15 Best Things To Do In Preston, England

15 Best Things To Do In Preston, England

By will

Preston, England may not be as widely known as some of its neighboring cities, but don’t let that fool you. This charming town has plenty to offer for those seeking a memorable and enjoyable experience. From historical landmarks to picturesque parks, there is something for everyone to enjoy in Preston.

One of the must-see attractions in Preston is the iconic Preston Guild Hall. This cultural hub hosts a variety of events throughout the year, including concerts, theater productions, and comedy shows. Whether you’re a music enthusiast or a fan of the performing arts, the Guild Hall is sure to have something that will pique your interest.

Additionally, history buffs will appreciate a visit to St. Walburge’s Church, a stunning Gothic Revival masterpiece that boasts the tallest spire of any parish church in England. Step inside and marvel at the intricate architecture and beautiful stained glass windows.

These are just a few of the many reasons why Preston is worth a visit. So, let’s dive into the 15 best things to do in this vibrant town and discover all that it has to offer.

Explore Preston Guild Hall

Preston Town Hall, from the Guild Hall balcony
Photo by Peter

Come and explore the fantastic Preston Guild Hall, where you can experience the rich history and vibrant culture of this charming city! As soon as you step into the Guild Hall, you’ll be transported back in time.

This historic building, constructed in 1972, has been a hub of entertainment and community gatherings for decades. From its stunning architecture to its grand interiors, the Guild Hall exudes a sense of elegance and grandeur.

Inside, you’ll find a range of attractions that cater to all interests. The Charter Theatre, located within the Guild Hall, hosts a variety of performances including plays, musicals, and concerts. The acoustics are simply outstanding, ensuring an unforgettable experience for every visitor.

Additionally, the Guild Hall is home to the Preston Museum and Art Gallery, where you can immerse yourself in the city’s rich history and admire beautiful works of art.

Beyond its cultural offerings, the Guild Hall is also a social hub. It houses a number of restaurants and bars, perfect for enjoying a delicious meal or relaxing with a drink after exploring the city. Whether you’re a history enthusiast, a lover of the arts, or simply looking for a vibrant and engaging experience, the Preston Guild Hall is a must-visit destination.

Come and discover the charm and vibrancy of this remarkable place.

Visit St. Walburge’s Church

St Walburge Catholic Church, Preston
Photo by Alexander P Kapp

Located in Preston, St. Walburge’s Church is an impressive sight to behold. As I walked up to the church, I was immediately struck by its towering presence. Standing at a height of 94 meters, it’s the tallest parish church in England.

The stunning architecture of the church is a blend of Gothic and French styles, creating a unique and captivating structure. Stepping inside, I was in awe of the grandeur and beauty of St. Walburge’s Church. The interior is equally as impressive as the exterior, with intricate stained glass windows that cast a colorful glow across the pews. The high, vaulted ceilings give a sense of spaciousness and serenity, making it the perfect place for quiet contemplation or prayer.

One of the highlights of my visit was climbing the church tower. As I reached the top, I was rewarded with breathtaking panoramic views of Preston and the surrounding countryside. It was a truly unforgettable experience to see the city from such a vantage point.

Whether you’re a religious person or simply appreciate architectural wonders, a visit to St. Walburge’s Church is a must when in Preston. Its grandeur and beauty will leave you in awe, and the views from the tower are simply breathtaking. Don’t miss the opportunity to explore this impressive piece of Preston’s history.

Discover the Harris Museum and Art Gallery

The Harris art gallery and museum
Photo by Bob Harvey

Step into a world of creativity and culture as you explore the Harris Museum and Art Gallery in Preston. This historic building houses a wide range of art and historical exhibits that will captivate your imagination.

As you enter the museum, you’re greeted by the stunning architecture and grandeur of the building itself. The gallery spaces are filled with a diverse collection of artwork, ranging from traditional paintings to contemporary installations.

Venturing further into the museum, you’ll discover a treasure trove of historical artifacts that tell the story of Preston and its surrounding areas. From ancient Roman pottery to medieval weaponry, the museum offers a fascinating glimpse into the rich history of the region. The interactive displays and informative signage make it easy to engage with the exhibits and learn something new.

One of the highlights of the Harris Museum and Art Gallery is its ever-changing program of temporary exhibitions. These exhibitions showcase the work of both local and internationally renowned artists, ensuring there’s always something new and exciting to see.

