We could have kept this list going for ever as it was hard to pinpoint just 7 things we love about this part of North Lancashire that The Longlands calls home. We’re proud to be based in an area so rich in culture, the great outdoors, and of course home to some of the best food and drink producers in the UK. Here’s our snapshot of why we think you’ll also love your stay or visit to The Longlands Inn & Restaurant:
Food & Drink
We’re so lucky at The Longlands to have a fantastic array of local growers, roasters, brewers, and distillers on our doorstep. Lancashire is packed full of top quality, award-winning producers from cheesemakers like Mrs Kirkham’s, (head chef, Mark Swanton makes great use of their Lancashire Cheese in our popular classic steak burger), to Lancaster coffee roasters, Atkinsons who supply our speciality coffee beans. Local farmers markets in our Lancashire towns and villages are a must-visit when you’re in the area. They’re always popular with locals and of course our chefs make regular visits to source some of the best of the season’s produce for our dishes.
We know we’ve got the best of both worlds when it comes to the location of The Longlands. Yes, we’re a stone’s throw from the Lake District, the Forest of Bowland, the Yorkshire Dales, and Morecambe Bay, but don’t let that fool you if you’re in need of peace, tranquillity, and time to reflect. There are plenty of quiet corners to be discovered away from the crowds. From the private beach coves at Silverdale to the lesser trampled fells of Farleton Knott and Hutton Roof Crags, our area of North Lancashire still has all the views, but you don’t have to follow a coach party or wait in line to enjoy them.
We’ve got culture and history in abundance within a few miles of The Longlands. Heading north on the A6 will take you to the historic homes of Levens Hall and Sizergh Castle – both open to the public and both with their own unique attractions. Levens Hall is the privately owned home of the world’s oldest topiary gardens and Sizergh Castle, a medieval house set in attractive gardens with a huge apple orchard, has been lived in by the Strickland family for more than 800 years. Over to the west, Leighton Hall is the home of the Gillow furniture making family so there’s lots of interesting and unusual pieces of furniture to discover, and there’s even birds of prey displays every afternoon at 3.30pm (May to September). Heading south down the M6 you’ll spot the English Heritage run, Lancaster Castle, on its imposing hilltop site. The castle dates to Roman times and has a fascinating history, including most recently functioning as a prison.
There aren’t too many places in the country where you can spot the secretive bittern and it was only less than 30 years ago that these birds – part of the heron family – were in real danger of becoming extinct. RSPB Leighton Moss, just a few miles from The Longlands near Silverdale, is home to the bitterns preferred reed bed and marshland habitat with the largest reed bed in northwest England. If you’re patient, they can be spotted all year round, but are easier to see in the icy conditions of winter. In springtime, the starling murmuration’s as the sun sets over Morecambe Bay delivers quite the spectacle and the site is also home to some year-round elusive otters and red deer. Nature at its most awe-inspiring.
It’s not just the impressive historic homes and gardens that this area of North Lancashire is known for, there are also some Instagram selfie-worthy opportunities at some of our most recognisable landmarks. #bringmesunshine with comedy legends Morecambe & Wise’s statue on Morecambe promenade or have a #briefencounter under the original Carnforth station clock where Celia Johnson and Trevor Howard meet, fall in love, and say their final heart-wrenching goodbyes. Also in Morecambe is the iconic Bruccianis ice cream parlour, which has been serving customers from the same listed art deco site since 1939. In Lancaster, the Ashton Memorial lies at the heart of the city’s Williamson Park and was built in the early 1900’s in homage to Lord Ashton’s second wife, Jessie. The Grade 1 Listed Edwardian Baroque style folly with its impressive green copper dome dominates the Lancaster skyline and a viewing platform looks over the city.
North Lancashire might quite rightly be known as a hotbed of brilliant food and drink producers, but there’s also another group of talented individuals who are doing their bit to put our area on the map. If you’re staying or dining at The Longlands, you’ll know from the art on our walls that we’re big supporters of highly skilled local artists. There’s even a group, trail, and annual event where you can visit some of them in their workshops, shops, and galleries in and around the neighbouring villages or Arnside and Silverdale. This year’s ‘Silverdale and Arnside Art & Craft Trail’ takes place from 23rd-25th June and will feature more than 70 exhibitors showcasing jewellery, painting, glasswork, textiles, stone carving, printmaking, clay, wood, and photography. See you there!
It might not sound exciting, but North Lancashire and the area around The Longlands has some of the best transport links you could wish for. We’re a couple of minutes from junction 35 of the M6 and serviced by the main west coast railway line (change at Lancaster for a 10-minute journey to the historic Carnforth station). If your preferred pace is a little slower, The Longlands is alongside the Lancaster canal, so it’s easy to moor up your canal boat or barge and pop in for refreshments. We’re also easily accessible on some long distancewalking and cycling routes including the Lancashire Way, the Coastal Way and the Bay Cycle Way.