- Discover the historical interior of Astley Hall, and it's fascinating collections.
- Explore the beautiful orchards of the Walled Garden.
- Grab something tasty to eat from the menu at Cafe Ambio at Astley Hall Coach House.
- Kids can meet some new furry friends at Pets Corner.
- View work from artists such as Paul Nash and J.M.W Turner in the Astley Hall collections.
For those who love wandering around beautiful gardens and taking in some local history, there's nowhere better than the 16th century Astley Hall and Park in Chorley for a chilled and fun-packed family day trip. With a Victorian walled garden and Jacobean plastered ceilings, this Grade I building isn't to be missed.
Having been around for over 400 years, Astley Hall was first built by the Charnock family between the years 1575 and 1600, but the Hall was added to multiple times throughout history. In the 17th century, the famous Jacobean plastered ceilings adorned with cherubs, wreaths and other figures. Since the house was built around a central courtyard in Elizabethan times, the four wings were eventually added by the families who later lived in the Hall. Four families lived in the Hall throughout the years, the Brookes, Townley-Parkers, Charnocks and the Tattons, and many of their collections were left behind. With hundreds of historical paintings, drawings and more in their collections, Astley Hall is now often known as Astley Hall and Art Gallery. Here, you can find engravings from J.M.W Turner, as well as works from Graham Sutherland and Paul Nash. You can also find lots of historical furniture, including what was believed to be Oliver Cromwell's four-poster bed, as well as some beautiful ceramics and glassware. History lovers will also be excited to hear that evidence of occupation of the grounds actually dates back to the Bronze Age, with archaeologists finding over 40 Bronze Age objects including human remains, pottery and urns in the 1970's. For the brave among you who enjoy the paranormal, Astley Hall ghosts are rumoured to roam the grounds, and you can even sign up to join ghost hunts around the Hall if you dare.
There is lots to do as a family on your visit to Astley Hall. Also home to Astley Park, one of the top parks in Chorley for families, there is no limit to the fun you can have on your day out here. Astley Hall events often take place in the Walled Garden, which is a top spot for cultural and community events. The Walled Garden is also home to an orchard, and a community food growing project which yields fruits, vegetables and much more. The Sensory Garden is also a great spot for kids, with calming chimes to listen to and lots of things to see, smell and touch. You can also find the Chorley Cenotaph in the gardens, which is a memorial to local citizens who fought in World War One.
With over 40 acres of parkland to explore, Astley Park Chorley is a brilliant place to come for a picnic or a place for the kids to run around. There are lots of walkways that are easy to follow, including a snowdrop trail and paths leading into the woodland for kids to explore. The large pond makes the park a popular spot for families too, as it is a great place to check out the local wildlife. Throughout the park, there are play areas, tennis courts, sports pitches and a bowling green, that are all free for the public to use. Kids can head to The Royalists Retreat, a children's playground with a wooden climbing frame, slide and much more to enjoy. One of our favourite features of the park is the adorable Pets Corner. Located next to the play area and refreshment kiosk, Pets Corner is home to lots of small animals including chickens, guinea pigs, rabbits and tortoises. Here, kids can have the opportunity to pet some new fluffy friends, learn about animal care, and take part in some arts and crafts.
If you're looking for somewhere to eat, Astley Hall Café is located on the grounds, within Astley Hall Coach House. Also known as Café Ambio, there is a lovely courtyard dining area, as well as a restaurant. One of the most popular places for visitors in the Park, the Café serves everything from coffee and cake to roast dinners on Sundays. All the food on their menu is made with local produce, and their famous smoked salmon and shrimp terrine, made with Morecambe Bay shrimps, can be found on the shelves of Selfridges Food Hall in London. Alternatively, the lush green grounds of Astley Park are the perfect place to enjoy a picnic, with lots of seating areas dotted around. Just a short distance from the park, you can also head further afield to Astley Village where you can find plenty of places to eat, including pub food at the Astley Village Inn and Indian food at Jolsa Indian Takeaway. If you are staying in the area, Astley Village is also home to local boutique hotels and self-catering accommodation, as well as chain hotels.
If you and your family enjoyed your day out at Astley Hall, why not take the short drive to the seaside town of Blackpool for your next North West day out? From the panoramic views at Blackpool Tower to meeting the animals at Blackpool Zoo, there are many wonderful things to do with kids in Blackpool and the surrounding areas.
What to know before you go
- Astley Hall opening times are from 9:30am-4pm daily. There are accessible parking bays available for Blue Badge holders.
- There are toilets available on site, including accessible toilets and baby changing facilities.
- Astley Hall is accessible; however, due to the historical nature of the building, there may not be lift access to all the higher levels. Some of the ground may be uneven, so may not be suitable for buggies and wheelchair users.
- Astley Park is widely accessible, although care should be taken in the woodland areas for wheelchair users and buggies as the ground might not be even.
- Astley Hall Chorley parking is available 300m away from the Hall, on Hallgate. On-site parking is free. You can get to Astley Hall via the M61 or M6.
- The nearest train and bus station is Chorley Interchange, just under a mile away, or a 20-minute walk. The 109A/B bus service regularly runs between Chorley to Astley Village. Chorley Interchange also has good connections to Manchester, Preston and Blackburn.
- There are lots of places to tie up your bike at Astley Hall if you choose to cycle.