November 27 marks Lancashire Day. The annual celebration pays homage to when the first elected representatives from Lancashire were called to Westminster by King Edward I in 1295. They attended what later became known as “The Model Parliament”.
Covering an area that spans 1,189 square miles, Lancashire is home to almost 1.5 million people. We wanted to celebrate the ceremonial county that we call home and what better way to do so than recommending the most beautiful roads you can find here? Here are 4 scenic routes to drive down in the red rose county that will also lead you to some mesmerising landmarks.
FOREST OF BOWLAND / PENDLE WITCH TRAIL
Two experiences, one drive! Begin your journey in the charming village of Barrowford and embark on the famous Lancashire Witches Driving Trail. The route will take you through the mystical Forest of Bowland, which has been classified as an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.
Take in the transcendent rolling hills and woodlands, as you drive up the A682 through Barley village. The drive will guide you past Pendle Heritage Centre, and onto the famous Lancaster castle. This is the site of where some of the most notorious witch trials took place in the 17th century.
In 1612, 10 people were found murdered, for which 12 women were accused of witchcraft and put on trial. They were imprisoned, tried, and executed. People from all over the country, including history buffs, venture to Pendle for a storybook style experience. With views of the hills above the River Hodder that stretch far and wide into the distance towards the Lake District, it is worth making pit stops to capture the backdrops on camera.
This route offers a gorgeous 45 miles of meandering roads through the Ribble Valley and other whimsical villages. Stop in the quaint town of Clitheroe for a traditional English lunch, or visit the medieval castle rumoured to be the smallest Norman keep in England.
Hop on the M6, merge onto the M61 near Chorley and voila, you’ll find yourself headed for Rivington. A picturesque village just north of the large town of Bolton. Offering incredible views of the West Pennine Moors, this route draws nature lovers to the area for a rewarding stop on the summit of Rivington Pike and Winter Hill.
Peek at the reservoirs that once served Liverpool during the Victorian era and drop in at the medieval Great House Barn to admire its unique Scandinavian design.
If your drive permits, opt for one of the A roads heading towards Rivington for a more postcard-perfect route.
THE SINGING TREE
A sound sculpture in the Northwest? Yes, you heard right. The Singing Ringing Tree is located atop a wonderfully rugged hill with miles of countryside as far as the eye can see. Approach this otherworldly, award-winning sculpture from the M65 at junction 9, or one of the many surrounding A-roads which would make for a less-congested and more scenic drive.
The Singing Tree itself has been designed to “sing” in windy conditions and resembles a tree. Breathe in the fresh air as the expansive views over Burnley and the farmland panoramas of East Lancashire encircle you. The sight is one of the most untouched and natural settings, so the drive is more than worth it.
For lovers of water sports, beach strolls, and authentic seaside life, Morecambe Bay should be on your list of routes to conquer in Lancashire. Morecambe Bay is best-known for its large expanse of intertidal sands and mudflats. Located just south of the Lake District, Morecambe Bay is popular for windsurfing, birdwatching, paragliding, biking, and more outdoor activities. A drive along this captivating coastline is a must.
From specific points, you can even see as far as the Bowland Fells and Lancaster. An easy drive up the M6and off at junction 34 will have you heading straight towards the Bay. You may want to tie this drive in with going a little further afield into Lancashire’s neighbouring county of Cumbria where it’s vistas galore.