By Ade Blackburn
Ormskirk is ideal for a family day out and to discover its unique mix of culture, history and a wide range of outdoor activities.
Cycling is a great way of exploring West Lancashire’s countryside. Most of the area is flat and there are many quiet lanes, which are great to cycle on, with splendid views over the West Lancashire Plain.
Use your bike to get to attractions like Ainsdale Nature Reserve for a day out. West Lancashire also has some wonderful churches and monuments steeped in history, with the oldest, St Michael’s Church in Aughton dating back to around 850AD. This route offers an insight into the churches, their grounds and their history, riders can join the route at various access points, including Ormskirk, Aughton Park, Town Green and Burscough Bridge Railway Stations.
2. Chapel Gallery
Chapel Gallery’s diverse programme includes internationally regarded artists, such as David Hockney and Peter Blake, while bringing innovative contemporary art and craft from across the UK to the region, and supporting local artists in the development of their careers.
From art clubs and school holiday activities to adult learning music and cinema, there are plenty of ways to get creative, whatever your age or ability.
The gallery is also home to a cafe and their craft and design shop.
3. Farmer Ted’s Adventure Farm
Farmer Ted’s Adventure Farm is a large farm geared around children with plenty of fun on offer. They offer free tractor rides around the farm, Birds of Prey, pony grooming, ferret racing, guinea pig handling and a jungle themed mini-beast centre.
The farm is also the venue for the legendary Pumpkin Festival at Halloween, now running throughout October, and their Christmas Adventure walks.
4. Ormskirk Market
Ormskirk Market is renowned for being one of the UK’s oldest and most traditional outdoor markets. Granted a Royal Charter in 1286 by King Edward I, this popular and well-loved market has been held in Ormskirk ever since.
The market is now hosted every Thursday and Saturday, 8am-4pm. The pedestrianised streets around the famous clock tower offer around 100 stalls, attracting a variety of shoppers each market day.
The stalls offer everything from clothing and bedding to fresh meat and vegetables. They’re also well worth checking out for stocking-filler gifts that won’t break the bank!
5. National Trust Rufford Old Hall
Follow in Shakespeare’s footsteps and visit one of Lancashire’s finest Tudor buildings, Rufford Old Hall, which was built in the 1530s.
You can discover something different every day, from the changing fortunes of the family who lived there, to Shakespeare’s connections with the house. At the centre of the building there’s an enchanting cobbled 18th Century court to explore.
You can also enjoy a stroll outdoors in their formal Victorian and Edwardian garden, take a walk through the tranquil woodland or along the Leeds/Liverpool canal.
6. The Arts Centre, Edge Hill University
The Arts Centre at Edge Hill University offers a full programme of events, from cutting-edge drama and dance to poetry and some brilliant stand-up comedy nights.
Past performances include shows by James Acaster, Katherine Ryan, Joel Dommett and Russell Kane. The venue also presents talks by famous guest speakers and the latest cinema releases.
Hosting two theatres and a café bar, The Arts Centre provides a year-round programme full of diverse and inspirational performances for visitors to Ormskirk.
To discover events happening across the Liverpool city region visit our What’s On events listings.