On a not so sunny Sunday afternoon with gloomy skies but still in need of fresh air and exercise, we headed to Lancashire for a hike around Hollingworth Lake – inland but just like being by the seaside. Water everywhere, a few little amusement arcades, lots of ice-cream shops and fish and chip places all it is missing are the gulls (a pesky nuisance anyway) and the salty air.
In Victorian times the lake was known as the “Weighvers Seaport”. Originally built to provide water for the locks on the Rochdale Canal, from the 1860’s it became a Victorian seaside(ish) resort. They built hotels and the railways brought daytrippers. Fast forward to World War 2 and it was an army camp, in 1974 it became a country park and now is a thriving watersports area.
We parked up and set off. Despite the grey skies there were plenty of people around. The backdrop to the lake – Blackstone Edge – is beautiful as we discovered when we took the scenic lake trail. Only 2.5 miles and very flat you don’t even break a sweat. Son discovered a Trim Trail and set to exercising with gusto. We are permanently amazed at how he can moan about a flat easy walk, but add in some exercise equipment or the odd mountain and his energy levels are boundless.
Lots of colourful yachts and canoes on the water and we had a stone skimming challenge by the edge. Son had a chat with some fishermen and discovered you can catch carp and roach in these waters.
At the end of the trail we found an excellent adventure playground and a little further on was the Visitor Centre. Children’s artwork adorns the walls and they have an obscure collection of objects found in the lake. We just missed a Hedgehog Society Day – had we spent less time exercising and skimming stones, we could have met a hedgehog and barn owl. Still, you can’t have everything and we did find a nice lakeside pub to drown our sorrows.