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Lancashire Travel Tips

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Arnside

Arnside is a quiet haven for a day of doing nothing very much, but in wonderful surroundings and with pleasant facilities to hand. There are good pubs, a terrific pie shop and café, a sweet shop with a huge variety of chocolate bars, chocolate boxes and sweets from the area and from childhood memory for those of a certain age. And it may have the best fish and chip shop in the world, with the crispiest-outside-fluffiest-inside-hand-cut-planks of fried potato you could ever hope to stumble across. The chippie is on the bend at the viaduct end of the main street. At the sea end of the front there is a walk that continues round the headland, with plenty of fossils to be spotted by the keener eye. Nature is bountiful too in the views, with the foothills of Cumbria in the distance. The Arnside viaduct is a splendid Victorian remnant still carrying trains over the Kent estuary to Grange-over-Sands (another place looted from Lancashire). And there is even something for the extreme sports types: Arnside has an impressive rip-tide signalled by the coastguard station to warn fishermen to quit the mudflats (and care and local knowledge is needed here, the warning signs are serious) before it rushes in, sweeping daring canoeists before it. There is even a pretty little pier, projecting about twenty yards into the estuary, and another great place for landing the flooks and other flatties fishermen come here for.

Arnside Town Details

Bury

Bury Market. A fantastic place for meat and vegetable shopping in general, and with boastin 250,000 visitors a week it’s a thriving place too. The steamed potatoes here are mouth-watering, served with butter and salt, but the real delicacy is Bury black pudding. It is sad that something the middle class foodie would lap up in France (ah! boudin noir!) is shunned in England by those who should know better. Like the best peasant food the world over the ingredients are a testimony to poverty and ingenuity driving the creation of a delicacy made from seemingly unpromising ingredients. Basically black pudding is made from blood and fat. But the secret is the flavourings used: in Bury traditionally they use pennyroyal, marjoram, thyme, mint and celery seed. The Black Pudding Stall serves them hot with lashings of mustard, and if you turn your nose up at that more fool you.

Bury Town Details

Carnforth

A foodie taking a break in a cottage in the Northwest? For a quick way to stock up on regional produce, regional specialities, organic vegetables and the finer things in life, try Booths Supermarkets. They have 26 stores, a few in Cheshire and North Yorkshire but most in Lancashire and Cumbria. They stock real local cheeses including Kirkham’s Lancashire, possibly the best cheese on the planet; locally made sticky toffee pudding; local bottled beers; and meat including Holker Hall salt marsh lamb (all their meat sourced within the four counties they serve). - Martin

orth Station & Visitor Centre (where I am the Manager!) which will amaze you with its fabulous exhibitions and Refreshment Room. Carnforth Station is famous as the setting for David Lean's classic film "Brief Encounter" where you will also see the famous clock - Sheila Ashcroft

Carnforth Town Details

Chipping

We just love Chipping. The Sun in and the Tilletson's are the most friendly pubs we have ever been in. We have bought the Bolt Hole Cottage and made it into a letting holiday cottage just so we can go and stay when ever we get chance to get away. If you are ever in the Ribble Valley or The Forest of Bowland, you must make a visit to Chipping. It is the most picturess village I have ever been to. - Hazel

Chipping Town Details

Chorley

A foodie taking a break in a cottage in the Northwest? For a quick way to stock up on regional produce, regional specialities, organic vegetables and the finer things in life, try Booths Supermarkets. They have 26 stores, a few in Cheshire and North Yorkshire but most in Lancashire and Cumbria. They stock real local cheeses including Kirkham’s Lancashire, possibly the best cheese on the planet; locally made sticky toffee pudding; local bottled beers; and meat including Holker Hall salt marsh lamb (all their meat sourced within the four counties they serve) - Martin

