If culture and heritage are you thing, why not combine your stay in North Lancashire with a day trip from Lancaster House Hotel to Leighton Hall?

Set within the Arnside & Silverdale Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty near Carnforth, the history of the hall goes back nearly 800 years and there is plenty to explore.  Our receptionist Carolyn paid a visit on a ‘big day out’:

I’d always thought Leighton Hall with its gardens, tearooms and activities would be well worth a visit, and I wasn’t disappointed.

Nestled in wide expanses of picturesque rural land, the history of the hall goes back to 1246 but the welcome and tour of the beautiful manor is by no means dated.

The hall is still home to the current owners, Lucy Gillow Arthurs and Daniel Arthurs, whose ancestors have lived there across many generations. They have been kind enough to open their home to the public to share their history and vast collection of art and furniture.

From the warm welcome at the gate, the customer friendly tour of the hall and its grounds and the delicious home-made cakes and drinks in the café, we immediately felt relaxed.

Unlike so many other country estates and rural houses open to the public, Leighton Hall has ‘no ropes or boundaries’ in it rooms.  Guests are encouraged to sit down in the Gillow dining chairs and to feel the quality of the bird’s eye maple wood in the bedroom furniture of Lady Reynold’s bedroom.

From the luxury of a modern Lancashire hotel to the grandeur of a country house

The tour starts in the grand entrance hall, and you immediately see the magical ‘flying staircase’ beneath which nestles a beautiful Daisy table. The guide tells the history of some of the paintings and the clock displayed here and talks about the mystery of the Daisy table.

The Dining Room at Leighton Hall

The tour talk was delivered in a friendly, chatty manner and we had the opportunity to ask questions as we went along.

There’s plenty of time too to admire the antique pieces of furniture positioned around the rooms, with explanations as to whence some of the pieces were sourced, or what they were used for.

Drawers and cupboards doors are opened to reveal the insides of many curious pieces collected over many years.  Many are Gillow manufactured but there are some contrasting French pieces showing marked differences in their design.

Some were highly practical in their use and would have been used on a daily basis.  Others were used to house intriguing collections that family members acquired on their travels and showed off to visitors in days gone by.

In the music room, we were encouraged to relax and take a seat whilst discovering the history of the room and renowned performers who have entertained the family and their guests in the past.  The cosy drawing room and its bay window extension allow for a moment to enjoy the countryside views too.

A visit upstairs to the principal bedroom of Sir James and Lady Reynolds reveals a very different style of furniture which was not made by the Gillows. The highly ornate bed, matching wardrobes and drawers give a contrasting vibe to the furnishings of other rooms.

Guided tour in one of Leighton Hall's bedrooms.

There is small, intimate chapel in the hall where the family used to go to pray and attend services in the privacy of their own home.

We also got a peek at the servants’ quarters downstairs: seeing all the bells to summon staff to the many different rooms around the house was quite an eye opener.  Learning each bell’s individual tone to respond to the correct room must have been a nightmare.

Lots to see and do during your North Lancashire hotel stay

Following the very informative and entertaining tour of the hall, we were treated to a highly skilled falconry display. The recall demonstrated by one of the birds would make any dog owner envious, instantly responding to the trainer and returning to the ground on command.

Our day was brought to a satisfying conclusion with a trip to the tearooms where you can enjoy a drink and snack on the homemade cakes, either sitting inside or outside in the sheltered courtyard area.

The hall also has a lot to offer children with its Teddy Bear Hunt competition in the summer, a play area and a maze.  There’s a trail to find tree faces, an area to indulge in brass rubbings, an insect hotel and bee corner too, or you and your family can simply take a gentle stroll through the beautiful woodland area or take some time to admire the walled garden.

For further information or to organise a visit during your stay at Lancaster House Hotel, go to www.leightonhall.co.uk

Front of House Operations Manager at Lancaster House Lynn Porter took her children for a big day out in Lancaster at the Williamson Park’s Butterfly house and mini zoo.

It’s not always easy to find interactive activities which are fun, immersive and educational for your children, especially during the school holidays.

Taking a closer look at one of the animals in the mini zoo at Williamson Park, Lancaster.

But there’s a little treat in store for kids of all ages at Williamson Park in Lancaster, where they can extend their science and biology knowledge in a little oasis of wildlife, thanks to the Butterfly House and mini zoo.

