We are lucky enough to have Marbury Country Park on our doorstep here in Northwich. The park is a lovely mixture of open fields, lakes and woodland. It is a fantastic outdoor space which is beautiful at all times of the year – but i think it is best in the spring.
We started off by visiting the playground located near the car park. The play equipment is aimed at older children, so E can not really use any of it properly by himself, but with a little help from me he managed to climb up on a few of the smaller bits of equipment and seemed rather proud of himself for doing so. It’s a shame they haven’t got a few swings or a small slide that littler people can use easily.
Next stop the ducks. We always take a slice of bread to feed the ducks / for my little one to nibble on. There is a lovely spot on the walk that takes you down to the shore of Budworth Mere and you can nearly always be sure that there are a group of hungry ducks and sometimes a swan waiting there to see what you have brought for them.
We then headed off to the woods to see the bluebells. This is my favourite time of year, as all the flowers start appearing and the trees spring back to life – everything suddenly looks more colourful. You know that when the bluebells appear, then summer and warm weather can not be far away. You can see glimpses of bluebells between the trees from the main paths but if you take one of the little tracks into the wood (only a couple of steps ) you find yourself surrounded by a carpet of blue. It is just beautiful and well worth a stop. There are loads of little winding paths through the bluebells which we had great time following, E also had a great time collecting sticks. The bluebells can be found all over the woods at Marbury at the moment.
Continuing our walk we ended up dropping down a steep hill to a lovely little stream. It was a bit off the main paths and so was lovely and quiet. There were so many colourful flowers with bluebells, pink Campion, white Wood Anenomie’s and sunny Celandines dotted here, there and everywhere.
We spent a good hour slowly (very slowly) walking along the stream and throwing in stones and pebbles at every opportunity. E had so much fun throwing pebbles and making splashes that when they proved scarce he had me digging stones out of the ground with my hands just so he could practice throwing some more.
The sun started to come out and we found the perfect fallen tree trunk to sit on and let E have a drink and a few gingerbread men (his current favourite food group). At this point I really wished I had packed a thermos of coffee for me – a definite plan for next time. It was so peaceful with the sun shining and the birds singing and we even heard a woodpecker (much to E’s amusement – he spent the rest of the walk trying to imitate the knocking sound it made).
I think in total the walk we did was about 1.5 miles but there are so many walks you can do here from much shorter strolls to day long walks. I took the pram (too far for me to carry Thomas if he decided half way round that it was not a walking day today) and I had no problem. The Paths at Marbury are very good (they can get bit muddy in wet weather but it has never stopped us getting through). The path I took down by the stream does have a 2 flights of stairs (5 steps in each flight) and it was at this point that my little one decided to jump in the push chair but i managed the stairs with no problem (they are very deep steps so can get buggy up one step at a time.)
Marbury has lots of parking (£1.50 for 3 hours). There are toilets near the car park (not sure if there is baby changing). There is no permanent cafe on site but at weekends and on bank holidays there is a lovely artisan coffee van selling lots of hot drinks, cakes and light snacks. There is also a little covered area for picnics just in front of the coffee van in case the weather takes a turn for the worse. The central area of Marbury (near the car park) has concrete paths which makes it great for young children to ride bikes.
If you want to see the bluebells I would recommend going this week as they are currently at their best.