Monday, 30 March 2009

Yarrow Valley Country Park, Chorley

This is where we spent out Sunday, the weather was glorious, the location was beautiful and yet, in spite of this, I am reluctant to ever visit Yarrow Valley again! This is in no way related to the place itself, the park is gorgeous - lots of woodland to walk through, plenty of nature to absorb, lush, green surroundings and yet it was a little bit like combining this...

With this:

Nope, you're not mistaken - that IS the Chatsworth estate from the infamous Shameless. I do feel very reluctant to be so negative about the park but as this blog is aimed predominantly at families I feel obliged to be honest and for me, personally, this place is not somewhere I felt comfortable having a family day out with my young children - it really was a very surreal experience to be in such stunning surroundings and witness such bizarre behaviour! Firstly, the picnic area, albeit beautiful with plenty of open space to play ball games or let the kids run around, was full of lager swilling teens, swearing at the top of their lungs (so loudly you could hear it all the way across the other side of the park, shouting loudly about lewd topics, while their babies sat glumly in their prams! Even after we bid a hasty retreat from that area, we came across numerous discarded cans, bottles on virtually every bench we passed and several 'Sunday dad's' out with their toddlers for the day ...and their cans of cider too! It was a little bit like being in Jeremy Kyle's green room!!

Okay, enough said about that........I wouldn't say don't visit this park... I would say, maybe not on a Sunday! It really is a gorgeous location, full of little bridges and babbling streams and crawling with nature. There was an ice cream van parked up in the car park, a visitors centre and they have toilets and baby changing facilities. The park offers lots to the community with angling, canoeing and plenty of nature walks etc so it is a great shame that it is sometimes spoiled. All that aside, it would be a lovely place for a picnic and a leisurely stroll, taking in the scenery. The only other point I would add is that it can be particularly nerve racking with younger children as they can get right up to the edge of the water in some parts! (Of course this does make it easier to feed the ducks!).

Toilets: Yes
Dogs: Yes, ideal dog walking spot
Address: Yarrow Valley Country Park, Off Birkacre Road, Chorley, PR7 3QL.

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