Places


Ribble Valley is the perfect place for you to escape the frantic pace of every day, whatever the time of year. Forget those diaries and deadlines and head straight to your perfect getaway that's waiting to be discovered.

Dunsop Bridge

Dunsop Bridge

See for yourself how a visit to Ribble Valley can revitalise your senses with its spectacular commanding fells and lush green valleys revealing your love of the great outdoors. Walk in the footsteps of Romans, Normans and literary masterminds who once set foot in this historic landscape. Explore quaint market towns such as Clitheroe and Longridge and picturesque villages brimming with individual shops, historic treasures and tales.

Savour the fresh flavours of tempting treats and feasts for food lovers as Clitheroe develops as Lancashire's Food Town and Ribble Valley is fast becoming known for our local culinary delights and first class hospitality. Try the Ribble Valley Food Trail or perhaps come and sample the Clitheroe Food Festival in August.

As you journey through this website you'll unearth everything there is to know about planning your perfect holiday or short break in rural heaven.


Local Villages

  • Bashall Barn Bashall Eaves - Beautiful Bashall Eaves sits in the heart of this Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, four miles west of Clitheroe town centre. Standing on the banks of the River Hodder and four miles west of Clitheroe town centre, you will find the picturesque village of Bashall Eaves, at the very heart of this Area of Outstanding […]
  • Bolton By Bowland Bolton-By-Bowland - Magnificent church of St Peter and Paul and the remains of the 13th Century market cross and stocks are two spots to see in this pretty village. The Open Gardens Weekend is a highlight of the summer when many interesting gardens within the parish attract visitors from around the area.   Places Nearby: Holden Clough […]
  • Chaigley Hall Chaigley - Home to the Higher Hodder Bridge, Chaigley is a starting point for many explorations into the stunning Forest of Bowland. The riverside footpath between the lower and higher Hodder bridges is particularly beautiful. Let the kids paddle in the shallow reaches of the river in summer, a honeypot for family picnics and relaxation. Places Nearby: […]
  • Chatburn Chatburn - Chatburn is situated in a hollow between the two ridges, which slope towards the River Ribble just off the A59 Clitheroe to Skipton road on the outskirts of Clitheroe. It is thought that the village derived its name from St Ceatt or Chad. The stately spire of the Parish Church dominates the building, which was […]
  • Chipping Chipping - Ancient cobbled streets and attractive 17th century buildings, Chipping village is filled with character and has won many Best Kept Village competitions over the years. Located on the south-western edge of the Forest of Bowland, Chipping offers warm and friendly country pubs and restaurants, such as Gibbon Bridge, which is also a hotel, offering luxurious […]
  • Downham Village Downham - Downham lies at the foot of Pendle Hill, in the southern section of the Forest of Bowland Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and close to the market town of Clitheroe. It is often hailed as the most beautiful village in Lancashire, with unrivalled views absent of overhead wires, satellite dishes, roadside signage and TV aerials. […]
  • Bashall-Eaves Dunsop Bridge - There are numerous places that claim to be located at the very centre of the United Kingdom but, according to the Ordnance Survey, the official centre of the Kingdom is in the parish of Dunsop Bridge just a short walk from the village centre. Dunsop Bridge is the perfect place for those who love to […]
  • Gisburn Gisburn - On the verge of the Lancashire and Yorkshire borderline you’ll find a unique village that straddles the A59 between Clitheroe and Skipton. This is Gisburn, where a walk along the cobblestones of the wide main street will take you towards the historic parish church. Gaze in amazement at the stunning original Norman stained glass windows […]
  • Grindleton Bridge Grindleton - Perched on a hillside, commanding extensive views of the picturesque Ribble Valley, stands Grindleton. With the River Ribble in its sights it’s only a short trip out of Clitheroe. This small rural community once relied heavily on weaving and spinning. Set amidst rolling pastures the church of St. Ambrose once served a population of hand-weavers; […]
  • Stonyhurst College Hurst Green - This village marks the very start of the famous Tolkien Trail walk, where author J.R.R. Tolkien was inspired by the local landscape and went on to create the ‘Lord of the Rings’ and ‘The Hobbit.’ This trail starts and finishes at the Shireburn Arms, a beautiful and dog-friendly country pub standing in the heart of […]
  • Mellor Mellor - Situated on a high ridge overlooking the low-lying area of the Fylde. Mellor Moor was the site of a Roman encampment, an outpost of the one at Ribchester. St. Mary’s church was built 1829 and is of particular interest and possesses a very fine peal of Guildford Chimes. The internal woodwork is of English oak […]
