Tuesday, 12 February 2019

Our Favourite Places to Visit in North Staffs: Westport Lake

In this series, we will be telling you all about our favourite places to visit in our local area, North Staffordshire. We are lucky enough to live right on the edge of the Staffordshire Moorlands and the beautiful Peak District, so we are spoilt for choice when it comes to the great outdoors! We're also a stone's throw away from the hustle and bustle of busy towns and of course Stoke-on-Trent city centre, not to mention the M6. So with the best of both worlds on our doorstep, we have plenty of places to visit!


The first place featured in our series is Westport Lake. It's the perfect nearby place to go to get outdoors for a few hours.

WESTPORT LAKE


Where is it?


Westport Lake is located in the heart of Stoke-on-Trent, near Middleport and Tunstall. It's Stoke-on-Trent's largest expanse of water and was created along side the Trent and Mersey Canal. Just off the A500, it's easily accessible by car. Once you're there, you can't really tell you're in the middle of a built up area on the border of the city!

Westport Lake in the sunshine.

What is there to see and do?


  • Westport Lake is a beautiful nature reserve, with a conservation area at the northern end and plenty of wildlife to see all year round. Its a great place for spotting birds and feeding the ducks , but be sure to feed the birds correctly; you can pick up some seed in the visitor centre for less than £1 so don't forget to buy some before you go walking. 
  • There are two circular walks with flat, even paths suitable for pushchairs, wheelchairs, bikes and scooters, with plenty of seating all the way round. The large lake is about 3/4 of a mile and the smaller lake is perfect for toddlers to get round in one go. About half way round the large lake, you'll find the nature maze which is great fun for young children. We often spot lots of squirrels here too, so keep your eyes peeled!
  • There is a large playground just off the large carpark, which my children love! There is something in the park for all ages, and the toddler section is kept away from the bigger kids area. In the warmer weather, the ice cream van can often be found there too!
    My two love playing in the park.
  • If you fancy enjoying some lunch or a hot drink after your walk or play in the park, then the eco-friendly café in the visitor centre is very reasonable. They serve child-friendly lunchboxes, along with hot and cold food and of course, cake! 
  • The Staffordshire Wildlife Trust also run some fantastic groups from Westport Lake, including some during the school holidays. Nature Tots, Wildlings and Wildfamilies are some of the events run for certain age groups or the whole family.

Why do we like it?


We like visiting Westport Lake because it's easily accessible and suitable for a walk or bike ride in all seasons. It's a popular place for migrating birds to visit in the winter so there always some to see and feed! Just watch out for the over "friendly" Canadian Geese! The park is full of equipment that both my children can use, and I can easily watch both of them as they explore their age-related areas. We love to finish our visit with a treat in the café, where you can carry on taking in the beautiful view whilst you warm up over coffee and cake! Or gingerbread men if you're my kids! Sometimes you'll even find "The Oatcake Boat" on the canal, serving filled oatcakes (A Staffordshire speciality!) out of their window!

Adding our painted stones to the Spooky Stone Line!
Other than all the reasons above, Westport Lake is also a popular place for Staffs SmileStones to be found! These are stones that people paint and seal, before hiding for others to find! The whole idea is to bring a smile to the finder's face, which is exactly what happens when my kids find them! If you find one, pop a photo of it on their Facebook page of the same name so show the hider that they have indeed spread a little joy! We have started painting our own to hide all over Staffordshire when we're out and about, and even added our Halloween stones to the Spooky Stone Line at Westport last year!

Cost: Free entry and free parking. Some Staffordshire Wildlife Trust activities are payable.

Facilities:

  • Free parking
  • Toilets including accessible facilities
  • Baby changing
  • Café
  • Park for children of all ages
  • Wild bird food available to purchase for a small cost
  • Ice cream van (seasonal)
  • Visitor centre
  • Conference room for hire
  • Birthday parties
  • Educational visits
  • Trent and Mersey Canal walks
  • Sometimes "The Oatcake Boat" is moored here

Have you ever visited Westport Lake? Or would you like to? I'd love to hear what you think in the comments below!

https://www.pinterest.co.uk/pin/350647520987162586/

I'm linking up this post with these fabulous blogs:



Confessions of a New Mummy     Keep Calm and Carry On Linking Sunday  

2 comments:

  1. This looks like a great place for a walk or bike ride, especially for a free day out! #KCACOLS

    ReplyDelete
  2. I love the look of this, but I am a real fan of things that get kids outdoors into nature. I can see why this is a favourite place to visit #KCACOLS

    ReplyDelete

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