Brockholes Nature Reserve

Brockholes Nature Reserve, Preston: Hours, Address, Brockholes Nature Reserve Reviews: 4/5

Brockholes Nature Reserve
4
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Monday
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Tuesday
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Wednesday
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Thursday
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Friday
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Saturday
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Sunday
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
About
Brockholes is a new kind of nature reserve, an unreserved reserve. Everyone is welcome at Brockholes, whether you're a naturalist or a beginner, we have something for you to enjoy and lots of chances for you to get close to nature! On the site of an old quarry, the Lancashire Wildlife Trust have used their expertise to create habitats for lots of different wildlife. You can take a stroll by the River Ribble, explore our woods or enjoy the lakes on site, which have all been specially designed to attract all kinds of wildlife for you to see! Our spectacular floating Visitor Village means that you are as close to nature as possible providing stunning views across the lake. You can also discover our interactive Welcome Centre and learn all about the wildlife that you could see on-site, discover the exciting play area and explore our network of walks and trails (including shorter ones for little legs). Please note that our Visitor Village is closed on a Monday & Tuesday from Nov to March.
Suggested duration
2-3 hours
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4.0
1,516 reviews
Excellent
711
Very good
450
Average
176
Poor
86
Terrible
93

M_Fraser_1980
8 contributions
Dissapointing
Sep 2021 • Family
We pay a £5 parking fee to visit at least three evenings per week after school as the reserve is supposed to be "dog free". This is the main reason we visit as we, as a family, like to walk in nature, allowing our 2 young children to explore and enjoy: children who, unfortunately, have a fear of dogs. While not as overrun with dogs as other local parks, on every visit to Brockholes, there are still numerous owners who insist on allowing dogs off leads, not walking to heel, and permitting them to run around areas which are, apparently, sanctioned for wildlife. There are literally, hundreds of places dog owners can walk dogs all over Preston and its surrounding areas. There is literally, no where we can take our children without being charged at and sniffed by every man, woman and his dog. We have encountered many understanding dog owners when we politely request they call off their sniffing dogs when out children are clinging to us, crying in fear. There are also those who "did not see the signs", "my dogs are harmless", "I've been bringing my dogs here for years", "the woods are for dogs", "there's no reason dogs cannot defecate in the woods". If my children ran around you, jumping over you, sniffing at your picnic and your crotch, I'm sure you would be unhappy. Since when did animals become more important than people. And for a business with cctv cameras all over the carpark, and happy to take £5 per car, perhaps the owners of Brockholes could better enforce their "no dog" rule.
Written September 30, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Pauline G
1 contribution
Mixed
Sep 2021 • Couples
Our first visit. Lovely walks with great views of the river. Spotted some birds of prey and egrets.Very informative and helpful gentleman in InFocus binocular shop. Sadly let down by the cafe. Weak coffee, cold fries which I had to ask to be reheated, stale crisps and limp salad. Will bring a picnic next time.
Written September 29, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Plippo
Sale106 contributions
Going Downhill
Jul 2021
Tricky to get to off the motorway junction but once you arrive there is ample parking. The floating visitor centre is starting to look a bit run down and very few parts of the complex were actually open. One cafe was open and food ok but if we go again a picnic will be our choice instead. We did the trail with the grandkids and for £3.50 you get a map, pencil and tick sheet and tiny treat at the end once you complete the sheet. Not great value but if you treat as a sort of donation to the trust then fine.

Very little wildlife seen and binoculars probably needed to sport any birds of interest.

We did see lots of tiny frogs on the paths so we were amazed that loads of mountain bikers are allowed to use the park riding at high speeds, effectively killing loads of the wild life!

There are also a few kids adventure parks there.

