My parents have been on about visiting Southport for ages and the prospect of a sunny weekend finally persuaded them. Sadly the sun disappeared when we went over to meet up with them last Sunday, but we still managed to squeeze in a park visit.
I have fond memories of Southport. When me and Mr Parklover lived in Preston, Southport was our regular choice for a “nice day out”. That was all a long time before we’d even thought about children though, and our favourite activities of old – mooching around the shops, mooching around the chippy – were no longer quite as appropriate. In fairness, the fish and chips part still worked fine, we just had to swap takeaway fish ‘n chips in a tray for fish ‘n chips in a sit down chippy. But what else to do? Fortunately, Mum and Dad had been there for 2 days already and had made it their business to seek out the best local park in which to entertain CJ and ourselves.
Hesketh Park is about 10 minutes walk away from the centre of Southport and has lots of attractive features. We entered through the main gates and quickly came upon the lake. The water level of the lake is rather low at the moment and the water a murky shade of orangey brown, rather like a thin and miserable lentil soup. This does not seem to put the ducks, geese and seagulls off though, there was as wide a selection of breeds as I have seen anywhere on my recent travels.
CJ was prepared to brave the ducks who blocked the path in their eagerness to get to bread being generously offered by visitors, as she could see the playground beyond and nothing was going to stop her getting to it. There’s a nice selection of equipment for different ages here as well as a popular cafe overlooking the swings and the welcome addition of a crazy golf course. I wasn’t about to let a 2 year old loose with a golf club, but give it a year or two and I’ll be refusing to let her win.
Toilet facilities are actually outside the park, nip out of the exit just past the playground, turn left and there they are. There’s a unisex one with babychanging and the cubicals are roomy enough to fit the whole family in, NOT that we tried!
We had a very pleasant stroll round the woodland paths in the park after negotiating with CJ to get her away from the playground (this involved her ignoring me until I used the word “snack”). The paths are well marked and easy to follow. We popped into the rose garden – obviously not very rosy at this time of year, but well worth a look in the summer as it’s large and well maintained.
There’s also a listed glasshouse, full of plants – although it was closed when we visited.
Obviously some visitors to Southport will think us odd for not spending our time on rides or in amusement arcades etc, but if that’s not for you – or you’ve had enough of paying for it! -then Hesketh Park might come as a relief.