Places you must visit in Lancaster

By Michael Robson, 2024

If you’re moving here from a huge, sprawling city like London or Manchester, at an initial glance, Lancaster may seem a little small. This is the impression I got when I first moved here - and its an entirely deceptive one. Lancaster is absolutely stuffed with amazing places to visit, and I’ve done some searching to be able to share some of my favourites!


An absolutely wonderful little cafe hidden away in central Lancaster, Holm serves a wide variety of carefully crafted sandwiches, coffees, and cakes. The space is small - but not enough so to feel cramped or imposing, the staff are friendly, and the atmosphere is just generally really warm and cozy! I hope I’ll be able to make it a regular study spot in the coming months and occasionally be able to treat myself to a relaxing lunch with a drink and a book.

Outside the cafe 'Holm' in Lancaster.

Atticus Bookshop

Speaking of books - as an English literature student is quite likely to do, admittedly - close to Holm is a fantastic little bookshop: the Atticus Bookshop. It’s an inviting little second-hand bookshop that’s just bursting at the seams with classic literature, poetry, drama, history, philosophy - and more, that I likely just haven’t been able to uncover yet! The pricing of these books is always rather reasonable and whenever I’m in Lancaster I always like to give myself twenty minutes to have a sift through the different books and see what treasures I’ll be able to uncover. I found a wonderful copy of essays by Virginia Woolf here whilst I was in my first term and I continually find myself returning to it!

Outside the storefront of Atticus bookshop in Lancaster
The shop window of Atticus bookshop in Lancaster, several books are in the shop window.

Assembly Rooms Emporium

The strangest thing about my favourite bookshop in Lancaster is the simple fact that it is not merely a bookshop, but contains a wide variety of other storefronts specialising in clothing, fashion accessories, and more! Admittedly, however, I’m mostly just in here for the books - the selection in here is undoubtedly smaller than what can be found in Atticus, but remains just as consistent: I’ve never actually come in here and left without at least a single paperback under my arm. The staff here are also incredibly friendly - I had a lengthy discussion with one staff member about the Laurie Lee collection I was purchasing - and I really can’t praise them enough.

Outside the Assembly Rooms Emporium in Lancaster

Gallico Lounge

Always a nice compliment to a cinema trip or bookshop tour, the Gallico Lounge has to be one of my favourite restaurants in central Lancaster. I’ll be the first to admit that, yes, the food can be a little pricey - although this happens to be the same everywhere as of late - but the quality of the food available here more than justifies the cost. I usually gravitate towards the burgers whenever I come in (and this is always after laboriously studying the menu for a full five minutes before finally deciding to order the same thing that I always order) but there is a rather large selection of sandwiches, salads, and classics available. Additionally, the drinks menu also leaves very little to be desired - the array of cocktails on offer is the main appeal, but there are plenty of options for those who don’t drink as well!

Outside the restaurant 'Gallico Lounge' in Lancaster