Valley Days

For all ages, budgets & weathers!

Ribble Valley offers countless opportunities for fun days out. Be it feeding the ducks or tours of manor houses, there’s something to suit all ages, budgets and weathers. Here you’ll find our top ideas for days out. We hope they can serve as some guidance and inspiration—especially on those days where all you can think of is staying warm by the fire… or cooling down with an hourly ice cream!

For those of you without a car or who would like a day off from the driving, hop on one of the numerous local buses. Timetables can be picked up from The Platform Gallery Tourist Information Centre in Clitheroe and regular buses run throughout Ribble Valley.
We believe (and are sure you’ll agree) that Ribble Valley is so naturally beautiful that practically anywhere outside can be enjoyed on a sunny day. These ideas are simply a selection to get your imagination flowing. Likewise, no day is truly ruined by a bit of rain. Simply don your finest raincoat and wellies and brave the outdoors! Besides, you’ll never be too far away from a welcome cup of tea or a hostelry with a cosy log fire. Here are just a few ideas.


Holden Clough Nursery

Holden Clough Nursery is set in the idyllic hamlet of Holden near Bolton-by-Bowland and offers the ultimate gardening experience for visitors of all ages. A delightful and inspiring garden centre, it comes complete with a wholesome tearoom and gift shop. The Glasshouse at Holden Clough has become a shopping destination in itself. An eclectic emporium that takes you from unique antiques through to industrial chic, it is brimming with a fine selection of unusual houseplants. The Glasshouse is nestled between the plant nursery, where hardy plants can be purchased complete with expert advice and The Garden Kitchen, where the synergy between food and the garden meet.



Bowland Wild Boar Park
A wonderful day out for the whole family to get close to wildlife, at Bowland Wild Boar Park you can enjoy tractor rides and riverside walks. Throughout the year visitors can experience lamb feeding, chick holding and interactions with many different species of wildlife, including emus, red deer, wild boars and dozens more. There is an outdoor play area and a peaceful riverside café to enjoy and even camping pods, in case you would like to turn your day out into a weekend away in the countryside.

Cool down at Mrs Dowson’s Farm Park
Here you’ll find some of the best ice cream for miles around! Located just off the A59, Mrs Dowson’s is a perfect place to spend a sunny spring or summer’s day. Meet the goats, learn about alpacas and take a break from the excitement with a scrumptious homemade ice cream. Check the website for current and upcoming events, from feeding sessions to informative talks.

Step back in time at Ribchester Roman Museum
A museum rich in historical significance, when you visit Ribchester Roman Museum you are not only exploring an excellent interactive exhibition of Roman heritage, you are doing so whilst walking the same footsteps of the Roman Cavalry known as the Brematennacum. Suitable for the whole family, enjoy stepping back in time to 241BC and view the fort and settlement, as well as evidence of the original settlement and Roman Baths still standing throughout the village.

Clitheroe Castle Museum & Steward’s Art Gallery
Clitheroe is home to an early medieval castle, complete with an informative and family-friendly museum. The castle itself is open every day of the year and is free to enjoy. The views across the whole Ribble Valley are stunning. A journey through the museum, for which there is a charge, takes you through the history of the town, the rise and fall of Lancashire’s cotton industry and even a room dedicated to the Pendle witches. There is also the pleasant Steward’s Art Gallery next to the castle’s Atrium café, with changing exhibitions of local and international artists.

Feed the ducks at Dunsop Bridge
So much fun and oh-so-easy. Simply buy some duck feed at Puddleduck’s Café and head straight down to the river. Dunsop Bridge ducks are used to being hand-fed and children will love it as they get up-close-and-personal with the local feathered friends. Why not take a walk to the centre of the Kingdom while you’re there?

Venture up Pendle Hill
Let’s not take our marvellous scenery for granted! Pendle Hill makes for a breathtaking hill walk and the views you’ll enjoy from the top are second-to-none. Simply don your walking boots, pack a picnic for the family and hey-presto, you’re ready to go! As well as bumping into wildlife on the way, you’re bound to be treated to a gorgeous sunny backdrop. Think of the family photo opportunities! More 

Lose yourself in Spring Wood
Picnic mat? Check. Sunglasses? Check. Adventurous spirit? Check! A visit to Spring Wood provides fun for all the family. Let your kids roam around among the bluebells and butterflies while you sit back and relax with a book and a good dose of holiday spirit. Easily accessible from Whalley with ample parking, Spring Wood has various easy-to-follow paths ideal for dogs and walkers of all abilities.

