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 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, prestigious cultural festivals have sprung up in the former industrial heartlands, including the National Festival of Making, British Textile Biennial, Blackburn Open Walls and Burnley Canal 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, while Morecambe mixes heady nostalgia at the Vintage by the Sea festival with the forthcoming prospect of a new Eden Project.

Read on to discover more of the best things to do in Lancashire.

Discover our top picks

light up lancaster
Exhibitions 4–5 November 2022, FREE

Light Up Lancaster

Festival of light and art Light Up Lancaster returns to the city with installations, projections, performance and fireworks illuminating the city’s historic buildings, charming streets and hidden squares.

The Jungle Book at Williamson Park
Families Until 28 August 2022, from £15.00

The Jungle Book at Williamson Park

The enchanting backdrop of Lancaster’s Williamson Park will provide a magical and leafy setting for this outdoor walkabout performance.

Exhibitions 14–29 October 2022, FREE

Lightpool Festival

Taking place during Blackpool’s annual Illuminations display, Lightpool is a celebration of spectacular art works and live, illuminated performance across the iconic town.

Activity Until 1 December 2022, from £15

Embroidery with Sara Dennis at Lancaster Castle

Learn embroidery in a fun and relaxed environment with the BBC’s Sara Dennis at Lancaster Castle’s famous Witches Tower.

Activity Until 1 December 2022, from £60

Glass fusing at Glassmonkey Studio

Come and experience the magic of fused glass at Glass Monkey Studio in Burnley, where workshops cater for all levels and abilities.

Activity Until 1 December 2022, from £3.50

Knittaz with Attitude: Yarnbombing at Upside Down Coffee

Knitting, crochet, yarnbombing and contemporary needlecraft. Not a workshop as such but a ‘learning’ social with Knittaz with Attitude.

The Wizarding Adventure at East Lancashire Railway
Families Until 2 September 2022, from £13.00

The Wizarding Adventure at East Lancashire Railway

Families: Get ready to climb aboard the spell-binding steam train for a magical Wizarding Adventure at East Lancashire Railway.

Lancashire District Guides

Thompson Park in Burnley

Things to do in Burnley

Our guide to the best things to do in Burnley, including places to eat and drink, shopping and cultural attractions.

The Midland Hotel Morecambe

Things to do in Morecambe

Our guide to the best things to do in Morecambe, including places to eat and drink, shopping and cultural attractions.

Things to do in Lancaster

Our guide to the best things to do with your time in Lancaster, including the city’s historic castle, literature festival and Dukes theatre.

Blackburn Open Walls

Things to do in Blackburn

A jam-packed guide of the best sights, spots and locally sourced goods on offer in Blackburn and the surrounding area.

Walks in Blackpool

Things to do in Blackpool

World famous for the Illuminations, Blackpool Tower and the Pleasure Beach, Blackpool is one of the country’s most iconic seaside resorts.

Things to do right now

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