Blackpool Tower was first opened to the public on 14th May 1894.  Inspired by the Eiffel Tower in Paris, it is 518 feet tall and is currently the 120th tallest free-standing tower in the world.

Each of the four legs of the Tower rest on concrete foundations 35ft square and 12 feet deep.  The Tower alone contains 2,493 tons of steel and 93 tons of cast iron.

The Tower and the Tower Buildings cost approximately £290,000 to build and it takes seven years to paint the Tower’s structure from top to bottom.

The Tower Circus also opened on 14th May 1894.  Admission was 6d and the Circus has never missed a season since.

The Circus is famous for its resident Clowns, the most famous being Charlie Cairoli.

The Tower Ballroom is world famous for its unique sprung floor and spectacular architecture and remains to this day a destination for dance fans from around the world.

The first Wurlitzer organ was installed in the Ballroom in 1929.  It was replaced in 1935 with one built to Reginald Dixon’s design.  Reg Dixon, apart from his time in the RAF during World War Two played the Wurlitzer Organ from 1930 until his retirement in 1969.

Only 9.1 miles (approx. 25 minutes) by car from Merlewood

Blackpool Tower, The Promenade, Blackpool,  FY1 4BJ

Blackpool Tower Circus
Blackpool Tower ballroom
Blackpool Tower

The seafront at Blackpool is lit up by a dazzling display, using over 1 million bulbs, each night from late August until early November.  Over three million people visit every year. You can drive the six miles through the full length of the illuminations, travel on one of the famous trams or simply take a walk.

Blackpool Illuminations train
Blackpool Illuminations

This award-winning family friendly attraction covering 32 acres and houses over 1500 rare and exotic animals including big cats and much much more. A brilliant day out for all of the family.

Just 9.1 miles (approx. 25 minutes) by car from Merlewood

Blackpool Zoo, East Park Drive, Blackpool, FY3 4BJ

Blackpool Zoo
Blackpool Zoo giraffes

Dive in to a world of wonders at Sea Life Blackpool. This indoor aquarium is home to hundreds of sea creatures including sharks, turtles, sting rays, Clown fish. A great place to explore no matter the weather.

Just 9.3 miles (approx. 24 minutes) by car from Merlewood

Sea Life Blackpool, Promenade, Blackpool, FY1 5AA

Sea Life Blackpool
Sea life turtle


The only section of the Lancaster canal which is currently open to navigation is the section between Preston and Tewitfield, Carnforth (42 miles).

Kingfisher Cruises offer various trips from Lancaster and from Barton Grange Garden Centre, Brock. They even run a Horse Drawn Boat from Barton Grange at certain times of the year.

For more information telephone 01524 389410.

Canal at Garstang
Canal places to visit and banner

This is one of the largest Garden Centres in the North West.  If ever a garden Centre had the “wow factor” this is it!  With stunning indoor displays and a superb all weather plant area, you will find ideas, inspiration and plenty of advice from friendly gardening experts.  With a Farm Shop, a Cook Shop and a choice of Restaurants a visit here is a great day out.

Only 7.6 miles (15 minutes) by car from Merlewood

Barton Grange Garden Centre, Garstang Road, Brock, PR3 0BT

Barton Grange
Barton Grange garden centre

This is Lancashire’s newest and most unique leisure venue.

Cinema – Small and intimate, the three screens are named after leading ladies and each has its own unique style.  Sit back and enjoy the luxurious sofa style seating and enjoy a mix of new releases and old classics.

Tickets can be booked online.

Bowling – 8 lane Ten Pin Bowling with a touch of luxury.

Open 7 days a week from 10am until 10pm.

Crazy Golf – Enter the “Secret Garden” where you can play crazy golf as you’ve never played it before!

Golf Simulator – The fantastic golf simulators use the latest technology to offer a mind-blowing visual experience of playing some of the world’s best courses.

Curling – Olympic sized with 4 ice sheets, the curling rink is perfect for all ages and abilities.  All equipment is provided including shoes, so just go along and have a go!

Restaurants – A choice of Restaurants are available as is the Licensed Bar and Coffee Shop.

