Lancashire is an ancient county to the west of its arch rival, Yorkshire.
This rivalry dates back from the Wars Of the Roses fought in the 1400s between the House of York (symbol: a white rose) and the House of Lancaster (symbol: a red rose).
It’s now a ruggedly pretty place, just like Yorkshire, with a strong industrial history, particularly in textiles.
Here then, are the best bits:
Best Places To Go In Lancashire, England
1. Queen Street Mill
Lancashire was once the center of the world’s cotton textile industry.
Mills, such as this one near the town of Burnley, employed thousand of people at their late 19th century height.
It’s now a museum.
Blackpool is the classic English seaside resort.
It revels in the tackiness of its Amusement Arcades (penny slot machines and video games), its Pleasure Beach theme park and other attractions, originally designed for the vacationing workers of the local mill towns.
The promenade, or ‘Front’, next to the sea is a popular place to walk – and includes a tram service, still running the old fashioned trams as though it was still the Victorian era.
In the Fall, after the main summer season, the Front is lit up as part of the ‘Blackpool Illuminations’ founded in 1879.
The city that gives the county its name, Lancaster is an ancient city boasting a fine cathedral, castle and the (pictured) Ashton Memorial overlooking the city.
The Duchy of Lancaster is one of two royal duchies – the other being the Duchy of Cornwall, held by HRH prince Charles currently – which holds significant property in the area, and is traditionally held by the reigning monarch.
4. Knowsley Safari Park
An open air zoo with a strong conservation background is a great place to take the (grand)kids.
Part of the Knowsley Estate, on the ancestral estate of the Earl of Derby.
5. East Lancashire Railway
This heritage trainline runs between Heywood and Rawtenstall, near the town of Bury.
6. Leighton Hall
Leighton Hall is the ancestral hom,e of the Gillow family (famous for its furniture).
It’s still their home, but it’s also home to visitors – they do a good job of catering to all the family (for example they run falconry exhibitions during the school holidays).
A great chance to view a ‘real’ stately home still in use.
7. Lytham St Annes Spitfire Centre
The Spitfire is one of great iconic planes of England.
Credited with much of the success of the Battle of Britain, these planes are one of the most famous planes in the world.
The Lytham St Annes Spitfire Centre celebrates this, and provides all the info you’d ever need. Well worth a visit.
8. Pendle Hill
Pendle Hill near Burnley is famous for the events of 1612.
That year saw the Pendle Witch trials: 11 local women were tried and executed (although one was acquitted) as witches.
These terrible events were the subject of the novel ‘The Daylight Gate’ by Jeanette Winterson.
9. Clitheroe Castle And Museum
Clitheroe Castle is a good example of a small mediaeval castle, and is a great place to bring the kids.
It overlooks the town of Clitheroe, in the Ribble Valley, itself worth a visit during its annual summer food festival which attracts people from all over the country.
10. Beacon Fell
Beacon Fell is an excellent area for walking. Covered mainly in coniferous forest, it’s a haven for local wildlife – perfect for a trek.
It also offers magnificent views over the surrounding moorland – you can even see Blackpool on a clear day.