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Preston is the largest city in the county of Lancashire, England, and used to be a major port and industrial centre.


Preston is one of the few cities that has an "old northern" culture, with many words of the Lancashire dialect still in use. Preston is in the Duchy of Lancaster and the County Palatine of Lancashire. Preston is the only place which has a guild. It comes around once every 20 years. The last guild was in 2012.

The common Prestonian greeting is 'cha' (meaning 'mate' or 'pal').

Get in

By plane

Manchester airport has global connections, while Liverpool has flights across Europe.

By train

Preston station has frequent direct trains from London Euston (2 hr 10 min), Glasgow Central (2 hr 20 min), Manchester (an hour) and other major cities.

By car

Preston is well linked to the motorway network (M6, M61, M62, M60, M65). There are many reasonably priced taxi firms in the city - see By taxi in Get around.

There are two Park & Ride sites in Preston: Preston PortWay which is situated close to Preston Docks, and Walton-le-Dale. For more information consult Preston Bus.

By bus

National Express offer intercity coaches from most towns and cities in the UK, and many in France and Spain, while Megabus offers low cost bus travel to and from London. Other bus companies are available, details can be found on the Traveline North West public transport planner which has a database of public transport, and can link any two buildings in the UK with public transport using postcodes.

Get around

By bus

Preston has an extensive local bus network operated by Stagecoach Northwest and JFS (Fishwicks).

By taxi

Preston has a number of reliable taxi companies - the largest/most notable of which are:

  • Millers Taxi (Preston & South Ribble) - +44 1772 884000
  • Call-A-Cab (Citywide Service) - +44 1772 513344
  • 24-7 Taxis Ltd (South Preston Service)- +44 1772 424247
  • Hutton Taxis Ltd (Rural West Preston Service)- +44 1772 610610
  • Eagle Taxis (Citywide Service 24/7)- +44 1772 200300


Preston has several cultural attractions worth visiting, such as the city museum and Minster Church. It is also well known for its bus station and train station.

  • 1 Harris Museum and Art Gallery, Market Square, PR1 2PP, ☏ +44 1772 258248. M-Sa 10AM -5PM, Su 11AM - 4PM. Collections of fine and decorative art, costumes, textiles, photography with displays about the history of Preston, in an impressive 19th Century Grade I listed building in the centre of the city. Includes a new gallery dedicated to ceramics and glass. free.  
  • 2 Museum of Lancashire, Stanley St, PR1 4YP, ☏ +44 1772 264075. Closed on 30 September 2016 due to lack of funds, will open for groups. Museum dedicated to the county's past set in an old courthouse. Includes Victorian and World War II exhibitions.  
  • 3 Lancashire Infantry Museum, Fulwood Barracks, PR2 8AA (Located in a military barracks, bring photo identification. Non-UK visitors should phone in advance.), ☏ +44 1772 260362. Tu W Th Sa 10AM-4PM. The largest military heritage centre in the North West. Dedicated to the county's military history. Includes memorabilia collections, an archive and library.  
  • 4 Ribble Steam Railway, Chain Caul Rd (in the docklands). Of further rail interest, there is a Preston Model Railway Club in Preston.  
  • Samlesbury Hall is six miles east of Preston on the road to Blackburn.
  • Rufford Old Hall is a Tudor Mansion in Ormskirk (L40 1SG), on A59 seven miles south of Preston. Run by the National Trust, it's open Sa-W Apr-Oct 10:00-17:00 (Aug daily), Nov Sa Su 10:00-16:00, Jan-Mar 10:00-16:00; adult £10.50.



  • Preston North End F.C., Deepdale Stadium, Sir Tom Finney Way, PR1 6RU. See Preston North End FC, the first ever team to win the English League (They achieved this without losing a game, also winning the FA Cup in the same year without conceding a goal) play at the 20,000 seater Deepdale Stadium (updated Jan 2018)


Preston is the home of the University of Central Lancashire (UCLAN) with over 30,000 students. The university has its roots in the Institution for the Diffusion of Useful Knowledge which was founded in 1828. Subsequently known as Harris Art College, then Preston Polytechnic, then Lancashire Polytechnic, in 1992 it was granted University status by the Privy Council. The university is the fifth largest in the UK in terms of student numbers.



