Our early May bank holiday weekend was spent in Lancashire, where my best friend got married. Obviously it’s an occasion I’ve been looking forward to since she got engaged, over a year ago, and it was a brilliant weekend all round: filled with love and laughter.
I bought my outfit in December (a red broderie anglaise midi dress and black strappy heels) so I was glad when the snow they’d had up north earlier that week cleared; even on the day of the wedding it was sleeting as I sat gossiping with the bride and her Mum in their hotel room, but the sun came out just in time for us all arriving at the venue – the stunning 14th century Samlesbury Hall. It’s definitely worth a visit, either as a wedding guest or otherwise, and the afternoon tea is delicious!
A quick guide to Preston, Lancashire
While it’s not the most exciting place in the UK, I have a soft spot for Preston: I spent 3 years here getting my media degree and even stayed for another year after that. I like to think I know the city well but of course it’s changed a bit since I left in 2008. Below I’ve rounded up some old and new favourites, in case you ever find yourself here for 24 hours or so.
Things to see and do
- Miller Arcade, PR1: Victorian indoor shopping centre, built in the 1890s.
- Harris Museum, Market St., PR1: fine art, digital media, textiles, ceramics, archaeology and more.
- Avenham Park, PR1: pretty city-centre park with a Japanese garden.
- Samlesbury Hall, Preston New Rd., PR5: built in 1325, this Tudor manor was saved from demolition in the 1920s (imagine!). Also, animals.
- Preston Bus Station, PR1: no I haven’t gone mad, this impressive Brutalist building used to be the biggest bus station in Europe.
Places to eat and drink
- Turtle Bay, 8 Cheapside, PR1: Caribbean food and the longest 2-for-1 cocktail happy ‘hour’ I’ve ever seen!
- The Ferret, 55 Fylde Rd., PR1: diner-style food and live music.
- Old Black Bull, 35-36 Friargate, PR1: quiet, old-fashioned pub serving local ales.
- Brucciani’s, 91 Fishergate, PR1: founded in the 1930s, this café is stunning but the food and drink not so great – a decent pit-stop for tea, just so you can have a nosy.
Where to sleep
- Holiday Inn Preston, The Ringway, PR1: cheap-and-cheerful city centre hotel.
- Samlesbury Hotel, Preston New Rd., PR5: great breakfasts but the fact it’s further out of town means a (steep) minimum taxi fare of £10.