Lancashire Attractions

Lancashire features a dazzling array of visitor attractions and places of interest for the holiday-maker.   

Whether you’re keen on exploring historical sites, paying a visit to a museum, or looking to organise a family day out, this beautiful region has plenty to offer.

Read on as we now showcase some of the best things to do in Lancashire. Our guide includes castles, tudor houses, tree-top adventure courses and a whole lot more.

Lancaster Castle, Lancaster

Lancaster Castle, Lancaster

Steeped in a rich tapestry of history that spans over a millennium, Lancaster Castle offers a narrative that captures the essence of British legal and penal history.

Situated atop a hill with commanding views over the River Lune, this majestic fortress has served numerous roles—royal residence, prison, and a court that still functions to this day.

Its stone walls bear the scars and stories of religious persecutions, infamous trials, and even witch hunts. It’s not just the architecture that mesmerises visitors; it’s the extraordinary collection of tales it has gathered over the centuries.

Families, history buffs, and even casual tourists will find the castle a fascinating and enriching experience.

A worth entry in our list of things to do in Lancashire.

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Hoghton Tower, Hoghton

Hoghton Tower, Hoghton

Nestled within the idyllic Lancashire village of Hoghton, Hoghton Tower stands as a testament to British architectural finesse and historical richness.

With a lineage dating back over eight centuries, this fortified residence is honoured as a Grade I-listed structure, showcasing its role as an invaluable asset in the UK’s cultural and historical tapestry.

Enveloped by luxuriant, well-maintained gardens and bestowing sweeping vistas of Lancashire’s pastoral landscape, the tower exudes a serenity that harmoniously coexists with its grandiose stature.

Inside, visitors can tread the very floors of the Great Hall, famously connected to King James I’s whimsical knighting of a beef loin, thus reputedly coining the term “Sir Loin”.

Additional key features that beckon exploration include the opulent Banqueting Hall, the shadowy yet intriguing dungeons, and a treasure trove of antiques and period pieces that provide a tactile connection to history.

The estate’s outdoor spaces are just as inviting, marked by artfully curated lawns, elaborate parterre patterns, and secluded spots perfect for contemplation.

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Samlesbury Hall, Samlesbury

Samlesbury Hall, Samlesbury
Image: samlesburyhall.co.uk

Situated in the scenic village of Samlesbury in Lancashire, Samlesbury Hall is an arresting piece of Tudor architecture that exhibits the history and romance of the period in which it was built.

With its beginnings dating from the 14th century, this captivating black-and-white half-timbered manor invites you into a world where ancient woodwork and modern comforts coalesce.

As you stroll through the property, you’ll encounter an array of fascinating rooms, each steeped in lore and beautifully preserved.

You can explore the grandeur of the Great Hall, wander through the secret passageways, or discover the priest holes that are a window into England’s tumultuous religious past.

Don’t be surprised if you hear tales of resident ghosts — a testament to the building’s layered history.

The grounds themselves are a sanctuary of tranquility, featuring luscious gardens complete with historical herb beds and rose gardens – one of the most important historical Lancashire attractions.

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Harris Museum and Art Gallery, Preston

Harris Museum and Art Gallery, Preston
Image: theharris.org.uk

The Harris Museum and Art Gallery is an unmissable Lancashire attraction for art enthusiasts, history buffs and curious minds.

Housed in a stunning Grade I-listed neo-classical building, the museum and gallery showcases architectural elegance and cultural depth. With its Corinthian columns and imposing façade, the building itself is a work of art that begs exploration.

Inside, the venue offers a rich and diverse collection that spans fine arts, decorative arts, textiles, and a wealth of historical artefacts.

From European Old Masters to contemporary installations, the art gallery is a celebration of human creativity across eras and borders. Not to be missed are the Poulton Elk, a prehistoric elk skeleton, and the iconic 13th-century Egyptian panel painting, The Ummayad.

Beyond the exhibits, the museum and gallery are a hive of activity, offering regular workshops, talks, and interactive displays that cater to all age groups.

Accessibility is a priority, with wheelchair-friendly spaces and a range of guided tours designed to accommodate visitors with diverse needs.

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Queen Street Mill Textile Museum, Burnley

Queen Street Mill Textile Museum, Burnley

Queen Street Mill Textile Museum is the last surviving, operational steam-powered weaving mill in the world.

