Preston is in a central position in Lancashire, so it’s a great location for all the main towns of the county. It’s got an excellent transport infrastructure, it’s a business, commercial and industrial centre, it’s got a picturesque river valley on either side of it, and the Forest of Bowland Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty on its doorstep. All these different faces of the city make a setting for your new home that has plenty of opportunities for everyone.
A city of this size offers a matching range of amenities and facilities, and shopping is usually high up on the list. The main high streets are Fishergate and Friargate, and the old centre has little side streets where you’ll find independent shops, cafés, and restaurants. There are two main shopping centres, Fishergate Shopping Centre, and St George’s Shopping Centre, and the smaller more specialist Miller Arcade. There’s also a great market culture here with the Market Hall, Outdoor and Second-hand Market, and the quirky Box Market – a unique shopping experience that has used recycled shipping containers! Outside the town centre you’ll have a choice of large retail centres: the Capitol Centre, Deepdale, Riversway, and South Rings.
Preston’s transport claim to fame is being the location for the UK’s first motorway, now the M6, putting Manchester and Birmingham within easy reach for city connections, and the Lake District and Cumbria for an escape to the country. The M55 to Blackpool and the M65 to Blackburn and Burnley and the M61 to Manchester are the other motorway routes that serve Preston. The A59 is a cross-country route to Merseyside though it’s quicker to use the M6 and M58. It takes about an hour to drive to Manchester Airport using the M61. Preston train station is in the heart of the city and is a busy mainline station.
Coast and countryside
From Preston you can head west to the seaside at Blackpool for all its iconic seaside amusements and character of the Pleasure Beach, or east into the Forest of Bowland for a breath of fresh air and a very different change of scenery. Closer to home the Ribble and Alt Estuary is a nature reserve that you can explore. Back at home you’ve got the entertainment and leisure amenities of the city, especially if you need to amuse children on rainy days.