The words “picture perfect” will come to mind after you first step foot in Lancaster. From a domineering castle perched atop a hill to the Georgian homes dotted around the city, Lancaster is full of style and charm, and it’s easy to see why it has become such a popular place to live in the North West.
In this guide we’re taking a deep dive into Lancaster and exploring what it’s like to live in this Northern city, from its history to homes and more.
A brief history of Lancaster
Lancaster has a long history that dates back to Roman times and includes eras from the Saxon and medieval periods. It was once the fourth largest slave port in England behind London, Liverpool and Bristol. This fact was acknowledged in 2005 when a sculpture was revealed as a memorial to many of the captured slaves.
Where is Lancaster?
Lancaster is a city and county town of Lancashire standing on the River Lune. It’s Lancashire’s northernmost city and has a small portion of green belt on the northern fringe of Lancaster.
Moving to Lancaster
Period properties are the name of the game in Lancaster, with Victorian and Georgian townhouses proving the most popular type of home with residents. There is also riverside living available, as well as properties built from the 1960s onwards.
Buying in Lancaster
The average house value in Lancaster is £222,743, with paid prices very slightly more at £223,049. Expect to pay around £352,321 for a detached home, £163,537 for a terraced house and £124,169 for an apartment.
Lancaster property prices are lower than the UK national average of £251,000. Over the last 12 months, house prices have increased by seven per cent and by eight per cent in the last five years.
There’s a varied selection of estate and letting agents in Lancaster, with chain and independent options available to help you find a home.
Renting in Lancaster
One-bedroom homes rent for an average of £675 per month in Lancaster, with two-bedroom properties fetching in the region of £750 per month. For larger homes, expect to pay an average of £800 per month.
Cost of living
If you’re moving to Lancaster, you can expect to pay similar costs to the UK national average when it comes to everyday living. A meal for one person is around £15, which is in line with the UK average. A cappuccino is about £2.30, and one litre of milk is £1.00p.
Utility bills are higher than the nationwide average: electricity, heating, cooling, water and waste disposal cost an average of £175. They are around £20 more expensive than the national average. Switching energy suppliers could save you hundreds a year. Broadband is more in line with the average at about £33 per month.
Life in Lancaster
Lancaster was named one of the happiest places to live and work in the UK, so it’s safe to say that life in the city is good. From restaurants and shops to historic buildings and landmarks, there’s plenty to see and do if you’re thinking of moving to Lancaster.
There are loads of open spaces and parks in Lancaster, including two Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Head to Arnside and Silverdale to soak up limestone pavements, ancient woodlands, intimate orchards and meadows and an impressive coastline.
Trains go to Preston in 20 minutes, while services to Manchester take around one hour. The M6 is also nearby, which is convenient for motorists who can get to Preston, Blackpool and Manchester within an hour. The beach at Morecambe is just a 10-minute drive.
Independent charm, designer boutiques and high-street favourites are all on the agenda in Lancaster. There are many shops around the city, plus shopping centres including Marketgate Shopping Centre at St Nicholas Arcades.
Enjoy a range of cuisines in Lancaster, from local favourites like The Little Greek Kitchen to Quite Simply French. If you’re after a local watering hole, try The Borough with its tasty pub grub and selection of ales.
Lancaster has a selection of nightclubs that you can enjoy until the early hours of the morning. Glow hosts different club nights, while The Sugarhouse has been going strong as a local favourite since the early 1980s.
Art & culture
Head to Peter Scott Gallery, which has a long-established artistic reputation for creation, development and presentation. It’s part of the Arts Council England’s portfolio as a combined arts organisation and hosts a range of shows, galleries and exhibitions.
Things to do
Lancaster Castle is the most famous landmark in the city. It was built in medieval times and features great views of the city and beyond from the top of the castle. Millennium Bridge is another prominent point and one of the newer sites in the city. It was built in 2000.
What’s not to like?
While buying a new build appeals to many, some may not like the newer buildings found on the city’s waterfront, which offer a stark contrast from the heritage architecture you see around most of the city.
Who lives there?
Lancaster has a population of just over 144,000 and a median age of 40.
Typical broadband speeds
The average broadband speed is 31mbps in Lancaster, which is less than half the speed of the UK national average of 67mbps.
Crime rates in Lancaster average 4,788 per year and are lower than the national average of 10,000.
Everything you need to know about moving to Lancaster
Get even more information about moving to Lancaster with Move iQ’s property report, which provides in-depth information on any property in this city in Lancashire. From property boundaries to crime rates, everything you need to know is pulled together, so you can get to know the area before you move there.
Last Updated: November 2nd, 2021