Once an Edwardian tropical palm house, families can now explore the building which is a maze of different habitats for a diverse range of butterfly species.  And children can quickly learn about the life cycles of the butterflies, caterpillars and pupae, as well as catching a glimpse of exotic animals such as a marmoset, Koi carp or a tortoise.

One of the colourful butterflies at The Butterfly House, Williamson Park in Lancaster.

“One of the most challenging things we found was trying to photograph the butterflies – it’s pretty tricky trying to get them to pose or be still for very long!  But the kids were thrilled with the experience and it’s a great environment for them to explore and find out more about nature.  All in all, they had a great time, and loved the mini beasts as well, although Arlo wasn’t that keen when a butterfly landed on him.”

Lynn Porter

Angela Martindale probably didn’t realise when she got married at Lancaster House Hotel in 2016 that in half a dozen years or so her daughter Nicole Pilkington would in some ways be following in her footsteps.

Nicole is currently a wedding co-ordinator at our Lancashire venue which specialises in helping couples tie the knot with a memorable big day.  So is it a coincidence that she landed her favourite job at the same place her mum got married?

One of the function suites at Lancaster House prepared for a wedding.

Nicole had worked in a number of roles in hospitality before joining English Lakes Hotels in 2018 as a receptionist.  From the moment she arrived she struck up a friendship with Lancaster House wedding organiser Lisa Ng and more or less from day one said she’d love to be involved in helping brides and grooms organise their nuptials.

A Lancashire Wedding Venue Taking Care Of All The Details

As the venue’s reputation for wedding events grew, so too did the workload, and when a new job was created, Nicole grasped the opportunity to join the wedding team and has never looked back.

Angel & Andrew on their wedding day at Lancaster House

I suppose Mum and my step-dad Andrew’s wedding here influenced my thinking without me knowing it. But the idea of getting involved in co-ordinating other people’s weddings didn’t really hit me until I saw what Lisa did in the job and how rewarding it is.


Angela and husband Andrew speak very fondly of their wedding experience at Lancaster House too: “It was just the picture-perfect venue to host our wedding day and they tailored everything to our needs,” she enthuses.

“The atmosphere on the day was so relaxing and the staff genuinely friendly and super-efficient.  It was the little decorative details and additions which made all the difference, extra special touches you noticed around the hotel.

Andrew and Angela celebrate their wedding vows with a kiiss

“We stayed in the main Silverdale bridal suite that overlooks the beautiful grounds.  The reception was held in the Dalton suite with bespoke design and natural light coming through the window.  The team absolutely catered to our every need down to the final details and helped organise our wedding accessories on our arrival too.”


Angela and Andrew’s guest list was around 60 and due to long travelling distances for some family and friends, quite a few took the opportunity to book a room and stay overnight in the hotel.

Lancaster House has around 30 weddings planned in the coming months of 2023, having successfully delivered 37 in 2022, some of which were held over from Covid related postponements. The venue has capacity for up to 50-60 such events each year and Lisa and Nicole are aiming to build on their successful working partnership and grow this side of the business.

Planning your wedding at Lancaster House Hotel

If you are looking for a top venue for your wedding in North Lancashire, Lancaster House may just be the answer!  Whether it’s to plan a smaller, intimate, close knit wedding experience with family and best friends or a larger scale celebration for up to 140 guests, our team can help you every step of the way with tailored packages, special offers and specific requirements.

Find out more here https://englishlakes.co.uk/lancaster-house/weddings/

call us today on 01524 585 175.

When you’re looking for somewhere to stay when visiting Blackpool, Lancaster House Hotel is the great base for you and your loved ones.

Blackpool pier and Ferris wheel

A Great Hotel Break While Visiting Blackpool

Whether you’ve decided to enjoy the unique sights of the renowned Blackpool Illuminations, or you’ve booked to take in a show at the Winter Gardens, it’s nice to know that you can quickly escape the hubbub and immerse yourself in the relaxed atmosphere of a spacious four star venue with its own health club, restaurant and grounds.

The hotel is in a great location, an easy motorway drive into the centre of Blackpool and is just 5 minutes from the centre of the historic city of Lancaster itself.

A Relaxing Base To Contrast With Blackpool Entertainments

Before you head off into the bright lights and showbiz of Blackpool’s attractions, you can spend your time relaxing by our indoor pool facilities which include a hot tub, steam room and sauna.

