Visiting Chorley, Lancashire

Chorley is a popular Lancashire market town steeped in history and surrounded by beautiful countryside with strong connections to the story of Mayflower military advisor Myles Standish.

You may have heard of Chorley because of the famous markets, splendidly tasting Chorley Cakes or even the satirically portrayed Chorley FM.

But when you visit Chorley you’ll realise there’s so much to discover. With a bustling town centre, historic halls, pleasant parks, carefree cycling, wonderful walks and adventurous activities, there are lots of things to do in Chorley.

We are ideally located in the North West of England just a short journey to the cities of Manchester and Liverpool and a short hop up the motorway to the beautiful Lake District. We are the perfect place to explore the North West and learn about the story of Myles Standish who played a vital role in settling the Mayflower Pilgrims in America.

You can find more about Chorley’s heritage and what’s on by visiting

Chorley’s Mayflower programme

The Mayflower 2020 Committee are currently driving the programme of events in commemorating Myles Standish’s role with the Pilgrims momentous project of 1620 onwards. Set up several years ago they have been instrumental in pulling vital pieces of information together to prove the part the Standishes played in Chorley’s history.

The committee has enlisted the support of Chorley Council, which has put significant investment into the work to make the most of what is a momentous year for the borough. With a bid to the HLF pending an ambitious events programme has been put together ranging from theatrical plays, concerts, film screenings and more with a commitment that all the borough’s major events, including the award-winning Chorley Flower Show, will have a link to the Mayflower 400 anniversary.

A number of trails have been set up with planned tours also in the making and a dedicated exhibition will be hosted in Astley Park’s Coach House gallery.

You can watch a video explaining Chorley's connections to Myles Standish below


Myles Standish 2020 from Freshfield on Vimeo.

Chorley and the Mayflower story

The borough’s links to the Mayflower through Myles Standish, who was a resourceful and brave military advisor who accompanied the Pilgrims to New Plymouth and help found the colonies in America, has been of great interest over the years.

It perhaps offers a different story to the rest of the people on board the historic voyage and work has continued right up until this day to confirm his birthplace. He is a noted and venerated figure for Americans, having a 116 foot tall memorial in Duxbury, New England, and many sites named after him. In his homeland of Britain he is usually a footnote in general histories but his origins periodically excite much debate and even passion!

There are many sites in the borough that link to the Standishes and these form part of a trail that provide a great opportunity to explore the borough and learn more about one of the Mayflower’s key protagonists.

Chorley Highlights

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