At the start of May England experienced the hottest weekend so far of the British Summer. It was the same weekend myself and two old University housemates had decided to spend in a car to visit housemate number four in Lancaster.
BJ Willy (aka old University Housemate Number 4) had been there years now and despite my ability to sit on budget buses for hours on end across Europe, I still hadn’t driven up to visit her. So the time had come. Whatever the weather…
As it turns out, the sun continued to shine up North and we didn’t completely miss out on the heatwave! Which was perfect as Lancaster is beautiful!
24 Hours in Lancaster
BJ Willy made sure that we saw her adopted home city in all its glory by taking us straight up to see the Lancaster Castle!
H Kadz and Big Al (aka Housemates Number 2 & 3) had been much better friends to BJ Willy over the last few years and already visited, so the trip to the castle was mostly to benefit my inner historical nerd.
Lancaster Castle is thought to have stood for over 1,000 years, before which its foundations were laid as a Roman stronghold. Royal visitors to the castle have included King Charles II, Queen Victoria, and now…us!
Our first glance of the castle came after an epic selfie moment outside the notorious local pub, Merchants 1688. The pub used to act as the wine cellar to the Castle, over 300 years ago. But its true claim to fame is the fact that BJ Willy’s boyfriend once worked there as a chef….
Reeling from our epic selfie moment with the locals who wanted to get in on our Snapchat tour of Lancaster, we turned the corner of Merchants 1688 and came face to face with the John O’ Gaunt Gatehouse.
Rising to 20 metres, the Gatehouse stands as a formidable entrance to the main part of the castle, which is better viewed from behind.
Being a Southerner, my stereotypical view of any location North of London is that it is in a constant state of grey. But a quick glance over the Castle walls showed otherwise. It was clearly Spring in Lancaster and if the lack of rain couldn’t convince me, the Cath Kidston landscape did.
From there we passed by the intimidating facade of the Lancaster Priory & Parish Church (which had the look of a Cathedral!) and followed a green path past the remains of a Roman bath house to the River Lune.
The river passes from Wath in Cumbria to Plover Scar in Lancaster, where it meets the Irish Sea. It runs for a total of 71km but our walk took us just 2.5km along it until we reached the outskirts of Fairfield Nature Reserve.
I don’t know about the girls, but most of my time was spent checking out the buildings that lined St George’s Quay and wondering how nice it would be to live in one! That was until we spotted the creepiest abandoned building after passing under the viaduct.
I’ve tried to do a bit of digging to find out what this building would have been used for, and for once Google has left me still clueless. But incase you’d like to be freaked out a little more by its desolate appearance, I did find this epic drone film a local made whilst exploring the abandoned docks.
But as I said, our North country walk soon brought us back to the country in the form of the Nature Reserve. Complete with skipping baby goats, a lot of cows and in our case, selfie-stick action!
Unfortunately neither the selfie-stick nor the phone the selfies were taken on belong to me so instead here’s a photo of me trying to look graceful on a gate…
Our long country walk ended with a local beer at the fantastically named pub The Water Witch, where we quickly demolished two bags of crisps and decided it was time to head back to BJ Willy’s for a proper dinner. Which we washed down with half a bottle of H Kadz’s gin and two bottles of wine before heading off to discover the nightlife of Lancaster!
Thankfully, I don’t have any photos of our drunken antics to share. So instead here’s my favourite photo of our first proper housemate reunion in four years! Taken after Big Al had taken a particularly funny photo of BJ Willy…
Thanks BJ Willy for having us, H Kadz for being an awesome DJ during the car ride and selfie-stick provider, and Big Al for helping me demolish the wine and navigate appropriate toilet stops during the road trip!
Do you guys have any favourite historical UK towns I should write about? Let me know in the comments!