When couples, families and daytime adventurers think of going somewhere new up North, Preston isn’t necessarily the first place that comes to mind. But we think this Lancasterian city, rich in history, culture, food and fun, has a lot to offer everyone.

As time Prest-on

Once the wealthiest town in the area of present-day Lancashire back in 1806, Preston is one of England’s oldest market towns. With a rich industrial history from the boom in the area’s cotton mills, the city grew in prosperity throughout the Industrial Revolution.

To explore Preston’s roots, check out the Church Cottage Museum, an authentic peasant’s homestead from the 1500s, the Museum of Lancashire or the Harris Museum.

Park Life

Looking to get out in the great outdoors? You’ll be spoilt for choice with the array of parks, nature reserves and wildlife centres that surround Preston. Perfect for families or any lover of cute animals, the Bowland Wild Boar Park has picnic areas, tractor rides, a hand feeding centre and 30 acres of beautiful forest to explore where you can spot (unsurprisingly) boars, red deer and even wallabies! 

For a bit of respite from city centre exploration, Avenham Park is a great spot for a walk. The park itself is created from a natural amphitheatre and features a Japanese Rock Garden with an eclectic section of plants and water features.

But if you want a bit more of a romantic atmosphere as you explore the countryside, hire a couple of bikes from Leisure Lakes Bike Hub and go for an idyllic ride across the Ribble Link Canal with your special someone.

Take flight

There are more fascinating animals to be discovered in the Turbary Woods Owl and Bird of Prey Sanctuary. With owls, eagles, hawks, falcons and even vultures, this sanctuary is a must-see for any animal-lover. Offering flying displays and experience days, the sanctuary lets you get up close and personal with these majestic predators.

Turbary Woods

Come Dine With Us

From a busy day of exploring, you’ll no doubt start to have a rumbling tummy and a thirst. Lucky for you, Preston’s got an endless range of pubs, bars, cafés, restaurants and eateries that will satisfy any appetite!

If you’re after a quick coffee and a light bite in the city centre, the Town House Coffee & Brew Bar will hit the spot nicely. Serving Origin Coffee, Birdhouse Tea Co. loose leaf teas and healthy small dishes, this little gem is a great choice for all the family.

For a relaxed evening meal, We Don’t Give a Fork is an independent eatery offers freshly made burgers, using selected cuts of meat and local produce. They even joke that their cows have Preston accents! Their menu is simple but each burger is very customisable, with plenty of options for kids, veggies and vegans.

For a more contemporary take on the typical grill menu, you should pay a visit to Theatre Street Bar & Grill, one of the most popular local restaurants. Perfect for families, an intimate date or just treating yourself, they serve up some truly exceptional grub; including vegetarian and vegan options. You couldn’t ask for a better location either, as it’s just a 5-minute walk from Preston Station!

Northern Delicacies

Fancy a true taste of Lancashire? The Prestonian, a food cart directly outside the Harris offers many Lancashire delicacies, such as parched peas. An option for adventurers on the go.

However, your culinary adventure wouldn’t be complete without sampling their renowned Chorley cakes and Eccles cakes. Whilst any proper bakery in Preston will have these in abundance, we recommend walking through the Preston Market, located close to the Guild Hall, to see what fresh baked goods you can sample.

Village on the water

For an exceptionally unique opportunity to immerse yourself in nature, make sure to include Brockholes Nature Reserve in your Preston visit. Renowned for its floating visitor village, which takes you right into the centre of the Brockholes Wetland to explore this fascinating habitat. Alongside an activity room, a lakeside restaurant, a café and a gift shop, you’re guaranteed to come away from Brockholes with some of the most relaxed and picturesque memories of Preston.

Brockholes Nature Reserve 

Emma B Photography

Let's not forget Preston's bars and nightlife

If the night is still young and you’re ready for more, make your way towards the 1842 Restaurant & Bar. Established in the impressive Corn Exchange building, just down the road from the Guild Hall, 1842 features a great cocktail menu and a sophisticated atmosphere. It’s a piece of upmarket pleasure right in the city centre.

When you’re ready to go the next level and get your moves on, head to the Baluga Bar & Club, which effortlessly combines a lavish decor with a buzzing ambience that will keep you going until those early hours.

The first ever double winners...

Preston North End Football Club were the first team to achieve the double in English football, unbeaten in all matches in 1888-89 and are famously remembered as the “Old Invincibles”. The team’s stadium, based in Deepdale, is widely recognised by many as the oldest continuously used football stadium in the world.

North End supporter or not, it’s worth checking the fixtures to see if a match is on during your visit.

Full steam ahead

For those who want to see our industrial heritage in action, set aside plenty of time to explore the Ribble Steam Railway at Preston Docks. Making great use of the once-abandoned rail network across the dock, this preserved railway is home to fully-operational steam and diesel locomotives. Some of these are used to run a passenger service between the Strand Road Crossing and Preston Riverside stations. Complete with a museum that provides arts and crafts for kids and regular seasonal events, this is certainly a destination perfect for historians, railway enthusiasts and families.

Ribble Steam Railway

From history and art to natural beauty and quirky local delicacies, there’s something for everyone in this city. With regular trains to and from London Euston, go ahead and book your trip now.

Back to Preston

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