Every year we say that we are going to take some time to explore days out close to us; being smack in the middle of Merseyside and Lancashire we have a lot of picturesque and exciting locations just a short distance away and every now and then, we actually make good on our promise!
The Fairy Glen is somewhere we stumbled across last year (after driving past it goodness knows how many times) and it is now one of our favourite local spots. I actually chose to film rather than taking a whole load of photos so if you want to see more of a our day out then scroll down to the bottom to watch our vlog.
Situated in West Lancashire, close to Parbold Hill, Fairy Glen is an area of natural beauty which follows Sprodley Brook. The brook has gradually cut through the underlying sandstone to create a valley which has waterfalls, cliff faces, plenty of wildlife and trees and...of course, lots of places for little fairies to hid out!
There isn't any designated parking for Fairy Glen but as you come down the other side of Parbold Hill you will find a layby on the left hand side, which is where people usually choose to park. It does mean you have to cross the main road however, with cars going at around 60mph.
It was a lovely mild day when we chose to visit which meant there were only one or two spaces left in the layby but honestly, once we were in the Glen it barely felt like there was anybody else around us. The recent Storm Doris and generally miserable rainy weather meant that it was quite muddy and the brook was gurgling along quite happily which the kids absolutely loved.
We have been in various seasons now and there is always something new to see. Both Meg
and Eli absolutely adore trying to spot 'fairy houses' (usually just holes in the bottom of trees) and wading into the water getting as wet as humanly possible. It is definitely a place for wellies and waterproofs.
There are a number of different paths you can take and a couple of waterfalls to enjoy along the way. On a drier day it would be perfect to take a picnic and soak up the fresh air; it honestly feels as though you are way out into the countryside and not minutes from a national speed limit road!
The kids are just utterly fascinated with the waterfalls and the brook in general and it's very safe for them to run off ahead which is just perfect for Eli who likes to do everything at top speed. We passed a couple of other people walking their dogs but other than that we pretty much felt like we had the place to ourselves.
If you aren't too mucky after your wander through the Fairy Glen then there are also a couple of great places to eat nearby. Back up Parbold Hill, right at the top (with some pretty stunning views) is Miller & Carter Parbold which is currently undergoing refurbishment, reopening on the 17th March and in the opposite direction in Appleby Bridge you will find Pesto which serves Italian food.
Overall, the perfect place to spend a mild day in March and definitely one we will be returning to in future.