ANOTHER World Cup has kicked off – and with 64 games taking place over five weeks it’s an excuse for East Lancashire’s footie junkies to get their fix.

Fans will be decorating their homes with paraphernalia, painting their kid’s faces with every colour in the rainbow, whilst ticking off the wall chart as the 32 countries battle it out in Brazil for the creme de la creme title and trophy in football.

But what if you can’t think of anything worse than watching the World Cup?

And how can you fill those 90 minute playing slots as well as avoid the build up, celebrations and more often than not the grief that accompanies the beautiful game?

A tactical approach is definitely needed for those who prefer to escape the frenzy that takes over the world every four years.

One man who embraces the ‘peace and quiet’ of the World Cup is Lancashire’s Malcolm Greenhalgh, a professional gardener and naturalist.

“It’s an ideal time to get out into the garden and enjoy the wildlife,” he said.

“On Saturday I am going fly fishing in Longridge, in the dark, whilst England get thrashed by Italy! It’s fantastic because whilst everybody watches England, it’s quiet and there’s nobody else fishing. It is lovely and peaceful,” said Malcolm.

“People are packed into pubs or their homes and there’s nobody on the roads, it’s an ideal time to take a drive and enjoy Lancashire’s beautiful countryside.”

Women can embrace the Brazilian culture in more ways than one with a pamper day at one of East Lancashire’s top spas including The Dunkenhalgh Hotel in Clayton-le-Moors.

In fact spa bosses across the area are encouraging women to make time for themselves with packages tailored to them at this time of year.

It’s also a perfect excuse where retail therapy can help and Loraine Jones, general manager at The Mall Blackburn, said it’s a great time to shop.

She said: “As the country descends into football frenzy we are looking forward to welcoming football widows from across Lancashire.

“If your other half is busy preparing for, or sleeping off the after effects of, the big England matches you can come shopping in peace.”

If you’re desperate to avoid the antics of Wayne Rooney, Steven Gerrard and Roy Hodgson try baking or cooking up some delicious snacks in the kitchen, something younger kids love doing. And speaking of the little ones, Blackpool Zoo is the perfect place to forget about the players wearing ‘Three Lions’ and instead enjoy some quality family time with some real ones instead.

Jude Rothwell, marketing and PR Coordinator at Blackpool Zoo, said: “Our ‘three lions’ are looking forward to seeing visitors from across the county and our sealions are ready to show off their own ‘football skills’ in our Active Oceans display.

“For those that really don’t want to miss out on the action, we will be showing any England matches that take place during our opening hours on the TV in the coffee shop.”

And finally for those who prefer to reflect on patriotism in another way, without screaming at the television, a visit to Blackburn Museum and Art Gallery for the latest exhibition; Their Story, Our Story: Responses to Blackburn & Darwen in the Great War could be just the thing.

It is the first in what will be a four year programme of events and activities around the centenary of the First World War, showcasing new work by the undergraduate students alongside artefacts from the museum collection.

So if it feels like it’s going to be a long time before you can wave goodbye to the World Cup just remember there’s lot to do in East Lancashire and beyond.


WHAT Witton Weavers Way Walking Festival 2014
WHERE Blackburn
WHEN Saturday June 14 to Friday, June 27
DETAILS A brisk 30 minute walk to Corporation Park or a 5.5 mile evening Stress Buster for keen walkers, perfect excuse to avoid the World Cup. For routes contact the visitor centre 01254 688040

WHAT Artisan Market
WHERE Clitheroe town centre
WHEN Saturday, June 14
DETAILS Fantastic monthly Artisan Craft Market with high quality crafts from skilled local producers will keep anyone busy this season

WHAT The Race for Life 2014
WHERE Towneley Park, Burnley
WHEN Sunday, June 15
DETAILS Join in this year’s Race for Life and show cancer who’s boss by raising money to fund groundbreaking research into new drugs and treatments if you don’t want to run, spectators can have the same amount of fun

WHAT David Briggs plays Mahler
WHERE Blackburn Cathedral
WHEN Saturday, June 14
DETAILS A simply breathtaking musical performance from the internationally-acclaimed organist David Briggs.
Tickets 0844 874 1664

