Catwalks have been associated with Guided Walks in the Lancaster District and around the North West for many years. Catwalks has built up an excellent reputation for delivering a high quality service.
Visit their web site—www.catwalks-lancaster.co.uk—for the latest
walks schedule or check our What's On Pages
Lancaster in Pictures
In 2000 DJ Clark took 1000s
of photos around the area and of local activities and festivals too
and published them in a lovely book called 'A
Little English City'. Click
here to see these wonderful pictures (catalogued by
place and event)—taken in co-operation with Lancaster Museum who
are archiving the images.
ATTRACTIONS IN LANCASTER
J Atkinson & Co, Tea & Coffee Merchants
Web Link: www.thecoffeehopper.com; China St, Lancaster LA1 1EX (follow your nose!)
Tel: 01524 65470 A traditional
tea and coffee specialist shop founded in 1837 - the year of Queen
Victoria's accession. Atkinson's supply many of Lancaster's cafes with
their tea and coffee.
Purveyers of quality beans, leaves and blends
worldwide - including Fairtrade. They roast fresh every day, filling
the city with a wonderful aroma and have over sixty coffees and 100
teas - more than anywhere else in the region.
The Butterfly House Williamson Park, Lancaster, LA1 1UX
The former Palm House in Williamson
Park houses a tropical rain forest with flowers, trees, vines, foliage
and colourful species of butterflies including brilliant swallowtails,
and cleverly camouflaged Owl butterflies enjoying their natural habitat.
The pupae of new butterflies can be seen in a special display case
and you may even see a butterfly emerging from its chrysalis. In the
stream that flows around the forest you may also spot a koi carp.
Adjoining a Mini-Beast (reptiles and insects) Zoo, an Animal Garden and a free-flying foreign bird enclosure, this is a popular destination for school trips and guided talks are available demonstrating the life cycle of the beautiful creatures. Bookings can be made by telephoning 01524 33318.
Lancaster Leisure Park,
Wyresdale Road, Lancaster, LA1 3LA.
Lancaster Brewery, founded in 2005. Visitor center, shop, bar, beer garden and cafe open to all daily 10am–5pm. Children and dogs welcome. Brewery tours available at 10am and 3pm, private tours by arrangement. Available in the evenings for private hire.
Castle Parade, Lancaster, LA1 1YJ
Tel: 01524 64998
If you could only visit one castle in the UK it should
be this one. Open 7 days a week (except the Christmas/ New Year period) from 9:30am to 5pm, with tours starting every 30 minutes between 10am and 4pm. You can just walk freely into the castle courtyard. The gates are open. Times change!
winding, old, stone staircases and the entrance gate is a steeply cobbled wheelchair trap, so not suitable for people with restricted
Themed evening tours available for group bookings. Tours available
for pre-booked school groups. Gift shop. Cafe. No disabled access (yet).
Estimated Visiting Time : 1.5 hours
Until 2010 the castle was also used as a prison. It is changing now, much for the better.
Cemetery just off Quernmore Rd (opp. Williamson Park), Lancaster, LA1 3JT
The district's finest Victorian cemetery is a fascinating place full
of the best of Victorian Memorial Art and all the famous Lancastrians
of yesteryear are laid to rest there. Who were Pythagoras De Nicteroy
and Lasarus Threlfall Baines? Where is the largest Crimean War Memorial
Lancaster Civic Society presents occasional guided walks from the main
Museum and The King's Own Museum
Market Square, Lancaster, LA1 1HT
Tel. 01524 64637
Open Mon - Sat, 10am - 5pm.
Full disabled access.
splendid museum is housed in Lancaster's former Town Hall, built in
1781-3 to the designs of Major Thomas Jarrett and Thomas Harrison.
The Museum itself was founded in 1923 and its newly redisplayed collections
illustrate the rich history and archaeology of the city of Lancaster,
the most northerly and rural part of Lancashire.
