And what couldn’t be better is most of it is free, making it a great place for a weekend getaway with the family, a romantic break with a loved one or even for an afternoon adventure.
Read on to find out the top 10 reasons to come and visit Blackburn with Darwen….there are many more to discover if you make the trip to this beautiful part of the country.
10 Reasons to visit Blackburn with Darwen
1. Blackburn Cathedral Quarter
The Cathedral Quarter is a newly developed area centred around the beautiful & historic Blackburn Cathedral. There is a new Premier Inn offering high quality accommodation for visitors to the region, plus landscaped open spaces to relax in. Immerse yourself in the history & magnificence of the Cathedral on one of their regular guided tours or while away an hour listening to musicians from around the country at their lunchtime recitals. And if you’re feeling peckish, nip into the Café in the Crypt for a taste of home cooked food.
2. Darwen Tower
With views stretching as far as Yorkshire, North Wales & even on a clear day, the Isle of Man, what better way to take in this stunning scenery than from the top of Darwen Tower? Built in 1898 to mark Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee, and the reopening of the moors to the local people, the red sandstone structure features a beautiful spiral stone staircase, which leads to a viewing platform at the top of the Tower. The steep ascent from Darwen town centre is certainly worth the effort!
3. Live Theatre
Residents & visitors have not one but three excellent local theatres to choose from: King Georges Hall, Darwen Library Theatre & Thwaites Empire Theatre. All of them offering a regular programme of live music, comedy & theatre. King Georges Hall has played host to many a household name from The Beatles to Bowie & future audiences can look forward to top shows by the likes of Sarah Millican, Billy Ocean & James Martin. Darwen Library Theatre also shows National Theatre Live screenings bringing the best of British Theatre live from stages in London.
4. Blackburn Rovers FC
As a founder member of the Football League, Rovers are the heart & soul of Blackburn’s sporting world. They famously won the Premier League title in 1995, & although now battling it out in the Championship, a trip to Ewood Park is still a must-do for all sport fans. Take one of their Ground Tours & get a trip behind the scenes whilst finding out about the history of this proud club.
participating in this grass roots running movement at the stunning Witton Country Park
5. Blackburn Museum and Art Gallery
From books to beetles and from mummies to machinery, Blackburn Museum and Art gallery has something to intrigue and inspire all ages. This beautiful Grade II listed building is internationally renowned for its unique collection of coins, manuscripts and books gifted by local notable Robert Edward Hart (1876-1946), which cannot be matched by any public collection outside London. The museum has ever changing exhibitions & holds regular craft sessions for children and even hosts live music events in the evenings.
6. Turton Tower
Turton Tower is a distinctive English country house located in the small village of Turton on the edge of the popular walking area of the West Pennine Moors. Today the house still captures the spirit of the Tudor and Victorian ages and displays one of the finest collections of period furniture and paintings in the region. Sitting amongst beautiful gardens, Turton Tower is a jewel waiting to be discovered. Why not make a full day of your visit and stop for refreshments at the popular café?
Shopping addicts will love Blackburn’s redeveloped town centre. The Mall Blackburn offers a host of popular retailers such as Debenhams, Next, H&M, Primark & Costa Coffee. Downstairs there’s the busy Blackburn Market, which offers traditional goods in a modern setting. A trip to their food court is a must, with food being served up from around the world to eat in or take away. Whilst you’re in Blackburn don’t forget to step outside The Mall & explore the streets as there is a wide variety of local independent shops offering the best in customer service.For all music lovers out there Blackburn is also home to Reidys Music Superstore which features a stunning ‘guitar wall’, possibly the largest of its kind in the world. The new superstore carries an extensive selection of sheet music and the education department showcases a vast selection of orchestral strings and brass and woodwind instruments, with specialist support for students and teachers. Don’t forget Darwen Market is at the heart of Darwen Town Centre. It has free parking all year round on its very own car park.
8. Countryside & Parks
One thing Blackburn & Darwen does not lack is public open spaces, boasting some of the best parks in the land. Harking back to the Victorian era, they remain a fantastic public amenity. There’s the English Heritage-registered Corporation Park, which features a host of facilities with traditional bowling greens, tennis courts, duck pond and children’s play areas or Bold Venture Park in Darwen , where you can explore the Huntington Heritage Trail & start your climb to Darwen Tower. One mile west of Blackburn is Witton Country Park, which boasts 480 acres of beautiful mixed woodland and grassland, excellent for family walks and boasts a host of new leisure facilities including Mountain Bike Trails, a dedicated cycle centre where you can borrow bikes for all the family for free and a new cycling Pump Track.
Blackburn & Darwen is also surrounded by the most stunning countryside, including The West Pennine Moors Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. The countryside offers plenty of opportunity for quiet enjoyment such as walking, cycling and sampling local produce in the areas pubs, restaurants and cafes. You can even take a Llama for a walk from The Wellbeing Farm at Edgworth!
If it’s action you’re looking for then head to Blackburn & Darwen. Blackburn Sports & Leisure Centre & Darwen Leisure Centre both have 25m swimming pools , gym & sport halls offering a wide range of activities. Get your adrenalin rush at Junction 4 indoor Skateboard & BMX park or on the Climbing walls at Boulder UK. More indoor fun for all the family can be found at the Blackburn Ice Arena, where you can also cheer on our Cup winning Blackburn Hawks Ice Hockey team. If the great outdoors is calling then Witton Country Park is just the place where you can walk, run or cycle on many of the paths & trails.
There are lots of exciting family friendly events planned to take place across Blackburn & Darwen in 2016. One not to miss is the Blackburn Cathedral Flower Festival in June, when thousands of blooms will fill the Cathedral to celebrate the completion of the Cathedral Quarter Development, be dazzled by the imaginative floral displays. The same weekend sees the return of Countryside Come to Town with Mr Bloom from CBBC taking to the stage in Cathedral Square. Come & search for giant Easter Eggs in March or track down all the huge Dragons running around town for St Georges Day. Witton Country Park is the venue for this year’s prestigious Royal Lancashire Agricultural Show with livestock displays, food and drink, crafts & stalls. Darwen town centre is the place to be for Darwen Live music festival in May & go back in time for their 1940s Day. Keep up to date with all these events & more on www.visitblackburn.co.uk
For further information about what to see or do in Blackburn with Darwen please visit www.visitblackburn.co.uk or contact Blackburn Visitor Centre based in Blackburn Market Tel: 01254 688040.