Things to Do in Lancashire - City, Coast and Countryside

Created Monday, July 27, 2020, by Content Manager

Lancashire has it all. Everything from the tranquillity and rugged beauty of the Forest of Bowland to the bright light show of Blackpool Illuminations, there's tons of things to do in Lancashire.

Lancaster House is perfectly placed to take advantage of lots of amazing days out in Lancashire whether that's City, Coast or Countryside. 

Blackpool Illuminations Light up for Longer

They call it the greatest free light show on Earth! This year, Blackpool Illuminations will run from 4th September to 3rd January 2021, two months longer than usual, giving you more time to fit in a visit to this vibrant world-famous exhibition. Six miles of spectacular lights, illuminated tram tours and a whole host of related activities make it a must for the last quarter of your 2021 calendar.

The award-winning Lightpool Festival will run from 16th to 31st October and will offer a plethora of free entertainment, live performances and art installations.  

Just over half an hour from Lancaster House, there’s all the usual attractions that make Blackpool irresistible to fun goers and thrill seekers, including Blackpool Pleasure Beach and loads more things to do. The Big One is still the tallest ride, but there’s a new rollercoaster in town this year – Icon, five rides in one, suspended over water – for those brave enough to have a go!  

The iconic Blackpool Tower with its panoramic view from the top, also features Tower Circus, Tower Dungeon and, of course the Strictly-famous Tower Ballroom. As if all that wasn’t enough, there’s a zoo, beautiful beaches and promenades, historic piers, laugh-out-loud comedy, cabaret performances and West End shows.  

Country Retreat

Avoid the busy Lake District walking paths and discover the solitude, grandeur and sheer beauty of the Forest of Bowland. Just on the edge of Lancaster, it is easy to access this wide open landscape with its share of fascinating history, architecture and monuments. It’s not a stretch of the imagination to understand how Tolkien got caught up in the wild and rugged nature of the place and how it became the inspiration for Lord of the Rings.

    

Another countryside favourite is the Crook O' Lune - a great spot for a picnic and a gentle walk down the River Lune. The name comes from the 90 degree angle the Lune takes forming a natural 'crook'. Visitors can enjoy stunning views all the way onto Inglebrough in the Yorkshire Dales. 

The Crook O' Lune is only a short drive outside Lancaster, easily accessible from the motorway and from Lancaster House. 

City Sights

Lancaster Castle dates all the way back to the Romans and is an important national monument. Sitting on top of Castle Hill, it has guarded Lancaster for over 1,000 years and was a centre for justice and penal reform, the prison closing as late until 2011 was used as a prison. The popular guided castle tours will resume in January 2021, but until then the castle courtyard is open to visitors. Just outside the front gates of Lancaster Castle is the city itself, with a range of things to do and see within it's historic walls. 

The Ashton Memorial defines the skyline of the city of Lancaster and can been seen for miles around. It sits within the extensive and beautiful grounds of Williamson Park, 54 acres of woods and open parkland with stunning views across the city to Morecambe Bay and the Lake District beyond.

The grade 1 listed monument completed in 1909, was a folly commissioned by Lancaster industrialist Lord Ashton in memory of his late wife, Jessy. Inside the memorial is open through the week (but closed when there are weddings and events) for visitors to enter and learn about its history and architecture. 

Admission: Free

Opening Times: April to September: 10 am to 5 pm; October to March: 10 am to 4 pm

Whilst visiting Williamson Park, the Butterfly House, a classic Edwardian palm house, is certainly worth a visit. Home to many species of colourful butterflies, birds and a mini zoo.

Admission:  

  • Adult £4
  • Child £3 (under-3s free)
  • Family (2+2) £13
  • Concessions/students £3.50

RSPB Leighton Moss

In the heart of Arnside and Silverdale - area of outstanding beauty - and less than half an hour from Lancaster House, you will find RSPB Leighton Moss. The site is home to the largest reed bed in the North West and the quick of eye might spot otters, marsh harriers, egrets and red deer. Two of the hides have now re-opened giving a window onto the spectacular world of wildlife and birds. There are a number of trails open as well as access to the Sky Tower where you can enjoy some spectacular views. 

Opening times:  9.30 am to 5 pm daily  

Admission:

  • Adults £7
  • Child £3.50 (first child and under 5s free)
  • Concessions £4.50.
  • Free to RSPB members and those who have travelled to the reserve by public transport or bike

Sculpture Art

Two amazing sculptures with a view to visit and explore. Horizon Line Chamber by internationally-renowned land artist, Chris Drury, is certainly worth a visit at Sunderland Point. A stone chamber made from hundreds of reclaimed building stones from the former port settlement, with a bit of a secret contained inside.

As Sunderland Point sometimes becomes inaccessible due to the tides, please don’t forget to check tide times before visiting!

SHIP by Anna Gillespie at Half Moon Bay is a seafaring structure marking the boundary of land and sea. The artwork has more than a passing resemblance to the Viking longboats of former Morecambe Bay dwellers. The two figures that form part of the sculpture look forward and back respectively, a reference to the arriving and departing of any journey. This beautiful piece of art allows time for reflection on the Bay’s ancient traditions and people, as well as the perennial journey of life.  

Even More Things to Do and See

Lancashire is a county full of amazing sights and attractions, and this list is just a few of our favourites local to Lancaster. If you're looking for more things to do while you're staying with us, feel free to ask our reception team who will be happy to point you in the right direction. 

 

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