Lancaster, England?

Old Nov 6th, 2008, 06:16 AM
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Lancaster, England?

Hi Folks ~ Eldest son is heading for a spring term at the University of Lancaster, England in January and our family is planning to visit him in late March. We will begin our visit by flying into Manchester and training to Lancaster; then will head to London to finish out the week. Haven't allocated time for each destination yet 'til we find out what to do in each spot. Suggestions for Lancaster are needed: things to do, places to see, must-see's, accommodations, music, food/eatteries, and anything else you think helpful are most welcome. We are having trouble finding info on this area. By the way, our party will consist of 21 yr. old and 18 yr. old sons, my hubbie and me (mid-50's). Standing by...


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Old Nov 6th, 2008, 06:43 AM
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Lancaster was an ancient town that didn't develop much during the Industrial Revolution, which transformed most of the area nearby. But - unlike similar industrial backwaters at the time, most obviously York - it didn't emerge from the period with a huge amount that's that interesting to visitors. There's a small amount of Roman stuff both in Lancaster and at Ribchester. Far from world-class, but nice to get familar with. The university website has about all the links to things worth seeing in the immediate vicinty.

It's close to great scenery, in the Lake District on the Lancashire side of the Pennines, and over the other side in the Yorkshire Dales. Liverpool is Britain's most visited city after London and Edinburgh, and the Beatles/football thing accounts for a trivial proportion of its attractions. Manchester is commercially more successful, but the night life of both cities - at least as far as your sons will be concerned - is probably the most vibrant in Britain, London included.

For music and food: your son will be a far greater expert on both after two weeks at the university than anyone on this board is likely to be.
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Old Nov 6th, 2008, 07:01 AM
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There are some lovely places within striking distance of Lancaster. You are very close to the Lakes and Dales and an absoltely hidden gem (and very near Lancaster)is the Trough of Bowland but you would need a car to appreciate it. The nearby villages of Malham. Settle, and Ingleton are beautiful. Heysham has a wonderful church and is a pretty village and is very near Lancaster. The Inn at Whitewell is lovely and the late Queen Mother's secret haunt it is what we call a gastropub. Ribchester is pretty enough but I wouldnt go out of my way to visit there.
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Old Nov 6th, 2008, 07:43 AM
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The Inn At Whitehall...pricey for a family of four? We want to experience the English countryside and perhaps fly fish, so this place sounds interesting...
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Old Nov 6th, 2008, 02:20 PM
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The Lake District is beautiful--you will be quite close and should be able to get some good bridge-season rates at hotels. We stayed this September 2-5 at the Cragmore Country House Hotel, on Lake Windermere--just outside the small town of Windermere. But perhaps too far to drive every day if your son at university can't be with you.

The hotel has reasonable mid-week break rates which in our case included breakfast and dinner.

We wondered if we made the right choice in terms of locking ourselves into dinner for three nights but the meals were excellent and the weather was foul, so at the end of a day of touring in driving rain and occasional hail, we were happy to stay in for dinner.

Can't guess what the weather will be like when you are there--I would expect some rain. Can't help at all with the fly fishing.
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Old Nov 6th, 2008, 06:21 PM
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Cragmore Country House Hotel, on Lake Windermere-- thanks for the suggestion, I'm off to research the hotel.
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Old Nov 6th, 2008, 10:34 PM
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dilli
Its the Inn at Whitewell (not whitehall) here is the link £96 per room.
http://www.innatwhitewell.com/contact.php

