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Things to Do in Preston: Where to Eat, Drink and Visit

If you’ll be spending a weekend in Preston and you’re not sure where to start, worry not! Our guide to things to do in Preston is fantastic for planning a fun-filled trip.

Taking you through the days from morning to night, we’ve included everything you could need, from where to eat, drink, walk, shop and soak up some culture!

Ideal for family breaks in Preston, a romantic weekend away or filling time between a business event, take a read of what the city has to offer and what to do in Preston during your visit!

Things to Do in Preston

1) Have Breakfast at Brew + Bake

First stop of the day…breakfast! And there are few better places for a spot of breakfast or brunch in Preston than Brew + Bake.

breakfast preston
Source: Instagram | @rebekahmackriel

An independent cafe within Preston Market, this is a go-to spot for delicious breakfast and brunch dishes. Tuck in to everything from a full English, to smashed avocado served on sourdough toast. Yum!

2) And Explore Preston Markets

While you’re there, make sure you take some time to explore what Preston Market has to offer. After undergoing an exciting transformation, Preston’s Market Hall has been given a contemporary twist. The 1875 canopy has been restored to its former glory, while the Market Hall is based alongside the outdoor and secondhand market spaces.

 

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A great way to spend an hour or two, Preston Markets offer a wide range of local meat, fish, fruit, vegetables and delicious dairy products. Visitors can also take time to enjoy a selection of hot and cold food, available to eat in or takeaway. Meanwhile, those with a love for vintage treasures will fall head over heels for Preston Outdoor Market, which brings together local traders selling clothes and books, gifts, plants and everything in between!

3) Soak up Culture at The Harris Museum

What better way to experience the best of Preston than to soak up some local history? A breathtaking Grade 1 Listed, Neo-Classical building, The Harris Museum is a must-visit spot for your travels, and one of the top reasons to visit Preston. 

things to do in preston

One of Preston’s most spectacular historic buildings, The Harris is home to an array of fascinating exhibitions. Expect to delve into everything from the history of women’s football in the city to Preston street style. Not forgetting, those with an eye for art will find themselves right at home with fine art displays showcasing the best of Preston.

4) Indulge in Luxury Afternoon Tea

After a busy morning of adventures, it’s time to stop off for a spot of afternoon tea. And The Carriage Bar & Restaurant at The Shankly will soon be one of the best spots in Preston for afternoon tea.

The Carriage
The Carriage Bar and Restaurant, Shankly Preston

Serving a mouthwatering range of sweet and savoury treats, a visit to The Carriage will be one of the best things to do in Preston for a wonderful break in the city.

For more information about dining at The Carriage Bar & Restaurant, please complete our enquiry form today at the bottom of our homepage and we’ll be happy to help! 

5) Travel on the Ribble Steam Railway

Next on our list of what to do in Preston is the Ribble Steam Railway. An unmissable family day out, bring the little ones along for a day of old-fashioned fun. Steam train rides offer a three mile return trip along the line, over the dock swingbridge and alongside the River Ribble.

 

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The locomotive you travel on is likely to have been restored in the Ribble Steam Railway’s very own workshop. Visitors can take a step back in time and watch volunteers work on the vehicles from the viewing area. Offering an interactive experience, visitors are also invited to jump aboard and see for themselves the size of the footplate that drivers and firemen would have worked on!

6) Discover the magic of Samlesbury Hall

Dating back to 1325, history lovers will fall head over heels for Samlesbury Hall in Preston. This picturesque manor house has been magnificently preserved over the years, with picture-perfect grounds to explore at your leisure.

 

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Home to medieval history and mysterious witchcraft trials, Samlesbury Hall will transport you back in time and feed the imagination. A free family day out, there are few better things to do in Preston on a sunny afternoon or crisp autumn weekend.

7) Relax at a Scenic Pub in Preston

A visit to Haighton Manor is one of the best things to do in Preston. The manor is a traditional country pub, restored from a 17th-century manor house just a short drive from the city centre. Home to one of the best beer gardens in Preston, this fantastic spot is ideal for escaping the hustle and bustle and relaxing after a busy day of sight-seeing.

 

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Serving delicious, classic British dishes, Haighton Manor uploads a daily menu to their website, so you can see what’s in store ahead of your visit. Their extensive menu includes tasty nibbles, starters and sharing boards as well as hearty mains guaranteed to hit the spot.

8) Stay at The Shankly Hotel Preston

The Shankly Hotel in Preston is the city’s most exciting upcoming venue. Our development project will see the city’s Grade II* listed Old Post Office converted into a luxury hotel with a unique Signature Living twist.

things to do in preston

Following a similar format to Liverpool’s hugely successful Shankly Hotel, the venue will celebrate the life and legacy of Bill Shankly, with a focus on the beginning of Shankly’s football career at Preston North End and his fascinating connections to the city.

