Garstang has two small supermarkets which are open usually till 9 pm during the week, plus a huge new Aldi store which has a big free car park.
There are lots of small individual shops – butchers, delicatessen, pork butchers, bakery, fishmongers etc. The very small market hall has a butcher that sells local produce, even Halal meat if required, plus a cheese stall.
At the end of the High Street, near Dantes Italian take away is a brilliant little butchers shop – Hamlets, their pork pies, sausage rolls (one is not enough!), pork and black pudding sausages, bbq kebabs, roasting joints, all sorts of things, are excellent. We buy all our meat from here and they also supply many local restaurants.
Booths is an award-winning supermarket( the northern equivalent of Waitrose!) which sells some unusual and lots of local products. There is a large free car park next to the store.
On the A6 if you came up from the south, you will have passed a very large new garden centre Barton Grange. They have a farm shop in there which have products from three local butchers that we personally use.
The main butchery counter is Honeywells, a very well known farm shop that have their own shop down Station Lane off the A6 at Barton.
Another couple of suppliers are Carefoots of Longridge. Their steak pies and sausage rolls ( Michael Winner commented that they were ‘historic’!) are excellent as is the produce by Brendan Anderton.
Both of these have their main shops in Longridge which is about 25 minutes from here. On the cheese counter you will find a few local producers – Dewlay, Singletons, Sandhams, Beacon Fell.
Within a radius of 5 miles we have an amazing choice of cheese makers. Blacksticks Blue is well known, as is Dewlay creamy Lancashire.
Further up the A6, on the left, heading back towards Garstang is Bradshaws Farm Shop. This is mainly fruit and vegetables, but a good selection.
On the A6 near Garstang, is Dewlays the award winning cheesemakers. You can’t miss it, they have a huge Windmill which we can see from the cottages. There is a cheese shop which sells all sorts of goodies, plus at certain times you can also watch the cheese being made.
Garstang has a few take-away outlets. The Indian, East ‘n’ Spice, (01995 605610) we go to ourselves. It’s usually best to order before you go as it saves waiting when they are busy. You can actually see them cooking – so you can check out the cleanliness! It is on the High Street as you come out at the Sainsburys end, on the left just as you get down the hill.
There are a couple of Chinese takeaways, but we do not go to any of them. We prefer to go back down the A6 to Barton (01772 866288), next door to the Kopper Kettle furniture place. Very pleasant, have been in business in the Preston area for years. Unfortunately, we remember the young man behind the counter when he was a little boy at his parents’ original shop!
If you like Italian, then Dantes is very good. All the staff used to work at Quattros restaurant on the A6 and left to set up this takeaway. As you go down the High Street, keep right at the monument in the middle of the road, and it is at the end of the street. You could actually order your food both here and at the Indian and nip to the Royal Oak pub whilst you are waiting for it to be prepared.
Onsite at Barnacre Cottages
You and your children are welcome to use the tennis courts for tennis. Please wear the correct shoes ie trainers. We do have some racquets and balls that you can use. But they do tend to get left out in the rain, which means they are not quite as good as they once were. Keen tennis fans are advised to bring their own racquets. We also have someone locally who is happy to come and give tennis lessons to anyone who fancies having a go.
Please supervise your children in the play area. My own girls have played on here with no accidents, so they are completely safe when used sensibly. The 7 acre field adjacent can also be used for playing in or having picnics. We have mown some tracks through the field which are great for running and walking along. If riding a bike, you may end up going a lot faster than expected, as it is mainly downhill.
I have made a separate list of places to visit with children for both sunny and wet days. For those of you who like getting wet or to just occupy the children for a couple of hours, there is a local pool down in Garstang or you can private hire a pool for around £25 an hour. Blackpool has a tropical swimming paradise called Sandcastle and there is another at Blackburn called Waves.
For beaches, there is obviously Blackpool which still has the donkeys on the beach. As children we used to go to the sand dunes at St. Annes, and then a walk along the promenade or the green at Lytham with the windmill. Both Lytham and St Annes are the complete opposite of Blackpool and have a gentile sedate atmosphere with good quality shops and café culture. Morecambe in the other direction has been upgraded and we have had a few guests who have had some nice days there. It is much quieter than Blackpool.
There is also a section on local pubs/restaurants,/coffee shops at which to eat and that you might like to try. Our information books also contain sample menus of some of the recommended places.
The information books also contain some walking routes which we use fairly regularly. The best time I find is quite early, around 8am if possible. This way we do not meet anyone else with their dogs. Holly is horrendous, she doesn’t realise that she is tiny and that yapping and going crackers at other much larger dogs is not very sensible. She loses all credibility of being fierce when she is wearing one of her pink coats!