The Easter holidays are upon us, and while it doesn’t quite make any difference to us as Spike hasn’t started school yet, it does mean there are lots more activities on for us to enjoy. Last weekend we met up with friends we hadn’t seen in a while and took a trip to Martin Mere WWT in Burscough,
Choosing our trips with friends carefully
Getting together with my mama friends is quite a feat these days. With us all working more or less full time and the kids always having different things on. Plus, one of my main mama friends having moved a good hour and a half away now. It means we choose where to meet carefully because it needs to be somewhere accessible for us all, in a good enough distance for us all and somewhere we can keep the kids entertained without too much bother. We chose Martin Mere thinking that it would tick all the boxes, and it nearly did.
Booking into the Centre
Martin Mere is part of the Wildfowl and Wetland Trust (WWT) and is one of just a few sites across the UK. We’re quite lucky that its so close by really so should have taken advantage of it a while ago. Under 4’s are free so that was one of the reasons to choose the centre. However adults are a bit pricey, at £12 each. This is one of the reasons T stayed at home! I booked online to make the most of their online 10% discount.
Getting to Martin Mere
From where we live just outside Preston the journey was so easy.. if not a little random. We went down a road that I swear was part of a farmers field and not a conventional road. But we were there within a half hour or so and got our bearings quite quickly! We met our friends in the picnics area by the cafe and the kids ran round a bit. We thought it was fine as the pond was fenced off in this area but we soon discovered it was one of the few places they could go semi-supervised!
The Easter Duck Trail
Over the Easter the WWT have an Easter Duck Trail on at all their centres. We paid our 50p for the duck trail sheet and a pencil and got to work collecting the names of the ducks. The first was easy as it was right in the middle of our meeting point. This duck was called Edna and I even got Spike to read Edna’s name by prompting her to tell me the phonics and put them together. The trail at Martin Mere was a trip around the centre to pick out Ducks’ names or species and find the missing letter for a chocolatey treat. We set off around the centre to find the rest… and at our first gate we realised we may have a problem…
Getting around Martin Mere
We stepped through the first gate and the kids went running… straight towards the open lake. Spike wanted to go and see the flamingoes, my friends nearly 2 year old wanted to see if she could swim and the other two nearly 4 year olds were interested in throwing food into the water from as close as they could get! To top it off the first duck on the duck trail was over the water on some rocks and Spike wanted to ‘get closer mummy!’
Running through the centre
We spent a lot more time than expected chasing after kids which is fine when there aren’t huge bodies of water around, or lots of hedges to lose them around. I think they all egged each other on a bit and while it was fun watching them play, it didn’t provide the best environment to catch up in for us mums! We followed the centre round and stopped half way in a small play area to recharge, then took off again.
Stepping stones and storks
There was a really cute part of Martin Mere where you can do stepping stones which Spike loved, and another bit where you could escape the crowds a bit and watch the massive Storks – which we obviously told the kids were the ones who delivered them. I loved that bit as you felt so close to the magnificent bits. Both of these bits were two of my favourite part of the whole centre, or at least I thought they were until we saw the otters!
Otter here, otter there, otter everywhere!
Martin Mere has two resident otters and they are fast! They are amazing creatures running around their enclosure playing with each other and genuinely looking like they love life. Spike was fascinated by them and to be honest so was I! The way they move is so cool!
The great, wet outdoors
The sheer number of birds and ducks that could be found at Martin Mere was amazing and its a huge place where you could definitely spend a lot of time. We ended up crashing in the amazing play park while the kids burned off the rest of their energy (How are kids so much fitter than us!). My friend A took one for the team and chased round trying to find the last few names on the Duck Trail! Then it was to the gift shop (thankfully Spike only wanted a £3 toy!) and to hand the sheet in to get our chocolate treat.
Visiting Martin Mere again
Despite the terror of Spike falling into the lakes and ponds, I had a lot of fun watching her experience Martin Mere and would definitely go again. She had fun and I think they hold lots of events, so we will probably be back!