Preston has several shopping centers including the Fishergate Centre, St Georges and the Mall. There is also a Victorian Shopping Arcade located near the Harris Museum in the centre of Preston called the Miller Arcade. Preston city centre is undergoing a £700 million redevelopment project.

  • 1 Fishergate Shopping Centre, Fishergate, PR1 8HJ. (updated Jan 2018)
  • 2 St George's Shopping Centre (The Mall), 28 Friargate, PR1 2TU, ☏ +44 1772 204202. M-Sa 8AM-6PM, Su 10AM-5PM. (updated Jan 2018)
  • 3 Miller Arcade, Lancaster Rd, PR1 1DA. (updated Jan 2018)


Preston has a wide range of restaurants in its city centre, and many local pubs serve meals as well.

A popular and tasty local delicacy is butter pie, which is made with potatoes, onions and butter. Originally created for Catholic workers to eat on days when they had to abstain from meat, it can be found in many fish and chip shops in the city.

The area around the flag market near the historic Harris Museum is also home to several restaurants like Turtle Bay, McDonald's and Cafe Nero.

The docklands area is home to several restaurants including chains like McDonald's and KFC, and independent restaurant Baffitos, The Ribble Pilot and Umbertos chip shop.

As well as this, outside the Fishergate Centre there is a small stall that sells 'corn floss.' This is basically warm sweetcorn that comes in lots of different flavours.

  • 1 Baffitos, Navigation Way, PR2 2YP. Italian restaurant mains £8 - 24. (updated Mar 2017)
  • 2 The Ribble Pilot, Docklands, PR2 2YN, ☏ +44 1772 760673. Marston's pub with food mains from £10, with a buy one get one free offer. (updated Mar 2017)
  • 3 Umbertos, 10 Watery Ln, PR2 2NN. Fish and chips. (updated Mar 2017)


Preston has a wide variety of clubs on the main high street such as Lava Ignite and Wall St.

  • 1 The Twelve Tellers, 14–15 Church Street. Wetherspoon's pub in a listed former bank building, which opened in 1907 as the Preston Savings Bank (later TSB). (updated Mar 2017)
  • 2 The Stanley Arms, 24 Lancaster Road, ✉ Info@stanleyarmspreston.co.uk. (updated Feb 2018)



  • 1 Travelodge Preston Central, Preston Farmers Office, 47 New Hall Lane, PR1 5NX. from £29. 


  • The Novotel Preston South. A mid-priced hotel with restaurant, room rates from £45. 
  • Holiday inn Preston A reasonably priced city centre hotel. It has a Restaurant, Bar and Lounge.
  • 2 Samlesbury Hotel, Preston New Road, Samlesbury, PR5 0UL (5 miles east of Preston), ☏ +44 1772 877351. Offers restaurant, bar and leisure facilities. 


  • 3 Marriot PrestonGarstang Road, Broughton, (3 miles north of Preston). Set in 11 acres of gardens and woodland, the hotel is just minutes away from the M6 motorway.It was also once a grand victorian manor house. from £58. 
  • Barton Grange Hotel (Barton Manor), 746 Garstang Road, Barton PR3 5AA (5 miles north of Preston), ☏ +44 1772 862551. Large mid-price hotel in a cotton baron's mansion, with restaurants, swimming pool with spa and good cuisine. Often hosts weddings. No dogs. B&B double from £80. (updated Jul 2020)
  • 5 Best Western Garstang Country Hotel and Golf Centre (10 miles north of Preston). Country house hotel and golf course from £60. 

Stay safe

Preston is relatively safe compared with larger cities like London or Manchester, but it is still wise to use common sense. If you are alone, avoid wandering around quiet areas of the city at late unsociable hours. If you are approached by someone who is possibly drunk and who causes you to feel uncomfortable, it is best to avoid prolonged eye contact and excuse yourself politely. Avoid walking through residential areas adjacent to the City Centre late at night unless you know where you are going.

Preston Police are available on 101 for non-emergencies. In emergencies only dial 999 or 112 from any phone for fire, police, or ambulance.


  • The area dialing code for Preston is 01772. From overseas, dial +44 1772 XXXXXX

Go next

  • 2 British Commercial Vehicle Museum, Leyland, about 10 mile south. Describes the history of the British road transport industry. Includes historic commercial vehicles and buses. 
  • West to Freckleton, Wrea Green, Lytham St Annes and Blackpool.
  • East to Blackburn.

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