Blackburn

With a population of just over 100,000, Blackburn is the largest town in East Lancashire.

The town is situated north of the West Pennine Moors, between Preston and Burnley.  Smaller towns and villages in the area in the area include Accrington, Darwen, Oswaldtwistle, Hoghton and Tockholes.

At the height of the Industrial Revolution it was the biggest weaving town in the world. The textile industry has long disappeared but Blackburn is looking forward. Recent years have seen multi-million pound developments in the town centre and more are planned.

Accommodation

The 4-star Mercure Dunkenhalgh Hotel near Accrington is the most popular hotel in the Blackburn area. Other accommodation options include Northcote Manor, the Higher Trapp Country House Hotel, and Foxfields Country Hotel.

Attractions

Blackburn has a thriving arts scene with three theatres within easy reach of town centre; the King George’s Hall, Thwaites Empire Theatre, and Darwen Library Theatre. The town also boasts a 10-screen Vue cinema.

The Blackburn Ice Arena is the only ice skating rink in Lancashire. There are also excellent recreational facilities at Witton Country Park.

Blackburn Rovers FC is the town’s professional football team. They play their home fixtures at Ewood Park.

Shopping

The Mall is the main shopping centre in Blackburn. It recently opened a £66 million extension, adding a number of large stores including a 50,000 square foot Primark. Blackburn’s famous indoor market relocated here in 2011.

Retail parks here include the Nova Scotia Retail Park, the Peel Leisure and Retail Park, Townsmoor Retail Park, the Peel Centre Blackburn, and the Peel Centre Hyndburn.

Transport

Train

Blackburn train station has recently been refurbished is conveniently located in the heart of the town centre. It offers frequent direct train services to Blackburn from Manchester, Preston, Blackpool, and Bolton. The bus station is directly opposite the station entrance.

The Northern Rail service from Manchester Victoria to Clitheroe calls at Salford Central, Salford Crescent, Bolton, Darwen, and Blackburn.

Northern Rail also runs a train service from Blackpool North to York. It stops at Preston, Blackburn, Accrington, Burnley, Halifax, Bradford, and Leeds.

The train from Blackpool South to Colne stops at Blackpool Pleasure Beach, St Annes-on-Sea, Lytham, Preston, Blackburn, Accrington, and Burnley. It is also operated by Northern Rail.

For train times and prices to and from Blackburn go to National Rail Enquiries.

Coach

The National Express coach service from London to Burnley calls at Manchester, Salford, Bolton, Darwen, Blackburn, and Accrington. The company also runs a coach from Birmingham to Burnley that calls at Birmingham, Wolverhampton, Manchester Airport, Stockport, Manchester, Bolton, Darwen, Blackburn, and Accrington.

Car

Blackburn is easily reached from both the M6 and M65 motorways.

The biggest car park in the town centre, with over 1300 spaces, is the multi-storey car park at The Mall shopping centre. Entrances are at the junction of Exchange Street and Richmond Terrace (BB1 7JN) and on Astley Gate (BB2 2DQ).

Other car parks include Blackburn Council’s multi-storey car park on Feilden Street (530 spaces – BB2 1LQ) and the NCP car park on Penny Street (80 spaces – BB1 6HL).