Lancaster Castle

There surely cannot still be people out there who believe in the cliché of Lancashire being locked in the past, folks living their lives like the mythical paintings of LS Lowry. Yet what this modestly legendary artist depicted was an unassuming greatness which still rings true. It is, in other words, a magnificent place with much to offer and much to do – from the urban excitement of Manchester to the seaside splendour of Morecambe and Blackpool, and everything in between. From the quirky to the quintessential, all human life is here – and a holiday in your holiday home in Lancashire will be time well spent.

In this edition of our blog, we’ll single out five particularly great things to do in Lancashire, or special things to see, giving you a rough framework to build on for your break.


1. Wallace & Gromit in Preston, Eric Morecambe in Morecambe

If you’re looking for unusual things to do in Lancashire, the town of Preston boasts life-size bronze likenesses of two of Britain’s favourite fictional characters. Wallace and Gromit, the hapless but loveable inventor and his long-suffering dog, have been part of the fabric of our lives for around forty years. The cheese-loving pair have featured in several charming – and Oscar-winning – animated films which have a particularly northern humour running right through them.

Creator Nick Park was originally from Preston, hence being honoured with this statue which doubles as a public bench. Park designed it in collaboration with Aardman Animation and local sculptor Peter Hodgkinson, and it is incredibly faithful to the original character designs. You can find it located outside Preston Market Hall on Earl Street – and it’s perfect for some Instagram action!

Meanwhile, up in Morecambe is another statue dedicated to a British icon. Performer Eric Morecambe (real name John Bartholomew) was a native of the seaside town, going on to become half of the most prominent British TV comedy duo of the 1960s and 1970s – Morecambe & Wise. The statue was unveiled in 1999 and overlooks Morecambe Bay – and is another popular spot to take photographs.


2. Blackpool Tower

Originally constructed at the end of the 19th century as an homage to the Eiffel Tower in Paris, the 518-feet high Blackpool Tower was initially the tallest building in England. Over 2,500 tonnes of iron and more than 5 million bricks are reputed to have been used to complete this proud symbol of the seaside resort, and to this day it stands as iconic beacon of the north. It was refurbished in the early 1990s, with new features and attractions added here and there since then – including a see-through glass platform almost 400 feet up, and an observation deck up top. As a town Blackpool itself has plenty of attractions, entertainments and amusements to keep you occupied for the day, but it is the Tower that remains its biggest draw.


3. Lancaster Castle

Lovers of historic buildings will find much to admire about the Grade I Listed Lancaster Castle, which has a history spanning almost 1,000 years. It is thought to have been built in the 11th century on the former site of a Roman fort and has had a fascinating history in the centuries since.


Guided tours of the Castle, which run daily, will fill you in on its use as Europe’s longest-serving prison (on and off since 1196, and most recently up until its closure in 2011), its location for executions (public up until 1865, and private up until 1910), and on its significant role in the infamous case of the Pendle Witches during the early part of the 17th century. The Lancashire Witches Walk is also worth some of your time.


4. The Weavers’ Triangle and the Singing Ringing Tree

If you are more interested in relatively recent social history, then The Weavers’ Triangle is an area of 19th-century buildings worth visiting at the side of Burnley town centre. This is where the cotton mills and associated buildings used in the weaving industry spurred on the development of the town. Deliberately clustered around the Leeds and Liverpool Canal to ensure ease of supply of cotton from the Mississippi Basin and Egypt, and coal to run machinery, The Weavers Triangle is a fascinating piece of industrial heritage. There are foundries, spinning mills, weaving sheds and canal warehouses to see, plus a visitor centre and museum.

Another landmark also worth seeing during any visit to Burnley and surrounding area is the award-winning The Singing Ringing Tree. This 10-feet tall wind powered sound sculpture is set in the landscape of the Pennines a mere 2 miles south of the town centre. It harnesses the energy of the wind to produce a slightly discordant and penetrating choral sound covering a range of several octaves. A wonderful experience, so unusual that it’s one of the best free things to do in Lancashire.


5. East Lancashire Railway

If you’re looking for things to do in Lancashire for couples, and you have young kids with you, East Lancashire Railway near Bury is a fantastic way to keep them entertained. For a start, it’s the occasional home of Thomas The Tank Engine! Several times a year the railway offers a steam train ride behind Thomas, including the chance to meet Sir Topham Hatt and other favourite characters. There are Thomas-themed activities, and you’ll ride past some of the most beautiful views in Lancashire.

When you’re looking for great days out from our Scout Cragg park, Lancashire has a lot to offer. There are plenty of things to see and do, from quick-stop photo ops you can base a day’s exploration around, like the statues we’ve mentioned, or more involved educational visits such as Lancaster Castle. You can use the places we’ve listed here as springboards to finding your own special sites to visit, all the while knowing you have the comfort and security of our park in Silverdale and Carnforth to return to.