Shop Local This Christmas

If you are looking for somewhere to live that has a community feel, independent shops and close to the countryside, then Longton is the place to be, writes Tracy Hargreaves

Driving through Longton, there isn’t much in terms of amenities that this village doesn’t have. Situated about four miles west of Preston, Longton is in the heart of South Ribble and maintains a rural character, including woodland, farms and agricultural land. The place has actually been around for centuries, with the first document to mention it dating back to 1153.

Today, however, it is a thriving, bustling village with pretty much everything you could want, all within close proximity and without having to venture into the nearest town. There must be some secrets to its success, as several businesses are now well established, including Blundell’s Hardware, which has recently celebrated 70 years of trading and Booths which has been in the village since 1927.

Garages, pharmacy, estate and travel agents, beauty and hair salons, coffee shops and cafes as well as supermarkets, bathroom showrooms, gift shops, fashion boutiques and dry cleaners! What more could you want. With plenty more independent shops, it’s a great place to visit over Christmas to find something different for your friends and family. For those local, there’s a chance to pop into the Longton VM Club where Santa will be visiting on 9th December and on 19th December the Longton VM Choir Concert takes place, where they will sing all your favourite Christmas songs.

As well as good primary schools, the village has clubs, societies and organisations suitable for every age and interest which actively engage and connect with the local residents which gives it a real community feel.

There is also a site of local conservation importance, managed as a wetland nature reserve with facilities for fishing, picnicking, nature appreciation and visitor interpretation. Longton Brickwork Nature Reserve is a chance for locals to get off the main road and close to nature with a 1.5 mile walk around the reserve where you can take in the local wildlife.

If it’s food you’re after, then Longton has a good selection of eateries, whether you’re after a Christmas lunch or just a festive mince pie and a brew. The Rams Head is known for its varied menu and huge portions all at reasonable prices. The Black Bull, Red Lion and Golden Ball all provide a cosy atmosphere and a friendly welcome, whilst Langs of Longton offers dine dining.

Hopefully Longton’s success will continue to see it still being the hub of the community, so visit Longton this Christmas.



Tedd Walmsley

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