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North West - Lancaster and Morecambe

top 10 places

Top 100 places to visit in north west england

Lancaster and Morecambe

1. Lancaster Maritime Museum

Explore Lancaster's golden age of prosperity and it's role in the slave trade at Lancaster Maritime Museum. The Museum is set in the former Port of Lancaster Custom House - a fine Georgian building designed by the architect Richard Gillow.  Explore the Port of Lancaster through sights, smells and reconstructions, and  learn about the social and natural history of Morecambe Bay. Many other exhibits relating to all things nautical in the area are on display.

2. Lancaster Castle

This fascinating building has dominated Lancaster for almost 1000 years and is one of the best preserved castles in the country. See the place where the Pendle Witches were convicted and condemned to die. Experience the dungeons and imagine what it was like to have been imprisoned there. Visit the Crown Court where thousands of convicts were transported to Australia and then marvel at the beautiful Gillow furniture in the Grand Jury Room and the famous display of heraldry in The Shire Hall.

3. Williamson Park

Williamson Park in Lancaster comprises 54 acres of beautiful parkland with enchanting walks and breathtaking views to the Fylde Coast and the Lake District. The Tropical Butterfly House, Mini-Beasts, Bird Enclosure and Small Mammal section will fascinate all the family and add a touch of the exotic to a visit to one of the city's leading tourist attractions. Enjoy the pleasant surroundings of the Pavilion Cafe or walk up to the balcony of the fabulous Ashton Memorial.

4. Morecambe Bay Guided Walks

Morecambe Bay is the largest continuous intertidal area in Britain. The Bay is fed by five rivers - the Leven, the Kent, the Keer, the Lune and the Wyre. On the east and north of the Bay, the sandflats are bordered by extensive areas of salt marsh, only ever covered by the very highest tides. Crossing is only possible at low tides with the leadership of a professional guide. Guides have been employed by the Duchy of Lancaster since 1536 and the current oficial Queen's Guide is Cedric Robinson.

5. Port of Lancaster Smokehouse

Established over thirty years ago, the Port of Lancaster smokehouse has retained and maintained the traditional methods of preparing and curing fish and meats of all kinds. Wherever possible they source local and in season wild salmon from the River Lune, sea trout and local game. White fish is bought daily from Fleetwood fish market and the potted shrimps are from Morecambe Bay. You can also try sausages from traditional recipes, and if you like the sausages you will love the oak smoked English back bacon.

6. The Judge’s Lodgings Museum

The Judge's Lodgings Museum is Lancaster's oldest town house, dating from the 17th century. It was originally home to witch hunter Thomas Covell and displays a wealth of furniture, porcelain, silver and paintings. There is a stunning collection of Gillow furniture displayed in period rooms, an impressive recreation of an Edwardian schoolroom and an enchanting childhood collection of dolls, toys and games from the 18th century to the present day.

7. The Dukes Cinema and Theatre

The Dukes Cinema and Theatre is Lancaster's cultural hotspot. It shows a selection of both mainstream and off-beat arthouse and historical films and hosts regular performances of plays, musicals and concerts. There are three main spaces; a 240 seat theatre space, a 313 seat cinema and a 112 seat space for use by young people. You can also book tickets for open air theatre in nearby Williamson Park in summer. A trendy bar serves drinks and snacks.

8. Heysham Anglo-Viking Chapel

Heysham Village is well worth a visit and is one of the most interesting Anglo-Viking settlements in Northwest England. It has a history stretching back thousands of years, evidenced by the ruins of St Patrick's Chapel with graves hewn out of solid rock upon the headland hidden beyond St Peter's Church. Take a walk past old cottages and down onto the shore at Half Moon Bay. Enjoy some afternoon tea in the village cafe or dine in the beer gardens of the 16th century village pub.

9. River Lune Walks

The River Lune Millennium Park stretches some 15km along the banks of the Lune from Bull Beck near Caton to Salt Ayre in Lancaster. The river Lune was the subject of Turner's sketching tour of 1816, and the Crook O’ Lune (a meandering bend in the river to the east of Lancaster) is now a popular starting point for walks. Look north east to see the majestic plateau of Ingleborough - one of the Three Peaks.

10. The Peter Scott Gallery

The collection at The Peter Scott Gallery includes works by artists from the St Ives School, Sir Terry Frost, Wilhelmina Barns-Graham, Barbara Hepworth and William Scott. Among other British artists whose work is represented are Norman Adams, Patrick Caulfield, Elizabeth Frink, Kenneth Martin and Winifred Nicholson. Within the last fifteen years works by Andy Goldsworthy, Peter Howson and Albert Irvin have been acquired.
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