Preston, the administrative heart of Lancashire, is well connected to most major cities in the UK by rail, road, and air transportation services. National Express, which runs intercity coach services across the UK, offers six daily connections from London to Preston, as well as from other cities such as Cambridge, Birmingham, Glasgow, Edinburgh, Southampton, and Colchester, to name a few. Megabus is another provider worth considering as it also offers regular direct connections from various cities, including London. Preston Bus Station is located near the city centre, just a ten-minute walk from Preston Railway Station. It can be reached by taxi or bus - or even private vehicle, as it includes a multi-storey car park above the bus station.
Preston lays claim to a chequered past. Once the site of many battles of the English Civil War, it also bore witness to the retreat of the army of Bonnie Prince Charlie during the Jacobite rebellion. Later in its history it became a significant textile manufacturing centre and a key player in Britain's industrial revolution before evolving into the busy commercial city it is today. There is much to see in Preston: St. Walburge's Church, which boasts the tallest church spire in England; the Preston Cenotaph to the sons of the city who fell in the First and Second World Wars; and, of course, Ashton Park, a popular recreation spot with its play areas, bowling greens, football pitches, and fascinating country house. Art and history lovers will enjoy the Harris Public Library, Museum and Art Gallery, home to over 800 oil paintings and a 13,500-year-old Ice Age skeleton. Preston is also home to St. George's Shopping Centre, an extensive mall just a short walk from the railway and bus stations.