Lancaster is a vibrant university city with a wealth of history. Its cobbled streets are lined with smart, stone houses filled with lively independent shops, bars, restaurants and all the high street favourites.

Lancaster Castle overlooks the city from its lofty position atop the hill on which the Romans originally built their fort. Dating back to 1093, its sturdy walls are still in use today, as a prison and courthouse.

The Dukes Theatre & Cinema offers a wide range of films and own-produced and touring theatrical productions (

At Lancaster City Museum you can experience Lancashire's rich and exciting heritage with extensive collections from rocks and fossils, to medals and swords (


Morecambe is the birthplace of Eric Bartholomew, better known as Eric Morecambe, and people flock to have their photo taken beside his life-size bronze sculpture. Stroll along the five-mile stretch of promenade and glistening sands and look out for the award-winning series of Tern sculptures.

The ultimate in seaside chic is the Midland Hotel, a magnificent Art Deco Building situated right on the Promenade. Everything that made the Midland so special in its glamorous heyday has been restored and reinvented for a new generation with 44 all-new boutique-style rooms. Stop for afternoon tea or a meal in one of its cafes or restaurants and admire the beautifully restored 1930s interiors (

Another landmark is the Grade II Listed Victorian Pavillion, better known as the Morecambe Winter gardens. Built in 1897, it has seen a recent revival and now offers a growing list of events - from lively pantomime to spooky overnight extravaganzas.

The Heritage Bus Tour takes visitors to see and experience the best of the Bay on a beautiful vintage open-top vehicle (Tel: 01524 422996).

During the summer season, visitors flock to the seaside to take in the sea air and admire the views of the Lakeland mountains across Morecambe Bay. A visit to Brucciani’s Ice Cream Parlour is a must. Bruno Brucciani’s Italian family has been making ice cream and serving coffee in Morecambe for 100 years. Little has changed since the parlour opened in the 1930s and it has retained the art deco interior and original trademark wood panelling.

Along the front there are lots of amusement arcades and shops selling everything from traditional rock and candy to second hand books. The old Edwardian railway station, opposite the Midland Hotel, is now a popular venue for gigs, comedy, dance, drama, children's shows and community events such as dog shows and craft fairs.

Although there is still work to be done to revive different areas of the town, the latest catalyst has been the opening of the new £124 million road linking Morecambe with the M6. The local businesses are embracing the future with fresh confidence working together to make Morecambe marvellous once more.


The areas around Arnside are renowned as designated Areas of Outstanding Beauty (AOB) and Sites of Scientific Interest (SSI) because of the rare butterflies and alpine succulants that shelter amongst the limestone pavements. There are many lovely woodland walks around Arnside Knott and up to the Pepper Pot at Silverdale.

A quaint former fishing village, Arnside has a pretty promenade with boutiques and an independent art gallery, a fantastic classic chip shop and a choice of pubs and eateries that offer spectacular views at sunset, as the tide ebbs and flows.


Silverdale sits snugly on the coast in a spot that has been designated an AOB because of its richly diverse habitats for a wealth of wildlife. Visitors can potter around the shops and galleries in this attractive village before stopping for lunch in one of the restaurants or pubs.

The RSPB reserve at Leighton Moss is a paradise for bird watchers, with hides spotted along the many tracks and trails that wind through the marshes. This reserve near Silverdale attracts more than 100 species of birds, including breeding bearded tits, herons, cormorants, marsh harriers and rare bitterns. Warm up afterwards in the tea room which serves delicious slabs of cakes (


Famous for the railway station where the classic 1945 Brief Encounter was filmed, tourists can discover more in the Visitor’s Centre, which offers fascinating exhibitions, regular events and a gift shop. Carnforth has a number of interesting independent and family-run shops including Carnforth Book Shop, which stocks more than 100,000 second-hand and antiquarian books, plus new books, gifts and toys.

If outdoor pursuits are more your style, visit Warton Crag which overlooks Carnforth and is ideal for hiking, climbing and abseiling. The village of Warton, the ancestral home of America’s first President, George Washington, is well worth discovering too (

Situated between Carnforth and Milnthorpe, Leighton Hall has beautiful rooms full of exquisite examples of furniture by Gillows of Lancaster. Follow one of the nature trails through the grounds and parkland or watch birds of prey being flown, weather permitting (


The small market town of Milnthorpe comprises limestone buildings, arranged in nooks and crannies and along narrow lanes. The Market Square is bordered on three sides by pretty cottages and inviting shops. The fourth side opens out on to green lawns and trees leading up to an imposing and very attractive 19th century church of St Thomas (

At the nearby Greenlands Farm Village you can pat storybook farm animals, ride a horse and trap, pedal a mini tractor, lark about in a straw play barn or take a put on the mini golf course. Greenlands is also home to an artisan village with a farm shop, gift shop, wine shop, goldsmiths, skincare specialists and hairdresser (

The Lakeland Wildlife Oasis has an exciting blend of exotic wildlife and interactive hands-on displays. There are meerkats, monkeys, captive red squirrels and majestic snow leopards (