Complete Guide to Working and Living in Lancaster

Complete Guide to Working and Living in Lancaster

Are you thinking of living in Lancaster?

Are you looking for somewhere to live in a completely new location?

Before you start your search for a new home, you need to narrow it down to a few places you think may be suitable.

After all, relocating is one of the most important life decisions you can make.

If you get it wrong, it could be disastrous.

Not only will it be hard to settle but if you get it wrong, it is very expensive to have to move again within a short time frame.

You can minimise the chance of making a mistake with a little research.

If Lancaster is a place you are interested in but are not very familiar with, this Complete Guide to Lancaster can hopefully address some of the common things that may not be apparent by simply visiting the area!

An Overview of Lancaster

Lancaster Old Town Hall

Lancaster Old Town Hall. Image credit: Wikipedia

If moving to Lancashire appeals to you, you will find it is a historical county boasting a rich and diverse landscape.

Lancaster is both a city and a county town, located within the county of Lancashire. Covering over 1860 square miles of the Northwest of England.

The city sits in an attractive spot at the head of the estuary of the River Lune, where there are some very popular holiday destinations nearby such as good old Morecambe.

Steeped in history, Lancaster has royal ties stretching back to the House of Lancaster in Medieval times.

Lancaster Castle is a prominent landmark and serves as a reminder of the city’s historical past. As do the five museums which dot the city.

You don’t have to look far to find some stunning landscapes.

To the east of Lancaster, is the Forest of Bowland classified as an area of outstanding beauty, also known as the Bowland Fells.

It provides acres of pristine land frequented by walkers and cyclists. Also famous for grouse shooting, the forest is virtually undiscovered by tourists.

There are plenty of things to do in Lancaster, from exploring the towpaths, strolling beside the river Lune or admiring the views from the spectacular Lune Aqueduct.

Plenty of students attend the local Lancaster University providing the city with a vibrant, lively nightlife.

A safe city with lower-than-average crime rates is a real bonus when it comes to finding your dream location.

All these positives together with the city’s appealing array of architecture would suit old and young alike.

House Prices in Lancaster

Property Market in Lancaster

Lancaster offers buyers some excellent property prices. Image credit: Unsplash

You will want to make sure well before you move that you can afford to own a home in Lancaster.

Buyers new to the area will be pleased to discover that the average cost of a property here is £198,782.

This is well below the national average and a little under the average for the county of Lancashire, which sits at £198,782.

As with any location, you can expect to pay different amounts for different property types in Lancaster.

Terraced properties in the area cost an average of £167,900, with flats slightly cheaper at £141,057.

A semi-detached home will set you back an average of £206,671 and detached properties go for an average of £399,676.

There are also plenty of options when it comes to styles of homes in Lancaster.

Period homes can be found all over the suburban areas, its Georgian Townhouses and Victorian villas are always in high demand.

New build homes and riverside living are also a possibility in Lancaster, so you are sure of a great assortment of choices if you are looking to buy here.

Retirees are also well provided for, with a number of purpose-built homes available as well as some brand-new retirement developments such as the McCarthy & Stone’s Williamson Court site.

First-time buyers, retirees and families are all catered for when living in Lancaster.

Renting a Home in Lancaster

While buying a home has traditionally been the aim for most people, renting a property has become so much more the norm these days.

The current economic climate, tighter lending standards, high deposits and the increasing cost of living have fuelled the demand for rental homes in Lancaster.

Renting does at least have some benefits.

No maintenance or repair costs, flexibility to move on after 6 months and affordability.

Renting a home usually requires a security deposit equal to one month’s rent, whereas a homebuyer is required to have a sizable down payment when purchasing a home with a mortgage.

If you are searching for a rental home in Lancaster the lettings market is very active and there are 94 homes available, with an average cost per month of £921.

One-bedroom apartments and properties with at least four bedrooms dominate the local market.

You can expect to pay an average of £830 for a one-bed flat and £959 for a four-bedroom home, ideal for those with children.

The most sought-after rentals sit close to Lancaster railway station, the perfect spot for those who commute around the region.

Cost of Living in Lancaster

If you are considering a move to Lancaster you will likely need to have a good understanding of the cost of living.

There are plenty of ways to save money that can implemented no matter where you live in the UK.

Doing your food shopping at local produce markets or at one of the more inexpensive supermarkets like Lidl and Aldi will help to save a good chunk of change.

The cost of living website Numbeo is a handy tool, indicating the expected costs of living in the area.

