Nicknamed the “Red Rose County”, Lancashire sprawls across more than 3,000 square kilometres in North West England. It played an important role in the Industrial Revolution, with historic mill towns and collieries still dotting its picturesque countryside today.
Things to do in Lancashire
From medieval castles to majestic walking trails, Lancashire is one of North West England’s lesser-known gems.
Visit Lancaster Castle. Perched on a hill overlooking the city, Lancaster Castle is believed to have been founded in the 11th century on the site of a Roman-built fortress. Admire the semi-octagonal towers of the John O’ Gaunt Gatehouse and explore the 19th-century prison cells before enjoying the spectacular views across the River Lune.
Museum hop through Preston. On the north bank of the River Ribble is the city of Preston, which is home to several fine museums such as the Harris Museum & Art Gallery. Browse its impressive decorative arts and archaeology collections before learning about Lancashire’s military history at the Infantry Museum or getting hands-on at the Ribble Steam Railway Museum.
Follow the Tolkien Trail. J.R.R. Tolkien spent much of World War II working on “The Lord of the Rings” at Stonyhurst College and you can explore some of the inspirations for Middle Earth in the Ribble Valley. The Tolkien Trail is a nine-kilometre-long route that begins and ends at Hurst Green’s Shireburn Arms, which is named after the family that built Stonyhurst College.
Explore the Forest of Bowland. Designated as an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, the Forest of Bowland sprawls around the villages of Chipping, Slaidburn and Dunsop Bridge in north Lancashire. Stretch your legs on the network of hiking trails that lead through the area’s heather moorland and blanket bog while keeping your eyes peeled for rare bird species.
Getting around Lancashire
Manchester Airport and Liverpool John Lennon Airport are just under an hour’s drive from Lancashire and regular trains connect from London and Glasgow to both Preston and Lancaster. Ferries travel from Heysham to the Isle of Man and Ireland while buses connect towns and villages throughout the county.