The museum also hosts many temporary exhibitions.
The City Museum is also home
to The King's Own Regiment museum which offers a fascinating insight
into army life.For more about the King's Own, this site has a brief but thorough
overview of its history: www.kingsownmuseum.plus.com
Lancaster Comedy Club
is held at The Borough in Lancaster's Dalton Square every Sunday at 8pm.
Over the years the show has featured acts from Have I Got News For You, Michael McIntyre’s Comedy Roadshow, Never Mind The Buzzcocks and Mock The Week. Tickets are £7 in advance, £9 on the door or for £12 guests can enjoy a meal at The Borough (Michelin recommended) and then head upstairs to the show. For more information please visit www.lancastercomedy.co.uk
Cottage Museum & Roman Bath-House Cottage Museum, Castle Hill, St Mary's Gate, Lancaster, LA1 1YS.
Tel. 01524 64637
Close to Castle.
Open Easter to 30 September, daily from 1 - 4pm.
Admission Adults £1, concs 75p. Accompanied children free.
Hill Cottage Museum is a small museum furnished in the manner of an
artisan's home, circa 1825.
Open from Easter to the end of September, 2–5pm.
The remains of the
Bath-House are in Vicarage Field, on the right as you go down Priory
Lane, which runs from the Priory Green down to St George's Quay.
Part disabled access.
House Meeting House Lane, Lancaster
(next door to Lancaster train station)—
Tel: 01524) 62971
1708, replacing earlier building of 1677. The tombstone of John Lawson,
Lancaster's first Quaker, converted by George Fox in 1652, is in the
Grand Theatre St Leonardsgate, Lancaster, LA1 1NL
Tel: 01524 64695
Box Office open 10am - 3pm
Extended opening until 6.30pm Wednesday
The Grand can accept credit card orders by phone.
Tickets are usually on sale two months prior to an event. One of the
country's oldest working theatres, the show has gone on for more than
200 years. Tours of the exuberant Edwardian interior can be arranged
by appointment via the box office. Running for 45–60 mins, they may
include a glimpse of actress Mrs Sarah Siddons, the Ghost-in-Residence.
They will also take place throughout the days on the Heritage Open
Weekend in September.
Judges' Lodgings + Doll Museum
Church Street, Lancaster, LA1 1YS
Tel. 01524 32808
From Good Friday to 30 June:
Mon–Fri 1–4pm, Sat & Sun 12–4pm.
From 1 July to 30 September:
Mon–Fri 10am–4pm; Sat & Sun 12–4pm
Mon–Fri 1–4pm, Sat & Sun 12–4pm
Adults £3/£2. Accompanied children free.
town house, once the home of Thomas Covell, keeper of the Castle during
Lancashire's witch trials of 1612. Later used as a residence for judges
visiting Lancaster Castle, and now a museum displaying a wealth of
furniture, porcelain, silver and paintings. In addition to displays
of Lancaster's fine Waring and Gillow furniture the top floor of this
former town house - which includes room exhibits of the house as it
used to be - is turned over to a toy museum with artefacts from various
periods from throughout the 20th century. There's also an impressive
re-creation of an Edwardian school-room. The Lodgings often runs events
at half-term for schoolchildren: telephone for details.
Cafe and gift shop. Part disabled access.
Custom House, St George's Quay, Lancaster, LA1 1RB
Tel. 01524 382264
Free to local residents and all children under 16 (who must be accompanied by an adult).
Visiting adults £3/£2 (2014).
Open daily: Easter to October: 11am–5pm
November to Easter: 12.30–4pm
(Closed Xmas and New Year's days)
Last admissions: Warehouse building - 40 mins before closing. Museum - 20 minutes before closing.
