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 Chorley events programme mixes new work commissioned specifically for the commemoration with the town’s existing events, which will carry a Mayflower theme in 2020. Highlights include:

  • A series of performances exploring the life of Myles Standish running through the summer
  • The creation of dedicated Mayflower trails, with accompanying guided tours

  • A new exhibition at Astley Park’s Coach House gallery; use this as an opportunity to explore the amazing Astley Hall museum

  • Chorley Live, a weekend of music and entertainment set across 35 venues with 280 live acts attracting over 12,000 people. There are a wider range of performances to suit all the family, many with a Mayflower twist

  • The award winning Chorley Flower Show, which will include Mayflower elements in 2020

  • Musical commissions, including a new organ recital composition on the theme of the Mayflower by Clive Jenkins

  • Further events are in development

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 provoke much debate.

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.

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Chorley Highlights

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