Once you arrive – park above the largest bus station in Europe, or use the bike racks on the Flag Market – your first stop should be the Harris. A stunning Grade I listed building, the Harris is home to a Fine Art Gallery for the art lover and the Discover Preston exhibition for the curious. Alternatively, just soak in the outstanding Victorian neo-classical architecture as you enjoy a coffee and cake in the cafe, or see if there are any free workshops running in the Makerspace.
For lunch, you’re spoiled for choice – next to the Harris is the Miller Arcade, another beautiful Victorian building which just happens to have a number of independent eating places! If none of these take your fancy, there is no shortage of options around the Flag Market or the rest of the city centre.
After lunch, head over to Winckley Square. This Georgian square, built around newly refurbished and restored gardens, is a great little getaway from the hustle and bustle of the rest of the city centre. This truly is one of the hidden gems of the country, a reminder of the cities our forefathers built before we turned to concrete and glass.
From Winckley Square, follow your feet down to Miller and Avenham Parks. These two parks back directly onto each other along the northern bank of the River Ribble, providing Preston with one (two?!) of the finest parks in the North of England. Following the Old Tram Bridge you can walk out over the Ribble and look back on the beautiful parks, or continue over the river to explore neighbouring Penwortham.
When you head back into the city, you have the opportunity to visit the shopping heart of Lancashire. With high street names mixed in amongst a number of independent retailers, a dedicated shopaholic could spend the whole day here alone! But the shops must close eventually – at which point you might find yourself hungry (and thirsty!). There are a number of well-regarded restaurants in Preston’s centre, with Italian tastes, Chinese flavours, or even the spice of the Caribbean at Turtle Bay (which, incidentally, does fantastic cocktails…!) amongst many others including well known names like Nandos.
Finally, before you go home you might like to catch a show (if you’re not cycling)! The iconic Preston Guild Hall has events running all year round, from shows in the Charter Theatre to world snooker. A great way to round off the day before heading back to Moss Wood.