This museum occupies two historic buildings
on St George's Quay, the main 18th-century harbour. It was opened
in 1985 and has won many awards. The former Custom House of 1764, designed
by Richard Gillow, contains interactive displays on the history of
the Port of Lancaster and the local fishing industry, including an
excellent push-button audio/video show of Bay maritime history, with
a gallery for exhibitions. In the adjacent warehouse are displays on
the Lancaster Canal and the ecology of Morecambe Bay. Several preserved
vessels are also displayed, including Sir William Priestley and Coronation
Rose. There is a cafeteria and shop and parking is available at the
rear. There is disabled access, toilet and baby-changing facilities.
Wyresdale Road, Lancaster LA1 3LA.
Previously Hornsea Pottery. Huge antiques centre with many dealers, factory shop with actual bargains, garden centre, play area, indoor soft play area, tearoom, dance studio, lots of free parking and it's practically next door to Williamson Park. On Saturdays there's also a Car Boot sale next door at the auction mart.
Market Square, Lancaster, LA1 1HY
Tel. 08450 530005
Following a fabulous refurbishment the
library is well known, not just for its books and extensive multi-media but also
for its popular Get It Loud in libraries gig nights with surprisingly
big names. The library offers a 35-minute A-Z audio-guided
walk that takes you on a tour of the history of the library
movement via the collection at Lancaster Library.
The walk covers all
the library's interior—the main space, the local history section
and the sanctuary upstairs. You are guided to specific places and items,
which throw light on the library itself and what it stands for.
roots in the Chartist rebellion through to the library’s relationship
to digital culture you will walk a map which draws this line back onto
How to take the walk: The audio walk is available on loan
from Lancaster Library on a ready-loaded MP3 player.
Millennium Bridge and River
Lune Millennium Park
St George's Quay
Walk or cycle along this newly constructed scenic route. Miles of tree-lined path alongside the rolling river. Click here for a virtual tour of the bridge.
The Music Room
Sun Street, Lancaster, LA1 1EW
Tel. 01524 65470
It seems to have been built in about 1730 as a garden pavilion. The striking 3-storey building
has a charming cafe on the ground floor but the principal
room on the first floor has some of the finest Baroque plaster-work
in the North West, attributed to Francesco Vassalli, with depictions
of the Greek Muses - hence the name. Sadly you cannot just go see as it is usually kept locked except on special open days and you need an appointment to view. The top floor is a flat
and is let by the Landmark Trust, who owns the building. Access by
arrangement with the Landmark
The Music Room Cafe, is on the ground and first floors, with tables in the square outside. It's run by Atkinson's, who take tea and coffee to a different level...
Priory Church St Mary's Gate, Lancaster, LA1 1YZ
Tel. 01524 65338
Next to the castle.
and Parish Church of St Mary was founded in 1094 by Roger de Poitou
on the site of the earlier Saxon church. It is remarkable. Children will love finding the exquisite and strange carvings under the mediaeval
choirstalls. The Priory also contains the King's Own Regiment Memorial Chapel.
Peters RC Cathedral
East Road, Lancaster LA1 3BT. Tel. 01524 384820
Designed by distinguished
architect E.G.Paley in the style of 1300 and consecrated in 1859, the
City's Roman Catholic cathedral has undergone a brilliant restoration. If
2009 the Cathedral celebrated its 150th anniversary.
The Cathedral is open daily 8:30am–6pm (with occasional exceptions).
There are information panels at several points around the Cathedral,
and an exhibition space which houses a computer giving further background
to the Cathedral and the Catholic faith.
Guided tours are available
for groups, but must be booked in advance. Tours can focus on the history
and architecture of the building, the liturgical life of the Church
or any aspect of Catholic belief and practice.
