Head on down to Brindle in Chorley for a packed day of bees, honey and best of all - booze!
A small and ancient village set in farmland close to Preston and Chorley, Brindle makes for a cracking day trip out of Manchester; home to an award-winning distillery which is also home to thousands of busy little bees.
Brindle itself is located just off the M65, so it’s only around a 45 minute drive from the centre of town, and the Distillery is actually closer to Clayton Green – almost literally in the shadow of the M61.
The Distillery and Bee Centre are just a short taxi ride from Chorley Train Station – perfect if you plan to get some serious gin ‘testing’ under your belt over the course of the day.
The Brindle Distillery is home to the famous Cuckoo Gin, as well as a smaller range of craft rums and vodka, each one handmade on the farm using fresh local spring water, natural ingredients and botanicals. Oh, and honey that’s made by the bees that live in the hives round the back of the building.
The Bee Centre is full of information, displays and activities giving a unique insight into the amazing honey bee and their relationship with humans.
There’s a glass observation hive that enables you to watch up close the workings of a honey bee hive – seeing the bees bring nectar and pollen back, making honey, building honeycomb and even doing their famous ‘waggle dance’.
Lasting around 90 minutes, their ‘Beekeeping Experience’ (£60) will allow you to step into a beekeeping suit and get up close and personal with the bees as the hive is opened. You might even see little baby bees emerging and the queen laying eggs!
Once you’ve spent some time with the bees, it’s time to get a few stiff drinks down you on the 4 hour Distillery Experience, where you can watch the honey the bees have made go into producing the award-winning Cuckoo Gin.
‘The Workshop’ (£95) combines an informal talk about the founding of the distillery and gin, with a tour of the venue and the chance to create your very own blend of botanicals in a mini pot still, resulting in your own recipe 70cl full size bottle of gin.
You’ll also be treated to 4 gin cocktails and some nibbles to soak up the booze.
One of the best things about the tour is that once your unique recipe has been signed off by the Master Distiller, it’s then kept on record and you can re-order it anytime in the future! So if you’ve made something especially good – you’ll always have a supply of it ready to be supped.
If you’d like to stay in the area for longer, perhaps a weekend away, then just up the road in Samlesbury you’ll find some amazing boutique Shepherd’s Huts – a more ‘rustic’ alternative to a boring old Premier Inn room.
Set on the picturesque grounds of the historic Samlesbury Hall, this hamlet of beautiful huts each come complete with two double beds and cosy en-suite with all the mod-cons. Outside there’s a fire-pit and picnic benches – and loads of woodland in the grounds for you to explore.
The Hall will also be home to the Heritage Café when it opens up this month; serving up Breakfast, Brunch, Lunch and Afternoon Teas.
The area is also home to some stunning walks, with the Cuerden Valley Park right on the edge of Clayton Green – a 650 acre green oasis with the River Lostock dramatically meandering it’s way through.
There’s tonnes of things to do around this gorgeous corner of Lancashire, so you could easily fill a few days up here no problems.
For more information on the attractions and to make bookings, head on over to the Visit Lancashire site…