Nowhere else in the country will you find such abundant opportunities to learn about some of Britain’s greatest artists and escape to peaceful areas of seclusion and relaxation. Visit Lancashire to enjoy a holiday filled with some of the best scenery in England, the learn about famous faces that have become engrained in literary and musical history.
No matter where you stay, you’ll find charming locals from traditional villages, delicious cuisine on offer at farmer’s markets, and a wealth of history to unearth. There are so many things to do in Lancashire, we’ve created a list of top attractions and days out to make sure you don’t miss anything!
Places to Visit
Liverpool is your first port of call, a city rich in beautiful historic buildings, shopping centres, and maritime history. The World Museum is a great spot for kids to learn all about natural history and science, whereas the Museum of Liverpool explores the city’s rich history. At the Pier Head, there’s striking scenery in the form of Liverpool’s ‘Three Graces’: the Royal Liver Building, the Cunard Building, and the Port of Liverpool Building. Of course, no visit to Liverpool would be complete without delving into the lives of the Fab Four themselves, as The Beatles Story and the Cavern Club attract music lovers from all over the world looking to learn about John, Paul, George, and Ringo.
Lancashire has a rich and varied heritage which can be seen throughout its many old villages and towns. The area is also famed as the location of the 1066 Battle of Hastings. The towns of Battle and Hastings are both home to several historic buildings and locations. From Hastings Castle to Battle Abbey, there is plenty to see, do and learn about along the way. Old Town Hastings is well preserved and offers a lively fishing port to navigate. Further inland, the Combe Valley is perfect for a country walk through majestic woodland. With such a picturesque seaside location, it is not surprising that it is a firm favourite with artists and authors.
A splendid city to take the kids, Southport is filled with parks and gardens to either cycle through or relax in with a picnic. The Botanic Gardens in Churchtown is a timeless Victorian park, whereas King’s Gardens hosts a play area especially for the little ones to explore. Nearby, on the lower promenade, you’ll find 1.5 acres of expertly crafted miniatures in the Model Railway Village, or you can build sandcastles and fly kites on the serene beaches just minutes away from the town centre. Southport hosts many events throughout the year, including the Southport Air Show where you’ll see the dynamic Red Arrows perform their flyovers.
Morecambe is the ideal destination for an active day out in Lancashire. Take to the waves with the best Coastal Sailing Centre in the country, and relax as you sail across the bay and take in the sights and sounds of life on the water. The city is also the start of the Way of the Roses cycle route, which covers the Northern tip of Lancashire, running by the River Lune and up past Hornby before taking you over to the Yorkshire Dales National Park. One of Morecambe’s biggest attractions is the spectacular bronze statue of Eric Morecambe, striking his skipping pose from Morecambe and Wise. Bring your camera and grab a shot of you with the comedian, with the beautiful Lake District hills and Morecambe Bay serving as a delightful backdrop.
Lancaster Castle is one of the premier historical locations in the UK. It was the setting for countless famous moments over the years, including the trials of the Lancashire Witches, and the imprisonment of George Fox (founder of the Quaker movement). Inside, you’ll find the beautifully bold heraldry of shields on display in the Shire Hall, as well as the perilous prisons used in the 18th century. Enjoy a guided tour around the castle, including an exhibition on prison life in the A-Wing of the building, and keep an eye out for special events held over the course of the year. Everything from theatrical performances to murder mystery parties and Halloween tours help bring one of the country’s finest castles to life.
Away from the flashing lights and roller coasters of Blackpool’s pier front is one of the best zoos in the UK. Blackpool Zoo is a multi-award winning attraction in Lancashire, with 32 acres of parkland, waterfalls, and woodland to see. Marvel at great African lions and Bornean orangutans to tiny White’s tree frogs and Chilean rose tarantulas. Hear expert talks about animals throughout the day to get up close and learn more about each of them, or board the miniature train and be transported alongside zebra, ostrich, and wallaby enclosures. There are also play areas and a mini golf course in the activity area for families to enjoy.
Forest of Bowland
Lancashire has its share of serene countryside, and there is no better way to experience it than by visiting the Forest of Bowland Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Covering over 300 square miles of rural Lancashire, there’s no end to the treasures waiting to be discovered. Quaint stone villages pepper the forest and spectacular wildflowers bloom in the spring adding strokes of colour to the greenery. Explore the area by foot or by using one of the many cycle paths and find the perfect spot to enjoy some stargazing come night-time. As one of England’s darkest areas, the sky is filled with planets and noctilucent clouds in the spring and summer months, and truly sparkles with glittering stars once winter arrives.
The Harris Museum
Found in the city of Preston, the Harris Museum is filled with all manner of strange artefacts, beautiful artwork, enlightening exhibits, and detailed costumes to teach you about everything from 19th-century history to the future of new media. The Discover Preston gallery is devoted to showcasing local history and is a fascinating chance to see the events and individuals that made the city what it is today. Marvel at the collection of over 12,000 coins, medals, and banknotes that span the globe and stretch throughout time to show the history of the UK. Unique talks, tours, and workshops are hosted throughout the year, including special events for children on weekends and during the school holidays.
Activities in Lancashire
Walk the Tolkien Trail
Of all the marvellous footpaths and trails to enjoy in the Forest of Bowland, the Tolkien Trail is not to be missed. Learn about one of the UK’s greatest authors with a trip that takes you from Hurst Green along the River Ribble, and up to Cromwell’s Bridge, before sweeping round to Stonyhurst College, where the author regularly stayed in a guest house. J. R. R. Tolkien was known for his love of nature, which is reflected in the woodland areas and fantastic creatures from his epic saga, The Lord of the Rings. What better way to spend the day than seeing the land from which he drew inspiration, marvelling at the wildflowers and valleys that would influence the Shire in his legendary books.
Rock and River Outdoor Pursuits - Ormskirk
Strap on your helmet and get ready for an adventure with Rock and River Outdoor Pursuits. From the main site on an 180-acre farm near Ormskirk, you’ll be able to enjoy a range of activities including rock climbing, canoeing, kayaking, and archery. Challenge yourself to traverse swamplands or engage in a minibeast hunt to find wildlife around the area. The activities centre is open to the public during the summer, meaning you and your family or friends can enjoy a great activity package – whatever you’re looking for. Whether you want to swing from high trees and kick up some mud, or just get together and relax with a barbeque, Rock and River Outdoor Pursuits is one of the best days out in Lancashire.
My Perfect Stay
Lancashire is a remarkable county and really has something for everyone, whether you love exploring the countryside, delving into history, scaring yourself on fast rides or eating in some of England’s best gastro pubs.
I love walking and Lancashire has some amazing walks, take a trip to Pendle Hill, world renowned for the tale of the Pendle Witches, or discover fascinating wildlife at the many nature reserves. My favourite is the Tolkien trail, where you get to walk in the footsteps of J.R.R Tolkien. This scenery helped inspire him to write “The Lord of the Rings”
If you prefer bright lights, amusements, sand castles, there is nowhere quite like Blackpool – with the UK’s tallest and fastest roller coaster, biggest indoor waterpark and the iconic Blackpool Tower with its glass skywalk. Finish your day out with fish and chips while enjoying Blackpool’s beautiful sunsets.