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Day trips in NW England for my grandmother
September 7, 2005 10:25 PM   Subscribe

Day trip destinations in England's North West, particularly Merseyside -- but with a bit of a catch.

I would love any and and suggestions for places to which to take my 92-year-old grandmother (and her sisters) for a short day trip. We have done Blackpool, Wigan Pier, the Merseyside Maritime Museum, a nature preserve not too far from Southport and various other short drives. Something new and different would be wonderful -- but it should be somewhere that is not too crowded and that has level walkways as well as elevators (where appropriate) and ramps. I look forward to some new ideas.
posted by sueinnyc to Travel & Transportation around United Kingdom (13 answers total)
 
Port Sunlight is lovely. I went to the Lady Lever Art Gallery, which has The Best Gift Shop Ever and a sweet tearoom.
posted by speranza at 12:26 AM on September 8, 2005


Second for Port Sunlight. Can you get to Manchester? The Lowry gallery and Imperial War Musem (on opposite sides of Salford quays) are worth a look.
posted by handee at 1:11 AM on September 8, 2005


You could try Catalyst in Widnes. It claims to be the only museum of the chemical industry in the world. I have to warn you that Widnes is a dump otherwise and not to worry if there's a funny smell when you get there - that's normal. It's website says its fully accessible.

Depending on where in the NW you're starting from you could make trips into Wales as easy as to the upper part of the region. Or split the difference and go to Chester. It's picturesque and historic with plenty of artefacts dating back to the Romans plus a nice little cathedral, riverside walk, river cruises and pleasant olde mews type shops. Pretty flat as towns go.
posted by biffa at 2:31 AM on September 8, 2005


I've been to Catalyst and found it dull and full of school kids on trips. Also, the smell gave me a really bad migraine. Fun if you're a Science geek though. I second Chester, it was a lovely place and I wish I'd had time to see more of it.
posted by speranza at 2:46 AM on September 8, 2005


Lyme Park, near Stockport, where Colin Firth emerged from the lake in Pride & Prejudice? As a National Trust site, it makes an effort w/r/t accessibility.
posted by holgate at 2:52 AM on September 8, 2005


The complete of places I've been in the North West (all were cool apart from Catalyst, but quite a few are probably not what you're looking for):

Norton Priory (Runcorn - beautiful gardens)
Formby (Pictures - gorgeous beach, super-friendly squirrels)
The Trafford Centre - (Manchester - Hee-uge shopping centre, kind of tacky, but great fun)
Chester Zoo
Jodrell Bank (Really, really cool)
Beeston Castle

I also went to a lavender farm that I can't remember the name of and to Warrington (crap) and Liverpool (great). Plus the previously mentioned places.
posted by speranza at 3:25 AM on September 8, 2005


the lake district is incredibly gorgeous (albeit wet) and there are numerous gardens, and other places run by the national trust that would be excellent.

there's also the ferry's on lake windermere and coniston.

especially if you have lunch at one of the world's finest pubs, the old dungeon ghyll
posted by quarsan at 4:02 AM on September 8, 2005


Just remembered Speke Hall, a Tudor hall now run by the National Trust, and on the outskirts of Liverpool. Not been in 20 years+ but it was good then and can't imagine the NT will have let it go downhill.
posted by biffa at 4:14 AM on September 8, 2005


Chester Zoo was indeed a Big Day Out. I didn't feel that huge compaired to American zoos we've been to, but there was a bit of walking.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 4:32 AM on September 8, 2005


Knowsley Safari Park's fun, and doesn't involve walking. Speke Hall is indeed still lovely (but right next to the airport - quite nice to sit in the grounds and watch the planes take off though)

The Lake District is beautiful but not really short day-trip worthy from Liverpool (but totally seconding the old dungeon ghyll! thanks, quarsan - didn't know it had a website!)

A day at the races at Aintree is always fun, too, but the meetings aren't that frequent and Grand National weekend's very busy.

apart from that, pretty much what speranza said. I love Formby and Squirrel Woods. Haven't been for years... </scouser-living-in-the-south>
posted by corvine at 4:46 AM on September 8, 2005


If urban days out work, the Albert Docks and Tate Liverpool (in Liverpool, obviously) are good and seemed very accessible (lifts etc).
posted by cushie at 6:29 AM on September 8, 2005


You can also tour the Aintree racecourse (151-522-2921) in the off-season. It was a big thrill for someone who had been horse-crazy as a kid to see one of the settings for National Velvet.
posted by brujita at 7:26 AM on September 8, 2005


Thank you again, everyone, for the suggestions. We are excited about trying a number of the places suggested.
posted by sueinnyc at 11:58 AM on September 17, 2005


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