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 […]


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Citheroe is a vibrant town with a busrting high street, a traditional market and side streets full of character, revealing independent shops, galleries and eateries.

Crowning the town from an elevated position is Clitheroe castle, with its ancient Norman keep and modern family-friendly museum, set in 16 acres of surrounding grounds providing a panoramic view of the valley. Whether you enjoy browsing the shops, arts and culture, delving into history or love fantastic food then Clitheroe is most definitely a place for your ‘must visit’ list.

Clitheroe excels in providing a high-quality, super- stylish and truly independent shopping experience. If it is fashion, shoes and accessories you are looking for, the town hosts a range of boutiques selling designer brands for men, women and children. There is also an extensive selection of country wear labels available.  Independent shops showcase some exquisite items for the home such as locally made candles and hand-woven throws.

Maxwell’s is a longstanding favourite stop off point for shoppers and visitors to the town, Manager Sarah Dawson said ‘Being open all day and in such a great location means we are popular with visitors who can come for breakfast, lunch or a quick coffee on the go.’ Sarah added ‘By night we offer a range of evening meals complemented by a variety of beers, fine wines, sprits and cocktails.  We even have a roof top terrace for those fine summer evenings’.

Walking through Clitheroe you are sure to pick up the aroma of freshly ground coffee which emanates from the delightful Exchange Coffee, a traditional tea and coffee shop which, to visit, is like taking a step back into a golden era. Here you can choose from a vast array of teas and coffees, as well as enjoy a tasty snack or sumptuous meal.

The Atrium, located beside the castle, also offers a range of delicious food, and is a great place to stop off whilst exploring the castle.

The Guardian - "A gastronomic hotspot" - 2017

There is an array of bars in Clitheroe, serving fine wines, locally brewed beers and deliciously cool cocktails. One of the most exciting venues is Holmes Mill, a food, drink and leisure hub which has transformed a former textile mill. Home to Bowland Beer Hall with one of the longest bars in Britain, the venue incorporates a pub, brewery, gelato parlour and patisserie café with an in-house bakery serving sit-in or takeaway cakes.

For a great family food venue, you will find the nearby Emporium situated across three floors.  Housed in an old Methodist Chapel and lavishly converted to create three huge floors of eating, drinking and shopping - Parisian café culture meets relaxed dining, and an elegant shopping experience. Clitheroe has an eatery to tempt every taste bud from fine dining to authentic Italian and traditional American.

Clitheroe is also home to an early medieval castle which has been lovingly preserved. The site has been developed into a fabulous family hub of history with an interactive museum and all-year-round events. You will also find a creative outdoor play zone for children, and Lancashire’s only labyrinth, which is set within the castle’s splendid surrounding grounds.

One of the many major events of the summer is the Clitheroe Food Festival, a free family day which showcases the finest of Lancashire’s food producers and operators. And for music fans The Ribble Valley Jazz and Blues Festival is another superb date for your diary, now one of Lancashire’s best-established musical extravaganzas. Two more events of great interest are the annual Mods gathering, which creates a vibrant atmosphere in the town, and the Ribble Valley beer festival, a celebration of local ales.

For a marvellous mix of live entertainment and the arts, take a look at The Grand. Since opening its doors early in 2008, the venue has gradually become one of the North West’s best loved mid-sized live music and arts venues, with a vibrant and varied programme of events.

If outdoors and picnics are your thing you are never far from open countryside in Clitheroe. Edisford Bridge boasts one of the prettiest riverside spots in the area, with tables, a miniature steam railway, children’s swings and slides, an ice cream van and plenty of clear, fresh water in which to paddle. There is something here to keep everyone happy on what is often described as Clitheroe’s very own beach.

Special Dates

Jazz Festival - 3 - 7 May
Food Festival - 11 August
Mod Weekend - 21 - 23 September

Special Places

Clitheroe Castle
Holmes Mill
Edisford Bridge
Platform Gallery

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Nestling at the foot of Whalley Nab, under the watchful eye of a 14th century Abbey, this fascinating village sits alongside the beautiful River Calder.

