Situated in Leigh, around 6 miles south-east of Wigan, Pennington Flash is a popular country park and nature reserve. At its centre is a 70-hectare lake (the ‘Flash’), formed as a result of mining subsidence and flooding.
The park is famous for its wildlife and is one of the premier bird watching spots in the region and over 200 species of bird have been spotted here. In 1994 the UK’s first ever Black-faced Bunting was spotted here and attracted more than 6,000 birdwatchers from all over the country.
There are seven hides around Pennington Flash, mainly around the smaller lakes at the northern end of the park. One of the best is the Bunting Hide. The feeding station here attracts all kinds of birds, making it great for photography.
Butterflies, dragonflies, bats, and orchids are also found here.
Facilities here include a 9-hole golf course, children’s play area, picnic area, toilets, and information centre. Rangers are present throughout the year to provide information and advice. There’s often a mobile café and ice cream van parked up near the entrance.
Pennington Flash is also the base of the Leigh and Lowton Sailing Club.
The main entrance is situated just off A572, opposite the Robin Hood pub. To get there by car, exit the M6 motorway at Junction 23 and follow the A580 (East Lancashire Road) towards Manchester. After 4 miles take the A579 and follow the brown tourist signs for Pennington Flash. There’s a pay-and-display car park on the north eastern shore of the Flash.
Buses to Pennington Flash include the 589 Leigh-Lowton circular service and the 600/601 service from Wigan to Leigh.
The Leeds and Liverpool Canal runs along the northern edge of the park. It’s possible to walk east along the towpath into Leigh town centre. Those walking west would (eventually) end up at Wigan Pier.
Pennington Flash Country Park
Address and postcode
Off St Helens Road