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Lancaster Family Fun - Beaches, Parklife, and Child-Friendly Dining

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Only minutes from Lancaster by car, bus, or train, Morecambe’s beach and promenade make for a perfect family day out. Near the seafront, Happy Mount Park has ornamental gardens, play areas, and even a splash park. Lancaster’s museums keep kids in mind, providing hands-on activities and regular free events. At the nearby wildlife park visitors of all ages can enjoy close encounters with furry or scaly beasts.

Nature and parks


In the vast expanses of Williamson Park and adjoining Fenham Carr, you can safely set the kids free to charge around woodland paths and open grassland. They’ll also enjoy the play area, mini-beast cave, and butterfly house, while parents can admire the Lancaster sundial, sculptures, and views from Ashton Memorial. Half an hour’s drive north of Lancaster, the Lakeland Wildlife Oasis is home to exotic reptiles, birds, and mammals, including sleek and deadly snow leopards. It’s an intimate little zoo, with lots of interactive displays and knowledgeable, helpful staff.


Lakeland Wildlife Oasis


Here you can get up close to cute meerkats, and have lemurs scampering around your feet. The butterfly greenhouse and tropical hall, where birds and bats fly free, make an ideal backup plan for a rainy day.


Hale, Milnthorpe, Cumbria LA7 7FETel: +44 15395 63027


Lakeland Wildlife Oasis website

Museums geared to kids


Lancaster City Museum is especially welcoming to families, with free admission and regular free events throughout the year. Kids love the miniature Cottage Museum, and the Museum of Childhood with its teddy bears, dolls houses, and toys dating back to 1770. Check out the Maritime Museum, which organizes discovery trails for children of all ages during school vacations. The hands-on displays bring Lancaster’s eventful trading history to life. On a tour of Lancaster castle you'll hear tales of the executed local witches and the sad stories of child convicts transported to 19th-century Australia.


Lancaster Castle


The castle tours are truly gripping, with the building proving an atmospheric backdrop to your guide's dark and exciting stories. There’s also a handy café for snacks and refreshments after the 75-minute tour.


Castle Parade, Lancaster, Lancashire LA1 1YJ. Tel: +44 1524 64998


Lancaster Castle website


Judges’ Lodgings Museum


Even the savviest modern youngsters can find themselves enchanted by the Museum of Childhood at the Judges’ Lodgings. The collection includes old-fashioned games and toys, a priceless doll collection, an ornate 3-seater rocking horse and a full-scale replica Edwardian classroom.


Church Street, Lancaster, Lancashire LA1 1YS. Tel: +44 1524 32808


Judges’ Lodgings Museum website


Morecambe days out


Morecambe has 2 long arcs of sandy beach where kids can run, fly kites, and build sandcastles. Along the adjoining promenade you'll find classic seaside-town amusement arcades and ice-cream vans. Another Morecambe must for kids is Happy Mount Park. It’s spacious and well-maintained, with 2 outdoor playgrounds including a zip wire, sandpit, and slides and swings to suit children of all ages. Bring the swimming gear along, as there’s also a Splash Park with water jets and arches. Summertime special events range from pirate days to teddy bears’ picnics.


Happy Mount Park


Entrance to the park and Splash Park is free, and Happy Mount is open all year. There's a small charge for other activities, like the miniature railway, 1960s vintage roundabout, adventure golf, trampolines, swing boats, and indoor play area.


Marine Road East, Morecambe, Lancashire LA4 5AQ. Tel: +44 1524 401140


Happy Mount Park website


Family-friendly eating places


The warm and welcoming atmosphere of Lancashire vibe extends to its many family-friendly inns and restaurants. In Lancaster, Morecambe, and the countryside villages, you’ll find pubs with kids’ menus, climbing frames in the garden, high chairs, and other considerate touches that make dining out fun for everyone. Look out for places that display the “Families Welcome” thumbs-up symbol.


The Stork Inn


This highly rated inn is 4 miles south of Lancaster, on the estuary of the River Lune. You'll find South African dishes on the menu, plus children's meals. There are outdoor play areas and an indoor games room.


Corricks Lane, Conder Green, Lancaster, Lancashire LA2 0AN. Tel: +44 1524 751234


The Stork Inn website