Vibrant and exciting, Preston is England's newest city, located at the heart of the North West. Preston is an ancient market town first documented in the Domesday Survey of 1086.
It received its first Royal Charter in 1179, and is unique in that it famously holds the Preston Guild every 20 years - with the next celebration due to take place in 2012.
In 2002 Preston was awarded city status, making it England's newest city. The occasion was marked when the Queen visited during her Golden Jubilee celebrations.
With a population of 131,900, Preston is growing both physically and in terms of profile. Now, the city's driving vision is to be the third city of the North West, after Manchester and Liverpool.
At the centre of Lancashire, Preston has a strong economic and retail base. Its reputation as an attractive place to live, work and invest in has seen major expansion over recent years and is set to continue further.
Preston's student population acts as a major catalyst too, with around 35,000 studying at the University of Central Lancashire - the sixth largest and one of the fastest growing universities in the UK.
Its convenient location, just off the M6, makes Preston easily accessible by road from almost anywhere in the country. In addition, it boasts a large railway station dating back to the 1800s, which is a central route on many high-speed main lines.
Preston's proud heritage includes some remarkable structures and more than 750 listed buildings. Some examples include the Grade I listed Harris Museum and Art Gallery, Preston Guild Hall, Lancashire Museum and St Walburge's Church, as well as several Victorian gardens and parks.
A fusion of old and new, these historic parks and buildings mingle with new developments and iconic modern architecture, including the the Sir Tom Finney splash statue. Preston is a culturally diverse city, with communities from a wide range of ethnic backgrounds living side by side.
The various cultures are celebrated with a host of unique festivals throughout the year, including the Caribbean Carnival, Mela and Chinese New Year.
Being the home of Preston North End, football is a huge influence in Preston, making the provision of first class leisure and sports facilities and activities high on the city's agenda. Preston Sports Arena and London Road BMX track, as well as numerous smaller venues offer an array of activities throughout the year for all the family.
Outside the hustle and bustle of the city centre visitors can enjoy the tranquillity of Preston's seven major parks, the waterfront at Riversway Docklands and the tradition of rural Lancashire villages and leafy suburb.