Guests will be able to stay in exquisite suites and admire exclusive memorabilia in the hotel’s mini Shankly museum. The hotel is also set to become a leading events venue in Preston, with The Lilywhite Suite designed to host luxury weddings and special occasions. 

Situated in the heart of Market Square, The Shankly Presotn is a prime location stay while exploring the best of things to do in Preston.

Please don’t hesitate to get in touch with our friendly team on 0151 236 0166 today for more information.

You can also now book your stay at The Shankly Hotel Preston online here. 

9) Brunch at Town House Coffee + Brew Bar

Start the day in style with brunch at Town House Coffee + Brew Bar in Preston. Widely regarded as one of the best spots for breakfast in Preston, you’ll find a fantastic selection of food and drink to choose from.

 

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The brunch menu has something for everyone, from indulgent french toast and mouthwatering pancakes, to tofu shakshuka, hearty breakkies and refreshing smoothie bowls for those who are after something on the healthier side.

10) Get Active at Level Preston

Now that you’re fuelled for the day, why not get active at Level? Without a doubt one of the best things to do in Preston, the city’s go-to leisure venue is a hit with families, whether you’re visiting with children or you’re a big kid yourself! The entertainment venue is set across multiple levels, offering a range of fun activities.

LEVEL
Source: Facebook.com/LevelPreston

Get your game on with bowling, crazy golf and laser tag or take on the challenge of Daredevil Assault Course. The assault course also features a state of the art bouldering speed wall. This will be an experience to remember. If you’re stuck for what to do in Preston on a rainy day, this is definitely the place to be!

11) Explore Avenham and Miller Parks

When you’ve polished off your delicious brunch, why not enjoy a picturesque morning walk? Avenham & Miller Parks are well worth a visit during your visit to Preston.

 

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Designed and created by Edward Milner, the charming Victorian parkland dates back to the 1860s. Visitors can look forward to exploring the famous Japanese Rock Garden and taking a wander along Avenham Colonade, the scenic riverside Ribble Walk.

12) Spot Wildlife at Brockholes Nature Reserve

If you’re a fan of the great outdoors, you can’t beat a visit to Brockholes Nature Reserve. One of the best things to do in Preston for nature lovers, Brockholes is a wonderful day out for the whole family.

 

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Home to birds, deer, cattle, voles, squirrels and everything in between, you can look forward to spotting wildlife as you explore 250 acres of idyllic woodland and greenery.

13) Shop at Preston’s Miller Arcade

Preston’s first indoor shopping centre, historic Miller Arcade dates back to 1899. The Grade II listed Victorian building will sweep you off your feet with grand period features and bygone charm from every angle.

things to do in preston
Source: Instagram | @_tiredmummy

The spectacular spot was once home to Victorian Turkish baths, but today the arcade houses independent and nationwide shops alongside atmospheric bars and restaurants. So, whether you’re looking to shop until you drop or grab a bite to eat, Miller Arcade is the place to be when you’re looking for things to do in Preston.

14) Enjoy the Views Around Preston Docks

When you’re looking for things to do in Preston, sometimes you won’t even need to spend a penny! We recommend taking a walk around Preston Docks to take in some wonderful views.

 

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Preston Docks look particularly stunning as the sun sets, so head down to capture the city on camera at its best. Preston Docks and Marina are great for having a stroll, soaking up some history and enjoying a bite to eat near the waterfront.

15) Catch a Theatre Show or Festival

Preston is home to multiple theatres and events venues, and there’s always something to see and do. Music fans looking for things to do in Preston are likely to find an array of acts playing in the city.

The Charter Theatre is also a fantastic spot to catch a theatre production in action. This year, you can look forward to everything from The Nutcracker to Boyzlife on tour!

16) Visit The Splash sculpture

If you’re a football fan looking for what to do in Preston, make sure you don’t miss a visit to ‘The Splash’ sculpture by Peter Hodgkinson.

sir tom statue
Source: Wikimedia Commons

The statue is inspired by the iconic ‘sports photo of the year’ (1956) photograph of Sir Tom Finney aqua-planing at Stamford Bridge.

17) Finish the Day with a Cocktail

Celebrate a fantastic time in Preston with a cocktail poured to perfection. Forum Bar + Kitchen is one of the best cocktail bars in Preston and also renowned for serving a range of global dishes made with local ingredients.

things to do in preston
Source: Instagram | @sophellenw

With an extensive selection of drinks, a trip to Forum is the perfect way to ‘cheers’ to your weekend with a cocktail, craft beer or wine.

We hope you’ve enjoyed our guide to things to do in Preston. You can now book your stay online here for an unforgettable break at The Shankly Hotel Preston. 

We look forward to seeing you soon! In the meantime, we’d love to hear from you on 0151 236 0166 with any enquiries you may have about The Shankly Hotel Preston.