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Lancaster City Guide


Along with your new 15,000 strong student community become a part of this small town with an immense history. As an English Heritage City, you can expect cobbled streets steeped in stories of witches and war and wonders. The city is on the cusp of South Lakes which is your ticket to a total escape to nature.


With almost 1000 years passed since its construction, Lancaster Castle is synonymous with the city itself. Discover its great and gruesome past with a guided tour. Notably the infamous executions of the Lancashire Witches, and those incarcerated over the centuries until as recently as 2011. There are events held in the castle throughout the year, including theatre productions.

Lancaster Music Festival is an annual event that will celebrate it’s 10th birthday after a pause in 2018. Acts play in bars and breweries all over the city, even at the castle with an eclectic mix of music genres. Plus, it’s FREE!

Town House Gallery is a fantastic showcase of local artists and worth a visit.

For those with a passion for performance, you’ll want to quickly become familiar with Duke’s Theatre, an old church converted into an exceptional theatre and independent cinema. There’s also Nuffield Theatre is a black box studio theatre, throwing the spotlights on experimental and contemporary theatre, dance, and live art.

Meet and Eat

Marcos - A modern Italian, with a lot of heart at the heart of the city.

The Whale Tail Cafe - ‘the most popular vegetarian cafe in town’.

Roots - Another vibrant veggie haven - delicious, fresh and colourful.

Merchants 1688 - Located in the 300 year old wine cellar of Lancaster Castle and all the atmosphere you’d expect along with it.

Vincenzo’s - a coffee house, plus paninis, pasta, and pizza.

The Borough - a hearty pub with hearty portions - look out for their “School Dinners” and feast for just £7!

Wallings - ‘Not just ice cream!’, but what they have is delicious, handmade in a beautifully converted barn in rural Cockerham. The family-run Wallings offer pancakes, waffle, handmade truffles and, of course ice cream.

The Study Room - 50% off on Tuesday, a pub quiz on Thursday, understandably a hotspot for students.

Charter Market - A food, flowers, and crafts market at Lancaster’s city centre, every Wednesday and Saturday.

Daytime Playtime

Wandering around the streets and lanes of Lancaster , along the canal and down to Glasson Docks is the perfect Sunday stroll.

On the Lancaster skyline stands tall the Edwardian folly, Ashton Memorial, in the 54 acres of Williamson Park, offering views to the Lake District and Fylde Coast. There also the tropical butterfly house. The park hosts concerts, art installations and outdoor performances throughout the year.

Lancaster Escape – ‘One hour. One room. Can you escape?’ – Well, can you? There’s also a café with some additional puzzles, including the world’s most difficult six piece jigsaw.

If you find you haven’t had your fill of witches, take the Pendle Witch Trail from Lancaster to Pendle. It follows the path taken by the ten Pendle Witches when they travelled from their home to stand trial at Lancaster castle in 1612.

Fancy a day trip with your uni family? Why not head North to the Lakes? Rolling hills and dramatic mountains, whether you’re hiking up high, taking out a rowing boat on Lake Windermere or just lying by the banks with an ice cream. If you don’t have access to a car, you can easily get there directly by bus or train from Lancaster. If it’s your first time, Bowness is a great central point.

Getting about Lancaster can easily be done by bus and bike, with designated bus routes and off-road bike routes.


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