From parks to theatres and museums to art galleries there is something for everyone in Preston.
As part of the Evening Post’s Shop Local, Eat Local, Play Local, we have been looking at some of the places to visit in the city - and tonight it is Play Local.
It has often been said the jewel in Preston’s crown is its parks and that theory was proved when Avenham and Miller Parks in the heart of the city were given a Grade II* listing from English Heritage.
The parks have been used for a number of events, most recently the 2012 Guild Celebrations were hundreds flocked to attend everything from vintage fairs and music shows - and now people can even get married in Avenham Park.
Elsewhere the Harris Museum and Art Gallery is hugely popular with visitors to the town and families with children. Alex Walker, head of arts and heritage at the Harris Museum, said: “The Harris has been at the heart of Preston for 120 years, it opened in 1893, and today it attracts more than 200,000 visitors a year. We have a wide range of things to offer, we have got something for everybody, whether it’s local history in our Discover Preston gallery which has hands on family activities, for traditional art lovers there is the magnificent Harris art collections, we also show contemporary art as well.
“We have a range of activities, talks and family activities throughout the year, especially during half term and school holidays.”
Coun Robert Boswell, cabinet member for community and environment said Preston is “very lucky” to have such a variety of green spaces to enjoy.
He said: “The parks are the jewel in the crown of Preston. I think they are beautiful. We are very lucky to have a rich diversity of parks. There are many, many open green spaces for people to enjoy.”
Anna Izza, from Marketing Lancashire, added: “More than 1.5 million people use visitlancashire.com to plan their visit to Lancashire and Preston is one of our top two destinations visited.
“There is huge interest in the city and attractions in Preston regularly feature in our Top Ten things to do and draw visitors from across the whole of the North West.
“Like all major cities, Preston has a wealth of attractions including world class museums and galleries of the calibre of the Harris, currently exhibiting work of the influential artist Bruce Nauman and home to amazing permanent collections and artworks, and the Lancashire Museum, where you’ll find a replica of a First World War trench which is sure to be much visited during this year’s centenary of the start of the Great War. “As the Guild in 2012 demonstrated, Preston also has incredible green spaces the likes of Avenham and Miller parks, where a wide range of events take place throughout the year; the legacy of the most recent Guild being the Guild Wheel, a hugely popular attraction for walkers as well as cyclists keen to explore in and around the city, leading to attractions such as the award-winning Brockholes.
“Add the marina, the Ribble Steam Railway, shopping and markets, hotels, restaurants and bars, annual events such as the Easter Egg-rolling, Caribbean Carnival and UCLan’s Lancashire Science Festival as well as a calendar bursting with events including touring shows and classical concerts from the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra at the Guild Hall – Preston has something for everyone whether resident or visitor, young or old.”