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Things to do in Lancashire

Blackpool Tower and Central Pier Ferris Wheel
Blackpool Tower and Central Pier Wheel

Lancashire, in north west England, is a county of contrasts - to the west are miles of sandy coastline with some of Britain's most popular seaside resorts, and the east of the County comprises open countryside, rugged fells and moorland.

Lancashire contains treasures such as the Forest of Bowland and the picturesque Ribble and Lune Valleys.

The county also has nature reserves and several country parks with way marked routes.

Ashton Memorial in Lancaster, Greater Manchester
Ashton Memorial, Lancaster

Lancashire was once the Cotton weaving centre of Britain - towns such as Burnley, Blackburn and Chorley were important centres.

Today the area offers many visitor attractions, both historic and modern.

Queen Street Mill and Textile Museum, in Burnley is Lancashire's last steam powered weaving mill which offers an unique experience.

Gawthorpe Hall near Burnley, in the care of the National Trust, is a treasure trove for anyone interested in textiles.

In south east Lancashire Rossendale Museum gives an insight into a mill owner's home in the 19th century.

Blackburn Museum and Art Gallery encompasses the history of the local cotton weaving industry, and has a fascinating collection of artefacts from around the world.

Astley Hall in Astley Park, Chorley, Greater Manchester
Astley Hall, Chorley

Chorley was the birthplace of Henry Tate, the sugar magnate and founder of the Tate Gallery in London. Spectacular Astley Hall now houses the town's museum, which has many changing exhibitions throughout the year.

Preston

Lancashire Tourist Information is available in Preston, which was awarded city status by Her Majesty The Queen in 2002. Preston is the commercial and administrative centre for Lancashire, and was home to the first cotton mill in the area.

Miller Park on the banks of the River Ribble in Preston, Greater Manchester
Miller Park, River Ribble in Preston

In the city centre is the Harris Museum and Art Gallery, with a gallery dedicated to the city's history. Samlesbury Hall, originally a 14th century manor house is well worth visiting, you may even coincide with one of the antique and collectable auctions held here.

If you enjoy delving into the past then a take a trip into the Ribble Valley to see Ribchester Roman Museum, one of the largest Roman Forts in England.

On the Lancashire coast Lytham St Annes is the ideal place for a quiet, seaside holiday, or day out. Lytham is famous for its championship golf courses, village green and windmill and picturesque promenade.

View of Lancaster Canal Scene
Lancaster Canal

On the splendid beach in May each year the British Sand Yacht Championships take place.

Blackpool

Blackpool is one of England's favourite holiday resorts, still enjoyed by thousands of visitors every year for its long sandy beach, and attractions such as Blackpool Tower and Blackpool Sea Life Centre.

Away from the seashore there are walks to Anchorsholme, four miles to the north. The delightful 300-acre Stanley Park, has formal gardens, a boating lake and fountains. For a touch of culture visit Grundy Art Gallery in Queen Street.

Morecambe

Morecambe is famous for its magnificent bay, water sports and entertainments, but Morecambe is not just another seaside resort - it is one of the most important wildlife sites in Europe and the second largest bay in Britain after the Wash - a haven for birds and marine life.

Lancaster

Entrance to Lancaster Castle
Lancaster Castle

In the north of the County, the historic city of Lancaster is dominated by Lancaster Castle, which is open to visitors.

Alongside is the magnificent priory and parish church of St Mary dating to Saxon times.

In Market Street Lancaster City Museum is housed in the former town hall, with displays illustrating the history of the city and area.

Lancaster has many fine buildings - one of these is the 18th century Custom House, home to Lancaster Maritime Museum, reminding us of a time when Lancaster was a port, handling a larger tonnage than Liverpool.

Morecombe Bay - the Duddon Sands, in Cumbria
Duddon Sands, Morecambe Bay

The Forest of Bowland and Pendle Hill are separate geographically, but both share the title 'Forest of Bowland Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty' - rolling hills, moors, valleys, towns and villages make up the landscape. Visitors can enjoy walking, cycling, climbing as well as touring the area by car.