It highlights the standard costs you can expect to pay for day-to-day goods.

These are some examples of the prices you will typically pay for everyday goods:

  • Milk (1 litre) £1.09
  • A loaf of Bread (500g) £1.30
  • Eggs (regular) (12) £2.58
  • Local Cheese (1kg) £3.83
  • Chicken Fillets (1kg) £4.67
  • Potatoes (1kg) £1.00
  • Bottle of Wine (Mid-Range) £8.00
  • Domestic Beer (0.5 litre bottle) £1.73

Schools and Education in Lancaster

Schools in Lancaster

There are some great Schools in Lancaster. Image credit: Envato Elements

Schools are going to be a very important consideration for those with children. Even if you don’t have children right now, it could be a possibility in the future.

Making sure you buy a home near a good school does narrow your search, but it will pay dividends in the long run.

It is good to know that Lancaster has some good choices for all ages including two special needs schools; The Loyne and Morecambe Road School.

Lancashire has a mostly comprehensive system.

Lancaster has 13 primaries that feed into the city’s 4 secondaries.

According to Snobe, the best five primary schools in Lancaster are:

  • Dolphinholme CofE Primary School
  • Lancaster Ryelands Primary School
  • West End Primary School
  • Willow Lane Community Primary School
  • The Cathedral Catholic Primary School

Ripley St Thomas Church of England Academy, Morecambe Road School and Lancaster Royal Grammar School were rated as the best secondaries.

You can find out more information about each school by visiting the School Guide website.

Lancaster & Morecambe College provides further education for many of the city’s school leavers.

Situated between Lancaster and Morecambe, the college has been providing the local area with access to further and higher education since it was built in the 1950s although it can trace its mission back to Lancaster Mechanics Institute in 1824.

Travel Connections in Lancaster

Lancaster Railway Station

Lancaster Railway Station. Image credit: Wikipedia

As the work-from-home revolution continues, travel connections are not quite as important to many as they used to be.

However, good connections are important for other reasons other than merely a quick route to work and back.

Access to other parts of the region for leisure purposes is important too. It can be frustrating when getting anywhere takes ages, particularly if you have little ones in tow.

Fortuitously, Lancaster is well connected.

The M6 motorway (The backbone of Britain) is the main arterial road for the area.

It runs north to the south providing routes to many locations including Preston, Chorley, Manchester, Carlisle, Luton and Bedford.

Plus, there is a network of smaller routes connecting the city with surrounding towns and villages.

Lancaster is served by the West Coast Main Line, which runs through Lancaster railway station. It provides train services to and from London, Glasgow, Edinburgh, Birmingham, Manchester, Leeds and Barrow-in-Furness, with a local service to Morecambe.

For a full timetable of services simply visit Lancaster Station’s website

Public bus services are efficient and frequent. Lancaster’s main bus operator is Stagecoach Cumbria & North Lancashire. Offering a network of services from Lancaster bus station throughout the Lancaster District.

The nearest airports are Manchester (59 miles), Liverpool (67 miles) and the closest, and Blackpool airport (33 miles). All are within an easy drive from Lancaster.

Working in Lancaster

Many who move to Lancaster do so to find employment. As a county, the Lancashire economy is very diverse.

Historically, Lancashire in the 19th century was a major centre of economic activity, and hence one of wealth. Activities included coal mining, textile production, particularly that which used cotton, and fishing

Today, it enjoys a widely diversified economy covering industries from manufacturing to agriculture, tourism to health care, and retail trade to wholesale distribution.

Many firms in the county are very well established and have existed here for at least 50 and some for more than 100 years.

Lancaster relies on the service sector and with two universities in the city employment in the education sector is also relatively high.

According to Payscale, the average earnings for the city are £26,000 pa with jobs in IT, management, and engineering is the highest paid with potential average earnings of £32,000.

If you are arriving in Lancaster and need to find work quickly, the easiest route to take is to upload your CV to one of the online employment agencies such as Indeed or CV-Library.

These online agencies can also assist you with career guidance and advice, how to write a good CV and other useful information to assist your work search journey.

Amenities in Lancaster

Lancaster - King_Street

Kings Street in Lancaster. Image Credit: Wikipedia

Living in or close to a city means that most amenities are within easy reach and are of a good standard.

Lancaster provides a range of great amenities for its approximately 142,200 residents.

Not only are public services, transport, and job opportunities easily available, but the convenience of easy access to shops and other important amenities is also widely available when you live in Lancaster.

From both a practical point of view and for leisure purposes you will need a good range of shops nearby.

