Preston Hotels - The beating heart of Lancashire, Preston is located on the River Ribble and is one of the historic capitals of the north of England. Vibrant green Victorian parks and striking monuments to Neo-Classical and Gothic Revival architecture await visitors – an eye-catching example of the latter is St Walburge's Church, which dates back to the 19th Century and boasts the tallest church spire in England. There are contemporary distractions as well, with the center full of bars and restaurants, as well as buzzing shopping malls filled with popular high-street names.
Things to see
You can't come to Preston and not go for a long leisurely turn around Avenham Park. It's about more than wide, dazzling green fields and winding lanes to wander down (although there's plenty of those as well). This listed park is also dotted with historic landmarks, including the obelisk of the Boer War Memorial and the ornate arches of the Belvedere, a pavilion also known as the White House. Perhaps the most beautiful spot on a sunny day is the Japanese rock garden, with its mirror-like waters. Right alongside Avenham Park is another place of natural tranquility, Miller Park, which is on the banks of the Ribble and features a vintage sundial amid colorful flower beds. Culture-seekers will love the Harris Museum and Art Gallery – quite apart from its exhibits, the Neo-Classical building, resplendent with external, Ancient Greek-style columns, is one of the most striking in Preston. Inside you can see works by the likes of Turner and Lucian Freud, and rare ceramics and textiles. For a taste of nature, the Brockhole Nature Reserve is the place to go – its "floating" Visitor Village, located on top of a lake, is an iconic attraction of the region.
Hotels in Preston
If you fancy bedding down amid Georgian or Victorian refinement, you'll be in luck as quite a few Preston hotels offer old-school luxury of this kind. Some are nestled amid picturesque woodland on the outskirts of the city, and you can go for a dip in indoor pools or have yourself a proper pampering with on-site spa treatments. Some even have lavish four-poster beds, for a night to remember. Of course, you needn't splash the cash too much, as you can also find plenty of reasonably-priced chain hotels in Preston, as well as cosy bed and breakfasts offering home comforts at good rates.
Where to stay
Booking a Preston hotel in the city center means you can simply stroll out to many of the restaurants and bars, as well as enjoy some retail therapy at the two huge shopping malls – Fishergate and St George's. If you're in the mood for independent, quirky boutiques rather than the usual high-street labels, head down the side streets off Fishergate to seek out hidden gems.
How to get to
Located just to south-west of the city center, Preston Station is an ideal gateway to the area, with links to Liverpool and Manchester, as well as other major cities including London, Edinburgh, and Glasgow. Bamber Bridge Station, so called because it lies in the village of Bamber Bridge just outside Preston, also offers direct services to Blackpool, Burnley, and Blackburn.