It’s time to be a tourist in my own town and write a blog about Clitheroe !
So what exactly is there to do in this vibrant Ribble Valley market town nestled at the foot of Lancashire’s legendary Pendle Hill. Scroll down to find out. ⬇️
1. Wander Up The Second Smallest Castle Keep In England.
Yes! Clitheroe is home to England’s second smallest Castle Keep. Our tiny castle sits proudly on a grassy hill , enjoying commanding views of the town and surrounding fells. Built in the 12th century the Norman Limestone Keep resides over landscaped gardens and parkland. In the grounds there are also a bandstand, skate park and children’s playground. Hugo the labrador and I like to check on the Leaping Salmon sculpture in the former Rose Garden and then head for an ice cream at 3 C’s Indulgence Cafe .
2. Take A Tour Of The Castle Museum.
Also within the walls of Clitheroe Castle is the Clitheroe Castle Museum . Situated in the former Stewards House this family friendly attraction displays 350 million years of local history. Little Kids and Big Kids can pick up an Explorers Pack to take on a journey through time then decamp to the museum gift shop. And make sure you take a look in The Stewards Gallery nextdoor. The latest Free Exhibition news can be found here. 🚲
3. Explore The Towns Lovely Independent Shops.
Clitheroe is famous for its variety of independent shops, some such as Cowmans Famous Sausage Shop on Castle Street and D Byrne & Co Fine Wines on King Street are traditional town treasures. Newer foodie retailers have sprung up in recent years too. Check out Georgonzola Delicatessen and Bowland Food Hall for posh picnics and picky teas. And don’t forget to visit the town’s bustling market , which is open every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday.
If I’m looking for gift inspiration I love to browse in The Shop Of Hope for ethical & locally sorced wares, Number Ten Books for reading related gifts and Raffia or Roost for special treats. There are plenty of other lovely shops to have a nosy in as well, we are spoilt for choice. And do break up your browsing with a hot chocolate or coffee & cake in one of Clitheroes many friendly cafes. Check out this POST for ideas.
Did you know that Clitheroe is a top foodie destination? The Ribble Valley as a whole has a variety of renound countryside gastro pubs that regularly appear in Top Ten Best Eaterie Lists. Clitheroe will once again be hosting the areasfamous Food Festivalon Saturday the 30th of July, bringing the best of Lancashire’s locally sorced produce all together in its bustling streets and market place. I’m all for foodie posts so let’s continue. Read on…..
4. Enjoy Afternoon Tea On The Terrace At Tom’s Table.
On a warm Summers day what could be more decadent than partaking in a sumptuous afternoon tea on a sunny terrace. Toms Table at Lee Carter House is a French inspired bistro with a lovely outside area from where you can enjoy a light lunch or teatime treat. My sister and I loved Toms Afternoon Tea, which of course can be booked indoors too. From £20 per head. 🍰
5. Fill Up On Bottomless Brunch At Escape.
Those inspired folk over at at Escape have exciting plans for Summer! Already noted for their exquisite cocktails and Thursday Pizza nights, this rustic coffee & cocktail bar has recently opened an outdoor terrace. Yep we are definitely loving sun trap terraces in Clitheroe right now! And what better place to fill up on Boozy Bottomless Brunch. £30 per head.
6. Share A Sunday Platter At Brizola Bar & Grill.
Bringing a little bit of Greece to Clitheroe, Brizola Bar & Grill has recently won a Best Medetreanean Restaurant Award at the coveted Food Awards. Serving simple yet tasty Greek style dishes, this bijou eaterie does an amazing looking Sunday Platter. Book me in ! Find Brizola in the Swan Courtyard. £15 per person for the Sunday Platter.
7. Discover Clitheroe’s Many Bars, Old and New.
And there are alot! Clitheroe has a fantastic selection of varied pubs and bars, at least six of which only opened in the past two years. The pandemic doesn’t seem to have done our bar scene much harm. Here are a few suggestions.
