Lancashire is a large county in the North West of England, although parts were chopped off in the 1974 local government reorganisation, to form Greater Manchester and part of Merseyside, and a little of Cumbria.
This entry will treat Lancashire as though it were still its pre 1974 self.
In the South of the county are two of England's major cities, Liverpool and Manchester, and several other large towns.
The coast, beside the Irish Sea, has some of the country's best loved seaside resorts.
The Lake District lies on the other side of the beautiful but sometimes treacherous and lethal Morecambe Bay.
The Co-operative movement began in Lancashire.
Most of the original members of the Football League were clubs based in the Lancashire towns.
Barrow-in-Furness was one of the country's major shipbuilding centres.
Blackburn was a centre for the cotton weaving industry, and is now a cathedral city.
Blackpool, with its iconic Blackpool Tower, Blackpool Pleasure Beach, Illuminations and seafront trams, has a claim to being England's most popular seaside resort.
Bolton is an industrial town, with a number of attractive older buildings.
Bury has a long history stretching back to Roman times, but its 19th century prosperity was based on cotton.
Lancaster is the former county town. The great keep of Lancaster Castle and Lancaster Priory dominate the area overlooking the town and the riverside, where maritime trade brought great prosperioty in the 18th century.
Liverpool is one of the outstanding cities of England, with its two modern cathedrals, its connections with the Beatles and other popular music, its many museums and the fabulous waterfront.
Manchester is one of England's largest cities, and has a host of modern amenities, not least the G-Mex Centre in an old railway station and its superb tram system.
Morecambe is a popular seaside resort on Morecambe Bay, where there is a statue of its most famous son, the comedian Eric Morecambe.
Oldham has been a textile town since the 17th century.
Preston is now Lancashire's county town.
Rochdale was the birthplace of the Co-operative movement, and of the much loved Gracie Fields.
Salford is another industrial city, which is far more than just a suburb of Manchester. The Quays and The Lowry Centre have brought much cultural activity.
St. Helens, originally a centre for coalmining, began making glass in the 18th century.
Southport is a popular seaside resort, with a famously elegant main shopping street.
Warrington was designated a New Town in 1968.
Wigan is another industrial town, where Wigan Pier has developed into a much admired "The Way We Were" attraction.
The River Mersey forms the Southern boundary of the old county, and other rivers include the Calder, Lune, Ribble and Wyre.