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 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.
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.
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. Walking west would (eventually) take you to Wigan Pier.
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.
Buses to Pennington Flash include the Leigh-Lowton circular services (590) and the 10 service 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 (10 – stops at Pennington Flash). Bryn Train Station is also on this bus route.
Reviews and Additional Information
Having walked to Pennington Flash via the Leeds and Liverpool canal me and my partner was amazed to see a Deer. Has anyone else ever seen or heard of Deer being in the park. Please let us know if you have.
I’ve been cycling through this country park recently whilst working in the area and can’t believe the amount of horse poo that one has to negotiate. Piles of it everywhere, a disgrace. Dog owners pick up, why not horse riders?
The fair at Pennington Flash is bringing down the peacefulness of the place. What a joke. Who would think of such a mindless idea? Annoyed.
Having visited Pennington Flashes twice this year from a narrowboat on the canal and visited the many hides that are available to the general public free of charge, unless you arrive by car then it`s £1-20 for the day. I am amazed that some people feel they have to write and complain that there are not enough waste bins for their picnic waste or doggy bags. Is it too much trouble to put it in the boot of their car and place it in the wheely bin back at home. It is an amazing place to visit whether just for a walk or to see bird life and the people who make it all happen should be proud of what they have given to the area from what was once a waste land. Well done.
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!
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.
What has a parking charge got to do with toilet rolls.
Would you make the same silly complaint if you parked in Leigh or Wigan and then used the public toilets and found that there was no paper?
What a sad life some people have.
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