Lancaster is located in the north west of England, in the Lancashire County around 1h30 drive from Manchester. This town is best known for its castle which it is possible to visit and which is in very good condition. There is not much to see in this city but it is nice to walk around its streets and to have a look at the beautiful houses and buildings. What surprised us the most was the cleanliness of the town, which has nothing to be with Manchester. There are a lot of shops, restaurants, a little bit like all the English cities, but it is thanks to the two university campuses that the city acquires its dynamism. The University of Lancaster is ranked in the Top 10 English universities and is the 59th best European universities in 2016.
We did not stay long (3hrs) in Lancaster just enough time to walk around and get a good look at the city and what we saw was great. We recommend you stop by Lancaster if you are going to visit Lake District.
After spending the morning at Lancaster, we set out in the afternoon to visit the Bowland Forest on the border between Lancashire and Yorkshire counties. This forest is classified as: Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty AONB. The AONB are places in the UK that are known for their extreme beauty and that need to be protected. We discovered for the first time this appellation during our trip on the island of Anglesey in Wales.
Therefore the forest of Bowland is a perfect place to hike, visit small picturesque villages, escape the overpopulation of the cities and get lost in the English countryside. The town of Pendle Hill is known to be the place where witches were hanged in 1612. Thus plenty of ghosts’ stories living in the forest are told to the travelers.
Another interesting fact we learned during this day was the reason for the very small windows in the houses. According to our guide, in the past, people were taxed according to the size of the windows in their house so to not pay a lot of taxes they made the windows as small as possible.
Like every time we visit a remote place in England, a mixture of emotions is felt. First the beauty of the landscapes makes us dream and always amazes us. Then we come back to reality and we tell ourselves that if we break down with the car no one will find us. The roads are so small that every turn, the fear of meeting a truck, another car or a herd of sheep in front of us, invades us. I do not know about you, but we are always stressed the idea of driving on these small roads and we start relaxing once we get back to Manchester.
If we forget that fear, this place is beautiful and a visit is worth it. It is a perfect place to go for a relaxing weekend outside Manchester.