Take in the splendours of the season by visiting these outdoor spaces in Wigan, from scenic spots to beautiful parkland and other places for some fresh air.
Nothing beats a leisurely walk surrounded by nature in the great outdoors for an enjoyable and inexpensive day out. There are plenty of great places in Wigan to take elderly loved ones to stretch their legs and soak in the ambience, but if you’re pressed for ideas these suggestions should help get you moving.
Originally the site of a large coal mine, the area that would become Mesnes Park was a depleted wasteland when first acquired by Mayor Nathaniel Eckersley in 1878 to be transformed into a public park. Today it is a Grade II listed park with numerous features and facilities, including memorials, statues, a duck pond and a well-appointed café within the Pavilion.
Perfectly located in the centre of town, it is easy to reach and makes a natural stopping point on any trip. All areas of the park can be accessed by a wheelchair, with plenty of benches for seating throughout. The park is kept clean and tidy by a dedicated team of volunteers, giving Mesnes Park a well-earned Green Flag Award. There are several ways to reach the park and it is well-signposted – to find the main car park head for the B5375 opposite Wigan & Leigh College.
Smaller than the Victorian Mesnes Park, Alexandra Park is still a popular recreational spot for visitors and local residents alike consisting of numerous tree-lined pathways and flower gardens. It’s most frequently visited by joggers, ramblers and people walking their dogs, while others may find exercise at the two bowling greens and two tennis courts.
Alexandra Park is also popular with younger families thanks to its play area and skate park, but while it is a great spot for a picnic, facilities are sparse. No toilets can be found on the grounds, so keep that in mind before visiting, while the park is however fully accessible with benches spaced throughout. There are a few different entrances, including one on Victoria Street and one on Kildare Street off Warrington Road. Find car parking on the junction between Victoria Street and Argyll Street, opposite St Mark’s Church.
As is the case with most towns in the north of England, Wigan found life in the fires of the Industrial Revolution. You’d be hard pressed to see that history should you ever drop by the Wigan Flashes Local Reserve.
Built on disused industrial land, the “flashes” are the result of extensive rewilding and reclamation works to restore some of the area’s former natural splendour. Home to a myriad of water birds, insects, amphibians, and small mammals, it’s a veritable verdant vesta just on the doorstep of Wigan.
Ideal if you’re bringing anyone who loves being surrounded by nature, the Reserve has on-site parking for thirty vehicles, a picnic area, and numerous footpaths and trails. Bird watchers will also be able to watch discretely from one of six bird screens. The entrance is on Wellham Road off Carr Lane south of the town centre.
If you’re looking to take your party outside of Wigan proper, Jubilee Park is a perfect stop. Named in honour of Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee, Jubilee Park straddles Wigan Road (A49) and provides another welcome escape from the surrounding towns.
Spread over 8.5 acres, Jubilee Park provides its visitors with numerous footpaths, flower gardens, woodland areas, and a pavilion. Events are often held in the park as well, so keep an eye on the calendar if your charges are keen to take in the local culture.
The park is very wheelchair friendly, consisting of relatively flat ground with plenty of well-maintained pavements. Toilets can be found on the grounds, and the park itself is close to nearby shops if you want to grab picnic supplies. Again there are a few different entrances, but head down Wigan Road past the Jubilee Club and you’ll find it.
Located just north-east of Wigan, Haigh Woodland Park is one of the area’s most beloved natural retreats. It provides something for everyone, from woodland walks to outdoor activities, from food and drink to extensive golf courses.
There are few places better to take someone for some exercise through the woods or gardens; there is plenty to see and do no matter what time of year it is. If nobody feels like walking that day, then why not take them aboard the Haigh Miniature Railway instead?
The park is completely accessible to wheelchair users and people with varying levels of mobility. Seating can be found in numerous areas, while toilets and eating facilities are provided in the Haigh Kitchen Courtyard. The closest entrance is off School Lane, by Haigh Hall’s car park, or if you’re coming up from the town centre on Wigan Road then take the turn on Higher Lane instead while heading towards Aspull.
Wigan is an old industrial town with a strong community, providing plenty of public spaces for everyone to get out and enjoy the changing of the seasons. There’s lots to see and enjoy in any outing, so be sure to bring your loved ones to these amazing parks to exercise and get them some much-needed fresh air.
There are lots of exciting and rewarding opportunities for supported living around the area, so find out if home care in Wigan could be right for your loved ones.