If you are local its worth a visit but not worth travelling a distance to visit.
Written August 18, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Jaci W
Manchester, UK8 contributions
Great day out
Aug 2021 • Family
Great children's play area. Lots of walking routes. Could have done with a few signposts when we went off the main paths. The setting of the visitors centre was lovely but the cafe was disappointing and overpriced and the toilets not clean enough. Didn't see a large variety of birds but the children loved the wildflowers and insects. Car parking cost 5 pounds for the day which was reasonable. We spent 4 happy hours there.
Written August 11, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Ruthers
42 contributions
Location great, cafe not so good!
Aug 2021 • Family
The location, hiking route and park is great but the main cafe is disappointing. The drinks are overpriced and not very good, and the food was expensive and vile. If ever I return I will most certainly take a park lunch, and flask. Disappointing.
Written August 4, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hi Thanks for taking the time to provide your feedback on your recent visit. We are pleased to hear that you enjoyed exploring the reserve. It would be useful if you could contact us at info@brockholes.org with any additional details regarding your café experience so that we can look into your feedback further. Many thanks and we look forward to welcoming you to Brockholes again very soon.
Written August 6, 2021
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Carol E
Manchester, UK20 contributions
Dusapointing
Jul 2021
Was very disappointed, looks dilapidated , no shops open just a cafe, food was okay
Went years ago when it first opened and was great then
Grandkids loved the park
Why do u allow cyclists inn the paths when it's full of toddlers. Not fair on wildlife, I'm a cyclist but wouldn't dream of cycling through there.
Written August 3, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Thanks for taking the time to provide your review Carol. It's great to hear the grandchildren enjoyed the play area. We have been able to reopen our Welcome Centre for the first time since the lockdown last week, and we also now have a second catering outlet on our Visitor Village. We are starting to move towards being more back to normal as we move out of the covid restrictions. We have a cycle route that runs through the centre of our reserve called the Guild Wheel. It is a shared pedestrian/cycle route that runs 21 miles around Preston and is very popular with visitors. Our reserve map showing our walking and cycling routes can be found on our website. We also have a new "Badger Trail" that works via an app. Full details and an accompanying leaflet can be found in the Welcome Centre. I am sure the grandchildren would love it! Do come and give it a try and let us know what you think?
Written August 6, 2021
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

janeywoo
Birmingham59 contributions
Great nature reserve
Jul 2021
We stopped off at Brockholes for a couple of hours on the way up to Cumbria. Had a lovely walk round the site - saw plentiful lapwings, herons, swans, ducks (mostly mallard), geese, a robin and a tiny frog. Well placed viewing points and hides around the site and interesting different habitats that have been created. We enjoyed a quick tea with a lovely view over the lake, where there is plenty of room to sit and relax. The small visitor centre provided interesting information about the site and recent sightings. Could have easily spent a whole day there.

Quite surprised by some of the negative reviews complaining about parking charges, site being overgrown etc. There is a small playground, trails for children and pond dipping, so it's an ideal place to bring kids to engage with nature.

We were more than happy to pay for parking in order to support the work 9f the Trust.
Written August 1, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Thanks for the 5* review of Brockholes and for taking the time to tell us about your visit. Your support and kind words are every much appreciated by all the Team at Brockholes. We look forward to welcoming you again when you are next in the area.
Written August 6, 2021
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Sheila H
1 contribution
Leisurely and relaxing
Jul 2021
My partner and I had a lovely day out a couple of weeks ago. What a lovely collection of wild flowers and the walk around the reserve was very relaxing, we had a lovely lunch at the little cafe and dined outside. The food was excellent, Nachos and Cheesy chips, we will be returning again next spring defiantly armed with camera and binoculars.
Written July 22, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Thanks for the 5* review of Brockholes. The wild flowers have been amazing this year, and testament to the hard work of our Reserve Officers and Conservation Volunteers managing the habitats we have at Brockholes. They will be thrilled to read your feedback. The nachos and cheesy chips are new additions to the menu, so good to know they are going down well! We hope to see you again very soon!
Written August 6, 2021
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

HappyTraveller24_12
Lancashire, UK72 contributions
Not worth a visit unfortunately
Jul 2021 • Family
Visited recently for the first time in years. We last went not too long after it opened and thought it was a bit naff then; but figured it was still getting established and these things take time to develop.