WHAT Reptile event
WHERE WWT Martin Mere Wetland Centre, Burscough
WHEN Sunday, June 15
DETAILS Meet and learn more about Reptiles with the North West Reptile Club

WHAT Goosnargh and Longridge Show
WHERE Showground, Longridge
WHEN Saturday, July 5,
DETAILS A celebration of farming, food and rural living with craft stands and attractions

WHAT Ribchester Festival of Music and Art
WHERE St Wilfred's Church, Ribchester
WHEN Until Sunday, June 15
DETAILS Some of the country’s finest young classical and jazz musicians taking to the stage. For tickets and concert details call 01254 878881

WHAT Handel's Acis and Galatea
WHERE Blackburn Cathedral
WHEN Wednesday, June 18
DETAILS Blackburn Cathedral Choral Scholars and Friends perform Handel's Acis and Galatea. Donations in aid of Blackburn Cathedral appeal.
Tickets 01254 503090

WHAT Victorian Kitchen Open
WHERE Gawthorpe Hall, Padiham
WHEN Wednesday, June 18
DETAILS Meet the butler in the dining room and learn about Victorian life 'above stairs' with the family

WHAT Blackpool Championship Dog Show
WHERE Crown Fields, Lytham St Annes
WHEN Friday, June 20
DETAILS Toy, Terrier & Utility groups, Saturday 21st Gundogs & Hounds, Sunday 22nd Working, Pastoral & Best in Show.
The largest championship dog show

WHAT Mamma Mia musical
WHERE Opera House and Winter Gardens, Blackpool
WHEN Friday, June 20 to September 14
DETAILS An irresistible and sunny tale that has been thrilling audiences all over the world. Tickets 0844 856 1111

WHAT Vintage Craft Fair
WHERE Helmshore Mills Textile Museum
WHEN Saturday, June 21 and Sunday, June 22
DETAILS Vintage crafts, entertainment and hands-on fun for everyone to enjoy

WHAT Blackburn Canal Festival 2014
WHERE Eanam Wharf, Blackburn
WHEN Saturday, July 12, and Sunday, July 13
DETAILS An action packed weekend celebrating the history of the Leeds Liverpool Canal and the importance that Eanam Wharf played in the development of Blackburn

WHAT Pedal Car Grand Prix 2014
WHERE Darwen;
WHEN Sunday, July 13
DETAILS A great family fun day out with fun for all

WHAT Lambing season
WHERE Mrs Dowsons, Clayton-le-Dale
WHEN Every day until August 31
DETAILS Feed the newborn lambs by bottle and see the pigs and piglets, alpacas, chicks and goats

WHAT Ghost Walk
WHERE 37 Littlemoore Road, Clitheroe
WHEN Fridays until December 19
DETAILS The Clitheroe Ghost Tour
Every Friday, 7.30 pm to 9pm
details A tour of ghosts, murders and mysteries

WHAT Foulridge Canal Cruises - 2014
WHERE Foulridge Canal Wharf;
WHEN Various days until October 26
DETAILS Have a great day out away from the World Cup madness on a canal boat cruise. Booking advised 01282 844033

WHAT Their Story, Our Story: Resposes to Blackburn & Darwen in the Great War
WHERE Blackburn Museum
WHEN Saturday, until Saturday November 15
DETAILS Blackburn Museum and Art Gallery is working with students of contemporary textiles, fashion and interiors at University Centre at Blackburn College to produce an exhibition on themes of conflict, change and memory

WHAT Reserve Walk and Pond Dipping
WHERE Brockholes Nature Reserve;
WHEN Every day
DETAILS Enjoy a short, guided walk around the reserve or take the children for a spot of pond dipping to find insects and small creatures in the pond, call 01772 872000

WHAT Coronation Street The Tour
WHERE Quay Street, Manchester
Every day until October.
DETAILS Studio guides will share fascinating facts and stories from over 50 years of filming at the site, before the production moved to its new home at MediaCityUK