Lancaster is located in the North of England, about one hour's drive north of Manchester or Liverpool, an overview map can be found here. Lancaster University is a campus university located south of the city centre (see e.g. here), and well-connected by very frequent busses - many of our students choose to live "downtown" and commute to university every day.
The RD50 workshop will take place in the Physics Building, which is located directly next to the university's centre, Alexandra Square, that also accommodates the main bus stop. If you plan to come to campus by car, please be aware that parking is limited to visitor car parks ("B" or "C" are near the Physics building) and is charged. Please contact us in advance for further details! A campus map can be found here (beware that North is pointing to the left on this map...).
Local bus travel:
All of you that selected the "local bus pass" will be provided with a classical cardboard pass during registration. A local bus gide with a map and time tables can be found here. Virtually all bus lines (1, 1A, 100, and 4) connect the campus and the city centre, but 1/1A are usually the fastest connection.
By plane, the most convenient airport is Manchester, as there are hourly direct trains between Manchester airport train station (MIA) and Lancaster train station (LAN). However, Liverpool airport is also an option (in particular if you were thinking about getting a rental car anyway), and by train, Lancaster is well-connected to London, Glasgow and Edinburgh, so even flying to those airports might be an option for you.
On-campus accommodation is not available for the workshop dates. Directly adjacent to the campus is the "Lancaster House Hotel", a 4* venue with rather elevated prices. We would rather recommend to choose a hotel in the city centre via one of the usual portals such as booking.com or kayak.com. University guests often choose the Travelodge, which offers clean and no-frills rooms for as little as 42 GBP/night (but is not listed on booking.com!). There are numerous small hotels in Lancaster with moderate prices to choose from, and AirBnB provides additional options, both cheap single rooms as well as complete flats. Taking accommodation in Morecambe, Lancaster's adjacent seaside resort (beware of its sometimes morbid allure...) is also an (often cheap) option, but due to traffic, commute times will be significantly larger. If you plan to have a car available, also Thurnham Hall might be worth a look - this (in its core) 12th-century country estate is located in the countryside south of Lancaster and often offers surprisingly cheap deals, but is hard to reach without a car.
Activities in and around Lancaster:
Lancaster is located near England's prime holiday location, the Lake District National Park, which you may want to consider visiting either before or after the RD50 meeting. There are trains to Oxenholme, Penrith and Windermere. Direct bus connections are available on Saturday and Sundays.
In spite of the traditional row between Lancashire and Yorkshire, I also don't want to omit to mention the Yorkshire Dales National Park, which are also a magnificent sight and accessible by train from Lancaster.
By (rental) car, both areas are less than one hour's drive away.