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Lancashire's borders encompass a great swathe of land which includes the charms of Georgian Lancaster, and seaside dame, Blackpool. It also edges right up close to the Lake District, so it 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 us 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 anglers especially.
If you're interested in discovering more about Lancashire'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.
Our selection of the best places to stay in Lancashire cover most bases from family friendly seaside haunts to pubs with rooms to charming B&Bs. There truly is something for all tastes and budgets.
- Penny Street Bridge occupies a lovely listed building right in the heart of the town. The rooms are crisp, modern and neutral, the bar and restaurant are popular with locals, and the 28 rooms start from just £85 per night.
- The Ashton is an exquisite Georgian manor house turned B&B, just five minutes from the centre of Lancaster. There are just five, carefully styled rooms in this romantic bolt hole.
For Lancashire's lovely coast
- The Midland Hotel is a fabulous seaside Art Deco icon in Morecambe, just on the coast by Lancaster with the Lake District fells in the background and the great open expanse of Morecambe Bay in front.
- The Big Blue Hotel is big and blue and right next to Blackpool's Pleasure Beach. Very child friendly, but also surprisingly chic, considering its 157 rooms start from just £55 per night.
- If you're looking for something a bit more boutique on the coast, try Number One South Beach, which has a range of uniquely decorated rooms and sweeping views over the beach. They say it's 'South Beach in Blackpool'…
For exploring the region
- Hipping Hall Hotel is a traditional farmhouse crossed with a roadside inn, just 20 minutes from the Lake District. The excellent restaurant makes this more of a restaurant with rooms - six inside the house and three cottages in the yard.
- The Spread Eagle near Clitheroe is a bright and stylish pub right on the river in the pretty Ribble Valley. There are seven rooms, popular with walkers because it's right on the edge of the Yorkshire Dales with glorious views of the Pendle Hills.
- Northcote is a real foodie delight offering Michelin starred cooking with produce sourced locally - if not direct from the garden. The hotel itself was converted from an imposing Victorian manor house, and the decor is plush but masculine.
- The Inn at Whitewell is in a picturesque village in the heart of the Forest of Bowland. This 23 room inn has been in the family for three generations now and the family's taste for unusual and beautiful antiques has not faltered.
- The Cartford Inn is a fabulous 17th Century coaching inn on the River Wyre. As well as plenty of charm this property has outstandingly beautiful views.
Still not sure which is the best place to stay in Lancashire for you?
Best Hotels in Lancashire
Big Blue Hotel 157 rooms from $72Blackpool, Lancashire
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.Child friendlySights nearby - Right next to the Pleasure BeachLively - Hip and happening.Seaside - Ideal for a seaside holiday.
Millstone at Mellor 23 rooms from $81Blackburn, Lancashire
This charming old coaching inn offers the warmest of welcomes to its guests. Bedrooms are characterful and cosy and the award winning restaurant serves delicious food using local produce. Relax in the comfortable sitting room and enjoy some of the finest ales, all set amid beautiful countryside.Great walks - Great walks through the rural Lancashire countryside.Local markets - Explore the market towns of Clitheroe and Longridge.Sights nearby - Visit Clitheroe Castle and museum.Fishing - Excellent fishing nearby.
Penny Street Bridge 28 rooms from $111Lancaster, Lancashire
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.Sights nearby - Bang in the centre of townLively - Hip and happening.Recommended by - Sawdays
Spread Eagle 7 rooms from $111nr 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.Great walks - On the edge of the Yorkshire Dales.Views - Glorious views of the Pendle Hills.Lively - Hip and happening.Secluded setting - For escaping.Recommended by - Sawdays
Midland Hotel 44 rooms from $122Morecambe, Lancashire
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.Views - Great views from hotelDesigner - Uniquely designed interiors.Seaside - Ideal for a seaside holiday.Spa
The Cartford Inn 14 rooms from $143Preston, Lancashire
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.Restaurant - Recommended.Views - Stunning views of the Wyre and surrounding countryside.Secluded setting - For escaping.Full of characterRecommended by - Sawdays
The Inn at Whitewell 23 rooms from $156Nr 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 and dogs welcome too. Charming.Garden - Attractive outside space.Fishing - 7 mile stretch on the River Hodder available - ghillie on requestGreat walks - In the forest of Bowland.Remote - Off the beaten track.Recommended by - Good Hotel Guide
The Ashton 5 rooms from $163Lancaster, Lancashire
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.ChicSights nearby - Close to the centre of townRomantic - Good for couples.Recommended by - I Escape, Good Hotel Guide, Sawdays
Number One South Beach 15 rooms from $169Blackpool, Lancashire
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...Four poster beds - For romantics.Romantic - Good for couples.On the beach - In front of the hotel.Quirky - An experience!Recommended by - Good Hotel Guide
Hipping Hall Hotel 10 rooms from $246Kirkby Lonsdale, Lancashire
Equidistant from the Lake District and the Yorkshire Dales, Hipping Hall makes a great spot to rest ones head after countryside rambling and local exploring. Sleeping in slick, crisp rooms and with a memorable dining experience - its a great find for all.Total relaxation - An ideal spot to recharge and refresh, with deep soaking tubs, spa treatments, magnificant scenery and immpecable service.Foodies - The hotel's restaurant serves up mouthwatering, award winning cuisine, in a spectacular setting- foodie heaven!Great walks - Whether is be the Yorkshire Dales or the Lake District, there is much countryside to cover.Sights nearby - Nearby Wordsworth’s Dove Cottage is a great afternoon trip.Recommended by - Mr & Mrs Smith, Good Hotel Guide
Northcote 18 rooms from $339Blackburn, Lancashire
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.Restaurant - Michelin starred cooking.Views - Overlooking the Ribble Valley.Cooking classes - Lessons from £95Great walks - Good for walkers.Recommended by - Good Hotel Guide