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5 useful tips to spending a day in Preston

PUBLISHED: 00:00 26 May 2017

Preston parks are listed and hold Green Flags

Preston parks are listed and hold Green Flags

Archant

A look at some of the enduring pleasures provided by a visit to this city

Marvellous museum

An obvious starting point for any day out in Preston is The Harris. This landmark building, with its striking columns, bears the inscription ‘The mental riches you may here acquire abide with you always’. It remains true to those words.

There is a library, gift shop and cafe on the ground floor, the museum of Preston occupies the second and then the art gallery and costume exhibition take pride of place on the third level, plus you’ll find a collection of historic photos, scent bottles and regular exhibitions. And the building itself is Victorian grandeur at its best. www.harrismuseum.org.uk

Eating and shopping

Preston has an eclectic mix of eating places. Stand out for us has been the Olive Tree Brasserie and Forum gets good reviews. As for cafes, there’s the Mystery Tea House, Ravenous, Ham & Jam and good old Brucciani’s.

Every visit to Lancashire’s towns and cities is enhanced by a little retail therapy. As well as its market, Preston still retains a fair number of independents and many familiar names can be found in the large Fishergate and St George’s shopping centres.

In a spin

The Guild Wheel is a 21-mile ‘greenway’ that circles the city of Preston providing a popular facility for cyclists and walkers. It was built as a lasting memorial to the Preston Guild of 2012 and the highlights include a route alongside the River Ribble, past ancient woodland, historic city centre parks, the largest 19th century dock in Europe and Brockholes Nature Reserve by the M6.

For more go to the leisure and culture section of www.lancashire.gov.uk

Park Life

Preston is home to the excellent Avenham and Miller Parks. These adjoining green spaces are close to Preston’s main shopping and business area, but their tranquil setting on the banks of the River Ribble offers a relaxing escape from the hubbub.

Their historic significance means they are Grade II listed, they possess Green Flag awards and you can now get married or have a civil partnership there. preston.gov.uk

Jolly good shows

The Preston Guild Hall is looking forward to a bright future under the guidance of local entrepreneur Simon Rigby, who is busy with ambitious plans to restore it to its former glory.

It now has restaurants, cocktail bar and café and next on the agenda is a ‘boutique’ ten-pin bowling alley, crazy golf, sports bar and diner. In the meantime, June sees world class snooker, ballet, comedy and – one for the lads – a visit from Germaine Greer. prestonguildhall.co.uk

Out of town

Venture a couple of miles from the centre are there are some outstanding spots to visit. Brockholes is an remarkable wetland and woodland nature reserve run by the Lancashire Wildlife Trust. It is home to several bird species with a floating visitor village. Turbary Woods Owl and Bird of Prey Sanctuary does what it says on the tin with some exciting hands-on sessions. Finally, Cuerden Valley Park is a great place to let the kids – and the dog – let off steam in beautiful surroundings.

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