The days are longer, the skies are brighter and the flowers are blooming. Spring is in full swing!
Ask any local about what there is to get up to at Easter, and they’re sure to mention an egg hunt. Whether it’s at Bolton Abbey or over at Smithills Open Farm, tracking down eggs is an Easter tradition for Boltonians this time of year.
But, what about Bolton’s more well-kept secrets?
If you’re looking for something to keep the kids entertained, a nice day out for you and your partner or simply a way to get out and enjoy the spring air, we’ve created a list of Bolton’s best ‘Easter Eggs’ to help you make the most of the Easter weekend.
1. Smithills Hall
Take a step back in time by visiting Smithills Hall. Located just a stone’s throw from Smithills Open Farm, the hall is one of the oldest and best-preserved manor houses in the North West.
With a rich history, Smithills Hall is a grade 1 listed building that boasts medieval, Tudor and Victorian architecture, including a chapel that dates back to 792 AD. You can take a free guided tour to experience the full grandeur of the property, exploring the immaculately maintained drawing rooms, breathtaking stained-glass windows and spacious grounds.
Highlight: The tearoom
Smithills Hall even has its own tearoom for you to relax in. An extension of the ever-popular Poppins Tea Rooms in Horwich, here you can sit back and whet your appetite with a light lunch or a range of afternoon tea options.
2. Ye Olde Man & Scythe
The term ‘proper pub’ comes to mind when talking about Ye Olde Man & Scythe. Reportedly Britain’s fourth oldest pub, Ye Olde Man & Scythe dates back to at least 1251 and has quite the history. Not only was the pub the site of the execution of the Earl of Derby in 1651, but is said to be haunted by the very same Earl. If that wasn’t enough, the ghost was apparently stolen for an art exhibition!
Supernatural tales aside, Ye Olde Man & Scythe is a charming pub located on Churchgate that retains traditional features like its wooden beams, stone floors and leaded windows.
Highlight: Local music
Visit at the weekend and you’re likely to be greeted by local musicians, so you can experience the full pub atmosphere as you cosy up in a corner and enjoy an evening ale.
3. Turton and Entwistle Reservoir
Can you think of a better way to spend Easter Sunday than by getting out and seeing the natural beauty of Bolton’s countryside?
The Turton and Entwistle trail is just off Blackburn Road in Edgworth and is a fantastic route that will treat you to picturesque scenes of the reservoir along with the surrounding treeline. The walk is roughly 3 miles long and there’s a car park located at the beginning of the trail, so you can simply park up and take in the sights.
Highlight: Family friendly
Turton and Entwistle reservoir is fully accessible to wheelchairs and pushchairs, so the whole family can come along to explore the countryside. Plus, it’s a great excuse to treat the dogs!
4. Moses Gate Country Park
If the thought of exploring the great outdoors has you reaching for your walking boots, you can make a day of it at Moses Gate Country Park.
An industrial wasteland turned wildlife haven, the Country Park is Bolton’s largest nature reserve at 750 acres and is home to all manner of foul and fish. Plus, with picnic areas, playgrounds and a visitors centre, there’s plenty to keep the everyone entertained.
Highlight: Local wildlife
Whether it’s muted swans, herons or even colourful kingfishers, Moses Gate Country Park is a fantastic window into the wildlife that still calls Bolton home.
5. Ellerbeck Narrowboats
The Ellerbeck Narrowboats is definitely one of Bolton’s best-kept secrets and is a brilliant way to spend a chilled out Easter Sunday. The boats are located in Chorley near Heath Charnock and follow the scenic Leeds and Liverpool canal.
Perfect for when you have the whole family over for Easter Weekend, Ellerbeck Narrowboats offer self-steer boat hire for up to 10 people. Plus, they even have dog-sized life jackets, so there’s no problem if your furry friends want to join in.
Highlight: Everything you need in one place
The boats come fully equipped with a hob and grill, utensils and even a toilet, so there’s no need for pit stops. That being said, the canal passes a number of cafes and pubs if you do fancy a break from the helm for a coffee or a pint!
So, now there’s no excuse for spending your Easter on the sofa, eating chocolate eggs and watching Doctor Who reruns. Take the kids, the family, the dog and anyone else you can think of and get out there to see what Bolton has to offer!