11 fantastic National Trust walks in the North West

Visitors centre at Aira force

Do you love family walks North West England? we certainly do. Today I’m going to be sharing my favourite National Trust walks in North West England. There are so many gorgeous National Trust properties in the North West, in stunning grounds that make fantastic family walks. There are also quite a few woodland walks run by the National Trust in the North West too. So read on to find out my favourites.

images of places to walk in the north west national trust properties

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National Trust walks North West

We have had family membership to the National Trust for several years now. We visit National Trust properties in the North West regularly yet we have only been inside a handful of the properties.

We love the National Trust membership for the fantastic family walks. Most of them are suitable for pushchairs which is so important with young children.

As well as that they run fantastic kids activities in the grounds including during the school holidays and most are free to members.

I think in the North West we are really spoilt for choice with so many fantastic National Trust properties and car parks (members park free) in areas that are perfect for walking. Find out just how little it costs to * join the National Trust here. If you’re still not sure, you need to read my post on why you’ll love the National Trust for kids.

Alderley Edge, Cheshire

Alderley Edge is a stunning woodland managed by the National Trust. There are also stunning views over Cheshire and the Peak District at “the edge”. The edge is a form Bronze age burial mound which now offers stunning views and stone trenches that keeps love walking through.

There are various walks meander through the mature pine and beech woodland. Some paths are suitable for pushchairs and other routes not. There is a small natural play area that my kids love. Parking is free for National Trust members or a small fee for non-members (no other costs involved). There are toilets in the car park and often an ice cream van.

Find out * more here.

Child walking in the woods

Hare Hill, Cheshire

Hare hill is a small woodland garden in Cheshire with a beautiful walled garden at the centre of it. It’s a perfect place for a family walk especially with young children. The walled garden is the perfect place for a picnic. The paths are suitable for pushchairs and my kids love the adventure back packs that can be borrowed from the visitors centre.

Find my full review here – Hare Hill National Trust but be aware the wooden hare sculptures are no longer dotted around the gardens.

Walled garden full of flowers
The walled garden at Hare Hill

Tatton Park, Cheshire

Tatton Park offers many different walks. You can park in the car park at the heart of the estate (parking charges apply to members too) or you can park in Knutsford and enter the parkland on foot for free at the Knutsford entrance. It is a long walk from the Knutsford entrance to the house and gardens but you can have a lovely walk around Tatton mere and you’ll probably be lucky enough to see lots of deer.

If you are a member you can access the gardens for free. The gardens are beautiful and extensive. You can have a lovely walk through the rose gardens, Japanese gardens and Italian gardens to name a few areas. The maze is also really fun for kids and the conservatory is well worth a look around too. We love that most areas of Tatton park are buggy friendly.

Find out * more about Tatton park here.

path to monument with a young child playing
Inside Tatton park gardens

Dunham Massey, Greater Manchester

Another National Trust estate with lots of deer to enjoy is Dunham Massey. You can enjoy one of the paths through the ancient deer park and or walk through the beautiful formal gardens. Non-members can pay to park and walk in the deer park. There is an additional charge if you want to walk in the gardens and you are not a member. The gardens are free for members to enter.

Small child in brightly coloured waterproofs playing a woodland den
The den areas are always popular with children

There are a series of geocache hidden through out the deer park. Geocaching with kids is a really fun way of engaging kids in walks. Kids will also love the den building areas where there are also many fallen logs left for kids to balance on. We even found one that was hollow inside so really little ones could crawl through.

Find my full guide to visiting Dunham Massey Cheshire National Trust here.

Beautiful gardens
The garden at Dunham Massey
Four different countryside scenes and text across the middle that reads Family walks North West - Facebook group

Join Family walks North West Facebook group to be part of a community sharing the best walks for families across the region. Click here.

Quarry Bank Mill, Cheshire

There are lots of options for walks at Quarry Bank Mill. You can choose to explore the upper and lower formal gardens (stop to have a look in the beautifully restored glass house), walk to Styal village where the mill workers lived or Styal woods.

If you choose to walk in the woods you can get all the way to Manchester Airport. Some of the woods are accessible to pushchairs and some paths aren’t. You can have a good walk with a pushchair but you can’t get all the way to the airport.

There is a lovely natural play area as well as a small more traditional play area with climbing frames, slide and more.

Find out more in my full guide to visiting Quarry Bank Mill National Trust.

Child dressed for winter walking in Styal woods

Lyme Park, Cheshire

Lyme Park is another national trust with multiple walking routes. You could choose to stick to the stunning gardens (which are suitable for pushchairs) or explore one of the many walking routes in the wider estate. The wider estate is 1400 acres has many stunning views and if you are lucky you might see the herd of red deers. There are several landmarks around the estate like the lantern, paddock cottage and the cage which are worth seeing.

Find out * more about Lyme park here.

Large stately home by a lake
Lyme park house and formal gardens

Formby, Liverpool

Miles of unspoilt coastline and sand dunes as well as stunning woodlands is here for you to explore at Formby. You might even get to see the rare native red squirrels that call Formby home.

Find out * more here.

Speke Hall, Liverpool

There are lots of different options for walks around Speke hall. There are multiple gardens, a coastal reserve walk and woodlands to explore. We particularly love the play trail through the woods. The grounds are flat and accessible to pushchairs.

Find out * more here.

Large tutor hall in formal gardens
Speke hall

Tarn Hows, Lake District

Tarn Hows is an area of outstanding beauty. Tarn Hows is a circular 1 and 3/4 mile walk that is accessible to all. It’s a truly stunning walk around the tarn, one that everyone can enjoy. The path is accessible but there are up and down hill sections. You might even be able to see the rare Belted Galloway cattle. We’ve been lucky enough to see them cross the path right in front of us on more than one occassion.

Find my full guide to Tarn Hows the Lake District here.

Autumnal view of mountains and lake

Sizergh Castle, Lake District

The gardens at Sizergh castle are perfect for exploring in any season. For kids we particularly love the play trail which is approximately 1 mile of wild play through the woodland. I’ve written all about Sizergh Castle play trail before, so head to this link if you want to know more. Think logs to balance on, places to climb and much more ways to play. Right at the end is an amazing tree swing. The wild play trail does get muddy and is not suitable for pushchairs.

Find out * more here.

Sizergh castle and gardens
Tunnel and climbing wall in the woods

Aira Force, Lake District

65 ft Aira Force waterfall

If you love waterfalls you’ll love this National Trust in Cumbria. Aira force is a 65 foot waterfall set in beautiful woodlands. There are numerous walks that take in Aira force as well as more of the stunning area. The most family friendly walk is the circular walk from the visitor centre up to the waterfall and then back down the other side of the woods. You can even pick up a red squirrel trail with clues for kids to find along the way. This walk is not suitable for pushchairs.

Find out * more here.

I’d love to hear from you in the comments if you have a favourite National Trust walk North West.


You might also be interested in

  • If you are taking children on walks with you then you might find this post on things to do on a walk with kids helpful.
  • Another great way to entertain kids on a walk if treasure hunting. Find out how to get started geocaching with kids in this post (there is a series of cache to find at Dunham Massey).

Looking for more family-friendly things to do in the North West? Make sure you are following me on Facebook and Instagram as I share inspiration regularly over there.

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