The only good thing about being ill in bed last week, was that my lovely Mother in law came round to look after CJ and brought her copy of Lancashire Life for me to look at, in which I noticed an article on Astley Hall and Park in Chorley. It has been recently reopened after a major investment programme and looked like the ideal place to make the most of the unexpectedly gorgeous weather today.
Astley Hall is well signposted from the M61, although we missed the actual turn off to the carpark in Astley village, as the sign’s obscured by trees.
The weather seemed to put everyone in a good mood today. Everyone, that is, except CJ who took exception to being asked to walk anywhere. I’ll give her the benefit of the doubt and conclude that she’s still suffering from a cold, but if you were in Astley Park today and had your peace shattered by a small child screaming, “MUMMY CARRY MEEEEEEE!” then I can only apologise.
CJ’s reluctance to move about meant that we didn’t explore the park as much as we might have done, but we still spent a very happy 4 hours here and could have stayed longer. If you cross the bridge over the lake and follow the path around you’ll come to 2 compact but newly refitted play areas. There’s a coffee shop next to these which looked like it had also had a recent makeover, but it wasn’t open today. I had a peep at the pricelist and it sells hot and cold drinks, pot noodles, chocolate, toast, toasted teacakes and icecream. There is a large open area next to it with football pitches.
By the time we’d had a little play, it was time for lunch. The new “Cafe Amigo” looked so nice, that I decided to leave our random scraps picnic in the car and have some lunch. The cafe is housed in old buildings next to the hall and has been beautifully converted. The food all sounded appetising, but I ordered homemade lentil and sweet potato soup at £2.95, which came with an assortment of bread. What I really wanted was the Lancashire cheese platter with relishes and bread for £5.95, but I resisted. Children’s meals are £1.95-2.95 and there were lots of goodlooking cakes. We sat outside in the courtyard and sunned ourselves. Al fresco in October can’t be bad! Upstairs from the cafe is an art gallery open Friday-Sunday. There are brand new toilet facilities here too.
After lunch, we turned our attention to the ducks and made sure that they were as well fed as us. We walked down to the water’s edge and sat on the steps long after our bread had gone, just enjoying watching the ducks on the still water and soaking up the sun – bliss. There are many places to sit and admire the view in this park and I wasn’t the only one who couldn’t resist taking photo after photo of the Hall and the autumn trees. We had a peer through the window of Astley Hall. It’s only open at weekends – but that’s a great reason to plan a return visit!