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Days out in Lancashire

  • Astley Hall
    Discover a 400 year old house, built by the Charnock family in Elizabethan times.
    Astley Hall
  • Blackburn Museum and Art Gallery
    Blackburn Museum and Art Gallery is housed in a beautiful Arts and Crafts style building, it offers a lively programme of exhibitions and events for all the family.
    Blackburn Museum and Art Gallery
  • Blackpool Tower & Circus
    Blackpool Tower & Circus is the best value day out in the North West.
    Blackpool Tower & Circus
  • Bolton Museum, Aquarium and Archive
    Bolton Museum has many collections of exhibits from fine art to Egyptian archaeology. There is an aquarium where you can see snakes and a piranha fish which is 23 years old.
    Bolton Museum, Aquarium and Archive
  • Cottage Museum
    The Cottage Museum Lancaster is part of a small vernacular house of 1739.
    Cottage Museum
  • Docker Park Farm Visitor Centre and Owls Cafe
    Docker Park Farm is situated in a fabulous rural setting between Lancaster and Kendal.
    Docker Park Farm Visitor Centre and Owls Cafe
  • Fleetwood Museum
    Discover this fascinating Museum, close to the quayside and overlooking Morecambe Bay. Fleetwood Museum brings to life the history of Fleetwood and the Lancashire Coast
    Fleetwood Museum
  • Formby Beach
    Formby Beach comprises 500 acres of sand dunes, backed by attractive pine woods. The sand dunes were formed as the Crosby Channel gradually silted up and the sea receded.
    Formby Beach
  • Gawthorpe Hall
    Gawthorpe Hall was built between 1600 and 1605 for the Shuttleworth family who had already been at Gawthorpe for over 200 years.
    Gawthorpe Hall
  • Grundy Art Gallery
    Grundy Art Gallery in central Blackpool, is regarded as one of the most prominent visual arts venues in the North West. It's beautiful Edwardian architecture hosts a frequently changing programme of exhibitions.
    Grundy Art Gallery
  • Harris Museum and Art Gallery
    Escape from the bustle of the town centre and spend some time enjoying the best of Preston's heritage in a beautiful Grade 1 listed building.
    Harris Museum and Art Gallery
  • Lancaster Castle
    One of the best-preserved and hardest-working Castles in the country, Lancaster Castle is used as Courts and Prison. The Castle is owned by HM The Queen in right of her Duchy of Lancaster.
    Lancaster Castle
  • Lancaster City Museum
    The Museum was founded in 1923 and its displays illustrate the history and archaeology of the county town of Lancaster and the most northerly and rural part of Lancashire.
    Lancaster City Museum
  • Lancaster Maritime Museum
    Explore Lancaster's 'Golden Age' and rich maritime past inside two splendid Georgian quayside buildings.
    Lancaster Maritime Museum
  • Leighton Hall
    Set in beautiful parkland against a backdrop of the Lakeland Fells, award winning neo Gothic Leighton Hall is the lived-in home of the Gillow family.
    Leighton Hall
  • Marsh Mill Windmill
    Marsh Mill is a Grade II listed post mill, the tallest in Europe, standing at over seventy feet.
    Marsh Mill Windmill
  • Pleasure Beach Blackpool
    There's something for everyone at Pleasure Beach, Blackpool. There are over 125 rides and attractions, plus spectacular shows.
    Pleasure Beach Blackpool
  • Portland Basin Museum
    Portland Basin Museum is the centrepiece of the recently rebuilt Ashton Canal Warehouse, now looking much as it did in 1834 when it was first built.
    Portland Basin Museum
  • Queen Street Mill Textile Museum
    Steam Powered Weaving is brought to Life at Queen Street Mill Textile Museum, the world's last 19th century steam powered weaving mill.
    Queen Street Mill Textile Museum
  • Ribchester Roman Museum
    Ribchester Roman Museum is located in the picturesque village of Ribchester which is set in the beautiful countryside of the Ribble Valley.
    Ribchester Roman Museum
  • Rochdale Art Gallery
    Touchstones is an exciting arts and heritage centre that has something special for everyone. The site consists of Art Galleries, Museum, Local Studies Centre and Tourist Information Centre.
    Rochdale Art Gallery
  • Rossendale Museum
    Rossendale Museum is housed in a 19th century mill owner's residence built in 1840 for the Hardman family, overlooking their woollen mill at New Hall Hey
    Rossendale Museum
  • Rufford Old Hall
    The magnificent Great Hall dates from around 1530 and is believed to have played host to a performing William Shakespeare. A magnificent, giant, carved, moveable wooden screen is thought to be the only surviving example of its kind in the UK.
    Rufford Old Hall
  • Saddleworth Museum & Art Gallery
    Saddleworth Museum and Art Gallery is full of intriguing objects from the past and tells the story of the people who have created Saddleworth's landscape and character
    Saddleworth Museum & Art Gallery
  • Samlesbury Hall
    Built in 1325 Samlesbury Hall is steeped in fascinating history, retaining its original typical black and white exterior, the Hall is almost equidistant between Blackburn and Preston, yet retaining a rural feel.
    Samlesbury Hall
  • Sea Life Blackpool
    One of the UK's best known aquariums SEA LIFE Blackpool houses more than fifty spectacular displays and over 1,000 assorted sea creatures, taking visitors on a journey from the coastline and sandy shallows to the ocean depths.
    Sea Life Blackpool
  • Smithills Hall and Estate
    Visitors to Smithills Hall can enjoy history in the surroundings of a building that stretches from the 14th century to the glorious period of the Arts and Craft revolution of the late 19th century.
    Smithills Hall and Estate
  • Yorkshire Dales Mining Museum
    The small town of Earby, on the Lancashire/Yorkshire border, was associated with cotton weaving until the 1960's and has no mining background at all. But it is home to an unrivalled collection of mining relics from the Yorkshire Dales.
    Yorkshire Dales Mining Museum