And when you return in the evening, you can enjoy a fine meal in The Foodworks Restaurant or a quiet nightcap in the Sandeman Bar.

Things To Do When Visiting Blackpool

Blackpool is bursting with life throughout the year, with its world famous tower and classic ballroom and of course its reputation for fantastic light shows and evening entertainment.

And there’s plenty for the kids to enjoy during the day too, with the zoo, the Sea Life Centre, Sandcastle WaterparkMadame Tussauds and of course the Pleasure Beach amusement park always proving highly popular with families.

Blackpool is alive with holiday makers from May to September, enjoying the sunshine, the golden sands, the historic piers, amusement arcades and the nightlife.  Autumn is a fine time to visit too with a host of fantastic family events which celebrate the town’s rich history for spectacular after dark shows in the lead up to Christmas and the new year.

Fireworks at Blackpool with the tower and Ferris wheel in the background

November sees the annual visit of the Strictly Come Dancing contestants strutting their stuff at the Blackpool Tower Ballroom.  Did you know that the town also plays host to the World Fireworks Championship in front of the promenade over four successive weekends each year?

And as well as the world renowned Blackpool Illuminations, there’s also the annual Lightpool Festival.  Lancaster House Hotel is the ideal spot to make your home for a few nights whilst you make the most of everything that Blackpool has to offer.

The Autumn Showpiece – Blackpool Illuminations

The Blackpool Illuminations is close to the hearts of many families who have visited them each year from generation to generation.  The display stretches six miles North to South down the entire promenade with the Golden Mile perhaps featuring all the latest innovations to the spectacle.

The illuminations have now been extended through Christmas until the early new year so that families have the entire festive period to enjoy them.

Lighting Up Your Hotel Stay

Another fabulous autumn event in Blackpool is the now well established Lightpool Festival which features a plethora of exciting installations, large scale light projections, street entertainments, performance artists and live music.  There is also the Illuminated Tram Parade which is fronted by LED lit drummers outfit, Spark!

Halloween is also a special time to visit the town which always looks to make its mark on the traditions and history of the spookiest day of the year.  There are Halloween events and parties across the resort for all the family to enjoy, as well as the ghost trains and trams, the Blackpool Tower Dungeon and the Haunted Hotel tableau in the Illuminations.

The Globe Theatre at Blackpool Pleasure Beach hosts the atmospheric Circus of Horrors show with rock music and burlesque acrobatics.  There’s a child friendly version of the show in the late afternoon as well as the full throttle evening performances.

Book Your Hotel Room For A Visit To Blackpool

Blackpool lays claim to having the largest portfolio of attractions outside of London.  With the convenience of high quality facilities, the Sandpiper Leisure Club, Foodworks Restaurant and the Sandeman Bar, Lancaster House Hotel is the perfect location for a short break near Blackpool.

Lancaster House is offering a Seasonal Special Offer with the choice of great family activities in Lancashire. We just had to road-test one of these family adventures for ourselves. 

A Day Out at Greenlands Farm Village

Lancaster House Wedding Co-ordinator, Nicole Pilkington, took her two daughters for a day at Greenlands Farm Village. Nicole and Isabella, aged 11, and Rose, aged 7, tell us a bit about their day and their verdict on whether they would recommend this day out to our guests.

So Many Adorable Animals

We arrived at Greenlands Farm Visitor Centre where we were issued with our full day Visitor Wrist Bands. The weather was beautiful and warm – perfect for outdoor fun.

Greenlands Farm has around 120 animals, with several unusual rare breeds including Kune Kune Pigs, called Mabel and Wilma. We loved Nigel, a leopard gecko, and Barney and Willow the barn owls. Many of the animals could be held, petted, groomed and even fed. It was just a great opportunity to get up close to the animals. We quickly discovered that we were being followed by a particularly friendly sheep – it just seemed to like our company and we quickly accepted him as part of the family!

Margo the snake became Rose’s stand out favourite in the Reptile house, but the owls, turtles, donkey and Phineas and Ferb the pygmy goats were all in close competition for top spot.

Village Green Pic-nic and Paddling

The Village Green was where we stopped for a well-needed rest from our animal exploits. It’s a lovely area with pic-nic benches, shady grassy areas which allowed us to cool down, a giant sandpit for smaller children and – another highlight of a hot day – a splash pool! (so remember to bring your swimming costume and towel). This is the perfect place to eat your Lancaster House pic-nic and there’s also a great selection of ice creams that Isabella and Rose took full advantage of.

