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.

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.

Fascinating 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  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  Ribble Valley.

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 Ribble Valley are the village of Whalley and the iconic Pendle Hill so easily visible and explorable.

Truly Independent
Along the main street and cobbled side alleys there are numerous small and independent restaurants, bistros, wine merchants and delicatessens just waiting to be discovered. In fact, the village offers some of the finest dining experiences in Ribble Valley, ranging from afternoon teas to authentic Italian restaurants.
Whalley Wine Shop has won the Best Local Wine Shop in the Decanter World Wine Awards. Now in its 16th year, the Decanter World Wine Awards (DWWA) is the world’s largest and most influential wine competition. Judged by the top wine experts from around the globe, the DWWA is trusted internationally for its rigorous judging process, and celebrates creativity, drive and success in the wine industry. Visitors to The Whalley Wine Shop will experience a friendly and welcoming atmosphere from passionate and enthusiastic staff and much choice in wines, champagnes, spirits, craft beers and much more.

Rural charm
They say good things come in small packages—this certainly applies to the village of Whalley. 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.
Relatively new to Whalley is Ribble Valley’s only 24/7 luxury gym experience with state-of-the-art equipment. Run by PLM the ethos of the gym is a holistic approach to training, focusing on preventative health and wellbeing, education, goal setting and positive lifestyle changes.
Adjacent to PLM is another welcome new feature in Whalley, the Salvage House Collective, who describe themselves as the funkiest bunch of independent retailers, a barber & other creatives, and who are based in a converted industrial unit in Whalley. Dubbed ‘The Consortium of Cool’, here you will also find a regular pop-up bar with music and street food.


Whalley Local History Podcast

Want to learn more about the history of Whalley? Follow the link and listen to the podcast of Jean Lord narrating the history of the village on Spotify now.


Copyright - Ribble Valley Borough Council 2023.