Whether you’re a fan of modern art or have a passion for history, the Harris Museum and Art Gallery is a must-visit destination in Preston. So, take a step inside and immerse yourself in the world of creativity and culture that awaits you.

Take a stroll through Avenham and Miller Parks

As I wander through the enchanting Avenham and Miller Parks, I find myself surrounded by lush greenery and the soothing melodies of chirping birds. It’s a tranquil oasis in the heart of Preston, England, where nature’s beauty takes center stage.

The parks are meticulously maintained, with well-manicured lawns, vibrant flower beds, and towering trees that provide shade on sunny days. Walking along the winding paths, I come across picturesque bridges that span over the River Ribble, offering breathtaking views of the water below. The sound of the flowing river adds to the serene ambiance, creating a perfect escape from the hustle and bustle of everyday life.

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The parks are not only a feast for the eyes but also a haven for wildlife enthusiasts. As I explore further, I spot squirrels scurrying up trees and ducks gracefully gliding across the ponds. It’s a delight to witness nature thriving in this urban sanctuary.

Avenham and Miller Parks also boast a rich history, with historic landmarks and monuments peppered throughout. The iconic Belvedere, a Victorian viewing platform, stands proudly on the hilltop, commanding panoramic views of the surrounding area. It’s a spot that offers a sense of tranquility and a chance to reflect on the beauty of nature and the history that has shaped this place.

A stroll through Avenham and Miller Parks is a must for anyone seeking a peaceful retreat in Preston.

Experience the Ribble Steam Railway

Get ready for a thrilling ride as you hop aboard the Ribble Steam Railway and embark on a nostalgic journey through time.

As I stepped onto the platform, I couldn’t help but feel a sense of excitement and anticipation.

The steam locomotive stood tall, billowing white clouds of smoke into the air, and the sound of its whistle echoed through the station.

I found myself transported back to a bygone era, where train travel was not just a mode of transportation, but a grand adventure.

As the train chugged along the tracks, I gazed out of the window and marveled at the picturesque scenery that unfolded before my eyes.

The lush green fields, the meandering river, and the charming villages seemed to come alive with each passing mile.

The rhythmic sound of the wheels on the tracks, the gentle swaying of the carriage, and the occasional blast of the whistle created a soothing ambiance that was both comforting and nostalgic.

The Ribble Steam Railway offers more than just a train ride, it also provides a fascinating insight into the history of steam locomotives.

The volunteers on board were passionate about sharing their knowledge and were more than happy to answer any questions.

I learned about the different types of locomotives, the challenges faced by the railway industry, and the importance of preserving this rich heritage.

Whether you’re a train enthusiast or simply looking for a unique experience, the Ribble Steam Railway is a must-visit attraction in Preston.

So, hop aboard and let the sights, sounds, and stories transport you to a time gone by.

Enjoy live performances at the Charter Theatre

Immerse yourself in the world of live entertainment at the Charter Theatre, where you’ll be captivated by mesmerizing performances that will leave you wanting more.

Located in Preston, England, the Charter Theatre is a bustling hub of artistic expression and cultural experiences. Whether you’re a fan of theater, music, or dance, this venue offers a diverse range of shows that cater to every taste.

As you step into the theater, you’ll be greeted by a warm and inviting atmosphere. The state-of-the-art facilities and intimate seating arrangement ensure that every seat in the house offers a great view of the stage.

From musicals and plays to ballet and comedy shows, the Charter Theatre hosts a variety of performances throughout the year, showcasing both local talent and renowned international acts. The skilled performers bring their characters to life, leaving the audience spellbound with their talent and passion.

Whether you’re a theater aficionado or simply looking for a memorable night out, the Charter Theatre promises an unforgettable experience.

The Charter Theatre also offers a range of amenities to enhance your visit. Grab a drink at the bar before the show or during intermission, and indulge in delicious snacks from the concession stand. The friendly staff is always on hand to assist you and ensure your comfort throughout the performance.

So, whether you’re in Preston for a weekend getaway or a local looking for a night of entertainment, make sure to check out the Charter Theatre. Prepare to be transported to a world of enchantment and be prepared to leave with a newfound appreciation for the power of live performances.

Learn about local history at the Lancashire Infantry Museum

Explore the rich local history of Preston by visiting the Lancashire Infantry Museum, where you’ll uncover fascinating stories and artifacts that bring the past to life.

