At first glance, it seems a bit of a stretch. But could there be some credibility to the claim that Lancashire is England’s answer to Tuscany? The rather odd juxtaposition comes to me from an article in the Telegraph (click here to read it) which was referenced at the Lancashire Tourism Awards ceremony.
Slight tangent: you may remember that we were finalists in the Lancashire Tourism Awards this year – unfortunately we didn’t win our category this year, but we will be back…
Back to the point then. While it seems a little odd to compare Tuscany with Lancashire, there might actually be some merit to this. The landscape, while often more understated than our more famous neighbours in the Lakes, is actually stunning in its own way. Have you taken a moment to study some of the views around Moss Wood, for example?
Where we sit is near the border of the coastal plains which extend into Morecambe Sands with the Forest of Bowland Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (and those last five words are it’s official title – which rather says it all!). Depending on your preference, within walking distance is the hills of the Forest of Bowland itself, the rolling coastal plains – or my personal favourite, where the two meet forming a wonderful vista. There are the wide estuaries of the Lune and the Wyre, and the unique Sands which used to connect Barrow with the rest of Historic Lancashire.
Where Tuscany has Florence, we have Lancaster. Both cities of Roman origin, both cities with long and distinguished histories, and both cities which are a step slower and more relaxed than the bigger modern cities which eclipse them today. The coastline of Tuscany is world famous, but is it fair that the Lancashire coastline is any less well known? If you doubt the beauty of where the Red Rose County meets the sea, just try a day or two walking the Lancashire Coastal Way (which, incidentally, passes within a mile of Moss Wood).
But it isn’t just about the views. When you think of Tuscany, you think of fine Italian food. Well – just try some of Lancashire’s local produce today. Much more than the infamous hotpot the county gives it’s name to, there is an outstanding variety of food and drink coming out of the county today. Award winning cheeses, ales which have won awards, ice cream so good that judges have – you guessed it – given it awards. And that doesn’t even really touch the surface.
The best way to discover the real secret ‘Tuscany’ England has hidden away north of Manchester is to visit. Or even better – to have a holiday home based in the heart of the county.