Preston is England's newest city, appointed so in 2002 to mark the 50th year of Queen Elizabeth II's reign, making it the 50th city in England. Despite this recent accolade, it is extremely old, perhaps dating back as far as 705 AD. Since then it has grown into the administrative and commercial centre of Lancashire. Its football team - Preston North End F.C. - is one of the oldest sides in the Football League, and this history is celebrated at the National Football Museum. The city possesses a large commercial district, with several large shopping areas such as The Mall (St George) Shopping Centre and a regular and popular Outdoor Market.


With over 2000 objects and photographs to view that chart the history of the sport, it is well worth a visit. Also noteworthy is the Grade 1 listed Harris Museum and Art Gallery, which houses a sizeable compilation of art both modern and historical. These museums offer free entry to their exhibitions.

There is ample chance to enjoy the countryside around the city. Preston Marina, situated in nearby Riversway, offers riverside walks and the chance to view the passing dockland boats, along with a selection of shops and entertainment facilities. The city has a number of parks at its disposal, including the Avenham Park near the River Ribble - created from a 'natural amphitheatre' with a Japanese Rock Garden by the Victorian designer Edward Milner - and Beacon Fell Country Park, which overlooks the Lancastrian landscape and encompasses a proportion of the 150 miles of public footpaths in and around Preston.


Preston has a number of large, established shopping areas that provide ample opportunity for consumers. The two largest shopping centres are located at the centre of town - The Mall (otherwise known as St George) is a popular area for retail therapy, and the Fishergate Centre, which houses all the well-known high street names. The two main high streets in the city - Fishergate and Friargate, also offer a wide selection of shops.

The city also has a famous Outdoor Market for a more traditional shopping experience. Located at the centre of town, next to the six-day indoor market in the Market Hall, it hosts over 140 stalls and is held four times a week throughout the year.

Nightlife and Eating Out

Nightlife is quite vibrant in the city, with a good range of clubs and bars to enjoy across a variety of tastes, from chart music to R&B. If you are looking for a place to drink, there are the usual national brands such as O'Neil's and Wetherspoons, as well as unique themed bars offering 80's nights and cocktail bars. The main high streets of Fishergate and Friargate are well stocked with restaurants, with everything from Cantonese to Italian - with more hidden away down side streets.

The city is fairly well equipped for entertainment. There are two theatres to enjoy, the professional Guild Hall & Charter Theatre, which hosts musical and theatrical performances as well as televised sporting events such as Snooker and The Playhouse Theatre, which offers dramatic performances at low prices. There are also two multi screen cinema complexes - a VUE and an Odeon located nearby.

Tourist Information

  • Tourist Information Centre, Guild Hall Lancaster Rd, Preston, PR1 1HT
  • Telephone: 01772 253 731
  • Email:
  • Website:


Manchester Airport is the largest airport near Preston, and is located roughly 55km away to the South East. The airport houses 95 airlines flying to over 180 destinations worldwide.

Manchester Airport: 0161 489 3000

Blackpool International Airport is found just over 30km away to the West. The airport houses several airlines, serving 21 destinations across the UK & Europe.

Blackpool International Airport: 08700 273 777

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