As such it’s another extremely important Lancashire attraction, showcasing the county’s eventful industrial past

This authentic 19th-century mill offers a rare glimpse into the Industrial Revolution’s impact on textile manufacturing, local economies, and workers’ lives.

The centrepiece is undoubtedly the “Peace” steam engine, still operational and ready to captivate visitors with its rhythmic chugging and mechanical ballet.

The museum showcases the looms in their original settings, complete with the clatter and hum you’d expect from a working mill. It’s not just about machinery; the museum tells human stories too, detailing the lives of workers who spent countless hours here.

With interactive exhibits and guided tours, the museum offers an immersive educational experience for both adults and children.

Whether you’re a history lover or someone intrigued by mechanical engineering, Queen Street Mill Textile Museum promises an enriching and unique day out.

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Ribble Steam Railway and Museum, Preston

Ribble Steam Railway and Museum, Preston
Image: ribblesteam.org.uk

In our book, this is one of the best places to visit in Lancashire (we love heritage railways here at UKAttraction).

Situated on the banks of the River Ribble in Preston, Lancashire, the Ribble Steam Railway and Museum is an enthralling attraction that celebrates Britain’s storied railway history.

Here, you can board a heritage steam train for a scenic ride along a line that takes you across a swing bridge and offers panoramic views of the Preston Dock area.

The museum itself is a treasure trove of historical locomotives, vintage carriages and fascinating railway memorabilia. Interactive exhibits abound, engaging children and adults alike with hands-on activities that both entertain and educate.

The indoor exhibition space is replete with detailed descriptions of locomotives and the historical contexts in which they operated. There’s also an outdoor viewing area where you can watch steam trains being restored—a real treat for railway enthusiasts.

If you’re a train aficionado or a family in search of an enlightening day out, Ribble Steam Railway and Museum delivers an unforgettable experience.

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Blackpool Pleasure Beach, Blackpool

Blackpool Pleasure Beach, Blackpool

Blackpool Pleasure Beach is located in one of the UK’s most iconic seaside towns. This legendary park has been drawing crowds since its opening in 1896.

With a stunning variety of rides, from the vintage charm of the Big Dipper to the heart-stopping adrenaline of ICON, the park offers something for everyone.

Don’t miss Nickelodeon Land, a special section geared towards younger visitors featuring family-friendly rides and popular TV characters.

Beyond the rides, there’s mesmerising live entertainment, scrumptious food stalls and even a casino.

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Farmer Ted’s Adventure Farm, Ormskirk

Farmer Ted's Adventure Farm, Ormskirk

Set in the scenic backdrop of Ormskirk, Lancashire, Farmer Ted’s Adventure Farm is a must-visit spot for families.

As well as the pigs and goats that children can interact with, Farmer Ted’s offers a whole world of fun and learning for little adventurers and grown-ups alike.

You’ll find fun activities such as go-karts and mini-golf courses as well as outdoor play areas.

Learning and fun go hand-in-hand here, with interactive exhibits and animal demonstrations that offer kids valuable lessons about farm life and animal care.

So if you’re keen on giving your kids an enriching, fun-filled outing, Farmer Ted’s Adventure Farm in Ormskirk has got all the bases covered.

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WWT Martin Mere Wetland Centre, Burscough

WWT Martin Mere Wetland Centre, Burscough
Image: wwt.org.uk

WWT Martin Mere Wetland Centre, located in Burscough, Lancashire, serves as a paradise for wildlife aficionados.

As part of the Wildfowl & Wetlands Trust, the centre spans a substantial area, encompassing a multitude of habitats teeming with diverse fauna.

Birds take centre stage here – expect to see everything from graceful swans to migratory wonders like geese and ducks.

The centre also provides interactive experiences like canoe safaris and walking trails, offering more adventurous ways to explore the wetlands.

The centre places a high emphasis on conservation, featuring carefully curated exhibits that educate visitors about the importance of wetlands and the creatures that inhabit them.

Family-friendly activities are aplenty here, making it a universally appealing day out.

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Beacon Fell Country Park, Goosnargh

Beacon Fell Country Park, Goosnargh

Beacon Fell Country Park in Goosnargh is your perfect spot for a laid-back day in the great outdoors.

Spread across 271 acres of Lancashire’s finest countryside, this park is an ideal place for nature lovers, offering a rich blend of woodlands, meadows, and elevated viewpoints.