Lancaster Town Hall
Dalton Square, Lancaster, LA1 1PJ
Tel. (01524) 582070
Contains The Ashton Hall (not to be confused with the Ashton Memorial)
Opened in 1909 this neo-Georgian gift to Lancastrians from Lord Ashton is a fine Edwardian Grade II listed building containing: the imposing Council Chamber with the grand Mayor's chair; the Mayor's Parlour with the fine collection of civic silver and Gillow furniture including the magnificent centrifugal table; the majestic Ashton Hall with its grand concert organ and the fine display of heraldic art on the ceiling; the former Magistrate's Court Room complete with all the original furniture. From the prisoner's dock visitors will be "sent down" to view the atmospheric subterranean police cells, which in 1935 held Lancaster's notorious double murderer, Dr Buck Ruxton. Check with Town Hall reception for summer tour times (max. 15 people per tour). Town Hall Disabled Access
During office hours
is via the customer services side entrance (facing the Memorial Gardens, where there is also a disabled parking space) and the short reach platform lift which in turn gives access to the passenger lift and all the function / meeting rooms on the first floor. Out of hours functions. Ring the customer services door bell. If no-one answers you will require an able bodied person to go inside by the entrance in use and find somebody to arrange access, while you wait on the pavement outside. This may take some time and may not be successful. Best to phone a few days ahead and attempt to secure an arrangement.
and the Ashton Memorial
Quernmore Road or Wyresdale Road, Lancaster, LA1 1UX
Tel. 01524 33318
The outstanding landscaping of the 54 acres of parkland, with lakes, views and walks around the eye-catching Ashton Memorial and the exotic butterflies make this a memorable attraction.
superbly landscaped gardens, great Taj-Mahal-shaped skyline folly,
butterfly house, reptile & crawlies zoo!
Williamson Park is open throughout the year except for Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Year's Day – 10am – 5pm April to September, 10am – 4pm October to March.
The park is free to enter with a small entry fee to access the Butterfly House and Mini Beast Cave and a donation to enter the Ashton Memorial. It is a great location for school trips and birthday parties. http://www.facebook.com/Williamsonpark
Morecambe Prom It's
a lovely wide promenade walk—flat with good access, loos etc. A fantastic
view across the immense sweep of the bay to Lake District and that BIG
SKY feeling with the odd seagull doing the ambience. There's a cute
little train that can take you from the Eric Morecambe statue up the
Prom to the cafe at the end of the Stone Jetty and back if you're not
a big walker. On the land side there's loads of shops—gifts, clothes
outlets, cafes, pubs etc. There's the best market between Carlisle and
Preston (maybe better than them) with a big open-air add-on on Sundays
and during festivals there's good free live entertainments on the Prom—street theatre, live music and all sorts of wonders. The West End
(toward Heysham) is special for the little shops that are NOT part of
national chains—almost unique really.
For more information see the
Morecambe Visitor Information Centre. Tel.: 01524 582808
Adventure playground, trampolines, swingboats, bowling green, miniature
golf, putting, roundabout, picnic area, fabulous aqua splash park wet play area, miniature
railway, Rastelli's Cafe, sports field, gardens (Japanese and traditional), kids' activities, Playland, Pirates in the Park indoor fun, and the best brass bands from the NW take
turns to play on Sundays from May to September from 2.30pm. Lovely.
The habitat trail provides examples of animal’s homes, how they shelter during the winter and some amazing facts about each animal.
Each habitat is explained with beautifully illustrated display boards and includes real habitats.
behind The Platform, Morecambe. The indoor market is open Sunday, Tuesday,
Thursday and Saturday. And on Sundays (mainly in the morning) across the
carpark there is the largest open-air market in the area.
Disabled people should bear in mind that the main market carpark is council, but the open-air market carpark alongside it is private—so you have to pay or get a ticket. On the plus side the walkways between the rows of stalls are spacious.
Market Office tel: 01524 414251
Superb sculptures and bird games / riddles carved into the walkway. Fabulous scenery across the bay to the Lakeland mountains, plus (handy for the not-so-mobile?) a mini
train that runs up & down the Prom from the Eric Morecambe Memorial
(he said that without moving his lips!) to the cafe at the end of the
jetty and back. Wot larks!
Winter Gardens On Morecambe Prom. This fine old theatre, venue for many stars
of international repute, was left empty for years and deteriorated terribly.
