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Facts & Figures

As befitting a county with a long and fascinating history (and one that continues to thrive and surprise), Lancashire is a facts and figures seeker's paradise. Read on to discover more about the Red Rose county and why it's bursting with 'colour'.

Geography and History

  • Lancashire was established in 1183
  • It has a population of 1,460,893 (2011 Census)
  • The county covers an area of 3,075 sq km - making it one of the largest shire counties
  • It is also surprisingly rural with 80 per cent of the county officially classed as rural
  • Dunsop Bridge in the Ribble Valley is the centre of the British Isles
  • The highest point in the county is Gragareth at 627 metres high or 2057 feet, making it a mountain. It is near Whernside, one of Yorkshire's `Three Peaks`
  • Preston is one of England's newest Cities and in 2012 it celebrated the Preston Guild, which only happens every 20 years and is England's oldest festival
  • The Leeds Liverpool Canal - Britain's longest - flows through large parts of the county
  • The mill towns of Blackburn and Burnley were the birthplace of the Industrial Revolution in the 18th century
  • You can see Blackburn and Burnley from the famous Pendle Hill. The hill is only 165ft shy of also being called a mountain
  • The largely `undiscovered` Forest of Bowland Area of Outstanding Beauty covers 802 square km - making it the same size as New York City
  • And the Forest of Bowland is the first protected area in England to be awarded the European Charter for Sustainable Tourism in Protected Areas, joining just 30 other protected areas across Europe
  • Bashall Town, near Clitheroe, is England's smallest town

Did you know?

  • Blackpool Illuminations comprise an amazing one million lamps in various types and styles and cost £2.4 million to stage
  • More multi-million pound lottery winners choose Blackpool as their favourite over any other British destination (source: Camelot)
  • It takes 7 years to paint Blackpool Tower from top to bottom and the tower's lifts travel 3,500 miles every year
  • In her official biography, by Sarah Bradford, the Queen expressed a desire to retire to the Ribble Valley
  • And Morecambe's potted shrimps have a Royal seal of approval
  • Miles Standish, the captain of America's first settlers, the Pilgrim Fathers, came from Chorley
  • Lancaster born scientist Richard Owen created the word `dinosaur`
  • The post office and craft shop in Chipping is the country's oldest continuously trading shop. A shop has been in existence here since the 1600s
  • Garstang was the world's first Fairtrade town
  • And in Garstang in October 2007, the world's biggest hotpot was created to help launch Taste Lancashire 08. It is in the Guinness World Records. 

Famous Lancastrians

Among those born in Lancashire:

  • Eric Morecambe (Entertainer)
  • Nick Park (creator of Wallace and Gromit)
  • Andrew Flintoff (Cricketer)
  • Bill Beaumont (Rugby Player)
  • Kathleen Ferrier (Opera Singer)
  • Sir Tom Finney (Football Player)
  • Richard Arkwright (Invented the Spinning Machine)
  • James Hargreaves (Invented the Spinning Jenny)
  • Alfred Wainwright (Walking Books Creator)
  • Jane Horrocks (Actress)
  • Chris Lowe (Pet Shop Boys)
  • Jon Richardson (Comedian)

Famous Lancashire

  • Stonyhurst College and the surrounding Ribble Valley is said to be the inspiration for Tolkien's Middle-earth from `Lord of the Rings` - his son boarded at the college which he visited regularly
  • Pendle Hill is where George Fox is believed to have had his vision in 1640 prior to founding the Quaker Movement
  • The trial of the Pendle Witches in Lancaster in 1612 is the UK's most famous witchhunt and in 2012 Lancashire marked its 400th Centenary
  • Squires Gate, now known as Blackpool International Airport, was the UK's first airport
  • Blackpool's permanent electric street tramway was the world's first when it opened in 1885
  • Martin Mere, Lancashire's largest lake, is said to be the last known home of King Arthur's sword `Excalibur`
  • Roger Bannister, the first person to break the four minute mile, lived at what is now Pendle Heritage Centre in Barrowford
  • Sirloin beef is said to get its name after a visit by James 1 to Hoghton Tower near Preston, where he enjoyed a piece of beef so much - that he knighted it

Tourism statistics

  • In 2015 Lancashire attracted just over 64 million visitors who contributed £3.81 billion to the local economy and helped support 56,551 jobs
  • By 2020 the aim is to and addition 6.3 million visitors, who will help to support an additional 5000 FTE jobs
  • The Pleasure Beach, Blackpool is one of the UK's top visitor attractions, welcoming over 7.8 million visitors each season
  • The Pepsi Max opened in 1994. At 235ft high it is the tallest rollercoaster in Europe. It is just over a mile in length and reaches 85 mph, making it the fastest roller coaster in Europe

(updated March 2017)

For more information and inspiration, places to visit and things to do


Contact Us

For more information, practical advice and support, call Marketing Lancashire on:

01772 426450.