Thursday 13th - Monday 17th September 2018

Lancashire is so often somewhere one drives through, with barely a glance, as one heads north – so I thought it time to take a closer look! We will stay for four nights at the delightful Barton Grange Hotel.

Biddulph Grange Gardens NT

Barton Grange Hotel

Lytham Hall
Blackpool Grand Theatre

Blackpool lights

Our first destination as we head north will be Biddulph Grange Gardens NT – a masterpiece of Victorian design – a quirky playful paradise! We will be visiting when the gardens are at their most striking, the colour should take your breath away! We will then continue our journey north and check-in to our lovely hotel just north of Preston.

Friday we will head to Lytham Hall, the finest Georgian house in Lancashire, located at Lytham-St-Ann's. This Grade I listed mansion has had a chequered history recently but you will be able to see that work is in progress to restore it to its former glory. After a guided tour we will have lunch there before heading on to the Grand Theatre at Blackpool. This Grade II listed building first opened in 1894 and we are fortunate to have the theatre archivists to show us round this spectacular building and also a helpful management who will arrange their programme around our visit! Afterwards you will have free time to 'do your own thing', you may want to visit Blackpool Tower and see the 'Ballroom' or enjoy a cup of tea before we have a ride to see the spectacular Blackpool Lights and have supper.

Morecombe bay

WWT Martin Mere

Rufford Old Hall NT

Lancaster Castle

Croome NT

Saturday we will drive to Martin Mere a wetland nature reserve, one of nine in the country managed by the Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust. Unlike the one at Slimbridge, which is located adjacent to the river estuary, this is situated 10 miles from the sea. You can pace yourself as to what you do but I think you’ll find it very interesting. From here we will drive the short distance to Rufford Old Hall NT, the home of the Hesketh family for 500 years.

Sunday we will take a leisurely cruise on the Lancashire Canal before heading to Lancaster Castle, probably dating from before 11th C it has been used as a prison for over 900 years and has had a colourful and interesting history! From here we will make our way to Morecambe Bay and hope for some good views!

Monday we will head back south and make a visit to Croome Court NT. Former home of the Earl’s of Coventry, this was Capability Brown’s first large commission. It has been a massive restoration project since the Trust first acquired the park in 1996, later taking a lease on the Court which first opened to the public in 2009.

Cost: Includes travel in a Ridlers executive coach, four night's B&B at the Barton Grange Hotel, dinner each evening, one lunch, entrance to properties & tours as mentioned and gratuities. The single supplement will be £90. Sharing a twin/double room £460pp.
Leader: Sue Shapland