Happy Monday! I've been graced with a Monday off work for a change. I currently work part-time at a card/gift/homeware/lighting sho...

A Walk in the Park

Happy Monday!

I've been graced with a Monday off work for a change. I currently work part-time at a card/gift/homeware/lighting shop and although I'm given three days a week to work, they can be at any time during the week to fill in for anyone else who is off. This week I'm only in Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, and then I'm actually never back in! These three days are my last three days at work before I move to university! I can't believe it has all come around so fast since I actually applied! I have worked there for over 3 years now as it started off as my Saturday job when I finished high school. I am seriously now ready for a change!

That paragraph was completely irrelevant compared to what I wanted to talk about today but I just wanted to get my excitement off my chest. If you follow me on twitter then you've probably already seen my finishing work countdown but oh well.

walks, travel, fitness, walking, hiking, parks, wildlife, river, pond, lakes, cafes

I had hoped to get out more and go for drives to see new places this summer but then all of a sudden I decided to go to university and all my plans changed. I have still tried to get out where I can but I've spent a lot of time shopping instead. There's nothing wrong with that, except the pain my bank account feels, but it has just meant I've struggled to get out of my local area. That said, because I've had to stay local, I've managed to balance my time by going shopping first then finding a park to go for a walk in!

I simply wanted to showcase a few photographs I took on my phone of the beautiful places you can visit up here in the North West of England.

Williamson Park, Lancaster

A photo posted by Kira L Curtis (@kiralcurtis) on

You may remember that I did a review of an outdoor theatre production of The Hobbit that myself and Edmond went to see earlier this summer. The play was performed throughout the park creating a real adventure feel for the audience. Although we probably didn't get to see the full park and by the end of the play, it had gone dark, the park was very intricate, surrounding the grand memorial in the centre. When you walk to the top of the memorial you get a view of Lancaster's skyline and if you're there at sunset, it is stunning. There is also a little cafe where you can get all sorts of refreshments, including some delicious cakes! The title photo was also taken at Williamson Park just showing that we really didn't get to see it all. I'd love to go back at some point, during the day.

Ashton Gardens, St Annes

A photo posted by Kira L Curtis (@kiralcurtis) on

The are little parks spotted all around the Fylde coast. On the Sunday of the St Annes Kite Festival, we got some baguettes from the 'Bakes and Cakes' cafe and took them up to Ashton Gardens where we found a little patch of grass to sit down on and have a little picnic. It was lovely! The sun was shining, everybody was out, and the music festival was just warming up. It was such a fantastic atmosphere and seeing everyone out enjoying themselves made all the difference. The Gardens is made up of a bowling green, toddlers play area, kids park, rose gardens, and plenty of greenery all hiding away the pond and fountain at the back. It can be full of families playing catch in one away and incredibly peaceful in another.

Heaton Park, Manchester

A photo posted by Kira L Curtis (@kiralcurtis) on

Unfortunately I didn't quite manage to get as many photos of this park as I was taking part in the Adrenaline Rush event at the time but I was pleasantly surprised at it's size. I don't get into Manchester very often and when I do it's either to visit my Grandad or I go to the main shopping area near the Arndale Center, so you can imagine my surprise when I walk into this huge park in the middle on Manchester, somewhere I didn't even know existed. It is that big that whilst we were there, there was about three different events going on, including a fair and the Adrenaline Rush! It tooks us a while to find the start point! You could seriously get lost in there but if you're looking for a big park to go for a run around, Heaton Park is perfect, hence why a lot of obstacle course races are held there!

Lowther Gardens, Lytham

A photo posted by Kira L Curtis (@kiralcurtis) on

Compared to Heaton Park, Lowther Gardens is tiny and yet it manages to have it's own theatre - Lowther Pavilion! It's my closest theatre so whenever there's something that sounds interesting on, we try our best to go. There's often big bands and tribute acts, and I was in an outdoor play there during July. I find Lowther a great place to go through as part of my running route as each time you can go a different direction and still come out at the other end. On one side there's a bird house with some budgies, the other is like a forest, and if you go straight up the middle there is a lovely circular pond and a giant stone clock. It is full of history and soon history will be being made as the cafe and theatre get a completely new refurb!

Astley Park, Chorley

A photo posted by Kira L Curtis (@kiralcurtis) on

I think Astley Park has got to be my favourite that I've been to this summer. Ed doesn't live too far away so whilst I was visiting him we took a little drive out, parked up and went for a walk. I put my LifeFitness GPS route tracker on and in the end we did at least 3km walking, finished off with the biggest Mr Whippy type ice cream in a cone I have ever had. Seriously, to the lady that did it, you know how to swirl ice cream properly! The historic woodlands surround the grand Astley Hall which is now a museum and art gallery but we couldn't go in as there was a wedding going on. The lake is beautiful with all sorts of wildlife swimming around the fountain. Honestly, I'm eager to go back in my fitness gear to do some running in the evening. There are a bunch of different parks which would make perfect obstacle course training areas later on when the kids have all gone home, including netting and large climbing frames. We did the short route but there is a longer route around the whole of the park and football fields.

Stanley Park, Blackpool

A photo posted by Kira L Curtis (@kiralcurtis) on

After a morning of shopping on an extremely hot day, we just needed some food and drink, and to relax a little. I didn't want to go indoors on such a wonderful day though so we took a drive out to Stanley Park, a place that brought back so many memories from throughout my childhood. Stanley park has a one of the biggest kids parks I have ever seen and I remember always loving the seesaw as it was one of those long ones that you can't find in many places today. Thomas the Tank Engine and his friends work their way around the park offering families a ride from one end of the park to another. There's a huge lake where there are swan pedalo boats, other kinds of canoes and boats, and waterballs. Nearby, there's crazy golf, pitch and putt, trampolines, skate park, tennis courts, BMX race track, all weather pitches, flat and crown green bowling, and of course, the outdoor and indoor sports arenas. I remember when my parents and Grandad use to take me there to have a go on the motorboats and every year during high school, the outdoor sports arenas used to host our annual sports day! I remember winning my first ever hockey tournament on the all weather pitches too! So many memories, so it was lovely to take that walk down memory lane!

There is something so peaceful about taking a walk through the park. You're completely surrounded by nature and wildlife. It always seems to relax me and helps me feel better, physically and mentally. I can't wait to go exploring and find similar places near where I will be living for the next three years!

I'm sure I'll let you know what I find!
Until then,
- KC xx

Are there any parks near you that you like to walk through? What sort of places relax you?

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