Finally the rain has stopped, at least temporarily, and we enjoyed the first decent sunshine of 2008. Today's trip took us to Haigh Hall County Park, near Wigan.
We parked at the main car park, and got a slight shock to find it was a pay and display. At £1.50 for the day it's not bad but we had to copper up for the parking meter.
Having gained a map of the park from the helpful information centre and shop, our route took us past the cafe and childrens play area towards the walled garden and onwards to the woodland trails. Once the dog was safely away from the play area it was pure off-lead doggy heaven with over 2 hours of "fetch", "find the ball" and "catch me if you want the ball back!". We followed several tracks down the hill, traversing the paved "road" that runs through the park and ultimately over the Leeds Liverpool canal and disused railway line before following the road down to the bridge over the river Douglas. Here, we turned right and followed its banks for a short way before our path led us back up the hill, to the top of Hall Lane, and to the bridge over the old railway. Once again, we took a series of tracks through the woods and back to the Hall.
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The park was busy, with plenty of other dogs to play with. Our only word of caution would be to watch for the many cyclists who also enjoy the park as well as the hoards of ramblers eating sandwiches, which you know your dog would just love to steal. If you stay of the paved road as much as possible you should be fine.
Well worth a vist! Doggy rating 8/10