The best road trips near Blackpool include a variety of beautiful villages, natural wonders and countryside vistas in less than an hour and a half away from this Lancastrian tourist town. Instead of heading to bustling cities like Preston and Lancaster, head slightly off the beaten path, and you’ll find a host of must-see sights practically on your doorstep.

    Whether you want to stroll along a beautiful coastline, tour a medieval castle, or head to a vantage point that offers views as far as the Lake District and Yorkshire, there’s no shortage of understated hotspots near Blackpool.

    1

    Kendal

    A coast-side cruise to a countryside market town

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    Thanks to its distinctive grey limestone buildings, Kendal is locally known as the Auld Grey Town. Local landmarks include Kendal Castle, Abbot Hall and the Museum of Lakeland Life & Industry, where you can learn about the region’s heritage. Kendal is also known for its shopping scene and festivals. During your visit, don’t forget to taste the delectable Kendal mint cake.

    On a road trip from Blackpool, it takes just over an hour to reach Kendal if you drive along the M6. However, if you’d prefer a more scenic route, drive north along the A6. On the way, you’ll drive through the heart of Lancaster and by sights such as Morecombe Bay, the Warton Crag Local Nature Reserve, and the Arnside & Silverdale Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

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    Goosnargh

    A civil parish with a traditional village atmosphere

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    Goosnargh, located less than 45 minutes from Blackpool, is a traditional Lancastrian village with notable historical landmarks, such as the Grade II-listed public house, Ye Horns Inn. The Anglican Church of St Mary the Virgin dates back to the middle ages, and its wooden roof beams are rumoured to have been taken from a Viking longship.

    You can reach Goosnargh from Blackpool by heading east on the A586. On the way, you’ll pass a host of other charming Lancastrian parishes, including Singleton, Great Eccleston and Bilsborrow, which is home to the ancient hamlet of Duncombe.

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    3

    Dunsop Bridge

    A distinct nature reserve lies on the route to a village gem

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    A drive to Dunsop Bridge takes you into the heart of the Ribble Valley District, which itself lies within the Forest of Bowland Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. In Dunsop Bridge – where the Queen has paid 2 visits – you can hike to natural landmarks like Middle Knoll and Whitendale Hanging Stones. During your visit to the Ribble Valley, explore some of Lancashire’s other prettiest villages, such as Hurst Green and Downham.

    The best route from Blackpool to Dunsop Bridge is via the A586, which takes just over an hour and passes some of Lancashire’s most beautiful countryside vistas and a dozen or so villages. The fastest way to get there is by driving along the M55.

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    4

    Rivington

    Reservoir strolls with beverage breaks at quaint teahouses

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    Rivington is a postcard-perfect village north of Bolton that’s popular with history buffs and nature lovers. Its main tourist draws, though, are the reservoirs that once served Liverpool during the Victorian era. For spectacular views of the West Pennine Moors, ascend to the summit of Rivington Pike and Winter Hill. Don’t forget to visit the medieval Great House Barn, which has a distinctive Scandinavian design.

    It takes around 45 minutes to reach Rivington from Blackpool if you follow the M55 to the M6, which then merges into the M61 near Chorley. For a more scenic route, head along the A583, though be prepared for congestion as you approach Preston.

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    5

    Singing Ringing Tree

    A hilltop sound sculpture with a truly British view

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    The Singing Ringing Tree is an otherworldly, award-winning sound sculpture that seemingly sings in windy conditions and resembles a tree. From here, you can enjoy sprawling views over Burnley and the countryside vistas of East Lancashire. You’ll have to circle 3 major towns to get there, but the natural sights make the drive more than worthwhile.

    You can reach the Singing Ringing Tree in under an hour by following the M55 to the M6 before merging onto the M65 at junction 9. If you’d rather avoid motorways, take the A583. A road trip from Blackpool should take around 1.5 hours.

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    6

    Pendle Hill

    A scenic vantage point with an eerie history

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    Pendle Hill is an isolated mountain peak that rises nearly 560 metres above sea level, offering panoramic views over the Pennines. From here, you can see as far as the Ribble Valley and the Forest of Bowland. There’s a Bronze Age burial site at the summit, where the notorious Pendle witches were executed in 1612.

    You can reach Pendle Hill from Blackpool by driving along the B6243, A59 or A586. All routes take just under 1.5 hours. Along the way, enjoy the sights of pretty villages such as Great Eccleston, Goosnargh and Chatburn, where you’ll find plenty of charming pubs, shops and teahouses.

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    7

    Morecombe Bay

    Views as far as Lancaster from a natural wonder

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    Morecombe Bay is a large estuary just south of the Lake District that’s home to the UK’s largest expanse of intertidal sands and mudflats. Popular activities include windsurfing, paragliding, mountain biking, and birdwatching. Relax after the drive by taking a stroll along the coastline. From certain points, you can see as far as the Bowland Fells and Lancaster.

    Morecambe Bay is less than 30 miles from Blackpool if you follow the A6, which cuts through Lancaster, the historic capital of the ceremonial county of Lancashire. If time is of the essence, follow the M55 before heading north on the M6. The journey should take around 45 minutes without traffic.

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    Skipton

    Castles, museums and the beauty of the Yorkshire Dales

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    Skipton is a historic market town in North Yorkshire, home to landmarks such as the 12th-century Skipton Castle and the Craven Museum & Gallery, where you can learn about the region’s past. Go hiking around Skipton Moor for sprawling views over the Yorkshire Dales and the town itself. The Grade I-listed ruins of Bolton Priory are just a 10-minute drive away.

    To reach Skipton from Blackpool, follow the M65 before turning off at junction 31 onto the A59. Don’t forget to check the traffic conditions. It’s often faster to take the longer route along the M65.

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    Downham

    A village seemingly frozen in time

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    Downham is a picturesque village that appears almost the same now as it did during the 19th century. This is due to its lack of overhead electricity lines, satellite dishes and aerials. This also makes it a popular setting for a variety of period dramas. Its location in the Ribble Valley makes it popular with hikers and nature lovers. Popular landmarks include the 15th-century St Leonard’s Church and the Grade II listed Downham Hall.

    The easiest way to reach Downham from Blackpool is to follow the M55, M6 and A59, which takes about an hour. If you want to drive by many of Lancashire’s prettiest villages, take the A6 to Broughton before heading east along the B5269.

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    10

    Gragareth

    Views of natural landmarks in 3 counties

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    Gragareth is a mountain that lies within the Yorkshire Dales National Park near the border of North Yorkshire and Lancashire. The summit lies about 630 metres above sea level. From this vantage point, you can marvel at views over the bordering counties and as far as the Lake District. To see a natural wonder, head to Leck Fell, which is a Site of Special Scientific Interest.

    To reach Gragareth from Blackpool, head east along the M55 until you reach Preston. At junction 32, head north along the M6. Then, turn off at junction 36 to join the A65. Along the way, you’ll pass Lancaster and Morecambe Bay. The drive should take about 1 hour and 15 minutes.

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    Joshua Saunders | Bidragsyter

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