Be spoilt for choice at Edisford Bridge
Edisford Bridge in Clitheroe is a popular riverside area for friends and families to meet up, especially over the summer months. In addition to a playground and miniature railway, there’s the wonderful River Ribble to bask in and footpaths along the river to follow.

Potter’s Barn, Ribchester
An independent, award-winning café in the heart of Ribchester, Potter’s Barn is known for its locally-sourced, traditional Lancashire fare and the chance for you to unwind and create your very own pottery painting in the café (no age limit!). Dog friendly and muddy boots welcome, it is the perfect place to relax and enjoy some wholesome and tasty local produce, and create a personal memento of the area to take home.


Brungerley Sculpture Trail
The Ribble Valley Sculpture Trail can be found just a short walk outside of Clitheroe town centre. Launched in 1993, the trail incorporates over 20 works of outdoor art, taking you through woodlands and grasslands along the way and gently descending down to the river. Leaflets of the trail can be found free of charge at The Platform Gallery Tourist Information Centre in Clitheroe.


Stonyhurst College
Founded in 1593, Stonyhurst College attracts visitors from far and wide. Set in the beautiful village of Hurst Green with its surrounding woodland and river, it makes for an inspiring backdrop for this majestic building. The interior of the school is indeed also rather special and tours are open to the public on selected dates throughout the year. The Old Chapel Museum in the school proves to be an exciting find, holding artefacts from various literary figures such as Shakespeare and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.
Check the website for specific dates at or ring 01254 826345.




Gisburn Forest 
Bask in the beauty of the Forest of Bowland and immerse yourself in the restorative power of nature. Gisburn Forest has lots to offer for a day in the great outdoors. Bring your own bikes or hire them on site and explore the four award-winning mountain bike trails throughout the forest. For venturing forth on your own two legs, there are six footpaths of differing lengths to explore, as well as wheelchair hire. Gisburn Forest has recently been named a Dark Sky Discovery Site and so it is the perfect location to witness the night sky unfolding.

Browsholme Hall
From May to September, every Wednesday, the public can visit this beautiful privately-owned Elizabethan home. With the Parker family still living there, Browsholme is Lancashire’s oldest family home, dating back 14 generations. Guests can view the magnificent interior and external architecture, as well as explore the Victorian gardens and further grounds, including a picturesque lake and woodland. Events are hosted here throughout the year, including gardening workshops, classic car events and Christmas fairs. Visit for more details.

Holmes Mill & Everyman Cinema
A popular venue in Clitheroe with visitors and locals alike, award-winning Holmes Mill is a stylishly restored textiles mill, food hub, and home to Bowland Brewery. Whilst being able to purchase dozens of different real ales from the beer hall’s famously long bar, you can also see the Bowland Brewery beer being made and even book onto a tour to see it first-hand. The Food Hall is brimming with local produce and there is also a fine patisserie and gelateria to indulge in. The newest edition to the Holmes Mill collection is the Everyman Cinema, an innovative take on the cinema experience, where the big screen can be enjoyed as you would at home, on a comfy sofa. Should you wish to make Holmes Mill your home for your visit, there is the industrial-inspired Spinning Block Hotel. Enjoy boutique en-suite bedrooms and an adjoining bistro, with speciality cocktails and an ever-changing seasonal menu in luxurious surroundings.


Whalley Abbey
Set in a quiet corner of the village of Whalley and on the banks of the River Calder, this 14th Century Cistercian abbey is well worth a visit. 

Ribble Valley

Visitors have free parking at the abbey and can explore the pretty grounds and enjoy the on-site Café Autisan. For a small fee, guests can be led round the abbey ruins in a guided tour by the monks. There are also spiritual and residential retreats throughout the year in this most peaceful of environments. For more information go to These are just a few ideas, for more go to

To find out about attractions and events across the rest of Lancashire go to

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