Just four miles south west of Preston, you’ll find Longton – a rural community surrounded by farmland and green spaces, yet with all the day-to-day amenities you could need.

There are handy coffee shops, takeaways, newsagent, hairdressers and two well-stocked hardware stores. The village has three primary schools (including one rated Outstanding by Ofsted), a library, health centre, post office and plenty of clubs, societies and organisations to join. Longton VM hosts everything from bowling and snooker to quizzes and comedy nights. It’s also home to Longton’s community cinema.

As a settlement, Longton has ancient origins, with records showing a chapel on the same site as St Andrew’s Church as long ago as AD 1150. Now home to more than 6,000 residents, it retains its own proud identity separate from neighbouring villages. Residents praise the fact that everything is within walking distance making it an appealing place to live for all ages.

Thanks to its location close to Preston, Longton offers the best of both worlds. It is a peaceful, rural retreat – but has easy access to major towns and cities. A hop, skip and a jump to major motorways means it’s ideal for commuters. And for work or weekend exploring, Preston railway station is just five miles away, which means you can be in London or Edinburgh in just two and a half hours.

Great British Life: The old Booths store in LongtonThe old Booths store in Longton


The building may have changed sites a number of times, but there has been a Booths in Longton since 1927. This supermarket is still as integral to village life now as it was almost 100 years ago. The current store has a much-used cafe/coffee shop and the Booths ethos of supporting local suppliers is evident throughout the shop.

Village resident Jean Worthington’s memories from the 1930s are shared on Longtononline.co.uk: ‘Booths of course always delivered people’s weekly order. I remember so well the smell of ground coffee as you walked into the old Booths and how the door was opened for you as you left the shop. An impossible task today with the volume of customers in and out, but it still remains the good grocer it always was.’

Great British Life: The Brickcroft Nature ReserveThe Brickcroft Nature Reserve


Brickcroft wetland nature reserve on the outskirts of the village is an incredibly peaceful place to soak up the sunshine, spot some wildlife and waterfowl and meander the many paths around the ponds. Previously a brickworks, it was designated as a local nature reserve in 1998 and is now thriving with life. It has three large ponds (formerly clay pits) with a number of smaller dipping ponds around the site.

There are few remaining areas of such diverse habitats in the North West, and the swamp habitat is particularly valuable with many similar habitats already lost to the drainage of agricultural land.

Another recollection from the 1930s: ‘A great attraction to us children was the Brickcroft. It was a wonderful place to play. The little trucks ran from the clay pit over a little wooden bridge in Drumacre Lane and up to the brick kilns where the bricks were made, and many's the time we have sneaked a ride, perched on top of the clay in the little trucks if we thought no-one was looking, and swum in the pit in the summer.’