In terms of activities on the Green, the giant bouncing balloon went down a treat with Isabella and Rose. There were even some adult ‘big kids’ who just could not hold back when it came to the bouncy balloon fun.

Straw Barn Shennanigans

A barn full of fresh straw, climbing frame, slides an swings – great for all weather conditions. There is also a good selection of ride on tractors and trailers, and coin-operated go-carts. This is a great area for family play and where imaginations can run free. There’s also a soft play area for children up to 12 years old.

A Friendly Farm

Greenlands Farm Village employs around fifty staff, both full-time and part-time. When we were there everyone we encountered was friendly and went out of their way to make sure we were having a good time.

The team regularly brought out the animals that weren’t roaming free so that we could meet the animals and get to know more about them. Everyone we met seemed to have lots of knowledge about the animals, their habits and personalities and it made it very informative as well as being fun.

Greenlands Has Something For All

There is certainly much more to Greenlands Farm Village than some animals and children’s activities. The owner, Roger Mason, opened the farm village in 2009 as a way of diversification when farms were struggling economically. The vision was always to be a place where children and adults could learn more about local food sources, showcase farming and the countryside, as well as having a great family fun day.

This has developed over the years and now there is a well-stocked farm shop with a butcher, a fantastic selection of local cheeses from neighbouring Cumbria and Yorkshire as well as award-winning Lancashire cheese. Greenlands Farm seeks to be an outlet for all sorts of local food stuffs and crafts – it could easily be a place to do your Christmas shopping!

The Verdict – Would you Recommend?

“Absolutely Amazing! Lots of Fun!”Rose Pilkington

We are delighted to introduce Emma Underwood as the first female General Manager of Lancaster House. Emma brings a wealth of experience to the role, including almost fourteen years working for English Lakes Hotels. She tells us a bit about herself.

Thoroughly Lancashire Lass 

Home for me is Lancaster and I’ve lived all my life here. My home is close to the beautiful Williamson Park. Even when I worked in the city of Manchester, I would commute so that I would get home to my beloved Red Rose county.

When I’m not working, I enjoy going to the theatre, and travelling to experience new cultures. I am a regular at Sandpiper Club exercise classes. 

I spend a lot of time with my family and friends, and socialising is a big part of any downtime I have. In particular, I love to be around my Mum, my sister and Holly, my niece. Holly is definitely a mini me, and she thinks she is the little boss of Lancaster House! She is certainly full of character and is lots of fun to be around.
“Work Hard, and Be Kind”

Emma and Holly

In terms of hobbies, when conditions are right, I do very much enjoy a spot of open water swimming. 

A Career in Hospitality

Working backwards in my career, I’ve spent almost fourteen years at English Lakes Hotels as Deputy Manager of Lancaster House. I’m thrilled to be taking the reigns as General Manager and it feels very apt as I know the hotel and the team inside out. 

Other roles include a time in a large conference and banqueting hotel in Manchester. It would be quite normal for us to do three to four weddings each week, and host conferences for up to 250 people. The hotel also had a Spa which brought in different clientele and lots of day visitors. Prior to that, I worked as Reservations Manager for Holiday Inn, and then took a position as Operations Manager. I thought that moving to operations was a great idea at the time, but I missed the revenue side of the business. Now, as General Manager, I get the best of both worlds!

I started my hospitality career as a waitress. It didn’t take me long to realise that although it was great fun and enjoyable, it was also extremely hard work. I treasure my Dad’s words of wisdom when he told me to ‘Work hard, be kind, and you will reap the rewards!’

Favourite Lancaster House Moments

Some of my favourite parts of the job have been working with a great team, and in particular interviewing many different people for roles in the hotel. I’ve learned to go through the recruitment process but also to trust my gut as to whether the person will be a good fit in the Lancaster House team.

I’ve also enjoyed getting involved in the creative decisions around refurbishments and upgrades – choosing wallpaper and carpets for the Dalton suite was an enjoyable experience. Other stand out moments are when we host the Lancaster Food and Drinks Festivals.#

Looking After our Guests and our Team

I love the English Lakes + 1 culture which is about going the extra mile to deliver the best standards in every aspect of the business. It is also about caring for our guests and looking after our team. I believe it is this culture that makes us stand out from the competition, and I truly hope that everybody that walks through the doors of Lancaster House experiences this type of welcome and service that goes above and beyond expectations.