A local campaign group has formed to raise the money to buy the property
and refurbish it to its former glory—and also give Morecambe a much-needed
Come and see how the campaign to restore this historic venue is progressing
and admire the remarkable architecture and decor of this fabulously
Info tel: 01524 422180.
Bridge House Farm
Main St, Wray, LA2 8QP.
Tel: 015242 22496
Open Tuesday to Sunday from 10am–4pm.
Tea room with regional and traditional home-made foods, gift shop and
gallery with original crafts and artwork. Also gifts, plants and accessories
for the garden. Artisans workshops available. Picnic and play area to
rear adjoining riverside and woodland walks and Area of Outstanding
Natural Beauty (AONB). Also offers themed weekend events.
Carnforth Station Heritage Centre Tel: 01524 735165
Visitor Centre open daily 10am–4pm Admission:
Cafe open from 9am–4pm.
This local railway station has been refurbished and is proving a major
tourist attraction because of its links to the classic film Brief
Carnforth Railway Station was opened in 1846 by the Lancaster and Carlisle
Railway Company as a roadside "second class" station, and
was originally just a single platform. It is now thought that the original
Lancaster and Carlisle station building is the building that in later
years became the Carnforth station refreshment room made famous in Brief
Hey Farm & Gardens
Hobbs Lane, Claughton on Brock, Garstang PR3 0QN.
Tel: 01995 602643. Email: email@example.com
Open from 10.30am–4.30pm Thursday–Monday (5 days a week) from February 4th until end of November. Group bookings welcome at other times.
This large, tranquil garden contains a wide range of natural environments
including a cottage garden, woodland, ponds and streams, rockeries and
lawns. Patio, orchard and formal parterre with box and yew hedges. Habitats
of lapwings, curlews, oystercatchers and redshanks are being protected
and monitored. A lapwing walk has been created in partnership with the
RSPB and the Countryside Rangers. This allows you to view these spectacular
birds in their natural environment, and take a look at some breathtaking
views over the Forest of Bowland and much of Lancashire.
Unusual plants for sale, tearooms, gift shop, playground, working
farm with rare cattle breeds.
Admission: £4.00 adults, £3.50 children/concessions. Group bookings available
for all groups and schools etc.
Wheelchair access to the cafe, toilets and the majority of the garden
and some access to the farm.
Cockersands Abbey Chapter House
Remains of a Premonstratensian Abbey, home to an order of contemplative
canons. Est. 1192. The most visible remains are those of the 13th Century
Chapter House, re-used as a mausoleum by the Dalton family of Thurnham
Hall from mid-18 to mid-19 centuries. The Chapterhouse is usually closed
except for the Heritage Festival in Mid-September. Outlines of the abbey
buildings can be seen in the adjoining field.
Location: Thurnham. For access turn of the A588, opposite Thurnham Hall gates
and down Moss Lane. Entrance to the abbey is signposted—it is the
round(ish) building next to the farm. Access is across a field so appropriate
footwear necessary. There are no steps.
Park Farm Visitor Centre,
Indoor adventure play area, llamas, rabbit
world, tearoom, shop. Bottle-feed the lambs in spring. Check out the
chicks at Easter. Weekends and holidays there are tractor and pony rides.
Book a one-hour tour and learn about the farming year, feed the animals,
stroke lots of animals, enjoy a nature walk around Swan Lake and meet
Farmer Ford on the Free tractor ride.
Free parking. 90% disabled access.
Open again daily for Half Term from Sat 14th to Sun 22nd Feb 10am – 4pm
Family £15 (2+2)
Free Craft workshops included in entrance price!
We are then open weekends only until Easter
Tel: 015242 21331
Greenlands Farm Village
On our open farm you can pat storybook farm animals, ride a horse and trap, pedal (size permitting!) a mini tractor, lark about in a straw play barn and enjoy ball sports sessions, race round the barn on the go-carts, little children can take a donkey ride and you can picnic by the paddocks.
