Lancashire's borders encompass a great swathe of land which includes the charms of Georgian Lancaster, the forward thrust of Manchester and seaside dame, Blackpool. It also edges right up close to the Lake District, so Lancashire isn't short on natural wonders either.
The range of choices when it comes to choosing the best places to stay in Lancashire's smaller towns and villages is just as broad. There are good options for walkers, and those wanting to explore the region's historic highlights, but there are also great bolt holes to escape to.
Lancaster's grand castle is a beacon, reminding of this county's link with the monarchy, but these days Lancaster is more university city than seat of kings.
Just outside the city are the deep valleys and heather moorlands of the Forest of Bowland, part of the Pennines and a designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. The Forest is popular with walkers and fisherfolk especially. If you're interested in discovering more about Lancaster's history you'll probably want to visit Clitheroe Castle, the ruins of Sawley Abbey and the Judge's Lodgings, once the home of witch-hunter Thomas Covell, who 'caught' the Pendle Witches.
The Lancashire coast has been a popular holiday destination since Victorian times, when Blackpool was queen of the seaside resorts. The pier, tower, ballroom, the 16 hectare Pleasure Beach and the annual illuminations still draw a crowd. If Blackpool's not your cup of tea, head further north to Fleetwood and Morecambe.
Big, blue and family-friendly modern luxury hotel situated next to Blackpool's pleasure beach. Designer guild fabrics and thoughtful interior design give it a twist. Ideal for families who want a bit of contemporary comfort, in a good location.
Brilliant new town hotel in a listed building - with lively and popular bar and restaurant right in the middle of town. Stylish, crisp rooms, hearty breakfasts and great value.
nr Clitheroe, Lancashire
Riverside pub/restaurant in a great position in the Ribble Valley, with a small number of bright, stylish rooms. Popular with locals and walkers. Great food and views.
Fabulous Art Deco classic seaside hotel brought back from the dead and transmogrofied into a chic, sleek, ocean liner of a hotel. Sweeping seaviews, stunning suites and a spa. Plus Morecombe to explore.
A fabulous 17th century coaching inn with funky bedrooms and excellent food, on the River Wyre. Book the spectacular penthouse suite with roof terrace. Cosy in winter, a garden in summer.
Kirkby Lonsdale, Lancashire
Contemporary farmhouse feel in this roadside hotel with a great restaurant, slick rooms, relatively insulated from nearby A65. 20 minute drive from the Lake District.
Nr Clitheroe, Lancashire
An antique-filled inn; full of character, on the Duchy of Lancaster Estate in the Forest of Bowland. Fine gardens, fishing available, child friendly. Charming.
Exquisite Georgian manor house turned luxury boutique B&B, 5 minutes from the centre of Lancaster. Chic styling and exceptional attention to detail make for a romantic bolthole, a different kind of business crashpad, and the perfect stopover en route north.
Boutique hotel with a range of colourful and uniquely-decorated rooms, with sweeping views over the beach and sumptuous interiors. Themed rooms - 'Hip Hop', 'Noodle' - and a fully functioning restaurant. South beach in Blackpool...
A real foodie delight in an impeccably run Victorian manor hotel. Interiors are dark and masculine. Michelin starred cooking with organic produce from the garden.