Top Priorities

I’ve got to say, ‘ensuring Lancaster House is the best hotel in Lancashire’. That is my passion and I hope to do this through creating leisure and corporate packages that people love, as well as delivering the best customer service. Continuing to develop the Lancaster House team is also key for me, and I’m happy to pass on any wisdom I’ve accumulated through my career to date. I like to be approachable and transparent about the direction I am taking the hotel. We can all achieve the vision if the vision is clearly defined and communicated to the whole team.

My first objective is to look again at our offering. Does it need to change? There is the old adage, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it! But like everything, adjustments and improvements can always be made and found. I want to develop relationships further with local suppliers and to ensure that when it comes to weddings, events and functions, Lancaster House is always at the forefront of the minds of those in our local community. I believe that everyone in the county should try which I believe to be Lancashire’s finest Afternoon Tea!

Lancashire Afternoon Tea

A Great Team

Emma Celebrating 25 years of Lancaster House with the team

Lancaster House is a great place to work, not just because I work there!! We are a family. Most of the team are happy to get involved in other areas of the operation as and when required. I believe this gives us an appreciation of different jobs, and the challenges as well as the joys that each role presents. We only recruit people with the right attitude, and it is very much the case that the people make Lancaster House tick! Guests are always remarking about the way the team interacts and comment about the friendly camaraderie between us. My hope is that every team member will continue to feel value and have a good and positive work life balance.

Looking for a New Opportunity?

Perhaps it’s time for a new challenge and to be part of a great team. Take a look at the hospitality job opportunities at Lancaster House and our three other English Lakes hotels.  

Lancaster House loves to play host to Car Clubs from around the country as they explore the beautiful county of Lancashire. We were delighted to welcome Morgan Sports Car Club, Yorkshire Centre, for a weekend of exploration, catching up with friends, rest and relaxation. Their treasurer, and treasured member, Jan Lawson, describes their time across the border.

Jan Lawson, Treasurer, Morgan Sports Car Club, Yorkshire Centre

Freedom of the Road
After a long and tedious period of Covid restrictions we were well and truly ready to get our cars out of their garages and give them a good run whilst catching up with friendships old and new.

We decided that a county neighbouring Yorkshire would be a good option of far enough to be different but near enough to make an enjoyable long weekend.

Initially we had thought about the Lake district but the team at English Lakes Hotels suggested Lancaster House on the edge of the Southern Lakes as a better option for our group, and so it proved to be with easy access to major roads as well as many pretty ones, excellent secure parking and use of the Dalton Suite for our main group dinner.

Bolton Abbey and on through the Trough of Bowland
We met on Friday morning at Bolton Abbey Steam Railway near Skipton, North Yorkshire for bacon and sausage butties in lovely sunshine and a steam train in full steam to greet us. Our group was 55 people in 29 cars.

Suitably refreshed we set off for a scenic drive across the Trough of Bowland, taking in as many small roads and deviations as we could find. So our 60 mile route took around 4-5 hours including stops at Sawley, Bolton-by-Bowland, Tosside, and Dunsop Bridge.

R & R at Lancaster House
On arrival at the hotel we had ample parking in a specially reserved area of the car park.

Friday’s dining was free and easy with members choosing to gather in informal groups in either the bar or Foodworks restaurant at times throughout the evening. The more energetic ones had a swim beforehand too.

The following day members had a selection of scenic routes to enjoy including Silverdale and the RSPB reserve at Leighton Moss, the Southern Lakes including Windermere, or to the seaside at Morecambe. Others chose to stay closer to the hotel, exploring Lancaster including its mighty Castle.

Enjoying many of the scenic roads in the area

Back at the hotel the cars were once again in their reserved area and preparations were made to get the Dalton Suite ready for our group dinner, complete with Yorkshire banners, despite being in Lancashire!

After a most enjoyable group meal, including a car related quiz it was our last day all too soon. Some members leaving for home after breakfast on Sunday but with many more staying on for a 3rd night to appreciate more of the area.

We thoroughly enjoyed our time at Lancaster House and would certainly return for a future visit. We were particularly impressed by the friendly helpful approach of all the staff we came into contact with and the high standards of the rooms and general furnishings.

