have recorded these as podcasts. They also have a play area for kids, a café, kiosks and gift shop.
Tip: Why not download Blackpool Zoo’s interactive app to enhance your visit?
Visit the Butterflies at Williamson’s Park
Williamson’s Park is a stunning, 54 acre beauty in Lancaster. With majestic woodlands, lush plant life, and stunning views across the bay, as well as the iconic Ashton Memorial. The park boasts enchanting walks, a play area, and even, in the summer, live action theatre. But one of our favourite attractions is the Butterfly House. This elegant, glass topped Edwardian palm house is now home to hundreds of butterflies and birds, as well as koi carp and tortoises.
Tip: If you visit at the weekend, you might get to meet the keepers!
A New Orleans Cold Brew at The Hall
The Hall was taken over in 2012 by Atkinsons Coffee Roasters, and has been stripped back and refashioned. Today it features upcycled vintage coffee machinery, Canadian maple flooring, and a La Marzococo Strada EP. They often have events at the Hall, including music, lindy hop dancing and food pop ups. You can enjoy espresso, nitro, chemex and syphon coffee, but we’re looking forward to a delicious New Orleans cold brew this summer.
Tip: Don’t forget to visit their charming roasting shop – you can’t miss it, just follow your nose!
Meet the Sharks at Sea Life Blackpool
Sea Life Blackpool is a calm, relaxing attraction, featuring marine life ranging from strokable rockpool creatures, to black tip reef sharks, who swim overhead in the ocean tunnel. They are known for the variety of stingrays they house, including a baby ray nursery! The other animals include turtles, jellyfish, clownfish, seahorses and piranhas. There’s a gift shop and soft play area at the end of the attraction, so parents can relax with a coffee while the kids play.
Tip: Why not purchase a group ticket covering multiple Merlin attractions?
Picnic by The Singing Ringing Tree
The Singing Ringing Tree is a wind powered sound sculpture near Burnley, designed by Anna Liu and Mike Tonkin. In 2007, the sculpture won the National Award of the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) for architectural excellence. There’s a wonderful 0.7 mile walk nearby and the nearby Dunnockshaw Community Woodland is perfect for a picnic.
Tip: Download their early years pack to enhance the experience for nursery aged children.
Try Lancashire Hotpot at the Merchants 1688
This 300 year old pub is set near the train station and the Storey Gallery in Lancaster. It features a charming beer garden and live events. Serving local ales, meat from Cumbria, fish from Fleetwood and fresh ground coffee from Atkinsons. This family friendly venue is also the perfect place to try traditional Lancashire hotpot.
Tip: The pub is partially dog friendly, with pups allowed in the first bay.
Walk in JR Tolkien’s Footsteps (Tolkien Way Walk)
While writing the Lord of the Rings, Tolkien often stayed in a guest house on the grounds of Stonyhurst College, in the Ribble Valley. Today, you can walk in the renowned writer’s footsteps, by following the Tolkien Way. This is a 6.7 mile loop incorporates a river side route and is replete with stunning scenery and wildlife. It starts in the quaint village of Hurst Green, said to have inspired Hobbiton. It then follows the River Ribble, visiting various locations including Stonyhurst College, Cromwell Bridge and the Dome Observatory. A must do for any Lancashire post covid bucket list.
Tip: Why not stop for a drink at the Shireburn Arms?
Scallops at Angels Restaurant
Angels Restaurant in Ribchester is said to serve up the best scallops in Lancashire. A locally sourced menu is served up by Executive head chef Simon Eastham. Their menus change with the seasons, and they cater to vegans and vegetarians. This cosy restaurant features two intimate dining areas and a cocktail bar. Both the tasting menu and Sunday roast come highly recommended.
Tip: Before lockdown eases up, why not try one of their ‘at home’ boxes?
Take an Afternoon Tea Cruise
This summer, why not hop aboard with Kingfisher Cruises for a lazy afternoon tea cruise. Tuck into a delicious selection of sandwiches, snacks and cakes. The cruise will take you through a picturesque tour of Lancashire’s waterways. This can include a trip to the Lune Aqueduct or a horse drawn boat, with optional visits to the Dewlay cheese factory and shop, Lancaster Brewery, Carnforth railway station museum and more!
Tip: Ask about their murder mystery experiences!
Celebrate at the Highest Point Festival
This joyous, family friendly festival (This year at 3rd-4th September) started off as raves within Lancaster Castle. Today it is set in the gorgeous Williamson Park, with acts ranging from Rag’n’Bone Man, to local favourites The Lovely Eggs. There are hot showers, toilets and saunas onsite, as well as a first aid tent. For families, the festival has The Big Family Day Out, with theatre, DJs, storytelling, arts and crafts and entrance to the butterfly house and mini zoo.
Tip: Families should book the Big Family Day Out on Sunday well ahead of time – it’s hugely popular!