If you find yourself with 48 hours to tour Lancashire, how do you cover as much of the 3,000 square kilometres as possible? Best boil it down to what kind of visit you prefer. Let’s face it, you could spend two days in Blackpool, or walking part of the 291-mile Lancashire Way. We’ll look at the best of both worlds.
Preston, Blackpool and the coast ‘Proud Preston’ says the city’s motto and it’s indeed a thriving, bustling small centre, and an attractive one too. The architecture is grand – Preston has a wealth of listed buildings and the Harris Museum, Art Gallery and Library is certainly worth a visit, especially as entry is free.
Browse the many High Street and independent specialist stores on Fishergate and Friargate, within St George’s and The Fishergate Centre. Take lunch here at one of the trendy new cafes, or within the renovated Market, or if you prefer, in a traditional pub. Preston offers something of quality for everyone.
Next it’s time to head for the coast. Pick up the A583 and then Preston New Road, past Freckleton and through Warton, glancing at the aerodrome where the latest fighter jets are tested. The coastal road first heads through Lytham at the top of the Ribble estuary. You’ll see the Lytham Windmill and museum on the left, which is well worth a visit.
Driving into Fairhaven, take the Inner Promenade to the RSPB Ribble Discovery Centre on Fairhaven Lake. Then go past the Fylde Spitfire Memorial and the sand dunes will open up on the left, with plenty of opportunities to stop and explore them. As you continue north to Blackpool, you’ll come into the area where illuminations await their time of year and time of night to bring the street to life.
If you’re in Blackpool in autumn or winter, don’t miss this. Then it’s pick and choose which attractions to visit, depending on how much time you have. ‘The Golden Mile’ seafront offers Blackpool Tower, the Pleasure Beach, three piers, theatres, Madame Tussauds, Sea Life, casinos, bars and much more to entertain you long into the night.
Time to see some of Lancashire’s finest scenery and learn about one of its most famous historic episodes on your own tour by car or bike – or look out for a minibus trip. Larger vehicles can’t travel on this 45-mile hilly route. Start either in Lancaster or Pendle and pick up a copy of the trail leaflet before you go.
Pendle Hill looks over the Forest of Bowland, a former home of wolves and wild boar, and still a wilderness today. The true story of the 10 ‘Pendle Witches’ unravels on the route. Explore the villages where mysterious events took place, and follow the road to Lancaster Castle, where the villagers stood trial and were found guilty of witchcraft in 1612.
In 48 hours you’ll have seen Lancashire old and new, rural and urban, mountains and coastline. There’s a lot to take in and enjoy.
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