Booking Your Car Club Event
We have a dedicated English Lakes sales team who will be happy to discuss your event requirements and find the right venue for you. Give us a call on 015394 39451 for more information.

Lynn Porter, Reception Manager at Lancaster House often recommends Lancaster House Fun Trail to guests. During lockdown, Lynn, her husband Ash and their beautiful daughter, Matilda, found out first hand that it was a fun and interesting way to spend a day out in the city. They discovered lots of history and fascinating facts about Lancaster  as well. Lynn shares the highlights of their day with us … 

As the second lockdown began, as a family, we found ourselves once again looking for ways to keep ourselves active and entertained. The Lancaster City Fun Trail has been on offer to our guests at Lancaster house for some time, now would be the perfect opportunity to try it out for ourselves! The treasure trail turned out to be a great way to explore our beautiful city. We were lucky to find a gorgeous sunny autumn Saturday so our 5 year old Matilda could join in the fun too. We packed ourselves a flask of tea and some snacks to keep us going and off we went.

The trail starts in Market Square, outside the city museum and takes you on a journey around the historical buildings and sights of the city.

Although she needed a little help with the answers, Matilda loved finding the clues and crossing the answers off the map. Older kids and adults alike would find this fun too.  We learnt some facts that we didn’t know previously and looking around for clues certainly made us notice things about the buildings and the surroundings we wouldn’t normally spot.

If you get stuck looking for a clue you get three chances to text for help; we were determined to try and do it all without help, but some conservation work at the historic Lancaster Castle meant that some scaffolding was obscuring one of the vital clues. We had to admit defeat that time!  

The trail is a couple of miles long and takes you up and down hills and cobbled streets – so  not ideal for wheelchairs or prams. It took us around three hours as we stopped a few times to take in the views and refresh with a hot drink! If you were really on the ball and made your way around with no stops I think it would take around 2 hours.

Although we found this a really fun activity in lockdown, we thought it would have been great if we’d been able to stop and visit some of the fantastic independent shops, cafes and pubs Lancaster city centre has to offer.  We will return to do just that, and to visit some of the attractions we saw along the way, like the Maritime Museum on at George’s Quay and the Castle guided tour. 

Matilda gave her day out a 10/10 and we would agree! 

Booking a City Break at Lancaster House

To unlock all that the City of Lancaster has to offer for you and your family, book a short break online, or call  0330 4042 693

The following is a guest blog from our resident Berry Family, Ben (Dad), Katie (Mum) as well as their two children Flo and Bertie, (he came to stay for his Birthday!). Written by Ben, it covers their recent trip to see the Blackpool Illuminations whilst staying with us at Lancaster House Hotel using our City and Seaside Offer. 

A Trip to see the Blackpool Illuminations

Lancaster House is one of our favourite hotels and has become our most visited with how busy the Lake District is. We love it for the pool, the food and the spacious rooms but this time we wanted to visit to make use of the new City and Seaside Offer and head to Blackpool for the Illuminations which have been extended until 3rd January 2021.

Our Favourite Hotel in Lancaster

On our arrival it was great to see all the Covid secure policies being adhered to but not stopping a friendly check in. Whilst our room was ready we wanted to get right to lunch in Sandemans Bar. One thing Katie always mentions is how good the children’s menu is at Lancaster House, giving both plenty of choice and not being a “nuggets and chips” offer. Called The Sams Club menu it is not only a great selection of food but it doubles as a colouring in sheet. Flo always goes for the Pawfect Penny Pasta, Bertie didn’t get much choice (since he can’t talk) with us choosing a Veggie Bits and Dips for him.

Being Vegetarian there was plenty of choice for me and I opted for the Veg Fajitas and Katie went for the Teriyaki Salmon Supreme. To get us going we got something small, Pigs in Blankets with English Mustard dip and Marinated Olives. Whilst I thought the Olives were just for me, Flo couldn’t help but eat as many of the green olives as she could. Katie breathed in the Pigs in Blankets whilst I raced Flo through the Olives.

Flo enjoying one of Daddy's olives

Flo was quite demanding for Pink Ice Cream but we got her to the room promising the Fish we would see later at Sea Life Centre. We opted to upgrade to one of Lancaster House’s Luxury Studio Suite. These rooms are fantastic, lots of space and great for a family. We use the sofa bed for Flo and then a cot for Bertie. The bathroom is huge! I’ve been in the bath with both kids and the complimentary toiletries worked great as bubble bath.

