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Moving to… Preston

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Named the best city to live in the North West, Preston has plenty going for it, including jobs, health and housing. It has seen quite the emergence in the last 10 years, and the result is a growing number of people moving to this Lancashire city. If you’re thinking of moving to Preston, read on and discover everything there is to know, from things to do to house prices and more.

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A brief history of Preston

Evidence of Preston dates as far back as Roman times, with a Roman road leading to a camp at Walton-le-Dale. It was the Angles that established the name Preston, which is taken from the Old English meaning ‘priest’s settlement’. Preston has evolved from a parish and township in the Middle Ages to a thriving, bustling city, a feat it was awarded in 2002.

Where is Preston

You will find Preston on the north bank of the River Ribble in the county of Lancashire. The river provides a southern border for the city, while the Forest of Bowland sits to the northeast. Preston is located 27 miles northwest of Manchester and 26 miles northeast of Liverpool. It is approximately 20 miles from Bolton.

Moving to Preston

Preston has an eclectic mix of homes, including 19th and 20th-century terraced, semi-detached and detached houses. The city centre is in demand, thanks to the properties located by the river in Avenham. Winckley Square and Avenham Park are also popular spots.

Buying in Preston

The average sold price in Preston is £214,020, which is lower than the UK national average of £329,547. Expect to pay an average of £327,067 for a detached home, £128,855 for a terraced house and just £90,580 for an apartment.

There’s a varied selection of estate and letting agents in Preston, with chain and independent options available to help you find a home.

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Renting in Preston

One-bedroom homes rent for an average of £650 per month in Preston, with two-bedroom properties fetching in the region of £850 per month. For larger homes, expect to pay an average of £1,050 per month.

Cost of living

If you’re moving to Preston, you can expect to pay slightly lower than the UK national average for everyday living. A meal for one person is around £10, while a cappuccino and a pint of milk cost about £3 and £1 respectively.

Utility bills are considerably higher than the national average (UK average £155) in Preston, at around £175 per month for electricity, heating, cooling, water and waste disposal. Expect to pay around £31 per month for broadband.

Harris Museum and Art Gallery in Preston
Blackpool Tower, Central Pier, Lancashire

Living in Preston

Open spaces

The city has plenty of green areas, including seven large parks. There’s also the Guild Wheel, which offers 21 miles of greenway encircling Preston and can be walked or cycled. The surrounding area of Lancashire has more than 22 acres of sprawling countryside. 

Preston is well connected, with trains on the west coast mainline regularly servicing Wigan, Manchester, Liverpool and Blackpool. Drivers will enjoy its proximity to the M6, meaning Manchester and the Lakes are just under an hour’s drive.


One of the best places to go shopping in Lancashire, Preston has several spots where you can buy a range of items. There are two shopping centres, with one of them offering a small selection of independent boutiques. 


Enjoy a variety of restaurants in Preston serving everything from traditional English dishes to tapas and more. Like an elegant Italian bar-restaurant with tile and brick décor, serving classic and modern dishes.


Nearby Manchester and Liverpool offer some of the best nightlife spots in the country. Though Preston more than holds its own with, an alternative nightclub and music venue that’s been going strong since the Seventies. 

Art & culture

Head to the Ribchester Roman Museum in the village of Ribchester to see Lancashire’s only dedicated Roman antiquities. Or visit the Harris Museum, Art Gallery & Library, which is in a listed building and features fine art, decorative art, costume, textiles and more. 

Things to do

Catch a game watching Preston North End; they play in one of the oldest football grounds in the country. There’s also the Preston Guild Hall, which is a major concert arena with 780 seats for theatre, music, comedy and family entertainment.

What’s not to like?

Preston perhaps doesn’t have the same charm as some of the other cities, towns and villages in Lancashire.

Who lives there?

Preston has a population of 141,000 and a median age of 41.

Typical broadband speeds

The average broadband speed is 43mbps in Preston, which is lower than the UK national average of 67mbps.

Crime rates

The overall crime rate in Preston averages around 115 crimes per 1,000 people.

Moving to Preston

Move iQ’s property report provides an in-depth analysis of specific properties as well as details about the local area of Preston. If you’re thinking of moving, make sure you get one first!

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Last Updated: May 24th, 2024

Phil Spencer

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