When approaching Chorley from the M6, you will be directed to leave the motorway at Junction 26, signposted Chorley and Standish. This will take you the long way round – instead, carry on up the M6 to Junction 28 (there is no Junction 27), which is signposted to Leyland. At the end of the slip road turn right and keep straight ahead through the lights and up to the next set of lights (Hayrick pub on right). Again go straight on and follow the road a mile or so, past Asda, til you reach a roundabout opposite the Pines Hotel. Turn right at the roundabout onto the A6 and keep on it following the signs for Chorley - Denise

Traffic wardens in Chorley seem to be on a bonus scheme now – you almost need to check just stopping at traffic lights! Tuesdays is Flat iron Market day so parking is even worse than usual as it takes place in the main town car park. Best advice is to use the car park in Queens Road as it doesn’t get as busy as the others. For short term parking drive around the back streets near the bus station as often you can get a space in a 1 hour zone - Denise

One of the prettiest little villages you will find is Croston in Lancashire. A few miles from Chorley on the road through to Southport on the A581, Croston is on the river Yarrow and has a lovely old church. Noted for its up-market reputation, property prices are quite high - Denise

Chorley Town Details

Clitheroe

For a great view over the town of Clitheroe and the surrounding countryside, a touch of history, and a bit of exercise before heading off into the lovely Forest of Bowland, visit Clitheroe Castle, set on a towering motte above the town. Then you can feel justified in visiting Byrne’s wine merchants, an Aladdin’s cave of vinous wonders in the town. Don’t be fooled by the unpromisingly small frontage, it extends into the hill in a series of cellar-rooms stocked with wines for the gentleman farmers and the footballers with taste who dwell in the Ribble Valley.

Clitheroe Town Details

Garstang

A foodie taking a break in a cottage in the Northwest? For a quick way to stock up on regional produce, regional specialities, organic vegetables and the finer things in life, try Booths Supermarkets. They have 26 stores, a few in Cheshire and North Yorkshire but most in Lancashire and Cumbria. They stock real local cheeses including Kirkham’s Lancashire, possibly the best cheese on the planet; locally made sticky toffee pudding; local bottled beers; and meat including Holker Hall salt marsh lamb (all their meat sourced within the four counties they serve).

Garstang Town Details

Kirkby Lonsdale

A foodie taking a break in a cottage in the Northwest? For a quick way to stock up on regional produce, regional specialities, organic vegetables and the finer things in life, try Booths Supermarkets. They have 26 stores, a few in Cheshire and North Yorkshire but most in Lancashire and Cumbria. They stock real local cheeses including Kirkham’s Lancashire, possibly the best cheese on the planet; locally made sticky toffee pudding; local bottled beers; and meat including Holker Hall salt marsh lamb (all their meat sourced within the four counties they serve).

Kirkby Lonsdale Town Details

Lancaster

For a breathtaking panorama that is hard to beat in the whole of the North, take a side trip off the M6. The view is over Lancaster, Morecambe Bay, and on into the Cumbrian Fells with the mountains on a clear day ranged in lines into the distance. Leave the M6 going north at Junction 33, take the first exit off the roundabout, then sharp left again into Hampson Lane. At the end turn right, then at the junction a few hundred yards on take the road sharp left (Bay Horse Road). Follow the pylons across the hills for a couple of miles, then near Quernmore take a left into Wyredale Road that becomes Langthwaite Road. As you breast the hill you will get a view taking in the city of Lancaster and the sea beyond.

