Surrounded by glorious, unspoilt landscapes, there are opportunities for everyone to enjoy in the Ribble Valley. From shopping and entertainment, to history filled family days out exploring the Ribble Valley's rich heritage and great places for food and drink, to walks in the countryside and quiet, idyllic villages just waiting to be explored, the Ribble Valley has hundreds of attractions waiting for you.
The bustling market town of Clitheroe is a Shopping haven and a dream to those who dislike mass-market produced goods. Brimming with individual shops and historic treasures you wouldn't usually find on your everyday high street, Clitheroe is the perfect place to pick up a gift for that tricky someone or simply a place to treat yourself from the eclectic range of shops on offer.
We are extremely lucky to have such a fantastic array of local Food and Drink suppliers right here on our doorstep in the Ribble Valley. You can savour the fresh flavours of tempting treats and feasts as Clitheroe develops as Lancashire's Food Town and the annual Clitheroe Food Festival, which takes place in August, is a must-visit for foodie fanatics!
If being in the great outdoors is your thing the Ribble Valley has plenty to offer for cyclists of all abilities from gentle cycle routes that take you down quiet country lanes to the challenging Forest of Bowland which offers fantastic mountain biking for the more experienced rider.
If you enjoy country walking where better to discover the stunning high moorland scenery and beautiful riverside walks. And, with a fine variety of good hostelries where better to end the walk than with a hearty meal by an open log fire. And of course many of our village pubs welcome dogs too.
Choose form our menu of options designed to help you discover and enjoy Ribble Valley.
On yer bike!
Relaxing rides or tough terrain trails – Ribble Valley has suitable routes for all abilities
A journey of discovery awaits cyclists of all levels in Ribble Valley from gentle rides through picturesque villages to the high-octane thrills of the area’s rugged forests and fells.
Trafﬁc-free routes, challenging landscapes and cycle-friendly cafés provide everything you’ll need to enjoy your day in the saddle.
One of the top spots for off-road bike fans is Gisburn Forest – the largest forest in Lancashire - where there are a number of purpose-built trails to challenge you.
Start at the Gisburn Forest Hub car park, picnic site and café. Before setting off, you can try the Skills Loop which is located by the stone wall circle at Gisburn Forest Hub, built for practising and perfecting new riding skills before setting off on one of the trails.
The Blue Grade (Bottoms Beck/moderate 9.5km) is suitable for novices and younger riders, the Red Grade (The 8, difﬁcult, 18km), is a roller-coaster ride down Hully Gully. Finally the Orange Grade (Bike Park, 0.5km) is called Hope Line and Leap of Faith – which is just that – so hold on tight to those handlebars!
For a peaceful ride, head to the isolated fells where magniﬁcent scenery meets solitude. There is plenty of safety advice available at Gisburn Forest Hub, giving emergency numbers and the co-ordinates of various remote locations for experienced cyclists going off-track.
Cycling Friendly Accommodation
A Walkers' Paradise!
Ribble Valley boasts some of the ﬁnest unspoilt landscapes in the north of England and the area is well blessed with an amazing selection of self-guided trails to help you discover wonderful places for yourself.
Alternatively, there are plenty of opportunities to join guided walks led by knowledgeable leaders, many starting and ending at some of our cosiest hostelries, ideal for post-walk refreshments!
For the serious rambler, there is an excellent network of well-maintained public paths to explore, and for the keen long distance walker the 'Ribble Way' is a 70-mile route with the Ribble Valley stretch of the route containing the most dramatic scenery.
Whether it’s a short walk in the forest, or a more strenuous climb to the top of Pendle Hill, there’s something for everyone looking for fresh air, exercise, and inspiring landscapes, and routes to suit whatever your age or ability.
Of course you could always give your car a break and try one of Ribble Valley's car-free itineraries, which make use of local trails and public transport.
The Clitheroe Travel Interchange, located in the centre of the town, has bus routes out to the pretty villages and more remote locations, from where you can make your way back on foot.
If you are passionate about walking then a visit to Whalley Warm and Dry on King Street in the village, must be on your ‘to do’ list whilst visiting the area. Here, the team strives to provide the best quality outdoor clothing and footwear, combined with best possible customer service, both online and in store. The team at Whalley Warm and Dry understand the importance of properly ﬁtted, supportive footwear and its impact on comfort and the enjoyment of your walk. Customers travel from across the country to take advantage of their multi award-winning specialist boot ﬁtting service.
Ribble Valley is a paradise for visitors with dogs, with plenty of amazing walks and facilities which your dog can enjoy either with or without you as there are many dog walking services available and even a dog play barn where it can be left for the day.
