Things to do (January 5 to 7)

What better way to start the New Year than with a walk around Brockholes Nature Reserve?
What better way to start the New Year than with a walk around Brockholes Nature Reserve?

Blow away the Christmas cobwebs with this pick of events over the weekend.

PAID: A Taste of Lancashire, Langho, Saturday, January 6

This cookery course is not just for the beginners in the kitchen but also for those wanting to discover new flavours and techniques. With no previous experience of cookery expected, this type of course will teach you the fundamental skills and techniques required to build your confidence and knowledge. Only equipment found in most domestic kitchens will be used on these courses. It’s at Northcote Cookery School in Langho. It runs from 9am until 4.30pm and tickets are £195. Visit https://www.northcote.com/cookery-school/ to book.

FREE: Cleveleys Health Walk, Cleveleys, Saturday, January 6

Blow the cobwebs away and start the year as you mean to go on with this circular walk around Cleveleys. Suitable cold weather/wet weather clothing and comfortable, sturdy footwear is advised. This walk is suitable for beginners. If one hour is a bit too long for you, the health walk leaders can help by starting you off at a gentle amble at 30 minutes. Meet at Cleveleys Community Centre on Beach Road in Cleveleys for a prompt 10.30am start. For more information call 01995 602125.

PAID: Learn British Sign Language, Bamber Bridge, from Saturday, January 6

It’s a new year, so why not try your hand at learning something new? At Bamber Bridge Methodist Church you can learn British sign language. The five-week taster course starts on Saturday and the sessions run from 9.30am until 11.30am. This promises to be a fun and educational course for people of all ages. The course is £60 and a £30 deposit secures your place. To book yourself on to the course email signrightstaff@yahoo.com.uk or telephone 07818 457605.

PAID: Eskimo Pursuit Race, Blackpool, Saturday, January 6

This will be the 56th Eskimo Pursuit Race at Blackpool andFleetwood Yacht Club. It is open to dinghies and multihulls with PY 744 to 1200. The event is an open event - and all sailors and guests are welcome. The first boat starts at 12.50pm. Admission is £10 for single handers and £15 for double handers.For the non-sailors, food and drink will be available in the club-house, which is at Tathom House, Wyre Road, Skippool. For more information visit https://www.facebook.com/bfyc1906/

FREE: Skywatch Meet, Lytham, Sunday, January 7

Pennine UFO UK Research are holding a skywatch meet on the sand dunes at Lytham St Anne’s. Skywatch UK is not only for UFO sightings but for anything rare or unusual seen in the skies. Meet at 8pm at the front of St Anne’s pier. All are welcome to attend. This event is weather permitting. It is advised to wrap up warm for this event, and also wear suitable footwear for walking on the sand dunes.For more information on Pennine UFO UK Research visit https://www.facebook.com/Pennineufos/

PAID: Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Choir, Preston, Sunday, January 7

Hallelujah! Two centuries before The Beatles, Handel’s Messiah was already the biggest hit in the history of British music. This performance should be something special – because baroque music expert Nicholas Kraemer has assembled four of the very finest singers working in Britain today. This concert will be two and half hours long with interval. It’s in the Grand Hall at the Guild Hall in Preston, and starts at 2.30pm. Ticket prices vary - call 01772 80 44 44 to book.

PAID: New Year Moon Watch and Stargazing, Preston, Friday, January 5

Experience an unforgettable night under the moonlight and stars at Brockholes Nature Reserve. Local Astronomer Robert Ince will be your guide taking you on an incredible journey through the constellations and along the Milky Way, while also showing you how to find all sorts of heavenly objects for yourself. Tickets, which are £10 for adults and £6.95 for children aged eight and over, include free parking, hot drinks and biscuits. Starts at 7.15pm. To book visit http://www.brockholes.org/events/christmas-2017/

PAID: Saturday Board Games, Burnley, Saturday, January 6

The Tabletop Game Shop on Westgate in Burnley has a fantastic selection of games on their shelves, and they will all be available for you to stay and play. Bring a friend, come as a family or use their online community to arrange games with others (www.tabletopgameshop.co.uk). There is no need to book, just turn up and they will help you with rules and set up. Admission (stay as long as you like) is £5 for adults; £2.50 for juniors (aged 14 and under). Free entry for juniors with a paying adult.

PAID: The Nutcracker, Clitheroe, Saturday, January 6

Adventure with Saltmine Theatre Company this Christmas on a magical journey, inspired by the festive classic, The Nutcracker. On Christmas Eve, Clara receives an extra special present with the instruction to keep it very safe. But when her little brother breaks this precious gift, she wonders if she can ever forgive him. Clara’s determination to fix the Nutcracker whisks her away to the Land of Sweets. It’s at The Grand in Clitheroe at 2.30pm. Tickets are £6 adults (in advance); £4 under 18s.

PAID: Christmas Xplorer Challenge, Preston, from Monday, December 18 until Sunday, January 7

In partnership with British Orienteering, the Christmas Xplorer Challenge is the perfect outdoor activity to get the whole family outside in the fresh air and for the kids to burn off some energy over Christmas and into the new year. Pick up your map pack, which costs £3, and explore Brockholes Nature Reserve to find the Christmas markers. Brockholes Natutre Reserve, off Jct 31 of the M6 is open daily 10am until 3pm. For more details call 01772 872000.

FREE: Family History For All, Chorley, Saturday, January 6

The Research Centre, with the support of West Lancashire Freemasons Charity, and the advice from our visually impaired visitors and groups such as Galloways, are now able to offer specialised software to enable better use of their resources for everyone. In addition, an adjustable desk will better accommodate any wheelchair users. The launch has an open invitation to all. It’s at Chorley Family History Research Centre, which can be found in Astley Hall Farmhouse. The open event runs from 2pm until 4pm. For more information call 01257 231600.

FREE: New Year's Conservation Walk, Preston, Sunday, January 7

Join the Guided Walk Leaders for a tour of Brockholes Nature Reserve to find out about their wildlife and conservation aims. Reserve Walks take place on the first Sunday of every month and are free to join. No need to book, just turn up. Dress for the weather conditions, wearing sturdy footwear. Depart at 11am, return around 1pm.

FREE: Conservation Task, Rivington, Saturday, January 6

On Saturday the team at Rivington will be hosting a Conservation Task so if you’ve had one mince pie too many why not join them? It runs from 9.45am until 3.30pm and you should meet at Lower House car park, off Sheep House Lane, Rivington. They will be continuing work in and around the kitchen gardens, preparing for the new orchard planting. All equipment, instruction and supervision is provided. Wear suitable outdoor clothing and wellies or walking boots. You will also need to take water with you. A hot lunch and snacks will be provided. Call 01942 821444 for more information.

FREE: Crafty Saturdays, Preston, Saturday, January 6

Why not go along to Ingol Library and craft away in company? Share crafting know-how and as much gossip as you can handle! It doesn’t matter whether you are new to craft or a dab-hand, everyone is welcome - and a friendly atmosphere is guaranteed. This event is free, with no ticket required, and no booking needed. Runs from 10am until 12pm. Ingol Library is on Ventor Place. For more information call the library on 0300 123 6703.

PAID: Sunday Road Race, Wigan, Sunday, January 7

Wigan Life Centre Sunday Road Rides are designed to help you build confidence cycling on the roads and in a group. Rides are not suitable for cyclists with little or no experience on the bike. All cyclists must provide their own bike and helmet. The bike must be road worthy. Sessions are £1, payable to the Leisure Centre on the day.