Haigh Hall was built in the mid-19th century and was once the estate of the Earl of Crawford and Balcarres. It was sold to Wigan Council in 1947.
The 250 acres of park and woodland surrounding the house now form Haigh Woodland Park. Recent times have seen a massive redevelopment of the park. New features include an adventure playground, an adventure golf course, and a high ropes course.
Haigh Woodland Park is an excellent place for a family day out. The former stable blocks, Haigh Kitchen Courtyard, house a cafe, local businesses, and toilets.
Haigh Kitchen Courtyard and Visitor Centre
Housed within the beautifully restored stable buildings of the historic Haigh Hall, the Kitchen Courtyard is a unique and inviting space for visitors to relax, dine, and shop.
Kitchen Courtyard features an assortment of cafes catering to a variety of tastes. Al fresco dining areas are available.
Visitors can purchase unique gifts, souvenirs, and speciality items at boutique shops. The shops offer various products, including organic food, handmade chocolates, flowers, and art.
The Visitor Centre is also located within the stable buildings. Facilities include toilets and a baby changing area.
Activities and Attractions
The park is brimming with activities and attractions for visitors of all ages. From the lush greens of its golf courses to the thrills of the high ropes course and the beauty of its walled garden, there’s something for everyone.
Haigh Golf Course offers 27 holes of parkland golf, with the 18-hole Balcarres course and the 9-hole Crawford course.
Visitors can book up to 28 days in advance via the online booking portal.
Golfers must bring their clubs and equipment, as equipment hire is unavailable.
The course is open to all members of the public.
All golfers who pay to use the Balcarres course are entitled to free parking.
The adventure playground is one of the best in North West England. It boasts a great collection of climbing frames, swings, rope bridges, and a zip wire.
It also provides a safe environment for parents to watch their children play securely in the area.
Admission to the Adventure Play area is free.
The more adventurous can try the adjacent Haigh High Ropes (paid).
Haigh High Ropes and Low Ropes
The Haigh High Ropes course offers an adrenaline rush for participants. This challenging obstacle course involves working through various elements such as cargo nets, tightropes and log crossings while suspended 10 metres above the ground. It includes a 40-meter zip wire.
The Low Ropes course is 5 metres above the ground. It’s perfect for younger children or those unprepared for the high ropes challenge.
Highly trained staff ensure that every participant has a safe yet thrilling experience. All safety equipment is provided, and participants are supervised at all times.
Bookings can be made in advance on the park’s official website (see the information box at the bottom of this page).
This family-friendly attraction offers the perfect blend of fun and challenge. It is one of the park’s most popular attractions, drawing visitors from near and far to test their putting skills.
The 18-hole Adventure Golf course is masterfully designed to both challenge and entertain. Each hole presents unique obstacles and features, such as water hazards, bunkers, and undulating terrain, promising a diverse and exciting experience.
The colourful and imaginative features like the Viking boat will delight children. These playful elements add a sense of whimsy and wonder to the experience.
Modest fees apply, but there’s no need to book in advance.
There are two railways in Haigh Woodland Park, the Miniature Railway and the Model Railway.
The 15-inch gauge Miniature Railway is one of the best in North West England. The train travels along a route over one mile long, through woodland and gardens, and boasts covered carriages with pretty comfortable seats.
Rides on the Miniature Railway cost £1.
Weather permitting, the Miniature Gauge Railway is open every Saturday and Sunday from 11 am to 4 pm.
The Model Railway is a sit-on train operated by the Wigan and District Model Engineering Society. The track is around one-third of a mile long.
Rides on the Model Railway are free, but donations are welcome.
The Model Railway is open every Sunday from 10 am to 3 pm.
The Walker Gardens offer a tranquil haven for visitors seeking a serene retreat from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. These beautifully landscaped gardens provide an enchanting setting for strolls, picnics, and quiet contemplation.
As you enter the Walker Gardens, you are immediately greeted by an explosion of colours, textures, and fragrances. The gardens are meticulously maintained, with a diverse array of plants, flowers, and trees that showcase the splendour of each season.
The Friends of Haigh Walled Kitchen Garden maintains the gardens and offers seasonal produce in exchange for donations to help sustain the garden.
Entry to the Walker Gardens is free.
Woodlands and Walks
The extensive woodlands at Haigh Woodland Park are integral to its charm and appeal. Their serene atmosphere and breathtaking beauty provide the perfect backdrop for leisurely walks, family outings, and outdoor adventures.
The woods were planted in the 1860s to provide work during the Lancashire Cotton Famine. They are home to various tree species, including beech, sycamore, birch, horse chestnut, and oak. These majestic trees create a captivating landscape that changes with the seasons. From the fresh, vibrant greens of spring to the golden hues of autumn, the woodlands offer a visual feast for nature enthusiasts.
They are home to abundant wildlife, making them a haven for birdwatchers and nature lovers. Visitors can catch glimpses of woodpeckers while squirrels and other small mammals scurry on the forest floor.
The woodlands also provide a sanctuary for a wide range of insects and invertebrates, which play a vital role in maintaining the ecosystem’s delicate balance.
Numerous well-maintained trails meander through the forest, offering visitors an immersive experience of this magical environment.
These trails vary in length and difficulty, catering to walkers of all abilities and fitness levels. Details of waymarked routes through the park can be found on the official Haigh Woodland Park website (see the information box at the bottom of this page).
The toilets are accessible for wheelchair users, as are the Kitchen Courtyard shops and cafes, Adventure Golf, and paths in the upper area of the park.
The car park offers several accessible parking spaces.
The park is open every day of the week from dawn until dusk.
Location of Haigh Woodland Park, Car Park, and Getting There
Haigh Woodland Park is situated around 2 miles northeast of Wigan town centre. It is easily accessible by car, train, and bus.
Travelling to the park by car is relatively straightforward, with access from the Junction 27 of the M6 and Junction 6 of the M61 (J6).
Drivers with satellite navigation systems can use the postcode WN2 1PE to find it.
There’s a large car park near the main entrance. Ticket machines accept cash and cards. Parking charges at the time of writing (May 2023) are £2 for up to 90 minutes and £4 for all day. There is no parking fee for stays less than 30 minutes. Current prices are published on an information board at the entrance to the car park.
Buses going to Haigh Woodland Park include the 575. The service departs from Wigan Bus Station for Bolton Bus Station (Bolton Interchange) and travels via Aspull, Haigh, Blackrod, Horwich, and Lostock. Get off the bus on St David’s Crescent in Haigh. From here, it’s a 15-minute walk down Haigh Road and Copperas Lane to reach the entrance.
It’s also possible to reach Haigh Woodland Park on foot. Start from Wigan Pier and walk along the towpath of the Leeds and Liverpool Canal.