Wigan is an old industrial town located between Manchester and Liverpool. Made famous by George Orwell in his poem The Road To Wigan Pier, it is now more well known for it’s football and rugby teams. I’ve lived in this area for fourteen years now and have discovered this small town actually has lots to do for families, with lots of those things being free. So with that in mind, here are my top 10 things to do in Wigan with kids.
1. Fairy Glen
We came across this beautiful woodland area only a couple of years ago but have revisited it a number of times. Set in the forest, this is a lovely and easy trail where you will walk through woodland and past streams and waterfalls. You can follow the fairy dust to find the hidden doors and who knows, you may even spot a fairy!
These huge grounds have recently had a million pound transformation which includes a new adventure play area, high ropes, crazy golf and a kitchen courtyard with various food outlets and stalls. It’s one of the north west’s best attractions and perfect for family days out.
Located outside of Wigan just off the A580, Kenyon Hall Farm has a farm shop, cafe, play area and seasonal fruit picking throughout the year. It also has seasonal events with the big attraction being pumpkin picking in October.
One of the North West’s most challenging outdoor race tracks and go karting circuit, this is a fantastic experience for your thrill-seeking children. Over 8’s can enjoy the karting experience with no experience necessary and can either go on alone or as a family.
Located in Leigh, about fifteen minutes from the town centre, this 200 hectare country park is a huge nature reserve and home to a diverse group of mammals, birds and insects, including 5 RSPB red listed birds and the protected water vole. As well as taking in the scenery and enjoying the many viewing areas, there is a children’s play area, a nine hole golf course and picnic areas on the site.
Set in Wigan Town Centre this building has recently been transformed into a multi-disciplinary art centre which hosts weekly events including music events, festivals, art socials, kids events and theatre. Here you will find something from all ages and be able to take part in the thriving cultural scene that has been introduced to Wigan.
Slightly further outside of Wigan you can visit this old colliery which was actually in use until 1970. There is currently a plan for the colliery to be developed further but for now you can visit the engine house (check facebook for times to see the engine running), miners cottage and tea rooms as well as experience various events at the site throughout the year. Fun Fact: It is was also a filming site for some episodes of Peaky Blinders,
Relatively new to the area and one of the largest of its type in Europe, Velocity has fast become the go-to place for children to visit for some trampoline fun. As well as trampolines you can find a foam pit, giant air bag, a clip and climb arena and soft play. My children have visited and absolutely love it, plus there is a cafe for you to sit and watch with a hot drink.
Wigan sits on the famous Leeds-Liverpool canal and you can find many walks along the canal. During your walk you will see various landscapes as well as technologies from the old to the more modern. Close to the town you will see remnants from the 1700’s to the industrial revolution and as you move further out you will pass locks and of course many boats. I’d recommend following some sort of guided walk you can find online as that can tell you a lot of information as you walk.
I couldn’t write about Wigan without mentioning its infamous roller rink. It’s actually Europe’s largest indoor roller rink and as well as seeing infants flailing around trying to stay upright you will catch the more experienced whizzing around doing tricks with their light-up wheels. This will take you back to your youth, with blaring music and neon lights and hosts a variety of sessions including themed music, rink games and family times. You can hire skates, so no need to worry about bringing your own and when your feet get tired you can grab drinks and snacks in the cafe.
Thanks to Lisa for this guest post on 10 things to do in Wigan with kids – you can find Lisa blogging over at Hollybobbs Blog
Karen Beddow founded Mini Travellers in 2014 while doing what she loves most...going on holiday!
Mini Travellers is for parents looking for holiday ideas, destination reviews, days out and things to do with the kids. We also have family travel tips, activity ideas and all other things family holiday related. Take a look at some of our latest reviews for holidays and day trips in the UK.