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With its royal connections - Queen Elisabeth II is also the Duke of Lancaster - and historic importance as a trading port, Lancaster is very much a fading, but genteel beauty. The 18th century is when it was at its busiest, unfortunately as a hub of the slave trade, and much of the city’s best architecture is Georgian - though there are also some lovely country seats in the region surrounding the county town. And the best places to stay in Lancaster are a mix of city centre boltholes, converted manors and some charming old seaside hotels along the coast at Morecambe.
Naturally Lancaster has a castle, built first in 1150 and then added to regularly. Its tower, also a later addition is famous for housing the Pendle Witches during their trial in 1612. These days it's a crown court, so you can only visit on a guided tour.
Lancaster also has a very fine Priory Church, right next to the castle, but pre-dating it, several museums - including a Maritime Museum, and a wonderful park with a beautiful Edwardian Palm House, now converted into a Tropical Butterfly House.
Our pick of the best places to stay in Lancaster are ideal bases from which to explore this old county town.
For the city centre
- The Penny Street Bridge is a 28 room hotel converted from a lovely listed building right in the middle of town. Rooms are crisp and stylish and there’s a popular bar and restaurant - which serves great value breakfasts.
For a luxury B&B
- The Ashton, a luxurious five room B&B, has been converted from a Georgian manor house. You’re just five minutes from the centre of town and there’s lovely attention to detail.
Still not sure? Browse through our list of all the best places to stay in Lancaster, or contact one of our friendly Gurus for advice. Or widen the net and check out all our recommendations in Lancashire.
Best Hotels in Lancaster
Penny Street Bridge 28 rooms from $104Lancaster, 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
The Ashton 5 rooms from $153Lancaster, 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