There are few things more exciting for kids than watching the snow settle or waking up to a snowy morning. Tonight’s snowfall was exactly the right amount of snow to get my children wildly excited immediately before bed while currently looking as though it’s going to break their hearts in the morning, but on the off-chance it does stick around, here are some ideas for places to go sledging in the local area.
Edgar’s Field in Handbridge, next to the Ship Inn, has long slopes, though look out for play equipment and the wall (and river!) at the bottom. Parking can be an issue – there are free parking spaces nearby but they have a 30 minute maximum stay (that might be long enough!), so it may be easier to park in Chester and walk over the river, particularly if you plan to pop to the Ship to warm up afterwards. Edgar’s Field is at Chester CH4 7JE.
The Countess of Chester Country Park is a large area with lots of long gentle slopes. There’s free parking and if you work up a thirst then the Little Owl pub is just over the road. The Countess of Chester Country Park is at Countess Court off Countess Way, Chester CH1 4ED. The car park is open from 7.30 am to 9 pm.
A little further afield, the playing field below the play area in the centre of Helsby is on a long gentle slope, and if sledging gets dull then there’s always the playground (and Helsby library) close at hand to offer other distractions. The lovely JTO Tea Rooms, a short walk away, has a small kids’ play area at the back of the shop, soup, paninis and amazing home made cake as well as hot drinks, and will even give you a hot water bottle to pop on your lap to warm you up. Helsby play area is just off the Chester Road WA6 0DA. There is free parking on nearby streets.
A little further east, Frodsham offers several options for sledging. We love Castle Park, which has a play area, cafe, free parking and a short slope levelling out to flat ground at the bottom of the hill; there’s also the playing field at the top, but look out for trees! Castle Park is off the A56 just outside Frodsham, WA6 6SE.
There’s a large playing field at the back of Frodsham Community Centre on Fluin Lane which has a gentle slope, and we’ve heard it’s also possible to sledge on the steep slopes around Frodsham Caves on Manley Road, but please be aware that this is private property, and if you do visit then take your rubbish home with you.
Further east still and for older children only, there are impressively steep slopes at Lymm Dam, for the serious thrill seekers. There’s free parking on the road adjacent to the dam and it’s a short walk into Lymm Village, or pop into the award-winning Church Green pub next door. Lymm Dam is just off the A56 through the centre of Lymm WA13, close to the junction with Rectory Lane. Free entry and free parking. On the other side of the road there is a gentle walk down to the village (has some steps), which has shops, cafes, etc.
Over in Warrington, Walton Park has large open green spaces with gentle slopes, as well as a large recently refurbished play area, crazy golf, a cafe and a children’s zoo. Entry to the park and zoo is free but parking costs £2.20 Monday to Friday and £3.20 at the weekend. The Walton Arms pub is a short walk away. Walton Park is at Walton Lea Road, Higher Walton, Warrington WA4 6SN.
We hear that there is good sledging on Kelsall Hill, but, as with Frodsham Caves, please be aware that this is private property, so if you visit then treat the land with respect and make sure you take all rubbish away when you leave. Another option in Kelsall is the green area adjacent to the play area, next to the Lord Binning pub. There’s a free car park and also a few shops conveniently nearby. Kelsall playground is at Chester Road, Kelsall CW6 0RZ.
For the serious sledger willing to travel, Teggs Nose, near Macclesfield, is often recommended. There are plenty of sheltered areas to build snowmen with younger children and a really big slope that requires some walking to get to the top, but definitely worth it when you do. There is also a visitor’s centre where you can grab a coffee to warm up once you’re done. Tegg’s Nose is at Buxton Old Road, Macclesfield SK11 0AP. There is pay and display parking at the visitors’ centre.
And if all else fails … head to the Chill Factore in Manchester, for guaranteed snow! Little ones can enjoy the Snow Park, while for kids aged 4+ there are activities including donuts, sledges and a luge. Chill Factore is at Trafford Way, Trafford Quays Leisure Village, Manchester M41 7JA.
Don’t forget to stay safe in the snow. Never sledge towards trees, walls, water or roads and wear cycle helmets if you have them. Keep off private property, and wherever you’re visiting, treat it with respect and remember to take your rubbish home with you. It’s always worth taking blankets, water and snacks when travelling in wintry conditions, and with sledging a change of clothing might be a good idea as well. Have fun – and if we’ve missed anywhere, let us know!