Places to Visit in Lancashire

  • Accrington
    Accrington is a small town in Lancashire with a population of around 35,000 people. It lies neatly between Blackburn to the west and Burnley to the east, on the western edge of the Pennines.
    Accrington
  • Blackburn
    Blackburn is a large industrial town in Lancashire, 21 miles north west of Manchester. It lies between the Ribble Valley and the West Pennine Moors.
    Blackburn
  • Blackpool
    Blackpool is Britain's favourite holiday resort - bright and bustling - with non-stop fun. Famous for its "Golden Mile" of piers, amusement arcades, tram and donkey-rides, pubs, fish and chip shops and bingo halls.
    Blackpool
  • Bolton le Sands
    Charming Bolton-le-Sands is a sizeable village close to the Lancashire coast near Lancaster.
    Bolton le Sands
  • Brinscall
    Brinscall is one of the showpieces of Lancashire. Its idyllic hillside location and charm makes it a favourite place for visitors.
    Brinscall
  • Burnley
    Burnley is a typical Lancashire market town 21 miles north of Manchester and close to the M65.
    Burnley
  • Carnforth
    Situated just off the M6 and 20 miles south of the scenic Lake District, Carnforth is the sort of place that everyone has heard of but few have bothered to stop and discover this hidden gem.
    Carnforth
  • Chorley
    The South Lancashire town of Chorley situated at the foot of the West Pennine Moors is served by motorway links to the M61 and nearby M6. This ever popular market town is the birth place of Henry Tate the sugar magnet.
    Chorley
  • Clitheroe
    Clitheroe is a delightful market town in Lancashire, on the border of the beautiful Ribble Valley. Located on the banks of the River Ribble, Clitheroe makes an excellent base for exploring the nearby Pendle Hill and the Forest of Bowland.
    Clitheroe
  • Colne
    Colne is a former cotton town which is fortunate enough to be located in a very attractive semi rural area. The town is dominated by Pendle Hill, which is famous for the Pendle Witches.
    Colne
  • Euxton
    Euxton village is part of the Borough of Chorley in Lancashire. The village name is pronounced Exton and lies just to the south of Leyland, and to the west of Chorley.
    Euxton
  • Fleetwood
    Further north along the coast discover Fleetwood - A thriving seaside resort and busy port with a traditional pier, a beautiful yacht marina and a promenade packed full of attractions.
    Fleetwood
  • Freckleton
    The village of Freckleton lies on the Fylde coast of Lancashire, 8 miles east of Lytham St Annes.
    Freckleton
  • Hest Bank
    Hest Bank is a small Lancashire village within the parish of Slyne-with-Hest near Lancaster. It borders the salt flats of the extensive Morecambe Bay.
    Hest Bank
  • Heysham
    Heysham is a quaint old village, one of a string of small communities dotted round the shores of Morecambe Bay, each with a fascinating history of its own.
    Heysham
  • Lancaster
    The Historic city of Lancaster - Originally a Roman settlement, Lun-Castrum the fort on the River Lune. For centuries, travellers approaching Lancaster have been greeted with the magnificent sight of the Medieval Castle.
    Lancaster
  • Laneshaw Bridge
    At first sight you might think that Laneshaw Bridge, or "The Brige" as it is affectionately know by the locals, with its quaint, underestimated cottages, is just a sleepy village tucked away near the Yorkshire border
  • Lower Bentham
    Lower Bentham (or Low Bentham to the locals) is the furthest Western village in the whole of Yorkshire. With a population of about 2000, the village is expanding with every year that passes.
    Lower Bentham
  • Lytham St. Annes
    In contrast to Blackpool, just along the cost is Lytham, here you can enjoy peaceful parks, beautiful gardens and admire the old half-timbered buildings. There is a fine promenade and lovely sandy beach.
    Lytham St. Annes
  • Morecambe
    Situated on the coast in the centre of beautiful Morecambe Bay, a new-look Morecambe is developing faster then any other resort in the country. The superb level promenade offers visitors unique and stunning views across Morecambe Bay.
    Morecambe
  • Moss Side
    Moss side is a beautiful residential district situated in the north west of Manchester. It is only two miles away from the city centre. It has a very good community spirit resulting from the variety of cultures in the community. According
  • Nelson
    Nelson is a typical Lancastrian industrial town built on the cotton industry. While the cotton industry is all but gone, Nelson is a thriving, redeveloped market town.
  • Preston
    Preston is now Lancashire's County Town. Situated at the heart of the County, Preston is a busy, thriving town. Once home to the first cotton mill in the area, it was here that John Horrocks set up his mill.
    Preston
  • Rawtenstall
    Rawtenstall, pronounced Rotten-stall by the locals, is a pretty Lancashire town in the Rossendale Valley.
    Rawtenstall
  • Ribchester
    Ribchester is a pretty little village containing not only a Roman fort, but also a fascinating museum, friendly locals much to see and do.
    Ribchester
  • Silverdale
    Silverdale is one of the charming Lancashire villages which line the north end of Morecambe Bay on the border with Cumbria.










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