Things to do in Lancashire

Polly Checkland Harding

The coastal county of Lancashire sits just above Manchester and Liverpool, its uppermost edge bordering the Yorkshire Dales National Park. Among the great northern cities and towns located here are Blackburn and Burnley to the south, the celebrated waterfront resorts of Blackpool and Morecambe on the seashore further north, as well as the historic city of Lancaster inland. Between them, these places help to define this area of the country: this was where mill and factory workers helped to forge the industrial revolution beneath the chimney stacks that still mark the skyline, occasionally escaping to the fresh sea breezes at some of the greatest Victorian pleasure resorts.

But what is Lancashire like to explore today? Now, arts and cultural gems spring up in former industrial heartlands, including many prestigious festivals including the National Festival of Making and the British Textile Biennial. There’s also Blackburn’s ever-growing Confessional Festival, the more family orientated Burnley Canal Festival, and Morecambe’s The Bay International Film Festival as well as Morecambe Poetry Festival.

Over in Blackpool the Illuminations light up the shore front annually, while the Grundy Art Gallery adds cutting-edge contemporary art to the historic joys of the Blackpool Tower and Ballroom. Lancaster is one of the few cities in the country with Heritage City Status, its medieval buildings a pleasure to discover. It’s also great for theatre, with The Dukes playing regular host to explosive, innovative productions — and keep an eye out for its award-winning outdoor walkabout theatre this summer!

If you know where to look, Lancashire has an incredibly vibrant arts and culture scene, as varied as the landscape it inhabits. Check out some of our upcoming highlights below.

What's on in Lancashire

Where to go in Lancashire

Winckley Square
Lancashire
Park
Winckley Square

Hosting a variety of year-round events, from guided walks to jazz evenings, Winckley Square is a Georgian square packed with history in Preston city centre.

Friargate
Lancashire
Shop
Friargate

With an array of independent shops and places to eat and drink, including a number of contemporary pubs and bars, you’ll be spoilt for choice.

Avenham and Miller Parks
Lancashire
Park
Avenham and Miller Parks

Located in the heart of Preston, Avenham and Miller Parks are among the finest examples of traditional Victorian parkland in the North West.

Blackburn
Music venue
The Exchange, Blackburn

Dating back to 1865 when it opened as one of four exchange halls in the country, The Exchange is an iconic Blackburn venue

Lancashire
Music venue
The Platform

Music, comedy, dance, drama and children’s shows in an Edwardian railway station, opposite The Midland Hotel.

Lancashire
Gallery
The Crescent Gallery

Morecambe gallery which showcases and sells contemporary works, often by artists from the area, which are varied and beautiful.

Lancashire
Gallery
Edgelands Gallery

Edgelands Gallery in Morecambe is a beautiful studio and gallery, regularly displaying high quality artwork.

Lancashire
Restaurant
The White Swan
at Fence

The White Swan at Fence is a gastro-pub with much to brag about. Delicious drinks and fantastic food has got this pub a Michelin Star.

Lancashire
Restaurant
Bootleg Social

The live-music venue and bar is a hidden gem, standing out against the technicolour nightlife of Blackpool with its own understated edge.

Lancashire Visitor Guides

Records and Relics frontage
Shopping in Lancashire

Our guide to the best shops in Lancashire, including independents and markets in Blackpool, Lancaster, Morecambe, Burnley and Blackburn.

Northcote
Food and Drink in Lancashire

Our guide to food and drink in Lancashire, featuring restaurants and bars in Lancaster, Morecambe, Blackburn, Burnley and Blackpool.

Castle View
Hotels in Lancashire

Our guide to the best hotels in Lancashire, including Lancaster, Morecambe, Blackburn, Burnley and Blackpool.

Walks in Blackpool
Walks in Blackpool

A round-up of the best walks in Blackpool, including the sights of the promenade and nearby country walks.

Walks in Blackburn & Burnley
Walks in Blackburn & Burnley

An inspired array of walks and cultural spaces to hike, saunter or work your way through, featuring wild landscape and stately halls alike.

Pillock at Contact
Spotlight on

Fringe Theatre in Manchester and the North

Check out our top picks of shows previewing in the North West before heading to Edinburgh Fringe Festival later in the summer.

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