As soon as you step inside this historical treasure trove, you’ll be transported back in time to learn about the brave soldiers who once served in the Lancashire Infantry. The museum houses an impressive collection of exhibits, including weapons, uniforms, photographs, and personal belongings of the soldiers, allowing you to gain a deeper understanding of their experiences.

Walking through the museum, you’ll be captivated by the immersive displays that showcase the struggles and triumphs of the Lancashire Infantry throughout history. From the World Wars to various conflicts around the globe, the museum offers a comprehensive overview of the regiment’s contributions.

The knowledgeable staff are always on hand to provide insightful information and answer any questions you may have, ensuring a truly enriching experience.

In addition to the exhibits, the Lancashire Infantry Museum also offers interactive activities, such as handling replica weapons and trying on uniforms, allowing you to fully immerse yourself in the history. Whether you’re a history enthusiast or simply curious about the local heritage, a visit to this museum is a must-do when in Preston.

Prepare to be transported through time as you uncover the captivating stories and artifacts that make up the Lancashire Infantry’s incredible legacy.

Shop at the vibrant Preston Market

After immersing myself in the rich history of the Lancashire Infantry Museum, I was ready to explore a different side of Preston. So, I decided to head over to the vibrant Preston Market.

As soon as I stepped inside, I was greeted by a bustling atmosphere and a kaleidoscope of colors.

The market was a treasure trove of sights, sounds, and smells. Stalls lined the aisles, showcasing a wide variety of goods. From fresh produce to handmade crafts, there was something for everyone. The vibrant display of fruits and vegetables caught my eye, and I couldn’t resist picking up some locally grown produce to take home.

As I walked further, the aroma of freshly brewed coffee and baked goods wafted through the air, tempting me to stop for a quick snack. I indulged in a delicious pastry from one of the many bakeries, savoring every bite.

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Not only was the market a feast for the senses, but it also provided an opportunity to support local businesses. The friendly vendors were passionate about their products and eager to share their stories. I struck up conversations with a few of them and learned about the craftsmanship that went into their handmade goods. It was heartwarming to see the sense of community within the market, with shoppers and vendors chatting and laughing together.

Whether you’re a foodie looking for fresh ingredients or a curious traveler seeking unique souvenirs, the Preston Market is a must-visit. It offers a vibrant and eclectic shopping experience that reflects the spirit of the city. So, make sure to add it to your itinerary and immerse yourself in the lively atmosphere of this bustling market.

Visit the beautiful Winckley Square Gardens

Step into the tranquil oasis of Winckley Square Gardens and let the breathtaking beauty and serene atmosphere transport you to a place of peace and rejuvenation.

Nestled in the heart of Preston, England, these stunning gardens offer a welcome escape from the hustle and bustle of city life.

As you enter, you’ll be greeted by meticulously manicured lawns, vibrant flowerbeds, and towering trees that provide shade and a sense of tranquility.

Take a leisurely stroll along the winding pathways and discover hidden corners filled with enchanting surprises.

The gardens boast a rich history, dating back to the 1800s, and are adorned with statues and plaques that pay homage to the city’s past.

Immerse yourself in the beauty of the surrounding architecture, as the square is lined with elegant Georgian townhouses that add to the charm of the gardens.

Whether you’re seeking a peaceful spot to read a book, enjoy a picnic with loved ones, or simply unwind amidst nature’s wonders, Winckley Square Gardens offers the perfect sanctuary.

The soothing sounds of birds chirping and leaves rustling in the gentle breeze create a serene ambiance that will leave you feeling refreshed and revitalized.

So, next time you find yourself in Preston, make sure to visit these beautiful gardens and experience their captivating beauty for yourself.

Take a boat trip on the Lancaster Canal

Immerse yourself in the tranquility of the Lancaster Canal and let the gentle sway of the boat transport you to a world of serenity and enchantment.

Taking a boat trip on the Lancaster Canal is a must-do activity when visiting Preston, England.

As you glide along the calm waters, surrounded by picturesque scenery, you can’t help but feel a sense of peace and relaxation wash over you.

The Lancaster Canal offers a unique perspective of Preston’s natural beauty, with its serene waterways winding through the heart of the city.

You’ll have the opportunity to observe the local wildlife in their natural habitat, from graceful swans to playful ducks.