Feel like hiking? There’s a trail for that. Want to spot some wildlife? Keep your eyes peeled for a rich array of birds and even the occasional deer.

The place is also a family-friendly Lancashire attraction, boasting well-maintained picnic spots and ample parking.

So whether you’re up for some leisurely exploration or just fancy a tranquil spot to relax, Beacon Fell Country Park ticks all the boxes.

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Forest of Bowland, Clitheroe

Forest of Bowland, Clitheroe

If you’re after some quality time with nature, look no further than the Forest of Bowland in Clitheroe.

This Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty covers about 312 square miles and is an incredible mix of moorlands, fells, and scenic valleys. A hotspot for hiking and cycling, the park offers numerous trails that guide you through its diverse landscapes.

Wildlife enthusiasts are in for a treat as the area is home to a range of birds like the endangered hen harrier. The lush meadows speckled with wildflowers also provide excellent opportunities for botany lovers.

Dotted with charming villages and historic sites, there’s also a cultural element that adds depth to your visit.

From family picnics to photography, from bird-watching to stargazing, the Forest of Bowland is a haven that serves multiple interests, making it a perfect escape for both casual visitors and seasoned outdoor enthusiasts.

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Brockholes Nature Reserve, Preston

Brockholes Nature Reserve, Preston

Nestled near Preston, Brockholes Nature Reserve is a sanctuary that combines a respect for nature with innovative design.

This unique reserve runs on a social enterprise model, directly channeling your visitor spending into vital conservation work. Explore a variety of habitats, from tranquil wetlands to idyllic woodlands, all brimming with wildlife.

Here, otters splash in the waterways, kingfishers dart with brilliant colours, and butterflies add a gentle charm to the flora.

The Visitor Village serves as the hub for activities, offering interactive exhibits and a range of educational workshops that make it perfect for family outings.

For those keen on birdwatching, the dedicated hides provide an ideal setting to observe everything from common local species to rarer, migratory birds.

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Blackpool Beach, Blackpool

Blackpool Beach, Blackpool

Blackpool Beach is more than just golden sands and inviting waters; it’s an entire experience. Known for its iconic Blackpool Tower, the beach area is alive with various attractions that promise a full day of fun.

Kids can build sandcastles, while adults can relax in deck chairs or take a stroll along the pier. The adjacent Blackpool Promenade is brimming with cafes, shops, and pubs for when you want to take a break from the sun.

Don’t miss the annual Blackpool Illuminations, a light festival that casts a magical glow over the whole area.

Access is straightforward, with abundant parking and good public transport links, ensuring the beach is accessible to everyone.

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Lytham St Annes Beach, Lytham St Annes

Lytham St Annes Beach, Lytham St Annes

Lytham St Annes Beach, situated in the picturesque town of Lytham St Annes in Lancashire, is a haven of tranquillity and scenic beauty.

This stretch of coast offers expansive sandy shores and dunes, presenting a quieter alternative to its bustling neighbour, Blackpool.

The area is perfect for family outings, thanks to its traditional beach huts that add a touch of nostalgia and whimsy to the seaside experience.

The beach is also renowned for its iconic Victorian pier. This historic structure, replete with charming shops, cafes, and classic amusements, provides both entertainment and a wonderful setting for relaxed strolls overlooking the Irish Sea.

The nearby sand dunes are rich natural habitats teeming with diverse plant life and wildlife, making them ideal spots for those keen on bird-watching or trekking through nature.

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Morecambe Bay, Morecambe

Morecambe Bay, Morecambe

Morecambe Bay is a jewel of the Lancashire coastline, offering a blend of scenic beauty, leisure activities, and cultural richness that make it a standout holiday destination.

Its extensive tidal range and stunning sunsets are natural spectacles, providing ample photographic opportunities. The Stone Jetty, revamped with artworks and a pavement maze, is perfect for a leisurely stroll.

Family-friendly attractions abound, including adventure playgrounds and arcades, satisfying visitors of all ages.

Transportation to and from the bay is convenient, with well-connected train and bus services, as well as spacious car parks for those travelling by car.

Whether you’re an avid walker, a birdwatcher, or someone who simply wants to breathe in the sea air and watch the sun dip below the horizon, Morecambe Bay offers an array of experiences that make it a must-visit.