Steve
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Old Nov 6th, 2008, 11:36 PM
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Hi
My daughter has just graduated from Lancaster University and I know the area well (I live in North Yorkshire, not too far away).
In Lancaster itself Pizza Margarita is very popular with parents taking their student offspring out – nice, friendly, unassuming Italian restaurant.
www.pizza-margherita.co.uk
We also liked The Waterwitch along the canal side for good pub food.
www.thewaterwitch.co.uk
Lancaster has a castle you can visit too.
www.lancastercastle.com
I’ve eaten at the Inn at Whitewell – it’s beautifully situated amongst lovely countryside and you can eat in the bar or the more formal restaurant. We enjoyed it very much. However……………it’s the Three Fishes at Mitton that is ‘the’ place to go for fabulous food at the moment. The only slight problem is that they have a non-booking policy, but the building is very large and when we were last there we had no trouble finding a table (although we did try one summer evening and gave up because of the queues!).
www.thethreefishes.com
The prices aren’t silly and the place is winning every award going – definitely recommend you giving it a try. The 3 Three Fishes is part of the Ribble Valley Inns organisation - any of their places are an absolute treat.
www.ribblevalleyinns.com
If you really feel like pushing the boat out then Northcote Manor would be my choice –
www.northcote.com
As previous posters mentioned, the Lake District is close by – my daughter used to have a view of the Lake District mountains from her Uni window. Lots of info about the Lakes on here. Late March will be a good time to visit – spring flowers, lambs in the fields, every shade of green you can imagine (it rains a fair amount in the area!). It will get considerably busier around Easter in the tourist hotspots such as the Lakes so if you want to stay there do get booked up as soon as you can. The Easter school holiday break won’t start until the beginning of April although I can’t give you precise dates as it varies from school to school, but it makes everything busier too. The Trough and Forest of Bowland never get that busy though – they are definitely a well kept secret.
You are also within reach of the Yorkshire Dales, which cover a large area and are extremely scenic. There’s so much to do in the area, you only problem will be fitting it all in. You will definitely need a car by the way. Give me a yell if you have any questions and I will do my best to assist.
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Old Nov 6th, 2008, 11:54 PM
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Some fly fishing info-
http://www.communigate.co.uk/lancs/r...fishingschool/
www.coverdalefarm.co.uk/fishing_holiday.htm
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Old Nov 7th, 2008, 03:10 AM
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I did some postgraduate work at Lancaster.
Agree with everything Morgana said. While Lancaster itself is only mildly interesting, it is a good base for exploring nearby scenic areas. Day at the seaside at Morecambe can be fun, if the sun is shining. The promenade has been restored.
Accommodation at Lancaster is rather limited and can be pricey, though there are a few reasonable B&Bs in the centre. There is a 4-star hotel on uni site called Lancaster House Hotel. Good choice if the price is right. http://www.elh.co.uk/hotels/lancaster/index.aspx
Lancaster University has accommodation service that can help visiting families. Get your son to find details.
As for transport, Lancaster lies on the West Coast mainline between London and Glasgow/Edinburgh, so you get fast connections north or south. While a car is useful for the Lakes, there is quite a good public transport service. Train from Lancaster to Windermere is frequent (about hourly, takes 40 min), and there are buses. You can also take coach excursions from Windermere to many scenic areas - great if your time is limited.
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Old Nov 7th, 2008, 06:21 AM
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Alec and Morgana ~
I could not have hoped for better travel info and referrals. Thanks so very much. Might be back to you with further questions, if you don't mind...
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Old Nov 7th, 2008, 06:28 AM
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The tour of Lancaster Castle was one of the best tours we had while touring England in May 1998.
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Old Nov 7th, 2008, 07:14 AM
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Dilli,

It was Cragwood Country House Hotel, not Cragmore. Sorry

Cath
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Old Nov 7th, 2008, 08:47 AM
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You might also want to visit this website:

http://www.visitlancashire.com/

The Three Fishes is quite rightly recommended, but in my opinion a bit too distant. That said, if you are in a car and traveling from Manchester it makes a pleasant alternative route on the way to the M6 or A59 to Lancaster. The Gibbon Bridge Hotel near Chipping is an absolutely dream, but I wouldn't have thought it cheap.
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Old Nov 7th, 2008, 10:34 AM
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ttt
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Old Nov 7th, 2008, 12:54 PM
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sorry, but what does "ttt" mean?
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Old Nov 7th, 2008, 01:01 PM
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ttt = to the top.

It brings a thread to the top of the list.
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Old Nov 8th, 2008, 01:37 AM
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Yes, the 3 fishes would be suitable if you decided to stay in that area - as would the Inn at Whitewell etc - they are all a fair distance from Lancaster. It just depends where you decide to base yourselves or where you wish to explore. I am assuming your son will remain at Uni whilst you do some touring?
Something you might like to think about is a farm stay bed and breakfast rather than a Hotel. Many farms do a very good value B&B with a cooked to order 'farmhouse breakfast' using local ingredients. I appreciate you are travelling with a teenager who might prefer the attractions a Hotel but I also get the impression you like the peace and quiet of the countryside. If you google something like 'Farm B&B Lake District' you'll see what I mean. However, many of these places will only accept a 2 night booking at weekends - an indication of their popularity and that of the area.
www.golakes.co.uk is also a good Lake District site.
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