The canal is lined with lush greenery, creating a soothing atmosphere that is perfect for escaping the hustle and bustle of daily life.

During your boat trip, you can also learn about the rich history of the Lancaster Canal.

Built in the late 18th century, it played a vital role in transporting goods between Preston and other towns in the region.

Today, it serves as a peaceful retreat for both locals and tourists alike.

Whether you choose to take a leisurely stroll along the towpath or simply sit back and enjoy the view, a boat trip on the Lancaster Canal is a truly magical experience that shouldn’t be missed during your visit to Preston.

Explore the Brockholes Nature Reserve

Discover the wonders of the Brockholes Nature Reserve, where you can immerse yourself in the beauty of nature and embark on a breathtaking adventure.

As I entered the reserve, I was immediately captivated by the tranquility and serenity that surrounded me. The reserve is home to a variety of habitats, including woodlands, meadows, and wetlands, making it a haven for a diverse range of wildlife.

Walking along the well-marked trails, I couldn’t help but marvel at the stunning scenery that unfolded before my eyes. The reserve boasts a network of lakes and ponds, which not only provide a picturesque backdrop but also attract a plethora of bird species.

As I quietly observed from one of the bird hides, I was lucky enough to spot a vibrant kingfisher darting across the water, its colors shimmering in the sunlight.

In addition to its abundant birdlife, Brockholes Nature Reserve also offers opportunities for other outdoor activities. From canoeing and kayaking on the serene waters to cycling through the lush greenery, there is something for everyone to enjoy.

The reserve also hosts various events and workshops, allowing visitors to learn more about the local flora and fauna and to engage with nature on a deeper level.

Whether you’re a nature enthusiast or simply seeking a peaceful retreat, the Brockholes Nature Reserve is a must-visit destination in Preston. Its natural beauty and diverse wildlife will leave you in awe, providing an unforgettable experience for all who venture into its enchanting embrace.

Discover the Preston Docks and Marina

As I make my way towards the Preston Docks and Marina, the stunning sight of boats and yachts bobbing in the sparkling waters instantly captures my attention. The marina is a bustling hub of activity, with people strolling along the waterfront, enjoying the fresh sea breeze, and admiring the beautiful vessels that line the docks.

The marina is home to a variety of boats, from sleek sailboats to luxurious yachts, each one adding to the vibrant atmosphere of this waterfront destination.

Walking along the docks, I can’t help but be amazed by the history and heritage that surrounds this area. The Preston Docks have a rich maritime past, dating back to the 19th century when they served as a vital trading port. Today, the docks have been transformed into a modern marina, while still retaining their charm and character.

There are plenty of opportunities to get up close to the boats and yachts, whether it’s through a leisurely stroll along the waterfront or by taking a boat trip around the marina. The marina also offers a range of dining options, with waterfront restaurants and cafes providing the perfect spot to relax and soak in the atmosphere.

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Whether you’re a boating enthusiast or simply looking for a leisurely day out, the Preston Docks and Marina are a must-visit destination in Preston.

Attend a match at Deepdale Stadium

After exploring the historic Preston Docks and Marina, I couldn’t resist the opportunity to attend a match at Deepdale Stadium.

As a football enthusiast, the prospect of witnessing a live game in this iconic venue was exhilarating.

Deepdale Stadium, located in the heart of Preston, is the oldest continuously used football stadium in the world. It has a rich history dating back to 1875 and has been the home ground of Preston North End Football Club ever since.

Stepping into the stadium, I was immediately struck by its impressive size and vibrant atmosphere. The stands were filled with passionate fans, their cheers echoing throughout the stadium. The pitch itself was meticulously maintained, a lush green carpet that awaited the upcoming battle between two teams.

As the players emerged from the tunnel, the excitement in the air was palpable. The energy of the crowd was infectious, and I couldn’t help but be swept up in the anticipation of the game.

The match itself was a thrilling display of skill and determination. The players showcased their agility, speed, and strategic prowess, leaving me in awe of their abilities. The cheers and chants from the crowd created an electric atmosphere, enhancing the overall experience.

Whether you’re a football fanatic or just looking for a unique and exciting way to spend an afternoon, attending a match at Deepdale Stadium is an absolute must-do in Preston.

In between the cheers and the roar of the crowd, I couldn’t help but appreciate the historical significance of the stadium. Deepdale Stadium has witnessed countless legendary matches and has hosted some of the greatest players in football history. It’s a true testament to the passion and dedication of both the club and its fans.