  • mitton-church Mitton - Situated on a limestone rise above the River Ribble, the tiny hamlet of Mitton is home to some of the most popular restaurants in the area. To name a few, the Aspinall Arms is the perfect stop off for cyclists, walkers and anglers, serving delicious food and drink, whilst looking across at the medieval All […]
  • Newton in Bowland Newton-in-Bowland - The journey to this attractive spot over Waddington Fell provides views of breathtaking beauty. John Bright the Quaker spent two years of his early life here in the heart of the Hodder Valley. The Friends Meeting House dates from 1767. Places Nearby: Parkers Arms
  • Ribchester - The village of Ribchester is a significant Roman site, having been the location of a Roman Cavalry fort called Brematennacum. The famous Ribchester Hoard was discovered back in 1796 by a 13year old boy whilst digging in his garden. He came across an unusual collection of items, one being a bronze cavalry parade helmet. This […]
  • Sabden Sabden - Sabden is another beautiful village nestled under Pendle Hill, and is the perfect place to begin your exploration of this stunning landscape. Pendle is steeped in history and legends and is renowned for its connections to the trials of the witches in the 1600s and also as the place where George Fox, a leading Quaker […]
  • Frosty Morning - Sawley Sawley - Nestled deep within the Forest of Bowland, an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, is the picturesque village of Sawley. It is here that you will find the remains of a Cistercian abbey, founded in 1148, set close to the River Ribble and overlooking a beautiful backdrop of dramatic hills. The award-winning Spread Eagle at Sawley […]
  • Slaidburn Slaidburn - Since the early 19th century, the village of Slaidburn has remained untouched and is a serene and peaceful place. Hidden away by the Bowland fells, the village contains many stone cottages, set in a blissful location close to the banks of the River Hodder. Located close to Gisburn Forest, you will find that Slaidburn is […]
  • Tosside Community Hall Tosside - On the edge of the Forest of Bowland, half in Lancashire and half in Yorkshire, Tosside may be some way from the main visitor centre, but is nevertheless well worth a visit. The Gisburn Forest features cycle trails and good footpaths to suit every ability. United Utilities have recently opened a footpath circling the Stocks […]
  • Waddington Gardens Waddington - A regular winner of Lancashire’s Best Kept Village Award, this pretty Village with a babbling brook and coronation gardens perches on the outskirts of Clitheroe. Waddington is a conservation area and a great place to explore and discover heritage features like St Helen’s Church, an attractive Victorian rebuild. Waddington has a number of great places […]
  • Whitewell Whitewell - Known locally as ‘Little Switzerland’, where the river Hodder winds its way along the wooded valley. A church, an Inn and a few cottages grace this very attractive spot. Cave dwellers lived here around 1000 BC and Middle Bronze Age relics were found in the ‘Fairy Holes’ cave a few years ago. Roman remains have […]
  • Wiswell Wiswell - A small village on the edge of Whalley and home to another popular inn, Wiswell is said to have taken its name from Old Molly’s Well, later known as the wise woman’s well. The first record of Wiswell is in a charter of 1193, in the reign of Richard the First. The village’s most famous […]
  • Worston Worston - A village seemingly far removed from the nearby A59. Worston is a peaceful place with one street and a welcoming hostelry and many links to the past. A pre-historic burial ground was found on Worsaw Hill. In 1778, workmen widening the road to Chatburn found 1,000 Roman silver Denarii. Fragments of the ancient Sawley Abbey […]

 

Places
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Clitheroe


Clitheroe is a vibrant market town with a bustling high street and side streets full of character, revealing independent shops, galleries and eateries and more. Offering panoramic views over the area, Clitheroe Castle crowns the town from an elevated position. Down below, there are countless places to discover—whether you enjoy browsing the shops, arts and culture, delving into history or sampling fantastic food and drink. Clitheroe is certainly a place to add to your must-visit list.

A Shoppers’ Paradise

Clitheroe excels in providing a high-quality, super-stylish and independent retail experience. If it’s fashion, shoes and accessories you’re looking for, the town hosts a range of boutiques selling designer brands for men, women and children—including country-wear ideal for exploring Pendle Hill and beyond. From Cowman’s sausages to D Byrne & Co’s wines, to locally-crafted homeware from the Emporium, the town’s independent outlets offer a shopping experience that showcases the very best of Ribble Valley quality and handicraft.

