City Guide

Things to Do in Preston

Ben Maples  · Feb 10th 2023
University of Central Lancashire main entrance

Preston became England’s 50th city in the 50th year of Queen Elizabeth II’s reign and has since become one of the most popular cities in the UK for students to study in.

In this guide, we will show you the city’s location, the various things to do in Preston, give you an insight into the transport in the city, the universities in the city, give you a brief history of the city, show you the sport in Preston and tell you which famous people are from Preston.

Things to do in Preston


One of the biggest cities in the district of Lancashire, with a reported population of around 123,000, we have the city of Preston. One of the most popular destinations in which to study given its varied nightlife and it’s rich and colourful history too.

Things to do in Preston

University isn’t only about studying. It’s also all about the fun too! One of the main attractions of Preston (As we said above) is the nightlife of the city. Preston’s varied nightlife will have you coming back again and again, and we’ve compiled a list of three places that we think could just tickle your fancy!

First up, we have Evoque Nightclub, one of the premier nightclubs in the whole of Preston. The club has its fair share of live music and DJ sets but also has a fair amount of VIP events too with some of the best people you can imagine. You’ll be coming back to Evoque more times than you think, trust us on that one. Second up, we have Baluga Bar & Club, which is (As the name suggests) a mixture of a bar, for those looking to soak up a good atmosphere and drink and a club, which is more for the people looking to take a night off of studying and enjoy the live music and DJ sets that the club offers. We thoroughly recommend Baluga! And lastly, we have Cameo & Vinyl. Are themed nights, exceptionally cheap drinks and a great atmosphere your thing? Well if so, then this is the place for you! A fantastic night out with some of the best things to do in any nightclub in Lancashire, we recommend you stop by and enjoy yourself as the club intends!

Preston has long since been an area that has been of extreme historical interest. The city itself was considered by many to be at the very epicentre of the Industrial Revolution. The city commemorates the history in some of their many museums, which are all affordable and accessible to members of the public, museums like the Harris Museum, the Museum of Lancashire and the National Football Museum.

There are plenty of cinemas in Preston too, for those of you looking to celebrate the latest and greatest from Hollywood right now, whether it be the going for the enticing atmosphere at the city’s Odeon or just kicking it back in the tiered seating of Vue Cinemas, all of the cinemas are affordable. However, if you’re looking for more independent releases, then we recommend that you check out one of the city’s many film societies.

Apart from the football team’s home matches, there is an awful lot to do in Preston. The city runs a number of festivals, chiefly among them is the festival known as Rockprest, which has the added benefit of being free to enter. While some of the acts may be tributes, you’ll enjoy the trip down memory lane and see some of the latest and greatest in music right now.

Things to do with kids in Preston


The transportation of Preston is incredibly efficient and has long since been one of the best things about the city.

There are vive main operators in the city, Preston Bus, Ribble Motor Services, Stagecoach Group, Stagecoach in Lancashire and Preston Citi. Stagecoach in particular travel to a number of different major cities such as Blackpool, Blackburn, Bolton, Liverpool, Manchester, Chorley, Wigan, Lancaster and Morecambe. Preston also operates a Park and Ride system, with two sites across the city at Portway and at Walton-le-Dale. There are also services provided by national Express, Eurolines and Megabus.

The main train station in the city is the Preston Railway Station, which opened in 1838. The city has a number of local stops, however, Preston also allows passengers to travel freely to Aberdeen, Edinburgh, Fort William, Inverness and London and among others.

There is no airport in the city, though there is Warton Aerodrome, which is an airfield in the city, that is mainly used for private flights and flight lessons. Those looking to fly regionally, commercially and international, will need to head to either John Lennon Airport in Liverpool or Manchester Airport in Manchester.

Universities in the City

There is only one university in the city, the University of Central Lancashire, which started as the Institution for the Diffusion of Useful Knowledge in 1828, however, the institute was granted university status in 1992 and re-branded as the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan). The university is also part of the prestigious University Alliance group.

The student body of UCLan is represented by the University of Central Lancashire Student Union (UClanSU). The union has its own nightclub, 53 Degrees, which has two floors and a bar on each one.

The union also represents a number of the student media outlets in the university as well, such as The Pulse, which is the student newspaper, Pulse Radio (formerly Frequency Radio), which is the student radio station and is also the student TV station.

The union also represents some of the university sports clubs, many of whom compete in the various British Universities and Colleges Sport (BUCS) leagues.

Things to do with family in Preston


Preston was initially usurped by the Romans ti begin with as their roads passed close by the city centre.

Preston was however first mentioned in the Domesday Book in 1086 and had already established itself as one of the most important towns in the whole of Lancashire and was considered to be the wealthiest town in the whole of England.

In 1648, the Battle of Preston broke out, a bloody battle as the English and the Scottish fought over its dominion as it was equidistant between Glasgow and London.

The industrial revolution changed the perception of Preston. The town went from a small but profitable market town into a huge industry town, with this, saw the construction of a number of factories and cotton mills, which helped the city immensely.

Richard Ankwright’s water frame was also invented in the city and became one of the city’s most important exports, having been used to help various cotton mills, especially in the Northern part of the country.

Preston was the first English town outside of London to be lit by gas, with the Preston Gas Company being established in 1815. Shortly after this, the Preston and Wigan Railway was established in 1838. It is thought that the city of Coketown from Charles Dickens’ novel Hard Times is based on Preston.

Preston’s heavy industry would have made it a prime target for the Luftwaffe in World War II, however, the Germans only attacked Preston a handful of times, causing a remarkable no fatalities at all. Although there was an air crash in the city which did cause the death of 61 people in 1944.

Preston officially became a city in 2002 as part of the Queen’s Golden Jubilee celebrations.


There are a number of sports clubs in the city.

The most well-known club in the city is Preston North End FC. Preston are the first team to have ever been crowned English football champions and were also the first team to win a league title without losing a match, a feat that was unrivaled until 2004, when Arsenal famously matched them. Preston North End play at Deepdale Football Ground. Deepdale was the original site of the National Football Museum before it moved to Manchester.

The aforementioned University of Central Lancashire has their own multi-million pound sporting venue called the UCLan Sports Arena, which is open not just to university students, but members of the public as well and has also hosted a number of key sporting events in the city as well.

There are four 18-Hole Golf Clubs in the city as well: Ashton and Lea Golf Club, Longridge Golf Club, Penwortham Golf Club and Preston Golf Club.

There is also a Rugby Union club in the city as well called Preston Grasshoppers RFC, who play in the National League 2 North and were established in 1869 and recently won the North Premier League in 2018.

The city’s only professional cricket club is Preston Cricket Club, who were founded in 1882 and play their home games at West Cliff. The team competes in the Northern Premier Cricket League. There are other cricket clubs in the city, though not professional, who compete for the prestigious Palace Shield.

Who’s from Preston?

There are numerous famous people from Preston too, including; Clark Carlisle, Anulka Dziubinska, Joseph Delaney, Holly Bleasdale, Mark Lawrenson and Phil Jones.

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