As the match came to an end, I left the stadium with a newfound appreciation for the sport and the incredible experience that Deepdale Stadium offers.

Experience the thrill of escape rooms at Tick Tock Unlock

Immerse yourself in the excitement of escape rooms at Tick Tock Unlock and challenge your problem-solving skills in a thrilling and interactive setting.

As soon as you step into Tick Tock Unlock, you’ll be transported into a world of mystery and puzzles waiting to be solved. The attention to detail in the room designs is impressive, with every element carefully thought out to create an immersive experience.

Each escape room at Tick Tock Unlock offers a unique theme and storyline, ensuring that no two experiences are the same. Whether you find yourself trapped in a haunted mansion, solving a murder mystery, or trying to save the world from a deadly virus, you’ll be fully engrossed in the adventure from start to finish.

The puzzles in the escape rooms are challenging yet solvable, requiring you to think outside the box and work together with your team to unravel the clues. The adrenaline rush you’ll feel when you finally crack a difficult puzzle is unmatched. The sense of accomplishment and satisfaction that comes from successfully escaping the room is truly exhilarating.

Tick Tock Unlock provides an unforgettable experience that will leave you wanting more. Whether you’re a seasoned escape room enthusiast or a first-timer looking for a new and exciting challenge, Tick Tock Unlock in Preston is a must-visit destination.

Get ready to put your problem-solving skills to the test and embark on an unforgettable adventure in the heart of Preston.

Enjoy a night out at the Guild Ale House

Savor the atmosphere of the Guild Ale House and let the rich flavors of their craft beers transport you to a world of relaxation and enjoyment.

With its cozy and welcoming interior, this popular pub in Preston is the perfect place to unwind and enjoy a night out.

The Guild Ale House offers an impressive selection of craft beers from both local and international breweries, ensuring that there is something to suit every taste.

As you step inside, you’ll be greeted by the inviting aroma of hops and the buzz of friendly conversation.

The pub’s knowledgeable staff are always on hand to offer recommendations and help you navigate their extensive beer menu.

Whether you prefer a hoppy IPA, a smooth stout, or a refreshing pale ale, you’ll find a wide range of options to choose from.

Take your time to savor each sip as you relax in the comfortable seating areas, surrounded by the warm glow of the pub’s vintage lighting.

In addition to their fantastic beer selection, the Guild Ale House also hosts regular events such as live music nights and beer tastings.

This adds an extra layer of excitement to your night out and ensures that there is always something new and interesting happening at the pub.

So, whether you’re a beer connoisseur or simply looking for a great place to unwind with friends, the Guild Ale House is a must-visit destination in Preston.

Indulge in the flavors of their craft beers and let the vibrant atmosphere transport you to a world of relaxation and enjoyment.


In conclusion, my visit to Preston, England was filled with incredible experiences and memorable moments. From exploring the historic Preston Guild Hall to taking in the breathtaking views at St. Walburge’s Church, there was never a dull moment in this vibrant city.

One of the highlights of my trip was discovering the Harris Museum and Art Gallery. This treasure trove of art and history captured my imagination and provided a fascinating glimpse into the past.

Avenham and Miller Parks were also a delight to explore, with their picturesque landscapes and peaceful ambiance.

I couldn’t resist the allure of the Ribble Steam Railway, where I embarked on a journey through time on a beautifully restored steam train. The Preston Docks and Marina offered a different kind of charm, with their bustling atmosphere and stunning waterfront views.

Attending a match at Deepdale Stadium allowed me to immerse myself in the passion and excitement of the local sports scene, while the thrill of solving puzzles in the escape rooms at Tick Tock Unlock was an experience I won’t soon forget.

And of course, no visit to Preston would be complete without enjoying a night out at the Guild Ale House. The cozy atmosphere, friendly locals, and wide selection of beers made for a perfect evening of relaxation and socializing.

In conclusion, Preston, England is a destination that truly has something for everyone. Whether you’re a history enthusiast, nature lover, sports fan, or simply seeking a memorable night out, this city has it all. I highly recommend adding it to your travel itinerary and experiencing the magic for yourself.

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About the author

Will is an avid hillwalker and traveler. You may find him surfing in Cornwall or hiking in the Yorkshire Dales.