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10 reasons why you should visit St Helens

3 years ago

10 reasons why you should visit St Helens

A trek along the East Lancs or the M62 will find you in St Helens and there really is lots to see and do when you get there.

St Helens was founded on industry – coal and glass especially – and, of course, rugby!

It’s also famous for being the birthplace of comedian Johnny Vegas, Harry Potter director David Yates, and Beautiful South singer Jacqui Abbott.

There are loads of plans underway to regenerate the town but if you haven’t visited for a while – or ever – here’s 10 reasons why you might want to give it a go even before they do…

1. The World of Glass

Picture – Pete Stuart

You can check out the museum that charts the history of glass along with St Helens’ rise to a world leader in glass making, with glass blowing demonstrations and film shows to see how you really can’t live without it. You can explore the furnace and underground tunnels and find out what life was like in a Victorian town. It’s also got great art galleries and a café which serves the town’s famous Pimbletts ‘Pimmies’ Pies.

Find out more here.

2. St Helens RFC – Totally Wicked Stadium

Picture – Pete Stuart/ Shutterstock

Home of the Saints, St Helens Rugby Football Club, the new 18,000-capacity stadium was opened in 2012 and you can usually get tickets quite easily to catch a game. Off the pitch, it’s also great for venue hire, and it hosts its own events too like, this year, the Snow Ball Christmas Party Night, popular ‘Let’s Party’ Nights, the New Year’s Eve Casino Royale themed party, and its Winter Wonderland Family Party, which is fab for kids!

Find out more here.

3. North West Museum of Motor Transport

The Hall Street museum has got a new visitor in the shape of Patricia, star of Johnny Vegas’ Carry on Glamping. But the bus which was refurbed by Johnny and Bev for the Channel 4 series, is just one of many exhibits with buses, cars, motorbikes, fire-engines, push-bikes and even a milk float and horse-drawn carriage all on show. The museum is only open on Sundays but it’s well worth a trip and, depending on staffing levels, you might be lucky and get a free vintage bus ride!

Find out more here.

4. Theatre Royal St Helens

St Helens Theatre is a real success story for the town, having been taken over by mother and daughter team Jane Joseph and Chantelle Nolan, who own Regal Entertainments, which had managed the day-to-day running of the Corporation Street venue for 22 years. For more than two decades, Jane and Chantelle have built the theatre’s professional reputation and standing within the industry, and attracted household names and national touring shows while also producing their own, including three pantos a year. Tribute act Ultimate Coldplay, Johnny Vegas and Friends, and panto Goldilocks and the Three Bears are among the ones to look out for now.

Find out more here.

5. The Dream Sculpture

Picture – Andrew George Photography

A 20-metre high sculpture by Catalan artist Jaume Plensa on the site of the former Sutton Manor Colliery. The stunning Dream takes the stretched form of the head and neck of a nine-year-old girl. Her eyes are closed in quiet contemplation, dreaming not only about her future but also that of the former colliery site. Close to Junction 7 of the M62 motorway, the site also gives you amazing views across Cheshire and Lancashire, out to Snowdonia, the Pennines, the Peak District, and some of Manchester’s landmarks.

Find out more here.

6. Parks and Green spaces – Sherdley Park, Victoria Park, and Taylor Park

Home to fireworks displays (though not this year) and festivals like Reminisce, Sherdley Park is St Helens’ largest green space, covering 336 acres of park and woodland.  It’s a beautiful space to get outdoors and into nature – but it’s not the only one. Victoria Park has a pond and rose garden, a Victorian bandstand, the original Mansion House – and it’s the home of St Helens Parkrun; while Taylor Park near Thatto Heath has got a lake – great place to feed the ducks with the kids – play areas, lots of lovely paths to wander down and more.

7. Plenty of places to eat

There’s no shortage of restaurants and bars in and around the town centre, but some of those worth mentioning centrally include fine dining restaurant The Dean in Barrow Street with its champagne and cocktail bar (it has live music from its resident pianist and singers), and woodfired pizza restaurant Cork and Dough in Ormskirk Street. If you’re after afternoon tea then Lily’s Victorian Tearooms in Hall Street gets rave reviews, and for breakfasts look no further than Toast Coffee House and Café in Denton’s Green Lane. Other places worthy of note – and there are a few – include The Eccleston Arms Bar and Grill on Prescot Road and The Park Bar & Kitchen at Sherdley Park Golf Course.

8. St Mary’s Indoor Market

Picture – St Helens Council

With stacks of stalls all under glass, St Mary’s Market is one to potter around if you’re after a new outfit – or a bag to go with it – or jewellery, cosmetics, or shoes to make your wardrobe complete. You get the picture? There are people selling wool, vacuum parts, sweets and meat; you can get blinds for your windows – and you can even get a haircut! In fact, a host of independent traders there will, after a hard 18 months, really appreciate your support.

Find out more here.

9. Dark Star Laser Arena/Superbowl UK

Fancy testing your aim or seeing if you can make a strike? For family fun in St Helens, you can’t beat either of the above. Dark Star Laser Arena is a great laser tag venue where you can compete against up to 45 players across 1250 sq metres of multi-level play areas using the most advanced equipment, not forgetting the chance to drink and dine in Cosmo’s Bar & Pizzeria; while Superbowl UK has got 14 lanes of bowling fun, its Crazy Club soft play and party centre so little ones can blow off steam, and an arcade area to rival Blackpool.

Find out more here.

Find out more about Super Bowl here.

10. Carr Mill Dam

Once simply a mill pond built to power Carr’s Mill, it was expanded in the 1750s to provide water to the Sankey Navigation, (Sankey Canal). The lake is a firm favourite with anglers and water sports enthusiasts and a great place for birdwatchers— you can spot herons, great crested grebes, coots and various species of duck and gull here. There’s tons of picturesque trails and walks, so it’s perfect for a visit for families, couples and groups – and dog walkers – and The Boathouse at Carr Mill Dam is a lovely cafe and bar situated at the side of the lake.

Find out more here.


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