Balloons, the blues and breathtaking views in hotpot hot spot
British Breaks: Lancashire
Sunday 21 June 2009
Take flight at the Burnley Hot Air Balloon Festival (visitlancashire.com), from 31 July to 2 August, when the skies above the town will fill with hot-air balloons of different shapes and sizes. Head for Towneley Park to watch the mass launch and a special firework display titled "Nightglow".
Curtain's up in Lancaster this summer. Walkabout Theatre (dukes-lancaster.org), the UK's biggest open-air theatrical event of its kind, takes place in Williamson Park from 2 to 8 August. This year, audiences will be transported to ancient Greece for a fun take on the tale of Jason and the Argonauts.
Culinary canal cruises, pony-trekking picnics, and ale trails around the moors are among the events taking place as part of the Pennine Lancashire Festival of Food and Culture (penninelancashirefestivals.com), from 17 August to 17 September.
Celebrating its 20th anniversary, the Great British R&B Festival (blues festival.co.uk) takes place in Colne from 28 to 31 August. More than 1,000 artists will perform at the four-day event in venues throughout the town. Look out for the Busking Station, which the organisers have added this year, where up-and-coming and established artists are free to strut their stuff.
Finally, step out for the Pendle Walking Festival (pendle.gov.uk/ walking), from 5-13 September. More than 80 free guided walks will take place in some of the county's most beautiful landscapes.
See the sights
Check out Lancashire's latest attraction, Greenlands Farm Village (greenlands farmvillage.co.uk) near Carnforth. Learn about food and the environment at this working farm, featuring a butcher's, bakery, food and craft shops.
Meanwhile, Clitheroe Castle (lancashire.gov.uk) has just reopened to the public following a £3.2m refurbishment. The castle (left), built in 1186 by Robert de Lacy, has had its gardens spruced up and the keep restored.
Eat and drink your way around Lancashire on the Ribble Valley Food Trail (ribblevalleyfoodtrail.com), meeting the area's providers and suppliers along the way. Head for the coast to see how major regeneration projects along with new attractions and hotels are sprucing up the seaside towns of Southport, Morecambe and Blackpool for visitors.
Finally, explore the highlights of the area's dramatic countryside – the Forest of Bowland, Ribble Valley, Pendle Hill and the west Pennine Moor – by taking in the views through the new panopticon sculptures that have been erected at high points across the county, including The Atom at Wycoller Country Park, Colourfields at Burnley and Halo near Haslingden.
For more ideas and accommodation suggestions, contact Lancashire and Blackpool Tourist Board (visitlancashire.com).
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