2024 is here, and it's going to be a bumper year for Lancashire!

With lots of exciting new openings, anniversaries, and big events happening this year, you’ll have plenty of reasons to visit this amazing county.

New Museums and Attractions

Everybody loves a season launch in Blackpool, when all the attractions reopen fully just in time for the Easter holidays. This year will be even bigger and better with a brand-new museum opening right on the promenade!

Showtown Blackpool will be an all-singing, all-dancing attraction for the whole family, showcasing the very best of the town’s exciting history and present-day successes. With rooms dedicated to the world-famous Blackpool Illuminations, as well as to the magic shows, circus skills and the celebrity figures whose careers can be owed to the area. Doors open on 15th March and tickets are on sale now.

Also coming to the resort is the brand-new Backlot Cinema, opening as part of Houndshill Shopping Centre this March. Not only home to Lancashire’s largest IMAX cinema screen, the cinema will offer 9 screens with 850 luxury seats and will be complimented by The Backlot Diner. A classic yet contemporary dining establishment offering a fantastic menu including cocktails and milkshakes.

New in Food and Drink

The new eco-restaurant Eight at Gazegill, is expected to put another stop on the Lancashire foodie lover's map! Serving up to 100 guests and powered by sustainable energy, the restaurant will source almost all of its food from its 250-acre farm, Gazegill Organics. Anything not sourced from directly on site will be found from local farms and suppliers within the Ribble Valley.

Even the restaurant itself has been constructed from sustainably sourced green oak and glass, providing breathtaking views across the Ribble Valley and features plenty of outdoor seating to allow those visiting to really take in the countryside that surrounds them. The Restaurant is hosting “Taste of Gazegill” events throughout February for people to sample some of the offerings expected before opening full later in the year.

New Events

Lancashire is home to one of the best event calendars in the country, offering something to do in every month. Whether you are looking to see bluebells in spring, county shows in summer or light shows in winter, the choices are endless. Each year we see a whole host of new events pop up as well, and we are very excited to see a very famous face come to Blackpool.

Watch in wonder as elephants take over Blackpool when the Elmar Art Trail comes to town! Starting on April 13th and running for eight weeks, Elmer’s Big Blackpool Parade will feature 30 uniquely decorated Elmer elephants pop up around the town. Each has been designed by a local artist and there will also be mini-Elmers on display showcasing the work of local schools too.

New Accommodation

Offshore Hotel will open this March in Lytham St Annes, situated on the seafront, this new accommodation has been born out of a total refurbishment and remodelling of two former hotels. The 99 bedrooms include a range of accommodation options including sea-view, dog friendly and accessible, and are perfectly placed for a base to explore Lancashire.

In addition to the rooms there will be a reimagined bar and lounge area and a large outdoor seating terrace to offer all-day laid-back dining and delicious drinks; and the perfect spot to unwind and enjoy the views across the Irish Sea.

Down the road, Blackpool will see a new hotel opening, the 144 bed Holiday Inn. This hotel in the very centre of town is perfect for holiday goers and business visits alike. Each room will feature floor to ceiling windows, fast speed Wi-Fi, luxury beds, smart TVs and air conditioning as well as use of a 24-hour fitness suite too.

As part of the hotel there will be a brand-new restaurant, open to guests and visitors alike. Marco’s New York Italian Restaurant will have a menu created by Marco Pierre White himself and offer a range of tasty meals. There will also be a Starbucks coffee shop and a bar & lounge.

Later in the year we are eagerly awaiting the arrival of seven new luxury lodges within the grounds of the Michelin Starred Moor Hall Restaurant. Each lodge is designed to connect you with nature and will feature a lounge area, bathrooms, bedrooms, and outdoor terraces set within the woodlands in the restaurant's grounds.

The development of these lodges will allow more visitors to experience Moor Hall Restaurant with its 2 Michelin Stars, and its sister restaurant The Barn which has a Michelin Star of its own, as well as the village of Aughton, where you can find a third Michelin Star location; So-lo. Making it the ideal escape for anyone looking to enjoy a luxurious foodie getaway.

Town Centre Redevelopments

Several of the county’s town centres are gearing up for a revamp this year and we can’t wait to see their fresh new looks.

Haslingden Market is looking at a May deadline for its refurbishment which will offer new seating areas area, a dedicated space for music and theatre performances, and new canopies.

Work on Colne market starts this month on a £4.8m redevelopment to incorporate a brighter and more modern market hall, with space for events, a food hall, greengrocers, and retail offering in front of the building too. Elsewhere in Colne work is underway to modernise the Muni Theatre, which will reopen this summer.

St Anne’s is expecting a number of changes too, with the former JR Taylor department store currently being refurbished to make way for new bars, shops, and spa facilities.

Anniversaries

2024 marks a huge anniversary for the Forest of Bowland National Landscape, which celebrates 60 years of being recognised as an outstanding area of beauty in the country. Each February the Forest celebrates with its Dark Skies Festival, offering the ideal way to learn more about the night sky, toast some marshmallows and get in touch with nature in the stunning National Landscape. You can also head along to Clitheroe Castle Museum for a special photography exhibition celebrating the National Landscape throughout the month.

Garstang Walking Festival takes place each May, and this year is extra special. Celebrating its 20th anniversary the annual festival is looking to go bigger than ever with lots going on for you to enjoy. With over 40 walks to explore over the nine-day festival, you will find options suitable for ages ages and abilities: including tramper-based walks for disabled visitors. These guided walks provide the opportunity to experience the beauty of spring in Lancashire, with its wildflowers and stunning scenery.

Nearby Preston is also celebrating this May with 50 years of its incredible Preston Caribbean Carnival. Founded in 1974 by local Preston residents with origins in St Vincent and the Grenadines, Dominica and other Caribbean islands, Preston Carnival was created to be a cultural celebration featuring both a processional and park-based events for both Preston residents and for visitors to the city. Head into the city to dance to the rhythms of the Caribbean!

Astley Hall in Chorley is planning a year of celebration as it marks its 100-year anniversary of being open as a museum. The hall first opened its doors to the public in 1924, two years after the historic building had been given to the people of Chorley. To mark the occasion, a special ‘Astley Memories’ project has been launched and will collect local stories and experiences about the hall.

As you can see 2024 is not set to be a quiet one in Lancashire, and this is only the start! To keep up to date with all the wonderful goings on in the county head to visitlancashire.com

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