Things to do in Preston

Preston is a vibrant and exciting student city. It has everything a big city has to offer, but at an affordable price. Check out some of our favourite things to do in Preston.

Lesiure and entertainment

1. LeVel

LeVel is a leisure complex with plenty to do, including laser tag, mini golf, bowling, karaoke, darts and much more. That means you can plan a full day of activities all in one place. Plus, you can enjoy food and drinks too. You may need to book activities.

2. Flower Bowl

Flower Bowl is another leisure complex with lots of activities to choose from. There's curling, shuffle boarding, crazy golf, crazy pool and bowling. It's roughly a 20 minute drive from the city centre. You may need to book activities.

3. Escape room

Put your problem-solving skills to the test at Escape Reality Preston. There are 6 different themed escape rooms, from the Seven Deadly Sins to Alcatraz prison. Split into groups and see who can escape in the fastest time, if at all.

4. Go-karting

If you're looking for exciting things to do in Preston, then head to Team Sport go-karting. There's a multi-level course where you can race to make it to the top of the podium. Or try Combat Karts, which is basically real-life Mario Kart. Collect boosts to help you win. 

5. Cinema

Sometimes, you can't beat a trip to the cinema. There's a Vue and an Odeon cinema where you can watch the latest blockbusters in style. Don't forget the Tango Ice Blast.

6. Preston Playhouse

Support local theatre at Preston Playhouse. The in-house players put on a great range of productions. There are also touring artists, including tribute acts. It can be a really fun night out and not too expensive either.

7. Bowling

You can't beat a bit of competition. Head to Red Rose Bowl, a 24 lane bowling alley near campus. There's also a modern arcade for a bit of gaming afterwards.

Food and drink

8. Preston street food

Preston has a big foodie culture, with cuisines from around the world. That includes lots of great street food you can eat on the go. Some of our favourites are the Hot Potato Tram, Eat Indian and Itsy's Street Food.

9. Three Monkey's

You're not a true Prestonian until you've tried Three Monkey's. This student favourite is right by campus. They serve delicious chicken and rice dishes, loaded up with every topping you could think of. Veggie dishes are also available.

10. Maker's Market

The Maker's Market takes place on the second Saturday of every month. Lots of local retailers attend, selling handmade crafts and quirky prints, but the real draw is the food. Indian street food, Mexican tacos, jacket potatoes - there's something for everyone. Plus, there are lots of sweet treats too, including buns, brownies, cakes and doughnuts.

Live music

11. The Ferret

The Ferret is one of Preston's most famous live music venues and has really made an impact on the music scene. They regularly host rock, indie and open mic nights, where you can see up-and-coming bands before anyone else. Beer and burgers are on demand.

12. Blitz

Blitz have hosted a little bit of everything over the years, including big names like James Bay and Chase & Status. It's worth keeping an eye on their events because you never know when a big name might pop up.

13. Vinyl Tap

Music purists will love the Vinyl Tap. They're an intimate venue that play live music all weekend. When there's not live music, they play vinyl records. The 1,000 record strong collection includes rock, blues and metal.


14. Football

Preston North End are a historic football club and one of the founding members of the football league. Watch them play at Deepdale stadium and feel the passion this city has for the team. Support them on their battle up to the top flight of football.

15. Students' Union League

If you're a student at the University of Central Lancashire, you can join sport clubs ran by the Students' Union. There's everything from football and netball, to Jiu Jitsu and table tennis. Everyone is welcome and you can play socially or competitively.

The Students' Union offer a range of sports, including rugby league.
The Students' Union offer a range of sports, including rugby league.

16. Preston Park Run

Preston Park Run takes places every Saturday at 9am in Avenham Park, where they complete a 5km route. You can run, jog or walk. It's a great way to build your fitness and meet new people.

17. Cycling

Preston Guild Wheel is a 21 mile cycling route around Preston. It takes you through scenic trails and the beautiful Avenham park. It's the perfect way to get to know the city.

18. Yoga

Yoga can help you to relax, as well as build your core strength and balance. There are lots of yoga classes on offer throughout the city, including at our Sir Tom Finney Sport Centre.

19. Rock climbing

PrestonWall is a massive indoor rock climbing facility. Rock climbing works your whole body, as well as your mind. It can help you build your strength and balance. Beginners and experienced climbers are all welcome.

20. Bouldering

If you like rock climbing, why not challenge yourself to bouldering. Bouldering is climbing low, angular walls without a harness. They replicate real rock formations, with awkward angles and protruding faces. Boulder UK is a specialist bouldering centre located on the outskirts of Preston.

Get outdoors

21. Avenham Park

We're lucky to have so many beautiful parks in Preston, including Avenham Park. It runs alongside the River Ribble, with lots of paths and routes to walk down. It also features a serene Japanese garden where you can sit in quiet contemplation. One of our favourite things to do in Preston on a sunny day is to have a picnic in Avenham Park.

22. Brockholes Nature Reserve

Brockholes Nature Reserve is home to various species of wildlife, from bugs to birds. You can explore over 250 acres, including ancient woodland, lakes and rivers. You can even borrow a pair of binoculars and hunker down in one of the birdwatching nests. 

23. Preston Marina

Preston Marina is a lovely place to walk around and take a look at some of the boats. There's also a coffee shop, so you can sit with a brew and watch the world go buy.

Take a stroll around Preston Marina.
Take a stroll around Preston Marina.

Try something different

24. Pottery class

If you're looking for new things to do in Preston, why not take a pottery class at Fired 4U? You'll get up to 2 hours to work with clay and create your own pottery. You can make pots, bowls or your own piece of art. Pick it up 3 weeks later once the clay is set.

25. Dance class

Preston is home to lots of different dance companies, with most offering adult classes. You could try cheerleading, street dancing, Latin dancing, line dancing or even Zumba. It's a great way to get fit and try something completely new.

26. Cocktail making class

Preston has a Revolution and Slug & Lettuce, which both offer cocktail-making classes. You'll learn how to make your favourite cocktails from scratch. It's the perfect way to celebrate a birthday or occasion - and it's a change from the typical bottomless brunch.

Seasonal events

27. Preston Caribbean Carnival

Preston Caribbean Carnival brings Caribbean culture to the streets of Preston. Everyone is welcome to watch the parade and enjoy the colours, costumes and music. It takes place every May, so make sure to put it in your calendar.

28. Preston Jazz & Improvisation Festival

Another iconic cultural festival. The Preston Jazz & Improvisation Festival normally takes place over a few weekends in June. There are indoor and outdoor venues, with a line up of DJs, bands and singers.

29. Preston Mela

Preston is home to a large South Asian population and the Preston Mela celebrates this. There are Asian DJs, Bollywood dancing and Chinese dragons. There are also workshops where you can learn about Islamic art, saree draping and Indian head massages. Everyone is welcome.

We hope this has given you some ideas of things to do in Preston. Our city has lots to offer, from beautiful parks and walking trails, to cultural festivals. Take a look at some recommendations by our students below.