The City and Seaside Offer offer includes Popcorn, Cookies and Juice for the kids (as well as a hot chocolate voucher). We tried to open just one bag but had to open both in the end to stop arguments. The cookies we kept for later.

One of the great features of the room is that it has two TVs and a dividing door meaning Flo can watch the TV in her bit and we can watch something else in the main bed area, very well designed indeed. Of course that didn’t stop Flo jumping on our bed…

Katie’s top tip: upgrade to a Luxury Studio Suite for only £40, it’s worth every penny!
Flo enjoyed our bed

Parking in Blackpool

Lancaster House is so well positioned to get into the Lake District, but today’s fun would be in Blackpool. Google Maps quoted us 36 minutes from Lancaster House car park to Blackpool Central car park. Of course it took us a little longer as despite Flo telling us she was fine when we left, the moment we joined the M6 there was a “me think me need a wee wee” from the back. Thankfully Lancaster (Forton) Services are literally a mile down the road. Central Car Park was full and so we parked at the Houndshill Shopping Centre, which is equally well placed to get to our Attractions.

Blackpool’s Sea Life Centre & Madame Tussauds

We had pre-booked timeslot access to the Sea Life Centre and Madame Tussauds. The kids absolutely loved all the fishes and, whilst I was worried they might be, they weren’t at all bored in Madame Tussauds. It’s easy to assume Madame Tussuads is just looking at statues but there is plenty of interaction, sounds and lights to keep everyone having fun. Using a pram in Madame Tussauds we felt like royalty as we got to use a lift with a gentleman who would tell us a little more than everyone else seemed to get. Flo particularly liked the Sharks in Sea Life and seeing daddy lift the Taxi like the Hulk in Madame Tussauds.

Katie’s top tip: Pre-book attractions online, they do bundle deals to help bring the price down. Under 3’s are free!

Somewhere to eat in Blackpool

For dinner I had tried to book Stefani’s Pizzeria, one of the best rated Pizzeria’s in the area, unfortunately they and two other places I tried were fully booked. With Blackpool being a popular destination and it being a Saturday night not even five days’ notice could get us a table reservation at a local hotspot. I figured we would go to a walk up location like Bucaneers in the Coral Casino or, since were at the sea side, get fish and chips from any of the many locations along the prom. But, on the drive down Katie booked a most surprising option, Mr Basrai’s World Cuisines. A short walk along the prom and up past the Winter Gardens Mr Basrai’s was as busy as everywhere else, we were very glad we booked. After paying on arrival we sat down and got to sampling everything on offer. I personally see buffets as a challenge to get best value and with a small charge for the kids there was extra pressure for me to perform. Whilst somewhat hectic (and not recommended for those who don’t want people around them) the food was fantastic, fresh and with great service. I would liken it to one of the smaller Las Vegas strip buffets or a good Cruise buffet as it features an ecliptic mix of foods with a few chef stations cooking things to order. I’ll be back with friends!

Katie’s top tip: book a dinner reservation, queues were long for almost everywhere!

Blackpool Promenade

After Dinner we walked back along the prom to enjoy the lights. Although with two tired kids it was almost if Flo’s “pretty lights” were an afterthought given all the fun we had with everything else we had managed to do in Blackpool.

On the promenade at Blackpool

After A Fun Day Out

After a long day we put the kids to bed and made full use of the special offer of 20% off all our food and drink during our stay with a Gin and Tonic and well deserved Peroni delivered for consumption bedside.

In the morning we opted for breakfast in bed, with a breakfast tray delivered to the room. We made quite the mess as just after posing for a picture Katie knocked an orange juice all over the bed… (Sorry housekeeping!!)

But the main plan was to get in and enjoy the pool. Pre-booking a slot is essential but it does mean that the pool is pretty quiet, which is quite good when the kids are as loud as ours. It is well set up for families with a small kid’s pool, as well as adult only areas. Indeed I managed to sneak off into the outdoor hot-tub which was pure bliss!

Whilst we were tempted by the excellent looking Sunday Lunch offering (starting at £19.50 per person) but we needed to get going home. No doubt we’ll be back soon!