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Preston Markets, Preston

Preston Markets, Preston
Image: prestonmarkets.co.uk

In the heart of Preston lies a hidden gem that seamlessly melds tradition with modernity – the Preston Markets.

These venerable markets boast a storied history that can be traced back to the 12th century, and today, they stand as a testament to the city’s rich cultural heritage.

You’ll discover a tantalizing array of offerings which includes farm-fresh produce. But it’s not just about food. The market is a treasure trove for shoppers of all persuasions.

Beyond the culinary wonders, you’ll stumble upon a diverse array of goods, from meticulously handcrafted jewellery that catches the eye to distinctive homeware.

So, whether you’re seeking delectable treats, unique discoveries, or simply yearning to immerse yourself in the local culture, the Preston Markets promise an enchanting experience.

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Cedar Farm, Mawdesley

Cedar Farm, Mawdesley

Cedar Farm offers a captivating blend of tradition and contemporary artistry, making it a haven for lovers of all things handcrafted.

What sets Cedar Farm apart is its commitment to preserving age-old techniques and celebrating the work of local artisans. As you step onto its cobbled courtyard, you’ll find yourself enveloped by a unique atmosphere that exudes creativity.

The historic farm buildings have been painstakingly repurposed to house boutiques, galleries and studios. You’ll find a rich variety of handcrafted items including bespoke jewellery, textiles, ceramics and woodwork.

Exploring Cedar Farm is a multisensory delight. You’ll encounter the aroma of freshly brewed coffee wafting from the on-site café, where you can pause to savour artisanal treats and absorb the inspiring surroundings.

The artistic community here often organizes workshops and events, providing an opportunity to connect with the creative process and perhaps even try your hand at crafting something special.

Beyond the shopping and artistic indulgence, Cedar Farm features a picturesque courtyard replete with greenery and flowers – ideal for those seeking Lancashire countryside activities.

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Clitheroe Castle, Clitheroe

Clitheroe Castle, Clitheroe
Image: visitlancashire.com

The heart of this medieval marvel is its Norman keep, which was constructed in the 12th century. The surrounding 16-acre parkland is a haven for nature lovers and those in pursuit of tranquility.

While gentle paths invite relaxed ambulation, the sweeping vistas of the Ribble Valley from the castle’s vantage are truly unparalleled.

Not just a visual treat, the Clitheroe Castle Museum is a trove of knowledge, unraveling stories of local history, the land’s unique geology, and enthralling legends that have shaped the region’s identity.

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Leighton Hall, Carnforth

Leighton Hall, Carnforth
Image: leightonhall.co.uk

A historic Grade II listed building, Leighton hall boasts mesmerising architecture, manicured gardens, and an intriguing family history.

As the ancestral home of the world-renowned Gillow furniture makers, the hall contains exceptional examples of their craftsmanship.

A stroll through the parkland offers visitors a glimpse of enchanting wildlife, while the famous Birds of Prey displays captivate audiences. The Tea Rooms, offering delightful refreshments, round off an ideal day out.

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Gawthorpe Hall, Burnley

Gawthorpe Hall, Burnley

Gawthorpe Hall, majestically positioned amidst Burnley’s picturesque landscapes, stands as a poignant testament to England’s profound heritage.

Often dubbed the “Downton of the North“, this Elizabethan jewel fascinates visitors with its grand architecture, detailed interiors, and an unparalleled collection of textiles.

The hall, with its rich tapestry of history, is enveloped by pristine gardens and woodlands, providing a harmonious blend of historical insight and natural splendour.

A visit here not only promises a trip through the annals of English aristocracy but also a serene communion with nature, making it a destination that captivates both the heart and the mind.

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Pendle Heritage Centre, Burnley

Pendle Heritage Centre, Burnley
Image: pendleheritage.co.uk

Pendle Heritage Centre, situated in the historic heart of Burnley, is an immersive gateway to the intriguing past of the Pendle region.

This complex, complete with its beautifully restored 17th-century house, gardens, and exhibitions, offers a captivating journey through centuries.

Beyond the iconic Pendle Witches saga, it delves deep into the area’s archaeology, architecture, and landscapes.

Visitors can wander through time-touched rooms, stroll in cottage gardens, and unravel the mysteries of Pendle’s rich heritage, making it an essential destination for history buffs and families alike.

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Official Lancashire Tourist Site
https://www.visitlancashire.com


 

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