Properties for sale in Lancashire
Living in Lancashire: The Local Area Guide
Lancashire is a large, formerly industrial county in North West England, sandwiched between Greater Manchester, Yorkshire, and Cumbria. It has a population of around 1.5 million and is administrated from Preston (although the historic county town is Lancaster, which is about half the size).
The county was formalised in the 1180s, which is actually fairly late for English counties. Several of the towns had been in existence far longer, having grown around Roman forts.
Lancashire has been very historically significant, not least for the part it played in the War of the Roses, which served as inspiration for hit fantasy novels and TV series Game of Thrones. It was also the site of a huge commercial boom during the Industrial Revolution, as its collieries, mills, and factories grew, and the urban centres exploded in size. By the 1830s, 85% of all the world's cotton was processed in Lancashire. And it wasn't just industry that grew - tourism started as England's middle class grew and began looking for countryside and coastal escapes. Blackpool quickly became one of the top holiday destinations.
Today, major employers include the defence and energy sectors, as well as service industries and agriculture.
Lancashire has also offered a lot culturally over the years. The Beatles famously came from Liverpool, and Lancashire gave the world the Lancashire hotpot. Lancastrians are also known for their accent, which differs from the Yorkshire accent and can vary hugely from town-to-town - a rare phenomenon in the modern world.
Lancashire's 1,500,000 people are mostly concentrated around the urban centres along the Fylde Coast and in the towns straddling the M65. To the north, towards beautiful Cumbria, the land gets more sparsely populated and wild.
The mean age in Lancashire is 40.5, a little over the national average of 39.3, and the median age is 41. Lancashire, while overwhelmingly White British according to the last census, does have a large number of Asian residents - predominantly around its former mill towns.
While wages are lower, the cost of living in Lancashire is also much lower than it is in the South. The most striking difference is in house prices, which are on average a much more reasonable proportion of total buyer income than elsewhere in the country. It's no surprise, then that more than 70% of people own their own home either outright or with a mortgage, which is significantly higher than the national average. In fact, only around 14% of houses are rented privately.
Lancashire's schools are overwhelmingly comprehensive, with only a handful of grammar schools among its 80 or so state schools.
The majority of these state schools do not offer sixth form education of any kind (although there are some that do around Fylde and Lancaster). Rather, pupils tend to move on to their local college for A levels and other forms of further education.
There are also 24 independent schools in Lancashire, some of which are Church of England, some are Catholic, and some are not religiously affiliated.
Lancashire also has three of its own universities as well as the Lancaster campus of The University of Cumbria. These are Lancaster University, the University of Central Lancashire, and Edge Hill University.
Lancashire has a fantastic road network, making travelling by car very easy. The M6 is the primary trunk road, running north to south, and it is supported by several other major motorways, including the M55, connecting Preston with Blackpool, the M61, and the M65. To the south, Liverpool is connected to Wigan via the M58.
The county also has outstanding rail links, partly as a remnant of its industrial past. Almost every town has a working railway station and direct links between them are excellent. The West Coast Main Line also offers great connections to London and other major English cities from Lancaster and Preston.
Amenities and Shopping
While Lancaster is officially the county town, Preston is much larger and has more to offer prospective shoppers. Between St George's Shopping Centre, Fishergate Shopping Centre, and Deepdale Shopping Centre almost every taste is catered for.
For more ambitious bargain hunters, Manchester and Liverpool are easily reached by train or car and have a huge array of fashionable outlets.
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