Once at the forefront of the cotton industry, Lancashire is now a county of contrasts with rolling countryside, seaside resorts, rural villages and, of course, the city of Lancaster from which the county’s name derives.
Our particular favourite place to stay in Lancashire has to be Northcote. This impeccably run Victorian country house hotel is a joy. Michelin starred food with a distinctly local flavour is not to be missed. As if that's not enough, it has lovely views over the Ribble Valley and great walks from the door.
Lancaster’s castle reminds us of the county’s link with the monarchy; however these days Lancaster’s a small university city through which runs the River Lune.
Away from the city, the beautiful Forest of Bowland forms part of the Pennines and, with its deep valleys and heather moorlands, is designated an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.
Aside from country walks, fishing and other outdoor activities, there’s plenty to visit: Clitheroe Castle, Ribble Valley’s Sculpture Trail, the ruins of Sawley Abbey, to name but a few.
For the best places to stay in Lancaster itself try Penny Street Bridge or The Ashton, just five minutes away. If it's rural you're after then book The Inn at Whitewell or the Spread Eagle on the river Ribble
On the coast, Blackpool – retaining its popularity since its Victorian heyday – continues to be a popular resort. Opened up to holidaymakers in the late 19th century, following the building of two railway stations, tourists still come to see the town’s famous tower and ballroom, the Pleasure Beach and the town’s annual illuminations.
Head further north and you’ll arrive at the resorts of Fleetwood and Morecambe. For the best places to stay in Lancashire, on the coast try The Midland, an art deco classic in Morecambe or for a family visit to Blackpool book the Big Blue Hotel.
The county's accommodation for visitors, once a limited selection, now includes a multitude of options, ranging from country houses to boutique B&Bs, family hotels and rural inns. Here’s our pick of the best places to stay in Lancashire; several of them admirably reflect the wealth of local produce available in Lancashire (see www.visitlancashire.com for information on its food and cheese trails), with some superb cooking on offer.
The order of the hotels in this list of the best places to stay in Lancashire bears no reflection on our preference.
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.