As someone who was born and raised in the North of England, I have heard the saying “It’s grim up North!” on countless occasions over the years. I’m not sure where the saying originally stems from, perhaps the fact that the weather is notoriously bad in the North, or perhaps just a reflection on the North in general, but having lived here for 37 years, and now raising my family here, I can tell you that, hand on my heart, there is nowhere else in the world I would rather be.
When I was asked to take part in the GrinUpNorth campaign launched by The Cumberland Building Society, I didn’t need to think twice. I love the play on words to show that actually, there is so much to smile about up here in the North, and not only are our people some of the friendliest in the world but we have some of the most beautiful places in the UK right here on our doorstep.
Living in Lancashire we are spoilt for choice when it comes to places to visit, family friendly days out and tourist attractions, but my favourite place is without a doubt Fairy Glen in Parbold. Nestled on the side of Parbold Hill above the rural village of Appley Bridge, Fairy Glen has a tranquil, secluded atmosphere, and with such a magical name, and the reaction from the children when we visit, it doesn’t disappoint.
The site follows Sprodley Brook which has, over time, cut down through the underlying sandstone to create the steep Fairy Glen valley with spectacular waterfalls and cliff faces. We were very lucky to last visit at a time when the bluebells were in full bloom, making Fairy Glen one of the most picturesque woodlands in Lancashire.
Fairy Glen is a linear site but there are plenty of links to the wider countryside through the local public footpath system, making it easy to find a walk to suit everyone. We really enjoy exploring off path and with the promise of an ice cream at the end of the day, my children are happy to walk for miles!
The children’s favourite thing about Fairy Glen is that there is always a rope swing to be found, something which, when you’re three, four and five, is the most fun imaginable.
As a blogger and a keen photographer, it felt as though we had hit the bluebell jackpot at Fairy Glen this year, and the photo opportunities are endless!
It just goes to show that you don’t need to spend a fortune on expensive days out or travel for miles to find something to occupy the children, there really is nothing better than getting outdoors, finding a beautiful spot for a picnic, and just enjoying that time as a family.
It’s places like this, tucked away like hidden treasures, that keep me here in Lancashire. I have been to so many beautiful countries and seen some amazing sights, but to find somewhere truly magical, where it feels like you’re the only people in the world, that’s why my heart lies here in Lancashire. And that’s when I tell those who say it’s grim up North, that they really don’t know what they’re missing.
*** This is a collaborative post with The Cumberland Building Society. All words and opinions are my own. ***