Welcome to Preston
Preston City is nestled on the north bank of the River Ribble in Lancashire with a population of around 141,000. It obtained it’s city status in 2002. You can visit the city easily thanks to its convenient location by four major motorways and its large central train station. This makes it a great base for living and commuting but also for travelling all around the North West.
In 2022 Preston was voted the best city in the North West to both live and work, ranking 13th overall in the 2022 Good Growth for Cities Index.
The main residential areas of Preston are Broadgate, City centre, Frenchwood, Lea, and Ribbleton with the most popular and sought after areas being Ashton, Cottam and Fulwood.
North Preston is more rural and you will find the villages of Barton, Broughton, Garstang, Goosnargh, Grimsargh, Longridge, Whittingham.
As you travel south to the outskirts of Preston you head into the South Ribble District. Some of the towns and villages are associated as Preston due to how close they are located to Preston City. The most popular of these are Bamber Bridge, Higher Walton, Hutton, Longton, Lostock Hall, Much Hoole, Walton-Le-Dale, Penwortham and Salmesbury.
The most popular properties requested and in demand are 3-4 bedroom detached or semi-detached homes with gardens and driveway parking. The requirement for private outdoor space has risen in recent years. Garages are a bonus but not always an essential as long as the car can be kept off the road. These are most often requested when people are searching in the areas on the outskirts of Preston. After this our most sought after property would be a 2-3 bedroom terraced or modern townhouse. These properties suit singles/couples moving into their first home and young families.
Preston City centre is growing rapidly with employment increasing in the area and the recent expansion of the University of Central Lancashire (UCLAN) therefore the request for modern and well equipped apartments are on the rise. Preston City centre is also a good location for those that wish to commute by train to the larger cities, we are seeing an increased number of people choosing to live in Preston as it is more affordable with plenty to do without the need for a car.
In central Preston and the immediate outskirts there are 10 secondary schools, of which 1 is independent, 1 is a boys school and 1 is a girls school. Ofsted ratings give 4 schools Outstanding and 4 Good. There are 47 primary schools of which 3 are independent and all are mixed gender. Ofsted ratings give 8 schools Outstanding and 31 Good.
Preston has three colleges for further education. Cardinal Newman is a sixth form college whereas Preston College and Myerscough College provide a sixth form education plus adult courses.
Shopping, Dining & Entertainment
Preston City has a vast range of facilities for all ages, there is something for everyone!
There is an abundance of shops on the main high streets of Fishergate and Friargate with the St Georges, Fishergate and St Johns shopping centres plus the beautiful Grade II listed Miller Arcade which was once a hotel with spa, there are also a host of independent shops. Preston Indoor Market also houses many small independent shops and cafes, the market hall was refurbished in 2018, and alongside there is also the Outdoor Market and Box Market.
There are several retail parks surrounding the city, Deepdale, Capitol Centre and Riversway, all providing a more modern shopping experience with clothing, homewares, outdoors and food all with a variety of restaurants and fast food on hand.
The City’s bustling café culture and restaurant scene ensures there’s always new food to sample and somewhere new to try. If you are one for evenings and nightlife you will not be disappointed either, the city is thriving with traditional pubs, modern bars and nightclubs. These are some of our favourites; Mocha, Fino Tapas, Haighton Manor, Rise, We Don’t Give a Fork, Theatre Street Bar & Grill, Angelos, Wings & Beer Co, Café Bar, Italian Orchard in Broughton, Pinocchio’s in Walton-le-Dale and The Walton Fox in Bamber Bridge.
There is further entertainment on hand with two cinemas, Preston Guild Hall and Charter Theatre with events throughout the year to more-state-of-the-art centres such as The Level and if you don’t mind a short car journey then a trip to The Flower Bowl is definitely worth a trip.
Outdoors & Activities
If you are looking for something more tranquil and peaceful then you are never more than a stroll from some beautiful parks. Avenham & Miller Parks, Preston’s Victorian and Grade II* listed urban oasis, are located in the heart of the city centre. The two parks are connected by scenic paths , creating one large and diverse park. Winckley Square Gardens is just 5 minutes from the high street and are a peaceful retreat away from the hustle and bustle of the shops. The park is a balanced blend of modern and Georgian features, a picturesque green space surrounded by beautiful period architecture. If you work in the city it’s a great place to go sit and have lunch when the sun is out, trust us… it’s what we do!
Grade II* listed Moor Park is located opposite Deepdale Stadium, home to Preston North End Football Club, and is the city’s oldest and largest parkland. With the vast open space and many paths you are free to walk, run or cycle and there is even a skatepark. Events are held in all three parks all year round and all have received a Green Flag Award. On the outskirts of the city are more green spaces such as Ashton Park, Grange Park, Haslam Park and Ribbleton Park.
If you like the water take a trip down to Preston Docklands. The Docks and Marina were once Europe’s largest inland dock, have a walk around and watch the boats at Riversway.
Enjoy nature and adventure at Brockholes Nature Reserve. You’ll find something for everyone, from walking trails to an adventure play area with a climbing forest to a zip wire. Do some shopping or grab a spot of lunch at the unique visitors centre which floats above one of the reserves many lakes.
For the more active there is a plethora of gyms, children’s play parks/centres and a leisure centre. The Guild Wheel is a must outdoor activity no matter what your pace, the 21 mile walking and cycling route, encircles Preston providing a link from the city to the countryside. You can challenge yourself to the whole route or join at one of the main entry points for a shorter journey. Whatever you choose there is plenty to explore.
Arts, Culture & History
If arts, culture and history are more your thing then a visit to the Harris Museum and Art Gallery is a must, it has been a hub of art and culture for visitors from all walks of life since 1893. It hosts many annual events and always has a full calendar including pop-up events.
The Grade I listed Shrine of St Walburge's Church is a must-visit, just a short stroll out of Preston city centre, you won't miss the church's tall spire beckoning you. At a towering 309 ft, it is the tallest of any parish church in England. This spectacular spire is also the third tallest in the UK, giving you breath-taking views over the city. There are weekly heritage tours every Saturday and special days organised to climb the spire which delivers panoramic views of Preston.
There are many places to visit, some with tours and guides available, to name but a few Lancashire Infantry Museum, Preston Blue Plaque Trail, Beatrice Blackhurst Trail, Preston Minster, Ribble Steam & Railway Museum and Samlesbury Hall.