Jane’s blog is found at http://hodgepodgedays.co.uk/ . I found her via Mumsnet Bloggers Network and her writing style and stories leapt out at me because of their sincerity. She was kind enough to answer some questions about things to do in Manchester:
1. On your blog you mention your neighborhood right off. I’m curious, what is it about it that you love or that makes it special for you?
Didsbury is a pretty well known part of Manchester, it’s vibrant and full of independent businesses. It’s a great place to live, work and bring up a family. I’ve lived here all my life, something which is increasingly rare in this part of Manchester, mainly due to house prices.

2. What are your top 5 places in your city and region for family outings?

That’s a tough one.
a. Didsbury has several local parks, our favourites for a local trip out are Didsbury Park and Fletcher Moss Gardens.
b. Crosby Beach in Liverpool, home to the Antony Gormley figures and a great place for kids.
c. The Manchester Museum of Science & Industry – a very famous museum in Manchester, great for a family day out, so much to do, lots to learn and it’s all free. We go there a lot.
d. Dunham Massey – this local National Trust estate has a beautiful house and gardens as well as miles of smooth footpaths in the deer park for kids to ride their bikes and scooters.
e. Reddish Vale Farm – a lovely community farm where you can meet and feed the animals, from chickens to shire horses, pigs to llamas, they’ve got almost every farm animal you could want to meet.

3. What are the top 5 natures spots?

a. I live near the River Mersey and it’s a great local spot for wildlife, we even have a flock of wild parakeets in the neighbourhood.
b. Formby near Liverpool is home to a small enclave of red squirrels
c. Dunham Massey and its deer park is great to visit and photograph
d. Quarry Bank Mill in Styal has great woodlands you can explore as well as the mill ponds and surrounding countryside
e. Locally Abney Hall in Cheadle is good to explore, you can go pond dripping, walk in the grounds and there’s a tiny little cafe to grab a brew and warm up if you need to.
4. Where do you go for a full day trip or weekend travel?
We enjoy visiting Liverpool which is only an hour away and also the Lake District. We went to university in Cumbria so it’s an area we feel very at home in. Plus the Lake District is so incredibly beautiful and there’s lots to see and do there.

5. When you’re in on a rainy day or hanging out at home what activities do the kids enjoy?

The small boy has recently discovered Lego, so he does an awful lot of that with his Dad. If it’s me and him then we bake or do crafts, both of which he loves to do.


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