When we visited Smithills Hall last weekend, we'd intended to visit a nearby park but just didn't have the time. I'm so glad we decided to go back yesterday because we discovered a great place to visit in future and had a lovely time.
Moss Bank Park is just to the north of Bolton town centre and there's lots to see and do. When we got there just after 11, it was still quite quiet but it got busier as the day wore on. It never felt crowded though because of the large open spaces.
We couldn't resist having a go on the playground. OK, I couldn't resist having a go. Yes, my legs are almost as white as my bag!
Chickpea did join me on the see-saw though.
After the playground, we headed to Animal World which has a bargain 50p entrance fee. The first part is a butterfly house where there were some real beauties fluttering around.
I think these were owl moths.
In the animal section, there were a few small farm/pet animals to look at like rabbits, guinea pigs and this pygmy goat.
And lots of chipmunks. We could have watched these for hours.
Lots of birds too.
And exotic pheasanty looking things.
After the birds and animals it was time for a picnic, and to sit back, enjoy the sunshine and watch the world go by. We really don't do this enough.
Suitably refreshed and with an ice cream in hand, we headed out of the park towards the adjacent village of Barrow Bridge which is part of a conservation area. These houses were formerly the homes of the mill managers.
In front of them is a fairly fast-flowing stream.
Further up the road are the 'famous' 63 steps which workers used to climb every day on their way to the mines and quarries on Winter Hill. You can follow footpaths right up onto the moors but Chickpea was waiting for me at the bottom so I headed back down.
One last look at the animals and the park and it was time for home, full of fresh air and sunshine. As we were leaving we noticed a sign with a map of the park and realised that we'd missed seeing at least half of the gardens. Definitely somewhere we'll be going back to. x