Lancashire’s Best Kept Secrets

When traveling to Lancashire the best kept secrets to a good time are spread out throughout one of the most beautiful areas of the United Kingdom.

Although they tend not to be such well kept secrets if you live here, the beauty of visiting Lancashire is that you can have a rewarding experience discovering these places. If you are on vacation or traveling for business in the county of Lancashire here are some gems that you should not miss.

Astley Hall

Not really a best kept secret as far as fame is concerned; but it is a place you cannot miss when traveling through Chorley or any of the surrounding towns. In addition to being a sight that would put “Downton Abbey” in its place, Astley Hall is a museum and art gallery as well. T

he Hall hosts many cultural events and programmes throughout the year. Built during Elizabethan times it is said Shakespeare was once a visitor, as was Oliver Cromwell. The architectural enthusiast will marvel at the plastered ceilings and the four wings added on to the home by each family who resided there.

The Ribble Steam Railway

Located in Preston this trip back to a time when railways were king can relax the most harried traveler. There is a museum that has a gift shop that visitors can find great souvenirs for young and old alike. It has been open since 2005 and there is an adjoining museum and workshop.

Gawthorpe Museum

Another venerable Elizabethan Manor situated in the heart of industrial Lancashire. This jewel still has original plaster-work ceilings and natural wood paneling that has to be seen to be believed. Art lovers will be impressed with the paintings on loan from the National Portrait Gallery.

Riley Green Marina

Taking a complete departure from museums, how about an outdoor adventure? The Riley Green Marina rents canal boats for the intrepid vacationing family. They will teach you canal boat navigation including at least six trips through locks.

There is also the choice of taking a canal boat lunch or dinner cruise aboard their canal boat restaurant. Enjoy a sumptuous meal while traveling through the Withnell Fold Nature Reserve passing by the Houghton Tower.

Brockholes Nature Preserve

Located in Preston in an old quarry the habitats of many different birds and other wildlife are here. Visitors can observe the area while walking along the river or one of the preserve’s lakes.

They have hides where expert animal watchers and families can observe their favourite animals undetected. Then take a break in their fine restaurant by the lake.

The Gallery at the Wharf

Located along the Leeds and Liverpool canal in Burscough, it is the permanent home of the Arts and Craft Guild of Lancashire.

Arts and crafts enthusiasts will enjoy the art, photography, ceramics, glass, and wood made items in the gallery.  They hold three different exhibitions for new artists each year. There are many boutiques and restaurants nearby when it’s time to take a break from the gallery.

The Lancashire Museum

Why not start here when you visit the town of Preston. It is Lancashire centric. The evolution of the area from prehistoric times to the present day is shown and it will interest young and old alike. It did receive the Small Visitor Attraction of the Year Award for 2012 so make a stop here with the whole family.

Lancashire County is a beautiful area that has many famous and not so famous attractions like these mentioned above. If you want to vacation, drive through or hold a business conference there is something here for you.

This article was written by Barton Grange Hotel.  Visit their website for information on Lancashire based venues for conferences.