When visiting for the ﬁrst time you will ﬁnd that well behaved dogs are welcome in many of the places to stay. Hotels like the Shireburn Arms, or the Spread Eagle at Sawley are good examples, together with many cottages and self-catering cottages, such as Wolfen Mill Country Retreats, Chipping. The Derby Arms near Longridge is particularly well located as a base to explore the dramatic hills and forests around Longridge Fell.
Moreover, an increasing number of pubs have areas in which dogs may accompany their owners whilst they dine, and many have welcoming open ﬁres which are so cosy after a refreshing walk on a frosty morning. The Waddington Arms in Waddington, and the Assheton Arms in Downham, are but two of many such pubs, set in picturesque countryside with a selection of beautiful walks to enjoy.
Some of our most popular walking routes start and ﬁnish at a village inn, where there is always a warm welcome for walkers, and most allow well behaved dog companions too! Where better to ﬁnish a day’s walk than sitting by a roaring log ﬁre, drink in hand,having enjoyed a sumptuous home cooked meal?
Festival and Events
Whatever time of year you visit, Ribble Valley has a packed programme of festivals, events and cultural activities for all the family.
In the heart of Lancashire’s farming community, there are traditional country fairs and shows like the Hodder Valley Show, Chipping Agricultural Show and Goosnargh & Longridge Show celebrating all that’s great about our farming heritage and country life.
The Clitheroe Food Festival provides a showcase for local food and drink producers and their fabulous products. The town is literally taken over by food, and food related events, with ample opportunity to sample and buy the very best local produce.
Real ale lovers can raise a glass or two at the Middle Earth Beer Festival in Hurst Green, whilst fine food and drink connoisseurs meet face to face with some of the greatest chefs in the world in the Obsession Festival of Food and Wine at Northcote Manor.
Clitheroe town beats to the rhythm of jazz every May Day bank holiday weekend during the Ribble Valley Jazz festival. In July, the Ribchester Roman Museum hosts a weekend of re-enactments and heritage related activities.
If live music is your interest, the spectacular Beat-Herder festival will be of great interest.
Whatever your passion there is sure to be an event to experience in Ribble Valley. Here are a few of the major events in our calendar but to view the most up to date listing for your visit the What's On Guide.
Festival and EventsEnjoy
Art in Ribble Valley
At the heart of the Ribble Valley beats a vibrant and healthy art scene with an abundance of galleries, exhibitions and festivals to satisfy the hungriest of culture vultures.
The Platform Gallery, which houses the Visitor Information Centre, showcases handmade crafts and exhibitions of work including textiles, ceramics, jewellery, glass and metalwork.
Arts practitioners based in the valley vary from hobbyists to professionals across the full spectrum of the arts.
Throughout the year the region has a whole host of things to do and see...theatre, music, exhibitions and festivals to name but a few.
One of the newest additions to the area’s art arena is The Keep in Clitheroe. Owned by husband and wife team Tony and Julia Bentley, the gallery (with adjoining shop) aims for something a little different.
Local artist and designer Tony showcases his own work in The Keep while also promoting other UK based artists and makers to give his customers a variety of handmade and design led items at a range of prices to suit every pocket.
Another longstanding contemporary gallery in the town is Longitude, situated next to Clitheroe Castle. Run by artist Sarah Clemson and her business partner Andy Scholﬁeld, the pair has created a contemporary art gallery showcasing the best of original British modern art.
Longitude holds a regular changing exhibition programme and will often feature three or four new artists every two months. Also in Clitheroe Knowle Top Studios is a ﬁne art gallery - home to the works of artists Irene Amiet and Duncan Phillips, offering collectors’ prints, gifts, fabrics and decor, all uniquely printed with Duncan’s and Irene’s photography. Images portray views of landscapes, wildlife and lifestyle from England’s north, Ribble Valley, Pendle, the Forest of Bowland, the Yorkshire Dales and Lake District.
Finally Art Décor Gallery in Whalley, owned by Chris and Julie McCabe, specialises in the supply of paintings and works on paper by modern British artists with an emphasis on Northern Art. The gallery works with many internationally renowned artists as well as helping to promote and represent emerging new local artists and holds regular exhibitions throughout the year. Art Décor also showcases a range of work by contemporary artists and sculptors whose creations are modelled or cast in a variety of materials including bronze, aluminium, steel, murano glass, ceramic and clay. Many pieces including their Celebration Table and Salvador Dali-inspired iron clocks combine the aesthetic beauty of art with functional form. Established in 1990 and situated in the heart of Ribble Valley, they deliver an exemplary service including bespoke framing, restoration, valuations, private viewings and 'in-situ' home trials. They can also source works by other artists upon request. The gallery opening times are Tuesday to Friday 9am until 5pm and Saturdays 9.30am until 4pm. All other times by appointment only.
Whether you live locally or are visiting, there are always venues pro
viding a regular programme of arts to enjoy and to inspire, from the smallest village hall to the state-of-the-art town centre venue.
