The Golden Dome is located within a short distance of the most beautiful countryside in England and Wales. It is also very close to Manchester (45 mins) and Liverpool (30 mins) so you can have the best of both the urban and rural worlds! Explore some fantastic local attractions on a day out.
Nearest village to Skelmersdale, just a few minutes away by car, with several delightful cafes and restaurants. It is on the scenic 127 mile long Leeds – Liverpool Canal as it makes its way through the Douglas valley and offers a choice of restful towpath walks. The village also has a railway station with frequent direct trains to Manchester & Southport. Picturesque walks from Parbold take in Parbold Hill, with views over West Lancashire, and nearby Fairy Glen, which is a stunning woodland area.
Beacon Country Park
Just a short walk up the hill from the Golden Dome and you will find yourself transported to this scenic woodland area with fantastic views encompassing large parts of Lancashire, Merseyside, the Lake District and Northern Wales. On a clear day you can see the sea and there is a wide array of wildlife including birds of prey and even wild deer.
The Yorkshire Dales
The Yorkshire Dales are an upland area of the Pennines, which boasts scenic hotspots such as Ingleton waterfalls, Malham Cove and White Scar Cave, not to mention beautiful mountains, picturesque traditional villages and famous tea shops. And it’s a bit closer than the Lake District. www.yorkshiredales.org.uk
Approximately 5 miles from the Golden Dome, Martin Mere used to be the largest body of fresh water in England. Associated with Arthurian Sir Lancelot of the Lake (it was this lake), Martin Mere Wetland Centre is now a world-famous nature reserve managed by the Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust. https://www.wwt.org.uk/wetland-centres/martin-mere/
Also about 5 miles away, Mere Sands is a beautiful 105 acre mixture of lakes, sandy heaths, deciduous and coniferous trees. https://www.lancswt.org.uk/nature-reserves/mere-sands-wood-nature-reserve
Coastal nature reserve near Southport, much favoured in winter months by pink-footed geese, birds of prey and tourists.
District of coastal town Formby, 10 miles from the Golden Dome. Best known for its miles of sand dunes, National Trust-managed pinewoods reserve – home to rare red squirrels – and, nearby, Merseyside’s most expensive road, home to professional footballers, businessmen and politicians.
Knowsley Safari Park
A drive-through game reserve just outside Liverpool, starring lions, cheetahs, monkeys, zebra, elephants, as well as herds of antelope, camels, buffalo and white rhino. You definitely don’t want to get out of the car! Easily reached in 20 minutes by car from the Golden Dome. www.knowsleysafariexperience.co.uk
The Golden Dome is only about 10 miles from the sea, with many miles of dunes and pine forests fronting the coast between Crosby and the Ribble estuary. In the middle is the town of Southport where bookshops, cafes, boating lakes, hotels, gardens and a long pier tempt today’s visitors, along with traditional candy floss and funfair rides.
Within a fifteen-minute drive there are a number of popular eateries, including The Wayfarer in Parbold, The Eagle and Child in nearby Bispham, the West Tower in Aughton, and a variety of venues in Ormskirk.
Cedar Farm has a restaurant (a local favourite with great vegetarian options), a cafe (which has its own freshly ground coffee), all sorts of animals, several small shops, workshops, and a fortnightly farmers’ market.
Theatres and cinemas
Cinemas in the region range from cosy art-house venues such as Manchester’s Home and Liverpool One, to the zillion-screened Trafford Centre Odeon. There are also large mainstream cinemas around 20 minutes away in Wigan and Liverpool.
Theatres and concert halls also come in at under a 45 minute drive with Liverpool offering the Everyman and the Philharmonic Hall, and Manchester the Royal Exchange, the Lowry and the Palace. Not to be forgotten is the smaller the Atkinson in Southport.
Two retail therapy meccas within a 40-minute drive from the Golden Dome are the Trafford Centre, outside Manchester, and Cheshire Oaks near Chester. Designer clothes featuring strongly in both, they also offer a range of other retail outlets including home furnishings and entertainment. The Trafford Centre is the largest indoor retail park in the UK, with a wide variety of food outlets and a very-multi-screen cinema.
Those wishing to indulge in a bout of culture might like to add to their theatre-going with a visit to the region’s art galleries, including the Lady Lever Gallery at Port Sunlight and the Walker Art Gallery or the Tate in Liverpool. There is also a nice gallery at the Atkinson in nearby Southport? Museums are also well catered for, and include Manchester’s Museum of Science and Industry, and Imperial War Museum North.