IT’S very easy to get blasé about the town where you live and focus on everything that’s wrong with it.

Say anything positive about Bolton in The Bolton News or online and hold your breath for an onslaught of dissatisfied individuals who prefer to bash Bolton rather than support it into a better future.

Now and again, though, you get the chance to see the town through fresh eyes and that was the case when my daughter and two youngest grandchildren visited Bolton from New Zealand.

The boys are aged nine and 11, lively and energetic and with the attention spans of two gnats on a diet of E-numbers. So, it was interesting to see how Bolton’s heritage in particular actually fascinated them into genuine concentration.

The town centre – admittedly, not yet at its best and still with much to do – did draw criticism from my daughter around the large number of empty premises. She couldn’t reconcile that with the number of homeless people.

All three loved the Museum and Art Gallery. It was half-term when we visited and the place was buzzing. The new Egyptology section was full of amazing things to see and the Bolton section helped them understand so much more about the town, its roots and development.

We were lucky enough to have a guided tour of the town hall itself which proved compelling. The town’s history, the many individuals who worked tirelessly to help its growth and all the tangible links to the past made history come alive, helping us all to appreciate the importance of this town.

We also fitted in an enjoyable visit to Turton Tower and had a free guided tour from a remarkable lady named Margaret. She outlined the history of this important local building through the families who lived there and the region’s milestone events.

We are so lucky to live in an area where history is so close to us and so tangible. We can trace the background of individuals and organisations through to the present relatively easily and there are so many pockets of local history available to us.

Bolton’s many interesting buildings prompted questions from the boys, who automatically looked above street level to spot unusual architectural elements and local links.

We walked up to Liverpool Castle at Rivington and loved the views and the sheer beauty on our doorstep.

Don’t get me wrong, we’ve also been to adventure parks, trampoline parks and anywhere else lively lads love to go. We’ve also gone along to the town’s local parks to enjoy the free attractions. Their favourite so far is Queen’s Park with its wealth of different play equipment for all ages to try out. Definitely one place to run off their energy!

In our busy lives, it’s not unusual to stop looking around and really seeing this town. But, with the vision of visitors, you certainly get a different perspective.

And, for our young lads, unlike some of the people who live here, they actually LIKE Bolton.