The 5 best family paddling hotspots in Lancashire

The River Roddlesworth - otherwise known as Rocky Brook
-Credit: (Image: Gary Rogers)


As the weather (gradually) begins to warm up many families will be looking for ways to entertain the kids at the weekends.

Youngsters love being able to paddle and splash about and here in Lancashire there are plenty of rivers, reservoirs and streams where children can burn off some energy and explore the best that nature has to offer.

What's more, taking a wander in the local woods is also good for grown-ups, and can give a real boost to mental health. Here we take a look at five of the best places for a paddle in Lancashire.

River Roddlesworth, Tockholes

The River Roddlesworth (main image), known locally as Rocky Brook, is perfect for paddling. There are plenty of well-trodden walks including those passing the reservoirs where dogs can enjoy a swim.

There is limited roadside parking in the lane opposite the Hare & Hounds at the south eastern end of Abbey Village or a free car park at Roddlesworth Visitor Centre.

  • COST: Free

  • OPENING TIMES: All year round

  • LOCATION: Tockholes Road, Tockholes, Darwen BB3 0PA

Edisford Bridge, Clitheroe

Edisford Bridge, on the outskirts of Clitheroe, spans the River Ribble towards Great Mitton. The fast-flowing but relatively shallow water is a popular spot for paddling and in the warmer months is packed with picnicking families.

The Environment Agency recently announced that Edisford Bridge is one of 27 new sites which will be regularly monitored after being designated as an official bathing site.

Edisford Bridge is popular with families in the warmer months
Edisford Bridge is popular with families in the warmer months -Credit:Rivers Trust
  • COST: Free (fees apply on the car park)

  • OPENING TIMES: All year round

  • LOCATION: Edisford Road car park, Clitheroe BB7 3LA

Sunnyhurst Woods, Darwen

The large 'duck pond', various streams and waterfalls spread across the 85-acre woods are ideal for paddling and pond-dipping. Sunnyhurst Woods stretches from the A666 all the way up to the moors leading to Darwen Tower.

Youngsters paddling in the duck pond at Sunnyhurst Woods
Youngsters paddling in the duck pond at Sunnyhurst Woods -Credit:LancsLive

Regular crafts markets and family-friendly events are held in the woods which are perfect for a picnic. For those who are able to walk up to five miles of hilly and rocky terrain the trek up to the tower is a worthwhile trip.

  • COST: Free

  • OPENING TIMES: All year round

  • LOCATION: Entrances are based at Falcon Avenue, the top of Earnsdale Road and the top of Sunnyhurst Lane close to the Sunnyhurst pub where there's also a car park.

Happy Mount Park, Morecambe

If you prefer a more 'controlled' and accessible paddling environment, perhaps for tiny tots, then Happy Mount Park's splash park is a great option although the attraction isn't free.

The splash park at Happy Mount Park in Morecambe
The splash park at Happy Mount Park in Morecambe -Credit:Happy Mount Park

Multiple water jets are activated by movement so children of all abilities will be able to activate the sensor operated water jets on this brightly coloured interactive installation. The splash park is built on an outdoor soft play surface, so wheelchair users can access the fun.

  • COST: Playing in the Splash Park at Happy Mount Park costs £4 per child or adult for one of six daily sessions (wristbands can be purchased from the green kisosk in the park) and children must be supervised at all times.

  • OPENING TIMES: 10am-5.30pm Friday, Saturday and Sunday during term-time and every day during the school holidays from Friday May 24 until September.

  • LOCATION: Marine Rd East, Morecambe LA4 6AQ

Splash, Lytham

With entry costing just £1 this council-run facility is a great addition to the promenade overlooking the coast. Children get a one-hour session and there are special sessions for toddlers and children with disabilities or special educational needs.

Splash in Lytham
Splash in Lytham -Credit:Splash in Lytham
  • COST: Entry costs £1 per child for a one-hour session. The age range for users is 3-12.

  • OPENING TIMES: 10am-4pm seven days a week from April until September. Weekly sessions for toddlers under five are held on Mondays at 10am and for children with disabilities and SEN on Tuesdays at 10am.

  • LOCATION: South Promenade, Lytham