The Furness Line between Lancaster and Barrow-in-Furness. Forget the Blue Train and the Orient Express (unless you have won the lottery or work in merchant banking). There are some great little train journeys all over England, some on private lines run by enthusiasts and entrepreneurs, others on the national system. One of the best is the Furness line between Lancaster and Barrow-in-Furness. Lancaster is easily reached off the M6, or by trains from Manchester and Preston. The Furness line branches off to the west, and takes in some glorious countryside. Or it can be joined at Carnforth on the West Coast Main line. After Lancaster the Furness line passes through Carnforth, famed as the station used in Brief Encounter. Next the line passes behind Silverdale, a quiet little town with some lovely walks by the sea (if you can see it – this is Morecambe Bay and when the tide goes out you wonder if it is ever coming back). After Silverdale is Arnside, another quaint resort without an amusement arcade in sight. And at Arnside the real fun begins, with the first of the line’s two viaducts, this one crossing the Kent estuary, the train’s passing marked by a an evocative and sonorous rattling – the sort of noise trains should make when they go over a bridge or viaduct. Once over the Kent the line follows the shore to Grange-over-Sands, the genteel Edwardian and Victorian resort where it is hard to imagine anyone ever swearing. A little further one and the line cuts across the Cartmel Peninsula from Kent’s Bank to Cark and Cartmel. It is a hike to Cartmel from the station, but the magnificent Priory Church and the lovely old Gatehouse are well worth seeing. The Priory Church is imposing, saved from the dissolution by its use as the parish place of worship. Cartmel itself is a beautiful settlement, the sort of place where you find good bookshops and great pub food (this is the home of the sticky toffee pudding after all) rather than souvenir shops. And there is the racecourse too, possibly the prettiest in the land. After Cark the line has its second viaduct, across the Leven estuary. Sweeping on to Ulverston, home of the famous Laurel and Hardy museum – Stan Laurel was born here, and more spiritually of nearby Swarthmoor Hall, which can claim to be the home of Quakerism. After Ulverston the line stops at Dalton, where the castle can be seen, though this is not anywhere near as impressive a sight as Furness Abbey that the train passes as it heads to Roose and Barrow-in-Furness, the end of the line, though it is also the start of the line for the Cumbrian Coast to Whitehaven, Workington and Carlisle, a route that rivals the Furness line for its scenic nature.

Lancaster Market.
The surroundings are historic, with a real atmosphere to the streets and shops round the street market on a Saturday. The food at the market is a mixture of the old and the new that gives a snapshot of modern England. Here you will find at least twice a month the fabulous salt marsh lamb raised on Cockerham marshes by the Lawson family, farming the land for generations. Here too are stalls selling wonderful olives and locally made Italian-style breads. Further on is the oriental food stall. And on a corner exuding utterly irresistible smells is an old-fashioned donut stall, though you may have to queue behind some of the boys from Lancaster Grammar, founded in the 13th century, displaying the appetite and digestion only the young possess.

Lancaster Town Details

Oldham

Oldham Car Boot Sale - Sundays - is a much better market than the usual "oldham market". More stalls - Rita

Oldham Town Details

Ormskirk

The Left Bank is a great place on Burscough Street to get lunch. Great quality food for this part of the world - Sue

Ormskirk Town Details

Parbold

For spectacular views right across West Lancashire, head just outside the village of Parbold on the A5209 towards Ormskirk. Right up on the top of the hill there is a parking area where you can pull in and take in the view – with the help of a delicious ice cream from the van usually parked there. The view looks right across Parbold Bottle to Southport on the right (northwest) to Liverpool on the left (southwest) and includes Crosby, Bootle, Ormskirk, Knowsley etc. Information boards explain the various landmarks - Denise

Parbold Town Details

Preston

Parking in Preston has become an absolute nightmare as there is not a great deal of it. Best advice is to use the excellent Park & Ride service that operates from various outlying areas such as Walton-le-Dale. Plenty of parking, inexpensive and easy to reach from a number of major roads with a regular bus service every 10 minutes into the city.
If you must take your car into Preston city centre, the best car park is Avenham Street. It is cheaper than the main ones at the Fishergate Centre and within a few minutes walk of the shops at the top of Fishergate. If you need to go to the north of the city, near the university, watch out for the Permit Holders Only car parks and street parking. The best car park is in Walker Street – but you need to be in there before 9.30 in the morning as there are limited places and they fill quickly. - Denise

Preston Town Details

Ramsbottom

Parking is generally free – there is a big car park down by the station for example - Martin

Ramsbottom Town Details

Lancashire County Page | Lancashire Attractions| More Tips

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