For a full calendar of events or to discover the art venues you can explore, browse the Ribble Valley Arts directory on: www.rvarts.co.uk
WEEKEND EVENT: ART IN THE GARDEN 2017
A chance to explore a mature six acre woodland garden established since 1972 and set in the beautiful backdrop of an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. The garden specialises in magnolias, rhododendrons, trees and herbaceous perennials. There will be around 34 artists exhibiting and selling their work in marquees and buildings around the garden. A lovely day out with an opportunity to purchase unique artwork and meet the artists themselves while exploring the beautiful surroundings. Hot and cold drinks, scones and cakes on sale.
Saturday and Sunday 20th and 21st May. 11am – 5pm.
Spring Bank House, Whitewell Road, Cow Ark, Near Clitheroe, Lancashire BB7 3DG.
£4 adults, children under 16 free. Dogs on leads are welcome.
Art in Ribble ValleyEnjoy
Making Family Memories
There are some wonderful activities to keep your younger family members entertained whilst holidaying in Ribble Valley.
From feeding meerkats and racoons, to taking part in a wildlife walk quiz, visiting a historic site or museum, embarking on a mini steam train ride, or spending a day by the river... there is something to suit children of all ages.
One of the major attractions for little ones and teenagers alike is Bowland’s Wild Boar Animal Park.
Make a day of memories at this superb 30-acre woodland site which is located on the outskirts of pretty Chipping. Wild boar and Longhorn cows roam the scenic woodlands and can be viewed from various aspects throughout Ribble Valley park.
Animal petting includes baby chick stroking and hand feeding a wide range of animals including deer, llamas, goats and lambs.
There is a range of walks for all levels of ﬁtness (and leg sizes), throughout the woodland which is brimming with wildlife.
Pack a picnic or enjoy a choice of hot or cold food at the newly opened park café.
For more family fun why not visit Mrs Dowsons ice-cream farm and visitor centre?
For a trip back in time, why not take the children along to Lancashire’s only specialist Roman museum. Ribchester Museum houses many of the ﬁnds from the Roman fort Bremetennacum Veteranorum, some parts of which have been exposed by excavation. The most famous ﬁnd, the Ribchester Helmet, is on show in replica but the original is in the British Museum collection.
The Museum Trust also developed a 3D interactive visualisation of the fort and settlement. The visualisation uses game engine technology to present an interactive model of the cavalry fort and its immediate surroundings, including the bath house and vicus.
On Saturday 8th and Sunday 9th July, on the playing ﬁeld in Ribchester, the Museum’s Roman Festival will take place. The weekend spectacular will be an exciting mix of Roman re-enactments, demonstrations, military displays and a general insight into everyday life during Roman times.
There will also be food and gift stalls and the opportunity for children to dress up and play games in this superb summertime event.
For some high-energy action how about a thrilling trip to Battlestorm (Clitheroe)? - a family friendly indoor Laser combat centre aimed at those who are aged seven and over.
Adults can play alongside the kids, camouﬂage up, choose their weapon and battle through the derelict warehouse, disused shop or defend a military base. Game sessions can last from 20 up to 90 minutes and can be watched via a live video feed in the onsite café.
Browsholme Hall, lies in the Forest of Bowland four miles north-west of Clitheroe. Overlooking the Hodder Valley, it is believed to be the oldest surviving family home in Lancashire, and is open for fascinating tours and special events.
For further information please visit www.browsholme.com
Wild Boar Park
Picnics, walks, wildlife, play areas and fun for all the family at Wild Boar Park. Enjoy feeding the animals and meeting the famous wild boar face to face. It’s worth checking out the website for special events and for when new arrivals are born, and you can be amongst the first to see them.
For further information please visit www.wildboarpark.co.uk
Here is a great opportunity to experience a traditional working farm, in the heart of Ribble Valley’s finest countryside. You can meet the farmer, learn about organic farming and meet a variety of animals too. A farm shop has a tasty range of treats on offer most of which are home produced or locally sourced but all come naturally with no added chemicals or additives. Watch out for special events throughout the year.
For further information please visit www.gazegillorganics.co.uk
Visit The Emporium Clitheroe for a truly intoxicating lifestyle experience. Half coffee shop, wine bar and brasserie; half
interior design superstore. The Emporium is genuinely unlike anywhere you have seen or been before. Its Parisian Grand Cafe style appeals to everyone. Don’t forget that everything in the building is for sale (except the staff!). Any item can be bought as seen or ordered in new.
For further information please visit www.theemporiumclitheroe.co.uk
Step into the farming world where nature and family-friendliness combine. Come and join the farmer for some of the most exciting events on the farming calendar, from Lambing Live to Nature Walks and Tractor Rides – be sure to finish the day off with one of Mrs Dowsons award winning Ice Creams. For further information please visit www.mrsdowsons.com
Down a country lane, a mile away from Waddington visitors are always assured of a warm and smiley welcome at ‘Melt’. Their own range of candles and melt products made on site, along with organic skincare ranges, niche perfumes, cashmere, leather goods and jewellery offer a diverse, calm and sophisticated shopping experience.