Food and Drinks Galore

While walking through Clitheroe, you are bound to notice the aroma of freshly-ground coffee which emanates from the delightful Exchange Coffee: a traditional tea and coffee shop which takes its customers a step back into a golden age. Here you can choose from a vast array of beverages, meals and nibbles.

Aside from Clitheroe’s many cafés, there are countless bars serving fine wines, locally-brewed beers and deliciously cool cocktails. One of the most popular venues is Holmes Mill, a former textile mill which has been transformed into a food, drink and leisure hub. Home to Bowland Beer Hall and a Food Hall bursting with delicious local produce, the complex also has a gelato parlour, patisserie café, and the Spinning Block Hotel.

Great for family-friendly dining is the nearby Emporium, a lavishly-converted old Methodist chapel comprising three expansive storeys for eating, drinking and shopping. Here Parisian café culture meets relaxed wining and dining, along with a luxury interior shopping experience. All in all, Clitheroe has a restaurant to tempt any tastebud, spanning from Greek to Italian to American cuisine.

A Very Special Heritage

Clitheroe is also home to an early medieval castle which has been lovingly preserved and developed over time into a fabulous hub of history. While the interactive museum seeks to inform many a visitor, the creative outdoor play zone serves to entertain the kids. Not to be forgotten are the splendid 16-acre castle grounds, which host a bandstand, playground and Lancashire’s one and only labyrinth.

As well as ascending to the castle keep and admiring the breathtaking views, there is the option to discover even more of Clitheroe’s heritage by taking part in the exciting Town Trail. The mile-long walk suitable for all the family takes you on a journey across time and place, from the 19th century market place, to rows of Victorian terraces, to pubs dating back to the 16th century.

If you fancy using Clitheroe as a starting point to explore further afield, then the Ribble Valley Sculpture Trail is the adventure for you. Launched in 1993, this trail incorporates over 20 different works of art, taking you through woodlands, grasslands, Brungerley Park and Cross Hill Quarry. Not only will you enjoy views of the AONB Forest of Bowland, but you may also spot some fascinating local wildlife—kingfishers, otters and many more!

Spectacular Events

One of the main events of the summer months is the Clitheroe Food Festival, a free-to-attend family day which exhibits the finest of Lancashire’s food producers. For fans of music, the Ribble Valley Jazz and Blues Festival is another superb addition to your diary, now recognised as one of the county’s best musical extravaganzas. Also worth a watch is the Last Night of the Proms, a stunning summertime celebration of British music and culture. 

Two further events of interest are the annual Mod Weekender, which brings hundreds of scooter aficionados to town, and the Ribble Valley Beer Festival, where beer and ale lovers flock together to celebrate the finest of local brews. Finally, bespoke events take place on a regular basis at Holmes Mill, from private weddings to public jam sessions. There really is something for everyone to enjoy.

So Much to See and Do

For a marvellous mix of live entertainment and culture, it’s worth paying a visit to The Grand. Since opening its doors in early 2008, the state-of-the-art venue has diversified its programme and gained its name as one of the North West’s best-loved medium-size cultural venues. Soon to be opened in 2019 is, furthermore, Holmes Mill Cinema, where there will be film screenings suitable for audiences of all ages.

If you’d rather make the most of the great outdoors, you can find parks and picnic places throughout Clitheroe. Edisford Bridge, for example, boasts one of the prettiest riverside spots in town, equipped with tables, a miniature steam railway, and an ice cream van. Plus there’s plenty of clear, fresh water in which to paddle, of course! Clitheroe’s very own beach never fails to please.

If you want to find out more about the thriving market town of Clitheroe and what there is to see and do here, simply head to the Platform Gallery, where a qualified guide will provide you with all the information you’re looking for.

Special Dates

Jazz Festival - 2 - 6 May
Food Festival - 10 August
Mod Weekend - 27 - 29 September

Special Places

Clitheroe Castle
Holmes Mill
Edisford Bridge
Platform Gallery

Clitheroe
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Whalley


Nestled at the foot of Whalley Nab, alongside the River Calder, lies the village of Whalley. It’s a place steeped in history, rural charm and natural beauty.

Unique history

One of the village's most popular places to visit is Whalley Abbey, a former Cistercian monastery dating from the 14th century. Today, its stone walls surround a stunning conference centre and retreat including a coffee shop and exhibition centre. While the expansive grounds are open for exploration by day, the Abbey also offers four-star overnight accommodation.