In our artisan village, you can meet a variety of talented crafts people; from jewellers to skincare specialists, discover regional produce, savour home cooked fayre and treat yourself to hand-selected gifts, plants and wines. Enjoy delicious refreshments at Wellies Cafe.
Hest Bank Beach
Just north of Morecambe. You can get to the beach via the railway level
crossing where there's a free car park. You can walk a long way along
the beach path and it's lovely.
itself can be lethal - see our bay walk page. But you
still have a lot of scope as there's lots of grass and miles of foreshore
to enjoy. You might see racehorces training and in rehab on the sands, as well as kiteflyers and windsailers. Don't worry, the sands are BIG - you can have all the space your head needs. And there's a really good cafe + loos (with disabled access) called 'Archers Cafe' at Red Bank Farm. (See map)
Check the tide tables so you know what the bay is up to.
Ruins from 800AD, St Peter's Church and St Patrick's Chapel. Very pretty,
clifftop cemetery, Norse remains, overlooking the sea so nice walking
too. Great for kites. Then you just go round a corner and BAM—two
massive great nuclear reactors.
And people moan about windfarms.
For the fit and well-shod. £5 per adult, £2 for children under 16, and £11 for a family ticket (2 adults and up to 3 children). Cafe and gift shop at start and a snack bar near top of Thornton Force.
Please note: these prices are simply for access to the path and facilities, not for a guided walk.
Tel: 015242 41930.
Hall nr Carnforth LA5 9ST. Tel.: 01524 734474
AD 1246. Home of Gillows—famous furniture-making family. 80 acres of garden
and park, falconry displays, caterpillar maze. Tours, gifts, tea room
and plant conservatory.
Open May–September inclusive, 2pm–5pm, Tuesday–Friday (also Bank Holiday Sunday & Monday). Open on Sundays in August.
Admission and ticket prices may vary. Check for accurate info.
Moss Nature Reserve Myers Farm, Storrs Lane, Silverdale, Carnforth, Lancs, LA5 0SW.
Tel.: 01524 701601
One of the RSPB's most important reserves. The largest remaining reedbed
in north-west England attracts a wonderful range of wildlife. Among
its special birds are breeding bitterns, bearded tits and marsh harriers,
with water rails and pochards, and its mammals include roe and red deer.
You can take your pick of long or short nature trails—shorter ones
are suitable for wheelchairs and pushchairs, as are most of the hides.
The reserve and visitor centre are open daily all year round (except 25 December). The reserve is open from dawn to dusk and the visitor centre from 9.30 am to 5 pm (to 4.30 pm during December and January).
Entrance is free to the visitor centre and cafe. Admission to hides and nature trails: £5 adults, £3 concessions, £1 children, £10 family. Free to RSPB members and those who come by public transport or by bike!
The Lunesdale Arts Trail
Every spring, artists in beautiful Lunesdale open their studios to visitors. Later in the year, the artists will once again be running their popular and highly-rated workshops, suitable for all ability levels.
Castle Sizergh, nr Kendal, LA8 8DZ.
Tel: 015395 60951
Originally built in the Middle Ages by the Strickland family, who still
live there, this imposing house has an exceptional series of oak-panelled
rooms culminating in the Inlaid Chamber. Portraits, fine furniture and
ceramics accumulated over centuries by the family are shown alongside
their recent photographs. The garden includes two lakes and a superb
rock garden. All this is set in a 647-hectare (1600-acre) estate crossed by
public footpaths, providing short walks from the castle to dramatic
viewpoints over Morecambe Bay and the Lake District fells.
Trust website for current house & garden opening hours, admission
charges, and map.
White Scar Caves
Ingleton, North Yorkshire, LA6 3AW. Tel.: 015242 41244
The longest show cave in the UK.
See website for opening times, admission charges, times of guided tours, etc.