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The Ultimate Guide to Visiting Lancashire

Visiting Lancashire as a tourist is an absolute delight. We know that because most people who stay with us at Cleveleymere Lakeside lodges aren’t local to the county and they rave about the places to visit, places to eat, things to do, and Instagram-worthy sights.

A great trip takes a little bit of planning, so it’s worth considering what you might like to do when you’re staying in Lancashire. Luckily, you’re not going to be short of options. There are seaside towns, scenic landscapes, culinary treats, and much more that you can get your teeth into when you’re here.

We’ve created this guide to help you plan your trip to Lancashire, from the history of the county and the town to visit the places to eat and drink and the activities and attractions that you can enjoy!

About Lancashire

Lancashire (also known as the Red Rose County) is in the North West of England. It has a population of around 1.5 million people and is made up of 14 districts (more on those below!), most of which are easy to access from the M6 motorway.

The county itself was founded in the 12th century and today is made up of 1,182 square miles, including its coastline and its countryside. Lancashire has a curious history for you to immerse yourself in, from being the home of the infamous Pendle Witch Trials to having the first-ever KFC in the UK!

It’s a county of sport, food, culture, and music, with events, sights, and notable places in every town. And the best part of Lancashire? The people that live here. Lancastrians are known to be a very friendly bunch and are sure to welcome you when you visit.

Places to Visit in Lancashire

You won’t be short of places to visit when you come to Lancashire. There are loads of towns and cities in Lancashire, falling within 14 districts: West Lancashire, Burnley, Chorley, Fylde, Hyndburn, Pendle, Preston, Ribble Valley, Rossendale, South Ribble, Wyre, and Lancaster.

The best places to go in Lancaster completely depend on your preferences, so we’ve broken it down into 4 sections: seaside, countryside, cities, and market towns. But this is just scratching the surface, we’ve chosen some of the highlights, but there is more to Lancashire than these places.

Seaside

Blackpool: We know that you already know about Blackpool! This is a fantastic destination for exploring Lancashire’s coast, with amazing views, fun and family-friendly activities, and of course, the legendary Blackpool Tower.  

Morecambe: If you like unbeatable views, lovely independent shops, and great fish and chips, definitely take a trip to Morecambe. This seaside town is just a couple of miles away from Lancaster and is the perfect choice for a day trip or a weekend visit.

Fleetwood: Fleetwood, in Wyre, is a Victorian seaside resort with a promenade, a yacht marina, and gorgeous views. When you visit Fleetwood, you can make the most of the much-loved Marine Hall Theatre and the Marine Splash leisure centre.

Countryside

If you’re wondering where to go in Lancashire to get the glorious countryside for which we’re well known, you’re going to be spoilt for choice.

Forest of Bowland: Forest of Bowland is an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) made up of 803 sq km of gorgeousness! If you’re a fan of the outdoors, don’t miss a visit to this area. Its made up of valleys, fells, and moorland and is perfect for walks, cycling, and scenic drives.

Beacon Fell Country Park: This is a 217-acre park made up of woodland, fells, and farmland. It falls within the Forest of Bowland, with trails, the Beacon Fell Summit, and a cafe.

Ribble Valley: Looking for a quaint and picturesque area with that classic Lancashire charm? Head to the Ribble Valley. This is also one of the best foodie destinations in the whole of Lancashire – we highly recommend checking out some of Ribble Valley’s restaurants.

Cities

While Lancashire is a big county, it only has 2 cities: Lancaster and Preston! Both cities are awesome though, so we recommend visiting both when you’re here – they’re only around 20 minutes away from each other by car.

Lancaster: The historic city of Lancaster is a sight to behold and the city centre is lively. It’s a proper northern city with cobbled streets and a rich history. Take a trip to Lancaster Castle, or enjoy a pint straight from the source at Lancaster Brewery. 

Preston: Preston has really good nightlife and places to eat. It’s also a great place for some family fun time, with loads of exciting activities for little ones. There’s always plenty to see and do in Preston, with highlights including Preston Market, the Harris Museum, Haslam Walk, and the PrestonWall climbing centre.

Market Towns

Clitheroe: Clitheroe is in the quaint and quirky Ribble Valley. It’s a really good base to explore Lancashire’s countryside and, of course, enjoy the Clitheroe Market which takes place on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 9 am – 4 pm.

Poulton-le-Fylde: This town dates all the way back to the Domesday Book and today is a bustling area with quaint surroundings. Poulton Market is held every Monday (apart from Bank Holidays) and you’ll find all manner of glorious goods from clothing and homeware to fruit and veg.

