6 places to visit in Lancashire

Are you ready to hitch up your caravan and take a trip to Lancashire in the northwest of England? Read on and we’ll give you at least half a dozen reasons why that could prove an adventure that is well worth your while.

While you might think of it as an industrialised and heavily populated county, after Yorkshire, Lancashire has the second largest population of all English counties.Its more than 1,000 square miles (over 3,000 square kilometres) and 137 miles of coastline cover an area that is 80% rural. So, let’s look at those places to visit.

1. The Trough of Bowland

Get straight to the heart of this magnificent county in the enticingly titled Trough of Bowland – an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty – a valley and high point in the surrounding Forest of Bowland.

This picturesque landscape is perfect for hiking, cycling, and birdwatching. You’ll be treated to breathtaking views of rolling hills, tranquil lakes, and charming villages. Slaidburn, for instance, is said to be one of the prettiest in the area and you’ll find plenty of pubs where you can slake the thirst all that hiking or cycling has prompted.

2. Clitheroe

Set on the edge of the Forest of Bowland is the charming small market town of Clitheroe, set in the heart of the Ribble Valley.

It is one of the county’s most historic towns – boasting a medieval castle – and today maintains a busy market, nestled among a host of independent shops, cafes, and restaurants. Using the town as your hub, make forays out to local visitor attractions such as Pendle Hill or Whalley Abbey – the latter offers quiet retreats and accommodation in one of 17 luxurious suites.

3. Lancaster

Still more historic is the county town of Lancaster. It’s one of England’s Heritage Cities – said to reflect a fascinating past yet cultured present that is as quirky as it is vibrant.

This independent and creative city is one that locals like to shout about – and you’ll almost certainly join in that chorus as you visit Lancaster’s impressive castle, wander along its beautiful canal side towpaths, wander its medieval streets, or pay homage to the Ashton Memorial in Williamson Park.

The city also hosts various events and festivals throughout the year, highlighting its rich cultural heritage.

4. Blackpool

Enough of all that history and culture! Just don your “Kiss me Quick” hat and take to the sands of glorious Blackpool.

Unique. Iconic. It’s certainly a place like no other. Yet Blackpool remains a jewel in Lancashire’s crown and occupies a special place in the heart of so many Englishmen and women – including those who have never set foot in the place.

It’s everything that a northern seaside town should be – miles of sandy beach, traditional amusement parks, and a vibrant nightlife. Visitors can take a stroll along the famous Blackpool Promenade, ride the roller coasters at Blackpool Pleasure Beach, or enjoy a traditional fish and chips meal at one of the many seaside cafes. The Blackpool Tower is a must-see attraction, offering panoramic views of the coast and hosting a variety of entertainment options.

5. Garstang

It’s worth stopping off along the M6 motorway that runs the length of Lancashire from south to north at the village of Garstang.

Long acclaimed for its unique and tasty cheeses – Lancashire’s three officially designated types are Creamy Lancashire, Tasty Lancashire, and Crumbly Lancashire – recent years have seen local cheesemakers introduce award-winning styles such as Garstang White and Garstang Blue.

6. Helmshore Mills

If you needed any reminding of Lancashire’s prominence in recent British history look no further than the Helmshore Mills Textile Museum near Blackburn at Rossendale, between Darwen and Bacup.

Here you will be taken back to Lancashire in its heyday of the Industrial Revolution when this was one of the most important – and wealthy – centres of cotton spinning in the world. Other landmark museums and showpieces nearby include the Queen Street Mill Textile Museum in Burnley, the Haworth Art Gallery in Accrington (which houses Europe’s biggest collection of Tiffany Glass, and the Blackburn Museum.