A Breakdown Of Our Stay

Stay: Lancaster House (from £79 , room as shown £119)

Play: Blackpool Illuminations (£Free), Sea Life Centre (£13 per adult), Madame Tussuads (£13 per adult), Sandpiper Health Club (£included in the room)

Eat: Mr Basrai’s World Cuisines (£20per adult average), Sandemans Bar (£18per adult average), Room Service Breakfast (£17.50 for adults, 50% off for kids)Previous

Daddy and Flo sharing

Daddy and Flo sharing

Flo enjoyed our bed

Flo enjoyed our bed

A moment of peace

A moment of peace

On Blackpool prom

On Blackpool prom

In the famous underwater tube

In the famous underwater tube

Obligatory shoulder carry

Obligatory shoulder carry

Family enjoying the pool

Family enjoying the poolNext

A moment of peace
On Blackpool prom
In the famous underwater tube
Obligatory shoulder carry
Family enjoying the pool
Daddy and Flo sharing
Flo enjoyed our bed
A moment of peace
On Blackpool prom
In the famous underwater tube
Obligatory shoulder carry
Family enjoying the pool
Daddy and Flo sharing
Flo enjoyed our bed
A moment of peace
On Blackpool prom
In the famous underwater tube
Obligatory shoulder carry
Family enjoying the pool

Lancaster is a place steeped in history, with a vibrant arts and café culture as well as beautiful landscapes to discover. Here are a just a few reasons to visit this intriguing part of the country.

Play in the Park Returns

Back, promising to be better than ever, The Dukes’ entertainment-for-all ‘Play in the Park’ returns in 2020 with a brand new production of Alice in Wonderland. Once again, the UK’s biggest walkabout outdoor theatre will be sure to take the audience on an adventure to capture the imagination within Lancaster’s Williamson Park.

Play in the Park enjoyed thirty years of award-winning performances before having a well-earned rest in 2019. In the past we’ve reviewed some of their most creative works including Oliver Twist, The Hobbit, which won the 2016 UK Theatre Award for Best Show for Children & Young People, Treasure Island and, in 2018, The Three Musketeers.

A Wealth of History

Lancaster’s rich history is worth exploring, with several historic landmarks within a short distance of each other. Lancaster Castle was built in the 11th Century, with the courts and the prison of the original castle still standing. It has the dubious honour of being known as ‘the hanging town’ where more people than anywhere else in the country, outside London’ were executed.   

Ashton Memorial in Williamson Park was original intended to provide work for the unemployed of the city. Also known locally as the Taj Mahal of Lancaster, it commemorates Jessie, the wife of a wealthy land-owner James Williamson.  While visiting the park, it is well worth visiting the old Victorian Palm House which is now a Butterfly House

Relics from 180 AD have been discovered on the site of Lancaster Priory. Most of the current Church dates from the 15th Century, the tower being added in the 18th Century. The carved oak choir-stalls are amongst the oldest in the country, believed to date from 1340, and the fretwork described by John Ruskin as the finest in England.

Other historic sites include Judges Lodgings, the oldest townhouse in Lancaster, the original home of the notorious witch hunter, Thomas Covell. 

Traditional Craft

Blacksmithing is a craft with deep roots in our culture and heritage. Bespokers Forge is home of artist blacksmith, John Law, located at Yew Tree Barn near Grange-over-Sand.   

There’s an opportunity to try this ancient craft for yourself, under his expert guidance. Basic blacksmithing techniques are taught in the morning, and the afternoon is spent on ‘a project’ of your choosing. A one day course for a maximum of 4 people includes lunch and drinks.  

Antiques and Furniture

Enjoy a nostalgic trip down memory lane. GB Antiques is the biggest antiques and furniture centre in the country with 40,000 square feet of furniture, porcelain, pottery, glass, memorabilia and toys, sporting collectables and music memorabilia, telephones, gadgets and toys.  

Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty

It may be a city break, but it’s worth making time for a short walk in the country. Bring your walking boots and be prepared for some spectacular views. The Forest of Bowland, on the edge of Lancaster, is a relatively undiscovered area of grandeur and rugged scenery where J R R Tolkien was inspired to write Lord of the Rings. It is also home to 500 listed buildings and monuments. Rich pasture land makes it the perfect location for the eighteen cheese producers in the area, many having won international awards for the quality of their cheese. A place not to be missed!

Book Your City Break

When planning your city break, you will be assured a warm welcome and comfortable surroundings at Lancaster House. Call 0330 4042 693 for more information and to book your stay.  

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