Preston: top 3 things to do
1. Enjoy a show at Preston Guild Hall & Charter Theatre
Preston’s cultural scene received a serious boost with the refurbishment of the Guild Hall. It’s home to two live entertainment venues, and an eclectic mix of shops and restaurants. The Grand Hall and the Charter Theatre have attracted superstars like Elton John and David Bowie in the past.
2. Spend time in Preston Docks
Spend an afternoon in Preston Docks and you’ll find there’s tons of stuff going on. Catch the latest blockbuster at the multi-screen cinema before grabbing a bite to eat at one of the waterfront pubs. Take a ride on the Ribble Steam Railway then visit the museum to learn about its history. To get to the docks, jump on the 75 bus from the city centre.
3. Perfect your skills at Stratos Cocktail School
If you’ve always wanted to unleash your inner Tom Cruise, book yourself onto a cocktail master class. At uber-chic Stratos bar, professional mixologists will teach you how to rustle up your favourite tipple once they’ve given a demonstration. Class sizes start from five people, so grab a group of friends and let the fun begin. Find it on Avenham Street.
Preston: getting around
Take a coach to Preston and you can start exploring straight away. On the way, you’ll enjoy onboard extras like free WiFi and a 20kg luggage allowance, all included in the price of your megabus ticket. For more information on what else to expect, take a look at our onboard facilities page.
Preston is a very compact city, so most attractions are easy to walk to. The shopping centres, museums and restaurants are all clustered around the city centre, so walking is usually the quickest option. Or, if you prefer, there’s an extensive network of buses to speed up your journey. Visiting the University of Central Lancashire? From the main bus station, it’s either a 20-minute walk or a 5-minute bus ride on the number 61 bus.
With so much to see in the surrounding area, make sure you set aside some time to explore the region. The beaches of Blackpool and Morecambe can be reached in under 30 minutes by train. If you’re after breathtaking scenery, you’re in luck – the Forest of Bowland, the Lake District and the Yorkshire Dales are within easy reach.
Preston: best for nightlife
Preston’s nightlife is so impressive it’s been awarded purple flag status, meaning it’s an especially safe and fun social scene. Friargate is a good place to kick off your evening – there are more than enough pubs to turn a quiet drink into a crawl. Students love the Adelphi for its food and drink offers.
For nightclubs, the area around Church Street is a good bet, where you’ll find anything from cheesy 80s clubs to indie nights. And if you’re a fan of live music, head to The Ferret to discover new talent in an intimate venue.
Preston: best for shopping
Take a coach to Preston and you’ll be spoilt for choice on the shopping front. Fishergate is the city’s main high street and offers up big-name chains like River Island and Next. Also along this stretch you’ll find St George’s and Fishergate Shopping Centres, whose store directories read like a who’s who of retail favourites.
To pick up fresh local food and beauty products, check out Preston Markets on Earl Street. The Victorian grandeur of the Miller Arcade is one for your list, with its selection of independent shops.
Preston for free: our top 3
1. Stretch your legs in Avenham and Miller Parks
Stop by Avenham and Miller Parks, and take a break from the bustle of the city. These two adjoining Victorian parks, alongside the River Ribble, are just a short walk from the centre of town. Explore the Japanese Rock Garden before enjoying a brew at the Pavilion Café. Check out the Lancashire Festival – AKA #lancsfest – which takes place each July.
2. Visit Harris Museum and Art Gallery
The Harris Museum and Art Gallery is crammed full of paintings, sculpture, ceramics, glass and textiles that span the ages. Its remarkable collections are housed in a beautiful 19th-century Grade I listed building on Market Square in the city centre. Admission is free.
3. Navigate the Preston Guild Wheel
The Preston Guild Wheel path is a 21-mile loop around the city, which you can duck in and out of at any time. Don your walking shoes – or hop on a bike, if you prefer – and enjoy the local landscape. You’ll pass alongside the River Ribble, the city’s parks, Brockholes nature reserve and the historic docks. It’s a great way to get a feel for the area.
Book your coach to Preston using the journey planner on this page to find cheap tickets.