LANCASTER, Lancashire’s county town, dates back at least as long ago as the Roman occupation, though only scant remains survive from that period. A Saxon church was later built within the ruined Roman walls as Lancaster became a strategic trading centre, and by medieval times a castle had been built on the heights above the river. Lancaster became an important port on the slave trade triangle, and it’s the Georgian buildings from that time – especially those around the castle – that give the town much of its character. Many people choose to stay here on the way to the Lakes or Dales to the north; and it’s an easy side-trip the few miles west to the resort of Morecambe and to neighbouring Heysham village, with its ancient churches, or east through the Forest of Bowland.

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