For further information please visit www.themeltco.com
Ribble Valley is an area of outstanding natural beauty, with picturesque towns and villages to discover, each place rich in tradition and with its own unique identity, reflected in architecture, customs and events. Wherever you are in Ribble Valley you are sure to find wealth of historic interest and legends from a bygone age.
With its awe inspiring approach, Stonyhurst College is one of the most stunning architectural heritage sites in the north of England. Set in extensive parklands with two huge ponds, the college houses a wonderful museum collection which can be viewed on open days. Oliver Cromwell stayed here in 1648, and in 1811 the building became the first public building to be lit by gas. Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, the creator of Sherlock Holmes is among many famous ex-pupils of this Catholic boarding college. Most notable perhaps is the connection with JRR Tolkien, the literary genius renowned for his love of nature and wooded landscapes, who penned the epic Lord of the Rings trilogy .
It’s free to climb onto the Castle Walls and to the top of the Castle Keep in Clitheroe where you can enjoy spectacular views across the town and the whole Ribble Valley. Children can get their hands on history in the interactive galleries and exhibitions at the award winning Clitheroe Castle Museum, where there’s a year round programme of themed activities for all ages. Using screens and computer technology, you’ll be taken on a journey through 350 million years of history, heritage and geology of the local area. It’s also here that you can find out about the facts, fables and folklore of the Pendle Witches, who were involved in the most famous witchcraft trails in English History.
In the tranquil grounds of Whalley Abbey atmospheric ruins of a large Cistercian monastery can be discovered with daily tours of the ruins available with a costumed guide in a monk’s habit. Further up the Ribble Valley, Sawley Abbey is another historic site where you can wander among the remains of a Cistercian abbey founded way back in 1148.
Dominating landscape to the south of Ribble Valley is the mysterious Pendle Hill, an area steeped in the history of witchcraft. In 1612, ten people were executed having been found guilty of witchcraft in this area. The evidence given against the so called ‘Pendle Witches’ was based on memories, hearsay and superstition, and would not be considered in a modern court. But life was very different 400 years ago; religious persecution was rife and people lived in wretched fear and poverty. Now, over 400 years later, you have the chance to follow the journey taken by the accused witches, to learn about their lives and the trial that made British history. From the untamed moorlands of Pendle Hill, you can take a journey of discovery through Lancashire’s dramatic and historic past.
A museum steeped in historical significance, which dates back over 100 years. It has benefitted from heritage lottery funding and European grants in order to make it a modern day exhibition of the roman history in the Ribble Valley. The museum contains a magnitude of excavated artefacts that date back to the roman settlements of Ribchester. The original roman site, known as Bremetennacum Veteranorum, was as established in the early 70s AD. As well as the various artefacts that the museum displays visitors can also view a new interactive 3D model of the site. A number of special events are also held at various times throughout the year, which can include full reconstructions of roman times.
Located four miles north-west of Clitheroe is the stunningly picturesque Tudor house Browsholme Hall. Dating back to 1507 Browsholme, situated in the Forest of Bowland, contains the collections of fourteen generations of continuous occupation. It may not be a museum but this magnificent venue does offer guided tours that demonstrate the living heritage of the building. It is a stunning venue that is perfect to host special functions such as weddings or large celebrations. Further, it contains ‘The Tithe Barn’ which is over 300 years old. Today the tithe barn tea rooms offer visitors the perfect way to enjoy traditional afternoon teas when visiting.
Good for Groups
Ribble Valley has many fantastic opportunities for groups. Whether it be delving into the heritage, exploring quaint villages or enjoying the delicious local cuisine, you will have an unforgettable experience in this beautiful area which is renowned for its glorious unspoilt landscapes. Once visited, never forgotten.
Places to visit
Castles, abbeys, museums, manor houses and garden centres are just examples of the numerous cultural and historical places of interest to explore in the Ribble Valley.
Make sure to visit the towns of Clitheroe, Longridge and Whalley which boast an array of exclusive boutiques, eateries and historical sites that cater for all tastes and interests.
Activities to experience
Plenty of wonderful opportunities to groups experience including food forays, adventure activities and animal parks.
Places to stay
The various hotels, inns and guest houses in the Ribble Valley offer exquisite accommodation nestled in the picturesque local landscape.
Places to eat
Journey through the Ribble Valley to enjoy its renowned restaurants, coffee shops and dairies which serve an array of locally-produced products and homemade dishes.
Please download our travel trade pack for further information or why not get in contact and let us help you us let us plan your great day out in Ribble Valley.