Another visitors’ delight is St Mary & All Saints Church, where a stroll through the pretty churchyard reveals three Saxon crosses dating from 628 AD. Many centuries later, in 1850, construction of the Ribble Valley’s viaduct was completed with the aim of carrying the railway over the River Calder. Visible from the streets down below, the viaduct is the longest in Lancashire and has become a landmark of the Ribble Valley.

Rural charm

They say good things come in small packages—this certainly applies to the village of Whalley. Along the main street and cobbled side alleys there are numerous restaurants, bistros, wine merchants and delicatessens just waiting to be discovered. In fact, the village offers some of the finest dining experiences in the Ribble Valley, ranging from afternoon teas to authentic Italian restaurants.

As well as its café and culinary culture, Whalley has a thriving retail scene. Dotted throughout the village are—among others—exquisite jewellers, hair and beauty salons, and designer clothing boutiques. Worth a special mention is the multi-award-winning outdoor clothing specialist Whalley Warm & Dry. Here you will find highly-qualified staff who not only provide expert advice, but also measure and adapt walking footwear for optimum comfort.

Natural beauty

In addition to charming grade II listed cottages and quaint alleyways, Whalley has an unrivalled natural beauty. Within walking distance lies, for example, Spring Wood—a once monastery-owned woodland that now hosts many a family picnic, forest walk and ice cream purchase!

What makes Spring Wood so special is its rarity; as a semi-natural ancient woodland dating from before 1600, it is one of the very few areas of greenery from this time that were not cleared to make way for agricultural land. Another unique aspect of the wood is its location; from no other place in the Ribble Valley are the village of Whalley and the iconic Pendle Hill so easily visible and explorable.

 

Whalley
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Longridge


Longridge is so aptly named as it sits on the hilltop, on a long ridge, with stunning views across the surrounding countryside.

The best place to begin your visit is the Old Station which has been carefully converted to house the Heritage and Visitor Centre, along with a café. Open from 10am to 4pm Monday to Friday Here you can find out about Longridge’s fascinating history, browse the old photographs on the town archive, or view one of their regularly changing exhibitions. You will be able to pick up local walking guides, history trails and a variety of information to help you discover more about this attractive town.

Much of this former cotton mill town was built from the distinctive sandstone quarried locally, and so much of the town has remained largely unchanged in appearance since the 1800s. One of the most significant places in the Town is Club Row, a row of twenty solid workmen’s cottages built when Longridge was just a village, and textiles were the big employer. A blue plaque explains their significance and this terrace, erected between 1774 and 1804, and is believed to be the oldest surviving example of properties built by a buildings society in the world.

The main street, Berry Lane is very much the hub of the town with a thriving selection of shops where you will discover a wide variety of charmingly unique art, crafts, homeware, jewellery, gifts, designer clothing, shoes and accessories. There is a pleasant blend of longstanding family businesses and more recent arrivals.

One couple demonstrating the confidence to invest in Longridge are Ben and Andrea Fullalove, who opened a new wine and tapas bar just off Berry Lane right in the heart of the town. Andrea said ‘We have always loved Longridge; the town has a strong community feel and is very welcoming to visitors. We have always been impressed by the variety of speciality shops here in the town and we believe our business, offering quality wines and a varied tapas menu, fills a niche both in Longridge and the wider Ribble Valley.’

 Up at the very top of the town is the Dog Inn, a well-established landmark in the town but another business which has enjoyed recent investment. The owner here too believes in investing in quality, having recently refurbished this iconic building to make it even more welcoming to visitors. Commanding fantastic views over the town and surrounding countryside, The Dog Inn is a warm and cosy gastro pub, with a modern contemporary feel, complete with open log fires.

Another welcoming Inn, located just on the outskirts of Longridge, is the Derby Arms, its atmospheric tap room, feature fireplaces and larger central bar create a series of ambient spaces perfect for drinks with friends or a special dining experience.

If you are seeking self-catering accommodation in the heart of the nearby open countryside then the Shippon and Meadow cottage are two good examples of the beautifully appointed, quality properties available to let for short breaks or longer holiday.

Recognising the growing popularity of the area for tourism, The Dog Inn has created luxury holiday apartments that will provide an ideal base for visitors wishing to spend time exploring the gateway to the Forest of Bowland.

Longridge is lucky enough to have one of Lancashire’s quirkiest cinemas, the Palace, which started life as a weaving shed and during its time has been a music hall, roller skating rink, a bingo hall and, finally a cinema in the 1970s. The cinema has recently refurbished in a clever restoration which retains the character of the building whilst hosting a modern and diverse range of entertainment. Owner Lara Hewitt has been keen to retain some of the old-world charm of the cinema where hot tea is still served in real mugs and the national anthem is played before each film. Ribble Valley is very lucky to host one of the last remaining independent cinemas.

