Longton is located a short drive from Preston, but has the feel of a rural English village
It can be difficult to tick all the boxes when it comes to buying a home. And one of the main factors to consider is location, hence introduction of the highly-popular Channel 4 TV, Location, Location, Location.
Within that, considering public transport links, proximity to a city centre and motorways, how much open space and nature there is, what the houses are like and how strong is the community spirit all fall under the ‘location’ umbrella. That brings us to Longton, which ticks almost all of those boxes in the list above.
Longton is special in that it oozes the qualities of a traditional rural English village but is also suburban and close to Preston city centre. It has a main road running through it, with a cluster of shops and cafes opposite the thriving St Andrew’s Church in the heat of the village.
It’s a relatively affluent place, with a high-end supermarket in the form of Booths and countless detached houses, some bordering on mansions. But there’s also rows of pretty period terraced houses and easy-on-the eye bungalows with perfectly-preened gardens and beautiful floral arrangement to admire as you walk past.
Longton’s strong sense of community is subtly found in the plant pots sitting on a wall with a sign hanging from them saying ‘take me, I’m free’ , to the more obvious through the lively and varied what’s on schedule of events, classes and team activities at the church, Women’s institute and Sports and Social Club.
It appeals to families and older members of society too, with a lovely play area set in some well-maintained woodland, the streets are clean and the public areas well kempt, with the roads and pathways on our initial inspection appearing pothole and crack-free. Longton virtually straddles the West Lancashire border and is a short drive from both the Ribble estuaries and the coast, with Southport to the south and Lytham around a 30-minute car journey away.
The lush Bickcroft Nature Reserve is a gem just peaking out of the village’s pocket, as it looks untouched but is clearly popular with locals, dog-walkers and out-of-towners, as it is well set up with a large car park and well maintained paths, yet still peaceful and quiet. It’s is not too imposing and big, but nicely manageable and ideal for an afternoon or weekend stroll, with benches sporadically placed around the duck lake at its core, with trees, bushes and plants lining the route around.
If shopping and handing over your hard earned cash to independent businesses is your preferences, then Longton is also the place to be for that, whether it’s hardware items, visiting a pub, grabbing a cask ale, coffee or getting your hair cut, for a small place it has a big offering when it comes to retail and leisure facilities.
From family-run and well established Blundells Home & Hardware Store selling most household essentials to The Lemon Tree Cafe and its extensive food menu, quirky and inviting decor and welcoming attitude to dogs and passing cyclists and walkers. Opposite the cafe is the cool Wilkins and Pye, which is the place to be if cask ales and IPAs are you chosen tipple and indulge yourself with treats and savoury goods at Waterfield’s family bakery.
Longton Marshes sit west of Longton and are made up of the confluence of the Rivers Douglas and Ribble. A large variety of visiting and indigenous wildfowl live there. The 70-mile Ribble Way footpath starts at the Dolphin Inn on the cusp of the marsh and follows its edge before joining the Ribble.
Just down the road the mini shopping precinct with hair and beauty salons, electrical good suppliers and a Post Office. Alternatively, if you’re looking for a quick pint, glass of wine or Sunday lunch, the village boasts a number of pubs, including The Golden Ball, The Black Bull and The Ram’s Head.
Longton is the kind of place anyone who is keen to live in an area that looks and feels like it is a countryside village, pretty much surrounded by countryside, woodland and agricultural land but isn’t remote and hard to access life’s amenities, would flourish in. Turns out you can have your cake and eat it.
- 08:16, 9 OCT 2022