Whalley is a village steeped in history and full of surprises, from the Grade II character cottages to its thriving retail, boutique and café culture.  Along the Main Street and side lanes you will discover a remarkable range of restaurants and bistros, jewellers, hair and beauty salons, specialist wine merchants, delightful delicatessens and designer clothing boutiques.

Whalley is a haven for independent trading attracting visitors from across the United Kingdom for its unique shopping, dining and historical attractions.  One well-known and long established business is the women's fashion shop, Maureen Cookson, which incorporates the delightful award- winning cafe bar, Benedicts, a Mecca for lovers of good food.  Hilary Cookson is the entrepreneur at the helm of the business and the inspiration around recent developments "with all the amazing options in Ribble Valley it is important to continually invest and improve the business making it more appealing to visitors."  She added "I am proud to be a part of the Whalley hospitality and retail scene and I am passionate about preserving the distinctive and unique feel about our village."

with all the amazing options in Ribble Valley it is important to continually invest and improve the business making it more appealing to visitors – Hilary Cookson

Maureen Cookson is full of surprises and you will find a variety of gorgeous designer goods and an extensive range of outdoor gear.  The clothing, bag and shoe boutique runs over two floors and adjoins B’s Deli and Benedicts Cafe Bar and gift shop.

Whalley SignThe beautiful, historical Swan Hotel in the centre of the village is undergoing some subtle changes having been operated for over 13 years by Gary and Louise Clough.  Louise describes the business as being a constantly loved “work in progress” and is currently in the middle of another guest room refurbishment to keep up with demand in the village.  A refresh of their popular food menu has seen the introduction of hand-made artisan pies and the installation of a new pizza oven to accompany their Cask Marque commended range of beers and new gin bar selection which is proving a hit with visitors.

Should you wish to stay over, and really enjoy Whalley’s vibrant nightlife of cocktail and café bars, the Swan has beautifully appointed rooms, and you will depart having enjoyed a very hearty breakfast.

Another unique outlet in the heart of the village is outdoor clothing and walking footwear specialists, Whalley Warm & Dry. Here you will find trained fitters who will measure, analyse and adapt walking boots for your optimum comfort.

The multi award-winning company is so highly regarded that medical professionals including doctors, physiotherapists and chiropodists, regularly refer patients to see them.

Whalley offers some of the finest dining in the Ribble Valley with a remarkable range of food on offer for a village, from afternoon tea to authentic Italian restaurants and places like Benedicts, where delicious dishes are served all day with the signature breakfast Eggs Benedict, a firm favourite with locals and tourists alike.


One of the village's most popular places is Whalley Abbey, a former monastery of the 14th century Cistercian monks. Today, the stone walls surround a stunning retreat and conference centre with a coffee shop, exhibition centre, and you can explore the gardens and extensive grounds. The Abbey also offers four-star accommodation.

Another delight to visit is St Mary and All Saints Parish Church which dates to 628AD, and if you stroll through the pretty churchyard, you will see three Saxon crosses. Another attraction is Ribble Valley’s iconic viaduct.  Constructed in 1850, it is the longest in Lancashire, built to carry the railway over the River Calder.

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

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, is believed to be the oldest surviving example of properties built by a buildings society in the world.

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 recently opened a new wine and tapas bar, Fullaloves, 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.’

The town has a strong community feel and is very welcoming to visitors.

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.  Benjamin Lee – Owner Dog Inn said.   ‘Our ambition is to provide a combination of a warm welcome, hearty food and excellent local ales.’

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


For an introduction to the area, a visit to Old Station is a must, as it has been carefully converted to house the Heritage and Visitor Centre, along with a café.  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 and history trails.

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.  Ribble Valley is very lucky to host one of the last remaining independent cinemas.

Each year the town plays host to an annual art event called ‘Create Longridge’ which invites artists to capture local life in one day.  Artists produce landscapes, street scenes and abstracts.





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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.


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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Copyright - Ribble Valley Council 2019.