Within its one million acres, Lancashire provides considerable diversity. In the south are the former industrial centres, now greatly spruced up, while to the north are the rural areas of the Forest of Bowland and the Ribble Valley, both scenic, inviting and much less visited than they should be. Then there is the Lancashire coast, dominated by Blackpool with its great variety of attractions.
The ancient county town of Lancaster is an excellent place to start any journey of discovery. Small and compact, this lively university city has the added advantage of being off the general tourist routes.
To the northeast lies Leck Fell, just south of Kirkby Lonsdale and Cumbria. It is easy for the visitor to mistake this for the Yorkshire Dales as there is a typical craggy limestone gorge along the little valley of Leck Beck, as well as one of the most extensive cave systems in the British Isles. A natural route from Kirkby Lonsdale back to the county town is marked by the River Lune.
The best way to enjoy this wonderful green and hilly area of Lancashire is to follow the Lune Valley Ramble, which travels the valley’s intimate pastoral setting through woodland, meadows, and along the riverside itself.
To the west lies Morecambe Bay, a treacherous place where, over the centuries, many walkers have lost their lives in an attempt to make the crossing to Grange-over-Sands. Despite its grim history, the bay offers superb views, including glorious sunsets, as well as being an important habitat for a wide variety of birds.
For more free guides in this series, visit the Travel & Holidays pages.