Unfortunately it still doesn't really seem to have much to offer. We were surprised by the changes to the car parking fees- it's now £5, regardless of how long you stay. Whilst I appreciate these fees help support the running of the attraction, it's quite likely changed its policy after realising that people aren't staying very long.

And similarly, we didn't stay very long at all either. I think in some respects we were unlucky; the cafe on the water front was shut when we visited and the place generally seemed a bit deserted. But the other smaller cafe was open; we opted to just get a cup of tea from there. We'd been warned by friends that the food wasn't very good (a recurring theme in reviews it seems), so decided not to get lunch there.

Despite being deserted the service in the smaller cafe wasn't the best- the two girls were more interested in chatting with each other than serving their one customer. They also couldn't tell me where I could go to change my baby which I thought was strange when I discovered it was right next door. Not a big deal, but a little annoying when wandering around aimlessly for some time with a heavy baby trying to find the right place. The tea from the cafe was average at best, and served with little cartons of UHT milk. Surely in a cafe you can at least provide fresh milk??

After our drinks we went for a walk. Several times we had to stop, puzzled, as it wasn't clear which way we should go (we had the map, but the route would definitely have benefited from the odd sign post). The scenery was lovely, but to be honest... you could get that scenery on any country walk. And a regular country walk would be much more peaceful- the location of this attraction is directly next to a very busy motorway and the roar of the cars going past really quite kills the peaceful atmosphere.

I think I'd really expected there to have just been something more at a nature reserve that's advertised as a family attraction; perhaps information signs about the wildlife, flora and fauna you might see. Or something fun for children on the way. Even some more benches- there were hardly any places to stop and rest. There was just nothing really. There were some wooden sculptures dotted about but no information to explain what they were, and several were hidden away in amongst the overgrowth. Despite keeping a close eye out we didn't see any wildlife other than hearing the crickets- perhaps our bad luck and/or untrained eye. I think more needs to be done for their every day guests that are visiting. To be honest, I've left feeling a bit robbed that I've paid £5 in car park charges for what was a bit of a naff walk and an overpriced, not so nice cup of tea. It's a real shame as it's the sort of place that appeals to us for family days out.

I noticed in other reviews the managers seem a bit defensive which is a real shame as I feel the reviews are providing some useful and fair constructive criticism and suggestions to help improve.

Written July 7, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Thanks for taking the time to provide your feedback. We are now starting to be able to get a little more back to normal as the covid restrictions are lifting. Our Welcome Centre is now open. We have launched our Badger Trail - this is aimed at families and works via an app. Full details and a map can be found in the Welcome Centre. Our Xplorer Trail is also up and running for the school summer holidays. Full details can be found on our website. Do come back and have a go at the Badger Trail. I am sure you will love it!
Written August 6, 2021
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

BobBonHere
Lytham St Anne's, UK2,293 contributions
More work is needed to make us return again.
Jul 2021
When we first visited this place I commented that it was new and that I expected it to get better with time. Sadly that hasn't happened. We visited on a sunny Wednesday, summer afternoon and all we found open was a small self-service cafe none of the other shops and information points were open.
We found a site map (by chance) and followed the paths only to find that the map didn't reflect the reality of the site. I commented the last time that more, accurate signage was required, that's still the case.
One thing that has changed is the car parking fee- cars used to be changed by the time spent there, it's now a fixed £5 which for the 30mins we stayed was very expensive.
More work is needed to make us return again.
Written July 7, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Thanks for taking the time to provide your feedback. I am pleased to let you know that our Welcome Centre is now open, meaning we can provide lots of advice on walking routes, sightings and the best wildlife watching spots thanks to the support of our team of Visitor Engagement Volunteers. From September we will be hoping to bring back our regular guided walks, so do sign up to our mailing list for details. Our walks provide a great introduction to Brockholes, our History, and our conservation aims. We have recently launched our Badger Trail which works via an app and more signage is to follow. We hope you will return and visit again as we start to get more back to normal as covid restrictions ease.
Written August 6, 2021
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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