Each year Longridge plays host to an annual art event called ‘Create Longridge’ which invites artists to capture local life in one day. All the artists have to paint within a 3-mile radius of Longridge town centre and do so in a publicly accessible space, so visitors can see them at work. Artists produce landscapes, street scenes and abstracts. In addition, there are a wide range of fringe events including the fabulous work of Longridge’s textile enthusiasts and children’s art classes. Everyone is welcome to come along and interact with some of the region’s most creative and talented people, to enjoy all that Longridge has to offer and have a fun day in the beautiful Ribble Valley.

Special Dates

Longridge Field Day - 8 June
Goosnargh and Longridge Show - 6 July
Create Longridge - TBC

Longridge
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Forest of Bowland


Forest of Bowland

Forest of Bowland

Designated as an Outstanding Area of Natural Beauty the Forest of Bowland is a unique and magical place in the Ribble Valley. The distinctive character and natural beauty of the area form some of the most distinctive and important landscapes in the United Kingdom. Every season brings into this area its own colours and atmosphere and it becomes possible to escape into the peace and tranquillity of these truly beautiful places year round.

The Forest of Bowland was designated as an AONB in 1964 and covers over 312 square miles of rural landscape. It is home to a wide range of flora and wildlife plus contains numerous historical and cultural associations. Much of the area is important for the breeding of upland birds and notable wildflower meadows and woodlands are present.

Bowland

The role of people in the Forest of Bowland is also an important and attractive aspect for the area. The Living landscape has been formed over centuries due to the close relationship between human activity and the land, from dry-stoned walls, hedgerows and barns, to open moors and grazed fields. The local food and drink produce is important for supporting the many farmers who manage the beautiful landscape and supporting the local economy.

The main importance for the Forest of Bowland, as a source of support for people’s livelihoods and enjoyment, and as a unique and protected landscape, is to remain a place to enjoy and keep social.

A full list of events can be found in the Festival Bowland programme.

Forest of Bowland
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Pendle Hill


The majestic Pendle Hill towers over the picturesque towns and villages of East Lancashire and Ribble Valley. For generations this iconic landscape feature has been an inspiration to both visitors and local people. One of the most famous was George Fox; the founding father of the Quaker movement, who revealed that it was here in the early 1600s where he was inspired to start what is now a worldwide religious movement. Fox wrote: “As we travelled, we came near a very great hill, called Pendle Hill, and I was moved of the Lord to go up to the top of it; which I did with difficulty, it was so very steep and high. When I was come to the top, I saw the sea bordering upon Lancashire. From the top of this hill the Lord let me see in what places he had a great people to be gathered.” Today Pendle remains strongly linked to the Quakers, giving its name to one of their centres for religious and spiritual study and contemplation near Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, in the United States.

Beneath the hill lie pretty villages which reveal a history of intrigue and witchcraft , spanning 400 years. At that time the area was regarded by the authorities as a wild and lawless region: “fabled for its theft , violence and sexual laxity, where the church was honoured without much understanding of its doctrines by the common people. Twelve alleged witches lived in the area surrounding Pendle Hill and were charged with the murders of ten people by ‘the use of witchcraft ’. All but two were tried at Lancaster Assizes in August 1612. The trials of the Pendle witches are among the most famous witch trials in English history, and some of the best recorded of the 17th century. The trials allowed the testimonies of children in a court of law for the first time in history, which went on to influence rules of law across the world.

Pendle Hill is an exhilarating and fantastic walk. Astonishingly, on a clear day and just off the summit, you can see Blackpool Tower and the sea. Regular climbers of Pendle report that on clear days you can also spot the Welsh landmark of Penmaenmawr. And from the 557-metre summit you can see two of Yorkshire’s famous three peaks - Ingleborough and Whernside. There are several routes to the summit, one of the most popular starts in the pretty village of Downham where you will also find the Assheton Arms, for ‘fuelling up’ for the jaunt. Pendle Hill’s relative isolation on the edge of the Pennines and the Bowland Fells makes it appear very dominant in the landscape. A multi- million-pound Heritage Lottery award has set in motion an exciting scheme of improvements to create enhanced access to the hill along with better interpretation aimed at unlocking some of the legends and secrets yet to be discovered.

Pendle Hill
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