Pennington Flash Country Park

We visited Pennington Flash in October 2014. We rechecked the information given in April 2015 and, as far as we are aware, all information in this review was still correct.

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.

Sign at Pennington Flash showing a map of the park.

Sign at Pennington Flash showing a map of the park

There are eight birdwatching hides around Pennington Flash, mainly around the smaller lakes at the northern end of the park. One of the best is the Tom Edmondson Hide. It’s named after a local man, instrumental in the transformation of the area from a wasteland into a country park.

Tom Edmondson Hide at Pennington Flash Country Park

Tom Edmondson Hide

View from Tom Edmondson Hide at Pennington Flash Country Park

View from Tom Edmondson Hide

However, you don’t have to be a birdwatcher to appreciate Pennington Flash. We visited on a clear October day and the park was very busy. Most visitors were families enjoying the attractions that Pennington Flash offers.

Facilities include 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.

Girl on a swing at the playground at Pennington Flash Country Park

Playground

The Leeds and Liverpool Canal runs along the northern edge of the park. Visit this area of the park and you’ll see some great sculptures by Thompson Dagnall; Unlock and Greenheart-Northern Soul. It’s possible to walk east along the towpath into Leigh town centre. Waling walking west would (eventually) take you to Wigan Pier.

Unlock by Thompson Dagnall, Leeds and Liverpool Canal

Unlock by Thompson Dagnall

While we were visiting the park we took a walk around Pennington Flash. It’s an easy route that most people will have no difficulty completing. Further information, a route map, and photographs can be found here.

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 reach the park by car, you should 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. Owners of satellite navigation systems should note that the postcode for Pennington Flash is WN7 3PA.

There’s a pay-and-display car park on the north eastern shore of the Flash, near the playgrounds and most of the birdwatching hides. There’s a free car park close to the main entrance if you don’t mind a short walk.

Main car park at Pennington Flash

Main car park

Buses to Pennington Flash include the Leigh-Lowton circular services (589, 590, 591 and 592) and the 600/601 services from Wigan to Leigh.

There are no train stations within walking distance of Pennington Flash. One option for getting there by rail would be to take a train to either Wigan Wallgate or Wigan North Western and then get the Wigan to Leigh bus (600/601 – stops at Pennington Flash). Bryn Train Station is also on this bus route.

Map

Details

Pennington Flash Country Park

Address and postcode
Off St Helens Road
Leigh
Greater Manchester
United Kingdom
WN7 3PA

[Visit Pennington Flash Country Park Website]

Reviews and Additional Information

  1. Daryl Ogden says

    Whilst minding my friend’s dog I thought it would be good to walk all the way round Pennington Flash as it was a nice day. The Flash is an amazing place to walk and to take your dog as well. I have to admit though that more than 90% of the walkways/pathways do “NOT” have any rubbish or pet waste bins. People are always writing to their local papers about irresponsible pet owners. Whoever is responsible for the Flash should be ashamed of themselves. They charge you for parking but don’t even provide enough bins so people can dispose of their rubbish. It is no wonder the pathways/walkways are strewn with rubbish and dog mess/dog mess bags! Such a shame that the local authority “DOES NOT” take pride in such a stunning asset as this country park!

  2. Deborah Waller says

    Over the Easter period I visited your lovely park. The sun was shining and there were people everywhere. Parking was a bit difficult but felt very upset as paid for parking but there was no toilet roll in the toilets. Just wanted to air my views. Many thanks.

  3. Dave Wilton says

    Had the pleasure of visiting Pennington Flash recently and found it an amazing place. Not only is the Flash spectacular but the wildlife was stunning too. A must see place if you have never visited

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