Only 7.6 miles (15 minutes) by car from Merlewood

The Flower Bowl, Garstang Road, Brock, PR3 0BT 

Flower Bowl cinema
Curling rink
Flower Bowl bowling

A visit to the Cheese Shop and Gallery is not to be missed. From Crumbly to Creamy or Blue to Chilli cheese, they will have a cheese for you. Cut from the deli counter or from the grab and go fridge the staff are on hand to give you expert advice whether you need to wow with a perfect cheeseboard, need inspiration for a gift or advice on the best cheese for cooking with.

Alongside the award-winning cheeses, The Cheese Shop also houses a range of carefully sourced accompaniments; including chutney’s and jams from Bashall Barn, Hawkshead Relish and Pennine Way Preserves, crackers from Peter’s Yard and the Fine Cheese Company, Salami from Yorkshire’s Three Little Pigs and a range of beers, ciders and wines.

Tours can be pre-booked and are available Monday to Friday.  The Cheese Shop is open Monday to Saturday inclusive from 10am until 4pm.

Only 5.9 miles (12 minutes) by car from Merlewood

Dewlay Cheesemakers, Garstang By Pass Road, Garstang, PR3 0PR

The Cheese Shop
Dewlay Cheese Factory

This nostalgic American diner serves up a delicious helping of ice creams and much loved burgers that will have you coming back again and again. It’s the perfect place to stop off at for a quick treat but equally good for entertaining kids all day long. There’s an indoor play barn and an outdoor adventure play so something for all ages to burn off some energy.

Only 7.3 miles (15 minutes) by car from Merlewood

North Planks Farm, Garstang Rd, Barton, Preston, PR3 5AD

Billy Bob's logo
Billy bobs-kiosk
Billy Bobs outdoor play

This working farm is nestled among beautiful panoramic views of the countryside. With something for all the family it has a number of indoor and outdoor play areas, farm animals to pet and feed, gardens to explore and a cafe.

Only 9.8 miles (19 minutes) by car from Merlewood

Hobbs Lane, Claughton-on-Brock, Preston, Garstang, PR3 0QN

Cobble Hey cow
Cobble Hey gardens
Cobble Hey cafe

Steeped in almost 1000 years of history, the castle is built on a commanding hill top location which dominates the city of Lancaster.

The castle displays an impressive collection of heraldry spanning 800 years in the form of 650 shields bearing the arms of every English monarch including Richard the Lionheart.

The castle has witnessed incidents of religious persecution, the trial of the “Lancashire Witches” and over 200 executions for everything from murder to cattle stealing.

Only 16.6 miles (35 minutes by car) from Merlewood

Lancaster Castle, Castle Parade, Lancaster, LA1 1YJ

Lancaster Castle

This is an area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. There is no better way of escaping the hustle and bustle of everyday life and partaking in some of the most peaceful and remote walkings and cycling in the country. Explore some of the many unique villages steeped in history.

Forest of Bowland stepping stones
Forest of Bowland

Nestled in the heart of the Forest of Bowland, and area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, Bowland Wild Boar Park is a secret delight for all ages. At the park you’ll find natural wildlife and a variety of animals, including meerkats, donkeys, pea hens red deer and of course wild boar. There’s plenty of outdoor activities – barrel, tractor, trailer rides – as well as indoor play. Visit the cafe for a bite to eat. For more information please visit

Around 22.4 miles (45 minutes by car) from Merlewood

Bowland Wild Boar Park,  Chipping, Preston,  PR3 2HB

Wild Boar Park lambs
Wild Boar Park barrel ride

Ideally located on the coast of Morecambe if you by chance run out of things to do at this fun filled park you can combine your visit with a trip to the beach! Happy Mount Park is an excellent location to bring young children. In the summer the popular Splash Park is open in addition to its cafe, adventure golf, ride on train and indoor soft play. Individual prices apply. Visit

Only 24.8 miles (36 minutes by car) from Merlewood

Happy Mount Park, Marine Road East, Morecambe, LA4 5AQ

Happy mount splash park
Happy mount golf




  • 01995 670317
    01995 604975 – Extension 3
    07557 988827
  • 10am – 4pm Monday to Sunday

  • The Office
    Merlewood Country Park
    Cartford Lane
    Little Eccleston
    PR3 0YP
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