Yesterday morning I had the joy of waking in Preston on a glorious morning (thanks for the bargain Sunday rates, Premier Inn) and explored the city as the sun rose over Avenham Park, a Victorian masterpiece. The avenue of trees on Avenham Colonnade was particularly gorgeous, leading to steep views across to the Ribble.
I have ambitions to move to Preston when family circumstances allow, having been won over by Preston’s many charms over numerous visits since the 1990s. The combination of beautiful buildings, attractive countryside and excellent transport links is hard to beat, even by Stockport. It’s a shame Manchester has taken on the National Football Museum, but the Harris Art Gallery is one of the UK’s best provincial art galleries. It almost goes without saying that the people are friendly, even to Southerners.
Preston has a thriving pub scene, with a good collection of traditional boozers (Black Horse, Old Vic, Wheatsheaf) providing contrast to a growing collection of modern pubs with craft beer offerings (the brilliant Continental and Moorbrook), with prices roughly a quid a pint below Cambridge rates. Food in the neighbouring village pubs is good, particularly as you get towards Bowland, but the culinary star is Mick’s Hut.
I need to get back to looking for some more cheap weekend hotel rates now.