Seek some inspiration for your group travel in Preston...
If you're planning a group day out or overnight stay then Preston has all you need for a fulfilling trip. Whatever your budget and reason for visiting, there is something to keep everyone entertained, all within the city centre.
Ideally nestled in the heart of Lancashire, Preston is an easy city to get to.
Preston boasts fantastic road connectivity, with the city being accessible via 4 leading motorways. If your group is arriving by bus or coach, Preston Bus Station is a major hub and sees arrivals and departures from regional and national operators such as National Express, Megabus, Stagecoach, and Lancashire United.
You can reach Preston from the following motorways:
- M6 - The M6 connects the North with the South and provides easy access into Preston and its city centre from major towns and cities. Some of these places include London, Liverpool, Lancaster, and the Lake District.
- M55 - If travelling from the West, the M55 connects Blackpool to Preston.
- M65 - The M65 links the East with Preston, ideal for those travelling from many towns and cities in the East, including Blackburn, Burnley, and Colne.
- M61 - The M61 makes Preston easily accessible via Manchester and other Northern locations, including Manchester airport.
Preston Train Station is a major station on the West Coast Main Line. The station sits roughly half way between London Euston and Glasgow Central.
Services include Northern Rail, Virgin Trains, TransPennine Express, and First ScotRail. As well as intercity trains, the station is also served by local trains to other parts of Lancashire, Cumbria, Greater Manchester, Merseyside, and Yorkshire.
Coach parking is available at Preston Bus Station and must be pre-booked. For details on how to book visit Visit Lancashire - Coach Parking.
Preston city centre is also home to a wide selection of car parks, including motorcycle and disabled parking. For more details see Preston City Centre Parking.
Whatever your reason for visiting, Preston has plenty things to do for groups of all ages. You'll find many of the city's attractions within walking distance from each other, making it the ideal place for your group trip.
Harris Museum & Art Gallery
The Harris Museum, Art Gallery & Library is located near Preston Bus Station and is guaranteed to have something for everyone.
The building was officially completed in 1893 and is a sight to behold, both inside and outside. Inside you'll find many fine features to admire, including grand architecture, the Egyptian balcony, sculptures, and fine art. The regular and changing exhibitions also feature collections of textiles, ceramics, glass, and historical artefacts.
For those interested in local history, The Harris is also home to the Discover Preston exhibition and Preston's WWI Roll of Honour. And, after all the exploring, you'll also find a relaxing café to unwind in and take in the surroundings.
Guided tours, talks, and workshops also take place in The Harris. For further details visit The Harris - Talks, Tours & Events for Adults.
Preston Flag Market
Outside The Harris Museum & Art Gallery is Preston Flag Market. The Flag Market is an open area in the city centre and provides a place to watch the world go by as well as being home to Preston's Cenotaph and Obelisk.
The Preston Cenotaph is a Grade I listed monument, dedicated to the soldiers of Preston who perished in WWI, and is a must visit for lovers of architecture and heritage. The structure was originally designed by Sir Giles Gilbert Scott, designer of the iconic red telephone box. Preston happens to have the longest continuous row of these red telephone boxes, which can also be seen from the Flag Market, to the left of the Shankley Hotel.
Opposite the Cenotaph is the Obelisk. The Obelisk dates from 1782 and was originally lit by gas. The structure was removed in 1853 until its re-erection on the site in 1979 to mark the 800th anniversary of the city being granted the charter by King Henry II.
Parks and gardens
Exploring Preston city centre's historical parks and gardens makes for an all-rounded group day out. The parks are suitable for visitors who are interested in history and educational visits as well as those who love scenery, the outdoors, and architecture.
Winckley Square Gardens are just a stone's throw away from Preston's Fishergate high street. The gardens are surrounded by the period architecture of Preston's affluent Winckley Square and provide a peaceful retreat as well as a great historical visit. The plaques dotted around the gardens provide an insight into historical figures and events that this picturesque area has seen since its creation in 1801.
For further things to see, Avenham & Miller Parks are Grade II listed parks just a minutes stroll from Winckley Square Gardens. The large Victorian parks sit next to each other and provide hours of exploring. Both parks feature must-see attractions, including the Japanese Rock Gardens, Sebastopol Canons, the Italianate Terrace, and Miller Park's listed fountain.
Avenham & Miller Parks also feature a fantastic selection of winding paths and walking routes as well as large open greenspace and sheltered seating - making them an ideal location for a group picnic. There is also a scenic path alongside the River Ribble, with the Pavilion Café nearby where you can stock up on nibbles and refreshments whilst enjoying the views.
St Walburge's Church
Just a short stroll from the city centre, St Walburge's Church is a must visit. The Roman Catholic Church is a stunning Grade I listed building with the third tallest spire in the UK and the tallest of any parish church in England.
The French Gothic-style building features vibrant stained glass windows and medieval-style halls inside.
If you visit on a weekend, make sure to take part in one of the church's free heritage tours every Saturday.
Why not stay late and experience Preston's Purple Flag awarded nightlife.
Preston Guild Hall & Charter Theatre
Located near Preston Bus Station, Preston Guild Hall & Charter Theatre is home to an array of shows throughout the year. Whether your group are fans of comedy, dance, live music, or pantomimes, there's something to keep everyone entertained.
For group activities and entertainment in the city centre, Level is the place to go.
Located inside Preston Guild Hall, the entertainment complex is home to a number of fantastically fun activities. Enjoy some challenging or relaxing group games, including laser tag, crazy golf, bowling, and arcade games. There's also the chance to wind down with karaoke rooms and a sports bar.
Venture on one of a number of self-guided walks highlighting Preston's history and heritage. You can learn about the Battle of Preston 1715, city centre statues, blue plaques, Preston's historical figures, and much more.
Just download your chosen guide and see what you can discover.
For details of Preston's walks and trails see City Walks.
Eat and drink
Preston's city centre has an exciting array of places to eat and drink, whether you're after a relaxing coffee, a quick bite to eat, or a sit down meal.
For details of places to eat and drink in Preston see our Eat & Drink directory.
Whatever your budget, you're spoilt for choice with Preston's accommodation on offer. The city is home to a variety of places to stay, both inside and outside of the city centre.
For details of hotels and other places to stay see our Accommodation directory.
If you're looking for more inspiration for things to do on your group visit to Preston see Itinerary ideas.
Map addresses for Group Travel
- Harris Museum & Art Gallery, Market Square, Preston, PR1 2PP.
- Preston Flag Market, Cheapside, PR1 2AP.
- Winckley Square Gardens, Winckley Square, Preston, PR1 3JJ.
- Avenham & Miller Parks, South Meadow Lane, Preston, PR1 8JT.
- St Walburge's Church, Weston Street, Preston, PR2 2QE.
- Preston Guild Hall & Charter Theatre, Lancaster Road, PR1 1HT.
- Level, Lancaster Road, Preston, PR1 1HT.