M6, Junction 31; 3 minutes
Occasionally closed for weddings – call ahead to check.
Free WiFi for visitors
Vegetarian or vegan options
Parking available onsite
The folks at Samlesbury Hall have made a tremendous job of its rescue after the grand house was almost scrapped for timber in the 1920s, restoring the historic home and its impressively ornate, black-and-white exterior to glory. Witch hunts, priest holes, ghost stories – there’s plenty of history to explore as well as the blooming gardens. Tours of the house are free and on Sundays are led by gruesome Janey the witch or portly Henry VIII.
Kids will love the fantastic, galleon-themed adventure playground as well as the host of animals – hens, rabbits, goats, sheep and Elvis and Ozzie, the Kunekune pigs. A fabulous restaurant serves simple dishes (the onion soup is highly recommended), afternoon teas and roasts on a Sunday, all made with ingredients from the estate. At Dottie’s, claimed to be England’s first wafflery, you can feast on sweet and savoury waffles (obviously), Lancashire ice cream and milkshakes. You could make your stop off a longer one and spend the night glamping in one of their fantastic Shepherd’s huts (you can even bring the dog!).