Garstang is a small and friendly market town covered in history. It is perfect for relaxed shopping trips, lazy picnics, teashop treats and traditional pub lunches. Every Thursday the town is busy with the hustle and bustle of market day, dating back to 1310 and it still has many stalls taking over High Street.
The ruins of Greenhalgh Castle can be seen over the River Wyre and the historic narrow alleyways (weinds) provide an interesting and unexpected diversion to hidden shops, restaurants and cafes.
The scenic Lancaster Canal is a popular venue for riverbank walks or a leisurely sail on a canal boat. Walkers can ramble through the hills to the Forest of Bowland, which is a designated area of outstanding natural beauty where you can enjoy breathtaking scenery.
Hearty homemade food in historic inns and friendly pubs is available and must be experienced. Whether you wish to explore by car, bicycle or on foot, Garstang is the perfect destination for all seasons. Exploring Garstang
Garstang is the starting point for a diverse range of walking routes that traverse through beautiful pasture and woodland at the edge of the River Wyre and the picturesque towpath of the Lancaster Canal.
The Wyre Way is a long distance recreational route, which links the sea at Morecambe Bay with the Forest of Bowland, passing through Garstang. The local riverside walk, a circular trail suitable for all, links the Discovery Centre with the riverside picnic area, the Garstang Millennium Green and the River Wyre.
We have 3 circular walking routes around Garstang that you can download by clicking on the links below.
The countryside rangers lead a variety of short and long distance walks linking the Lancaster canal, Forest of Bowland, surrounding countryside and neighbouring villages. For more information the routes and ranger-led events please click here. (2mb PDF)
The Garstang town trail is currently being developed and will be published in the autumn.
There is an attractive riverside picnic area on the banks of the River Wyre next to the High Street car park, which gives lovely views of the castle, and Forest of Bowland. The riverside trail runs from the main car park through to the Millennium Green and allows for lovely views of the Bowland Fells. The Millennium Green is an area of rural open space along the River Wyre owned and managed by the Garstang Millennium Green Trust. It has level surfaced paths and sculptures as well as areas of long grass managed for wild flowers.
The Lancaster Canal is navigable for 41 miles, and winds through some of the most spectacular scenery in the North West of England. Being a contour canal, the full length of the canal is lock free - the longest stretch in the country, making it popular for the experienced and novice alike. For those seeking a more challenging journey, there are six locks on the Glasson arm bringing you to Glasson Port in Morecambe Bay.
There are several hire bases on the canal, so you can rent a boat for a week's cruising - or, following the construction of the Millennium Ribble Link, you can also now bring your own boat from anywhere else on the waterway system. Maximum boat dimensions on the Lancaster Canal itself are 72ft (length), 14ft (width), 8ft (headroom) and 3ft (draught), but please note the Ribble Link and the Leeds & Liverpool Rufford Branch are more limiting. For more information visit www.waterscape.com.
Bicycles can be hired from Owd Nells, Guys Thatched Hamlet, Bilsborrow, Preston Tel: 01995 640010 or Garstang Marina, Garstang Tel: 01995 600920.
Canoeing is a great way to explore the waterway, and if you're keen to try the sport, a number of clubs which use the canal. You can ring either Garstang Canoe Club on 01772 861771. For more general information call the British Canoe Union on 0115 982 1100.
Being a contour canal, with 41 miles of flat water, the Lancaster Canal is ideal for canoeing and the use of other unpowered craft. It is ideally suited to Duke of Edinburgh expeditions and other outdoor schemes. The local waterway office can give advice on access and waterside campsites and give access to sanitary facilities if needed.
Please be aware, however, that you need a permit to use the canal. If you are a member of the British Canoe Union, this permit is included in your membership. If you are not in the BCU, please ring the Waterway Office to discuss your requirements.