Guest Post: Annie Thompson – I Discovered These Incredible Hidden Gems in Lancaster

Hey there, I’m Annie and I’m a Marketing with Psychology Final Year student who likes good food and visiting unique and nostalgic places. Lancaster is a smallish city with its small-town charms, and I absolutely love finding new places and cool things to do here!

Now, if you love puzzles and challenging yourself then you need call up some friends and family and head down to Lancaster Escape Room… It’s an awesome activity that will entertain everyone and is ideal for teambuilding activities. One themed room, one hour, up to 8 ‘comrades’. It is up to you to hunt down clues and piece together the puzzles and break out. Pretty much Prison Break IRL, if you ask me. Get that sweet 10% student discount while you’re at it too. #GoTeam!

Oh, what’s that? You’d like some brain food after all that detective work? The KF Oriental Supermarket is right across from the Common Garden bus stop. It will provide you with all the ingredients you need to whip up a DIY delicious yet budget-friendly curry yaki udon or spicy ribs with fried rice and so much more! A lot of local students have no idea that they can stock up on interesting snacks, sauces, spices and even ingredients for a good ol’ fashioned hot pot. Or you know, there are instant ramen as well… (For those of you that aren’t too adept in the culinary field yet.)

And… Since there is always room for dessert, ice cream would definitely rank at the top of my cravings. The Walling’s Dairy Farm is such a cute little café/take away place on Garstang Road, a bit of a journey but is it worth it? Definitely! A must-try on a day out with your mates or on your cheat day! If you simply want some ice cream, look no further than the Walling’s store in Alex Square. A double-scoop cookie dough ice cream cone on a hot summer day will be something that I will truly miss after I graduate this year…

If you were wondering what landmarks or attraction that are of historical importance to the establishment of Lancaster city, then Lancaster Castle is a monumental trademark of the city. You can purchase guided tour tickets on the University Web Store. Discover the dark past of the Castle and how it was first served as a prison in 1196, as well as how it witnessed some of the most notorious trials in history such as the Pendle Witches. For you history buffs that are interested in more landmarks, I also paid a visit to the Lancaster Maritime Museum and learnt a lot about Lancaster’s maritime trade past, and its involvement in the fishing industry of the Lune Estuary. The upstairs exhibitions were pretty cool, really well put together and a delight to your audiovisuals.

Did you know that every Wednesday and Saturday, there are market stalls in Lancaster city centre selling fresh produce, accessories and trinkets, authentic street cuisine from all over the world, and many second-hand sale items etc. A chance for you to pick up some food that’s not from the local supermarkets… And get this, there are even freshly made crepes! I always go for my savoury ham and cheese fix, it never fails to perk up my day!

Besides good food, the other ‘love of my life’ would be gaming. We are inseparable. I happened to wander into the retro gaming store Game Over one day and was instantly intrigued by the selection of games and other knick-knacks they had in there. I must have said “Oh my God, I used to play that when I was younger!” a dozen times. I even picked up some collectibles to gift my ‘geeky’ friends, in case they also needed a nostalgic trip down the memory lane and rediscover some oldies but goodies.

Last but not least! Williamson Park with the spectacular Ashton Memorial – overlooking over 50 acres of woodlands and with views across Morecambe Bay to the Lake District Fells. On a gloriously sunny day, you could admire the glistening lake water under the sun, and the park coming to life with children, dogs and happy folks and the exquisite architectural design of the Ashton Memorial. I also popped into the Butterfly House and the Mini Zoo and honestly, I felt so giddy! Through the looking glass, I witnessed some of the most beautiful species of butterflies as well as some of the most gruesome ‘mini beasts’. Warning: not for the faint of hearts. But the park itself is a perfect way to take a much-needed break from the studying and reconnect with nature.

Don’t forget, if you’ve got any cool places that you love or came across, connect and share it with us on the LUMS Social Media.