For the last three years, my home was Lancaster – a small town up north which, to the unfamiliar eye, looks pretty uninteresting. Yet, I had the best years exploring every inch of the place and a recent trip back to see old friends reminded me of all those little corners. So, I decided to write about my Top 5 things to do in Lancaster.
5. Lancaster Castle and Roman Baths
Lancaster Castle stands proud above the town, and truly is beautiful – I had a fantastic view from my bedroom window as the sun set in the background. However, I always felt £8 was a little extortionate for a tour around a disused prison! But the view from the castle walls and footpath through the woodland nearby are fantastic. The public footpath, which you can get to via Long Marsh Road, leads along past the Priory Church and Quay Meadows towards the Millennium Bridge and St. George’s Quay. Along the way, you can turn off to view Lancaster’s Roman Baths – they’re not much but were quite a find to stumble across one day!
4. Aldcliffe Marsh
From Lancaster Canal, you can follow the road to Aldcliffe. Taking a left from the main road and a right onto the Millennium Cycle path, you can walk for miles along the banks of the River Lune. With detours through marshes and mini nature reserves plus some pretty good pubs, it’s a great walk for warm summer’s days.
3. Lancaster University Woodland Walk
During my time on campus, Lancaster University’s Woodland Walk was a little sanctuary from the world of books and essay writing. Despite being surrounded by two motorways, the woodland felt a million miles away and is a lovely walk at all times of year – and great for a midnight run…
2. Williamson Park
It was a tough call between Williamson Park and Lancaster Canal for first place, they were both special to me during my university years. But in the end, the canal won out.
Williamson Park is brilliant for picnics with the family, disappearing into the trees or admiring the butterfly house. There’s plenty for everyone and lots of different walks so you never quite get bored of wandering around time and time again. My favourite memory of Williamson Park was watching the most amazing sunset after leaving my bag on a bench and running back as the light faded. Something about the unexpectedness of it all – especially the little mouse scurrying across my shoes!
1. Lancaster Canal
So, Lancaster Canal is my number one. Despite my love of Williamson Park, it is incredibly popular and you rarely get the place to yourself. Lancaster Canal, on the other hand, has its own little solitary
havens. Once you get past the stretch which follows the road, you can either leave the canal and follow the road to Aldcliffe and the marshes, or continue along through beautiful countryside until reaching Lancaster University. Another detour from the canal across the green bridge (first after the railway line) takes you up the hill and gives a fantastic view across the town, where on clear days you can see all the way to the Lake District – another of my favourite places in Britain!