Making the most of the beautiful summer weather we have been having made me ask a question; what other spots do we have to enjoy the sun than Keele Hall? Stoke is often overlooked as somewhere with idyllic views and lovely places to walk, but I promise you, there are some out there! Here are some of my favourites:
Silverdale Country Park
First on my list is Silverdale Country Park, which takes around 5 minutes to get to by car or is about an hour walk from Keele campus, I don’t think there is anywhere more local! When I visited, parking was available on the local sports club, but the park itself has a few entrances where street parking is available for free too. This place has endless trails to walk, run or bike, with gorgeous nature reserves and lakes throughout. With lots of benches and open areas, it’s great to have a picnic in! My personal favourite views were those of the church and Silverdale village from the tops of the park, as well as wandering around the lakes and taking in the views. You can see for miles on a clear day and sit right on the edge of the water. It’s also lovely to learn more about the area, with information and maps dotted about to help you find your way. There are also pubs in Silverdale, so you can stop on your way back for lunch or a pint (or three).
Westport lake is another gorgeous spot to visit. The lakes are a 15-minute drive or an 1 hour 45 minute walk, and there is free parking; the car park does get full very quickly though. Westport has 3 lakes total, and a woodland walk to explore. With well laid out paths, it lovely to stroll around and enjoy the weather. There are lots of ducks, geese and swans about too, so plenty of opportunities for cute pictures. A visitor centre is on site also, with a café and bathrooms, as well as a small shop, where you can purchase duck food for £2. Yopu can also walk along the canal, which stretches for miles. There is sometimes barges parked up which sell goods, when I visited there was a floating pet shop and café, serving drinks and oatcakes! Sometimes there is an ice-cream van on a sunny day, who even takes card payments.
Ford Green Hall
Another beautiful place to explore is Ford Green Hall and the adjacent nature reserve. Food Green Hall itself is a grade II listed historic house museum focusing on the 17th century. Although I didn’t visit the museum itself, the outside was beautiful and would be somewhere I’d consider going back to – on a rainy day with it being indoors! Both the hall and nature reserve have free parking too and are a little further afield, taking around 15-25 mins by car depending on traffic from campus. The nature reserve itself was again beautiful, with so many different trails to follow. I stuck to the paved areas, but there were lots of muddier paths for those who are more adventurous. There was a lake which was also lovely, with lots of ducks, and birds around, and lots of photo opportunities! There are local shops not far away to grab a drink and snacks from too.
I hope this list helps show you there are more beauty spots than just Keele Hall! I’m sure there are more places in and around Stoke I will find in the future, which I can’t wait to explore over the summer. If you do go adventuring over the summer, please let us know and tag us in your pictures on social media, we would love to see them!