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“Great Day out- but take your own food!”

WWT Martin Mere Wetland Centre
Ranked #1 of 7 things to do in Burscough
Certificate of Excellence
Useful Information: Activities for older children, Activities for young children
Attraction details
Useful Information: Activities for older children, Activities for young children
Liverpool, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
62 reviews
9 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 75 helpful votes
“Great Day out- but take your own food!”
Reviewed 10 March 2014

We decided that having last been there nearly 30 years ago- it was time for another trip and we took our grandchildren 18 months and 5 years. My husband refused to take my advice that it was near Ormskirk and insisted on going along the M^ where he had seen a sign to Martin Mere. Unless you live off the M6 or a travelling a distance DO NOT APPROACH THIS WAY. It took us aged to find it.

By the time we got there we were hungry and as it was lunch time there were queues at the cafe. Two children's sausage and chips- with only beans on offer with them- no peas, and a bowl of watery vegetable soup with a very small bread roll, two coffees and a child's drink cost nearly £18. I looked at the prices and decided that I would rather not eat! The children enjoyed their meal but as they seem to claim locally produced and health food I was surprised that the only "veg" available was baked beans.
As Seniors we got a reduced entrance rate and whilst we had to pay for the 5 years old- under 4s are free. An unruly 18 month old- just learning about independence was awkward to control so after our long wait for food and the time spent looking for the site we were left with only a couple of hours to enjoy the attractions.

We saw the family of otters fed. we bought (overpriced) bird food to feed the ducks and we saw the beavers' lodge and a beaver appeared on the web cam.

There is a magnificent children's playground where both children had a great time. It would however be helpful if there were some staff around to stop adults using the zip wire whilst children are left waiting!

The children really enjoyed themselves with the 5 year old asking when he is going again?

Next time? Go via Burscough, take a packed lunch- there is a room set aside for this, and make sure you have enough time to enjoy the full site!

Visited February 2014
Helpful?
3 Thank Scousemaid
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Portuguese first
  • Any
English first
Liverpool, England, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
154 reviews
63 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 63 helpful votes
“Lovely day out but shame about the power cut!”
Reviewed 10 March 2014

My 7 year old daughter and I visited on Sunday 9 March. We took a picnic, which was lucky as when we arrived we were told the site had no power so the cafe and shop were shut. This also meant that the advertised craft activity (which was one of the reasons I chose to go yesterday) couldn't take place as the schoolroom had no lighting. I hadn't taken cash to pay the entry fee but the man on the till wrote down my card details and said it would be processed later. While I appreciate that most of the attraction was open, some small reduction in the entrance fee might have been a nice idea in view of the inconvenience of there being no cafe/shop - or maybe a voucher to use in the cafe next time? Only a small thing, perhaps, but after being outdoors for a few hours even on a nice day like yesterday, we were ready for a hot drink and a snack.
The playground on site is excellent and my daughter spent an hour there at the end of the day. It would no doubt be even better in the summer when the water section is open. We also really enjoyed the den building activity and seeing the otters being fed. We've never seen the beavers on a visit but obviously they don't work to the same time frame as the rest of us! My daughter enjoyed hand-feeding some of the geese - we're not sure what type they were as the information signage seems to be a bit patchy. We didn't get round as far as the swans and the hides but will definitely visit again in the spring for a full day.

Visited March 2014
Helpful?
1 Thank Anne T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level Contributor
14 reviews
5 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
“Not worth the money”
Reviewed 9 March 2014 via mobile

This is an out of the way place and not easy to find. Entry price is high, over £10. Lots of nice ducks from different parts of the world but the observation hides on the mere were average and nothing exciting to see. The beavers failed to make an appearance and only one otter popped up briefly to see us. They had a power cut on the day we went so the cafe was shut. All round a bit disappointing,I have been to a lot better places which are run by local council or the RSPB.

Visited March 2014
Helpful?
1 Thank Debra B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Manchester, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
9 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“Power cut disappointment”
Reviewed 9 March 2014

After recently moving to this area we decided to visit Martin Mere this morning as there was no rain forecast. I have had recommendations to go with my 2 boys (aged 3 & 4).
The site is immaculate and very well maintained with a large and interesting range of birds to see, with the addition of a good outside playground. We had planned to go and spend the morning there, stopping for a coffee and snack for the every hungry children so for once went without my handbag filled with emergency snacks. Unfortunately there had been a power cut and it was explained that they were not expecting it back on for at least 4 hours. We didn't have enough cash to pay the £25 (ish) entrance fee but the staff were happy to take our card details to process once the power had been restored. Due to lack of power the cafe was completely closed, the vending machines were of course not working so because of this our stay was cut short when the boys ran out of fuel. What we were disappointed about was even though we understood this issue was out of the staffs control we were not offered any discount, despite suggesting that this may be good practise and was point blank refused when we approached them about it. Not very good value for money under the circumstances when I would expect an establishment which is supported by subscription to membership to encourage repeat business.

Visited March 2014
Helpful?
2 Thank Emma H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Skelmersdale, United Kingdom
2 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“Love taking the kids”
Reviewed 4 March 2014

beautiful day out when the weathers nice. looks like they have improved the enclosures and walk ways since last year and the park is great.
café is a little expensive, £19 for 2 soups, 1 chips, 1 cheese sandwich and children's hot meal with soft drinks. will take packed lunch next time.

Visited March 2014
Helpful?
3 Thank SallyL83
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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