Garstang: Cleveleymere Lakeside Lodges is right next to Garstang, so you wouldn’t need to go far! Full of hidden gems, this quiet town is great for independent shops and cafes, as well as walking routes. The market in Garstang is held every Thursday from 9 am – 4 pm.

Blackburn: If you like the arts, take a trip to Blackburn and its 3 theatres and the Blackburn Museum and Art Gallery. Blackburn Market is open 6 days per week (Monday – Saturday, 8.30 am – 5.30 pm). There’s an incredibly vast range of stalls here, from nail bars to shoe smiths, so you won’t be short of something to tickle your fancy.  

Eat

Our county is definitely a culinary destination. 

We do have some traditional Lancashire dishes that you should be able to find easily, including the iconic Lancashire hotpot, Eccles cake, black peas, butter pie (we know it sounds weird, but it’s actually delicious), and potted shrimp from Morecambe Bay.

But aside from the (weird and) wonderful local cuisine, there’s plenty of outstanding food and drink to be had in the area. Some fan favourite Lancashire restaurants are:

Northcote Restaurant, Blackburn: This Michelin Star restaurant is led by Executive Chef, Lisa Goodwin-Allen. It serves food from Wednesday – Sunday and you can expect the best of local ingredients, creative ideas, and mouth-watering dishes.

The Stags Head, Goosnargh: The Stags Head uses local produce in its meals and it has a wide range of options on its menu, including Chef’s Classics, Signature Dishes, and Taste of Lancashire. There’s also a large beer garden here for those sunny days. 

Quite Simply French, Lancaster: This esteemed Lancaster restaurant offers authentic and rustic French cuisine. The menu changes daily and seasonally and the restaurant is known for its excellent service.

Rise, Preston: Rise is a loved brunch destination in Preston with a vast menu, including breakfast rolls, feel-good bowls, and the brunch cl*b menu (featuring all the classics and more!). There are lots of vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free options served at Rise. 

Dalvi’s Restaurant, Poulton: This Indian restaurant run by the award-winning chef, Seema Dalvi, offers authentic Indian cuisine for dine-in or takeaway.

Search the hashtag #lancashirefoodie on Instagram and we recommend following @_eating_with_emily for lots of content about incredible Lancashire grub.

Weather

The North West holds a strong reputation for not having the best weather, but it’s really not that bad! Like most of the UK, the Lancashire weather sees sunny days, rainy days, windy days, and snowy days, but it’s always best to check the weather in advance before you visit so you’ll know whether to wrap up or skip the layers.

All of this information is based on averages, but we’ve lived here all our lives and we think they’re good guidelines.

The summer in Lancashire sees average highs of 20°C and average lows of 12°C. In the winter, you can expect highs of 10°C and lows of 2°C. The rainiest month in Lancashire is November and the driest is April. May is the sunniest month and July is the warmest month.

There really isn’t a bad time to come to Lancashire as long as you’re wearing warm enough or cool enough clothing!

Activities

Lancashire activities are many, with something for everyone all over the county. If we told you all of the things to do in Lancashire, we’d never stop talking your ear off, so we’ve put together some lists of the things that we think visitors would love. Here are some of our favourite things to do in Lancashire:

For the little ones

Soul Bowl

Giggles

Williamson Park

Bowland Wild Boar Park

Go Ape

SEA LIFE

Mrs. Downsons Farm Park

For culture vultures

Towneley Hall Art Gallery & Museum

Lancaster City Museum

The Whitaker

Comedy Carpet Blackpool

Ascot Studios Art Gallery

Grundy Art Gallery

Oswaldtwistle Civic Theatre 

Lancashire Infantry Museum

Worden Park 

Something a bit different

Black Axe Throwing Co 

The Singing Ringing Tree 

The Bee Centre 

Avenham Park Japanese Garden 

G.B. Antiques Centre

We hope this guide to Lancashire has given you all the information you need to have a great trip in our county.

Cleveleymere Lakeside Lodges offers some of the best Lancashire holiday accommodation out there. We have 8 luxury holiday lodges on the edge of Lake Cleveleymere in Scorton (just outside of Garstang). And our Boat House holiday lodge even has its own private hot tub!

On our 34-acre woodland site, we have a whole host of outdoor activities for our guests, including mountain bikes, lawn games, rowing boats, pedal boats, and kayaks. 

Discover Cleveleymere & book your stay.

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