Lancaster boasts two great shopping centres. St Nics Arcades and Marketgate Shopping Centre are packed with high street brands and independents.

For a unique shopping experience, you can visit Lancaster Leisure Park on the outskirts of the city.

Here, you will discover an eclectic mix of places to shop including some fantastic antique stores and several great places to eat and drink.

The main high street has a huge selection of shops lining a safe pedestrianised area. The ideal location to wander any time of the year.

All your grocery requirements are catered for with all the main retailers such as Sainsbury’s, Lidl, Aldi and a huge Asda Superstore located in the central area of the city.

Lancaster’s bustling historic Charter Market can also be found in the city centre.

Open every Wednesday and Saturday, it offers a variety of stalls selling a wide selection of items and local produce.

Following your shopping expedition, you can sample some of the wonderful restaurants, cafes, and pubs nearby.

Lancaster certainly fulfils all requirements on the amenities front.

Leisure Facilities in Lancaster

Depending on where you decide to settle in Lancaster, finding somewhere local to keep fit be it indoors or outside, is simple.

One of the best “go-to” health and lifestyle centres in the city is Salt Ayre Leisure Centre.

Practically all your keep-fit requirements are catered for here. Whether you enjoy a good session at the gym, a workout in the swimming pool or attending a yoga class, you can find it at Salt Ayre all under one roof.

Lancaster University is home to extensive indoor and outdoor facilities, catering for a huge number of different sports. A new extension now provides the use of four sports halls, ideal for football, basketball, and badminton.

Outdoors you can book tennis courts, netball courts and rugby and football pitches plus a range of other activities.

Children also have access to a number of exciting venues.

Giggles Play and Adventure is a brand new, state-of-the-art, indoor, soft play and party venue that offers safe, clean, and fun for children up to 12 years old.

Lancaster Wall Climbing Centre is another very popular venue for children. There are climbing walls for all levels of fitness and fantastic for tiring the kids out! You can also book birthday party sessions too.

No matter what you like to do to keep fit in your spare time, young or old, Lancaster will provide something that you will enjoy.

Nearby Attractions

Lancaster Castle

Lancaster Castle. Image Credit Wikipedia

As well as keeping your body fit, Lancaster is also packed with a range of exciting tourist attractions of all kinds.

For those who are new to the city, a visit to Lancaster Visitor Centre is the ideal way to find out about all the local attractions.

Theatre and event tickets, things to see, and bus and coach reservations, you will find all you need to know is available at Lancaster Visitor Information Centre.

Some of the city’s best attractions include:

Healthcare and Dentists in Lancaster

Royal Lancaster Infirmary

Royal Lancaster Infirmary. Image credit: Wikipedia

You never know when you might require the services of your local GP, hospital, or health centre.

That is why it is essential to register with a local surgery as soon as possible following your arrival in Lancaster.

If you have small children or require prescription medication it could be dangerous to delay getting signed up.

It is something you can do online; you don’t even need to attend the surgery in person.

The easiest and quickest way to find your local doctor’s surgery is by checking out the Find-my-Doctor website. There are plenty to choose from across the city.

You may want to register for a dentist as well.

If you need to use an NHS dental surgery, there are a few in Lancaster. Again, the quickest way to find one is online via the NHS website.

In case of an emergency, there are three main hospitals in Lancaster. The Royal Infirmary is the largest, plus you have Lancaster Hospital and Ridge Lea Hospital as well.

Are you Ready to Make the Move to Lancaster?

WACO Truck

White & Company Truck

The benefits of living in Lancaster are clear. For work, leisure and for your health it manages to cover all eventualities.

If you are sure that Lancaster is for you, hiring the services of a good removal company will make the transition to your new home so much easier.

Stressful as it may be, leaving the job of moving your personal effects to the professionals will go some way to easing your anxiety. It will free you up to deal with everything else that need your attention when you are moving house.

Let White & Company be your first point of contact. Our reputation combined with well over 150 years of experience in the business of household removals means you are in safe hands.

As trusted and founder members of BAR, the removal industry’s regulators, you are always assured of our best attention.

Our experienced surveyor can carry out a home or virtual survey at a time to suit you and provide you with our competitive, no-obligation quotation in no time at all.

If you are in a hurry, complete our quick quote form online today by clicking HERE

You may require storage for some or all your belongings. Short or long-term, we offer this service too. Our clean dry storage facilities are security controlled and you can access them whenever you need to.

All you need to do now is give us a call today.

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