Sunday 26 February 2017

Longridge, Preston

Gosh, I’m really struggling to find places I haven’t been in the North of England! I’d heard of Longridge as it’s a place for lots of engineering and stuff like that.  When I Googled and discovered it was a “medium-sized town” I thought we’d give it a go.  If it’s not so exciting we can go to nearby Preston.

Longridge is about 8 miles north east of Preston and 30 miles from Manchester.  From North Manchester take the M60, M61, M6 and exit junction 31A onto the B6242, B6243, B5269 and head towards Berry Lane.  There is free on street parking in Longridge, which is always a plus.

The town itself is a traditionally northern town built from the local sandstone.  Berry Lane is the main shopping area with quite a few local pubs dotted across the town.

It was a grey Monday afternoon, but Longridge did have a good deal to offer.  First and foremost it has charity shops – 5 in total including a Children’s Barnardos.  It made me chuckle to overhear in one charity shop, locals complaining that another florist was opening – there are about three in close proximity.

Longridge has a mix of traditional and modern independent shops.  I knew this was a classy town from the fact there was a designer dress agency there, unfortunately it was closed so I couldn’t have a look.  There were a few lovely looking cafĂ©’s which seemed to be the busiest places in town.  One shop had a black and white dog resting in the window – so cute. I was thrilled to see a craft shop called “Oh Sew Crafty” so naturally I had to go in and have a browse.  They do courses there too, which is always a joy to see.

If you live in Lancashire and Cumbria, you will have heard of Booths supermarkets – they are like the northern Waitrose.  It’s always a sign of a good neighbourhood and it’s always a lovely shop to potter around.  Pricier than the Tescos and ASDA’s of this world, but a much more interesting shopping experience with more locally sourced produce than the high street chains.

Longridge seems to me to be a nice commuter town for Preston and Blackburn with good access to the M6.  Plus it has the advantage of being close to a number of large businesses on the outskirts of town.  It’s the sort of place you would bring up your family where you have the convenience of being close to a city and some large industrial towns, but just a stone’s throw from the countryside.  It’s a pleasant little town and I’d definitely stop off here again.