Good For Real Ale & Cider ~ Settle down for a pint with the locals in a proper old fashioned pub, The New Inn on Parson Lane. Marvel at one of the country’s longest continuous bars at Bowland Beer Hall Holmes Mill , there are 42 handpulls. Enjoy your Craft Beers with Beer Snacks at The Beer Shack . Chill out with a local craft beer/cider/natural wine at Corto. Like your micro bar with live music? Head over to The Ale House .
Good For Gin & Cocktails ~ I love the cocktail menu at bijou bar The Parlour , it’s packed with parlour tricks. Escape are famous for their hand crafted cocktails. Flavourful gins and instagrammable interiors await at The Dispensary. Also on Moor Lane SauceBox know how to conjor up a cocktail. A little out of town, but worth the walk is The King’s Wine & Cocktail Bar.
Good For Other Stuff ~ Grab a comfy sofa and bottle of wine to share with friends at Parisian style brasserie & wine bar The Emporium . Make the most of the sunshine and people watch from the roof terrace at Maxwell’s Cafe & Wine Bar. Popular Brunch venue Jungle on Moor Lane is a lively bar on Saturday nights. Retro feels galore at The Old SchoolRoom. Plenty more pubs and bars in Clitheroe, so enjoy exploring. It’s the perfect town for a pub crawl !
8. Go Duck Pin Bowling At Holmes Mill.
I am waiting in anticipation for Clitheroes latest addition! Holmes Mill is opening a Duck Pin Bowling Alley in the Old Boiler House. According to the link above ‘ this new attraction will include four duckpin bowling lanes – similar to ten-pin bowling but the pins and bowling balls are smaller, the lanes are shorter, and the action is even more intense.’ As things stand now the alley is currently behind schedule. Let’s hope it opens soon…
9. Catch A Film At Everyman Cinema.
Also in the popular Holmes Mill Complex, my town is lucky enough to have a fabulous Picture House. If you love the comfort of curling up on a snug sofa whilst watching a film, having your food & drinks orders delivered to your seat and even hiding behind a cushion during a scary movie moment, then you will enjoy visiting Everyman Cinema , an evening there is such a treat! Food and drinks can also be eaten in the bar from The Speilburger Menu.
10. Buy A Piece Of Local Art.
There are several lovely art galleries in Clitheroe, where you can browse an eclectic selection of art by local artists. My favourite is Platform Gallery & Visitor Information Centre located by the railway Station, I love the cards there and have bought some cute gifts. There’s a list of the towns gallery’s and art studios on the Art Walk Website. Another arty event happening in Clitheroe Draw Clitheroe is a day of fun activities to inspire a love of drawing and art, pencil the 6th August in your diaries! Oh and don’t forget to check out local bar Corto and it’s Bog Art gallery.
11. Get Your Walking Boots On.
Clitheroe nestles at the foot of Pendle Hill , which at 557m is the highest point in the Ribble Valley. If you like a challenging hike, this Route will take you from the town, through fields and up Pendle, a mystical hill , famed for its association with both Quakers and Witches. Clitheroe is also on The Ribble Way, a long distance ramble that takes you along the River Ribble from its source in North Yorkshire to the Irish Sea. Shorter walks in Clitheroe can be enjoyed in Brungerley Park, which is home to a Nature Reserve and a Sculpture Trail , along the river at Edisford Bridge with its miniature railway or around Salthill Quarry Nature Reserve. There are numerous footpaths to explore!
I was looking for a short ( hopefully cow free ) local hike and I came across this 2.3 Mile Wildflower Meadow Walk , starting from the pretty Lancashire village of Slaidburn. Not sure the mileage mentioned is quite correct ,we ended up doing twice that amount! The directions took us on a wild goose chase a couple of times. Or maybe we just get lost easily. 😃
We arrived in Slaidburn about 9-30am on Sunday morning, unaware that we had visited on the day of a Vintage Steam Fair . The village car park was still quiet at that time though , so we found a space and set off to the cenotaph, the start of our route.
We turned right at the War Memorial and headed over the bridge and then through a kissing gate into a field on the right. Keeping the brook on our right , we headed across the field in completely the wrong direction. So best to ignore my instructions and follow the route link yourself, if you don’t want to get lost. 🙃
We saw several hares in the grass and it was also a privilege to hear and see lots of flying curlews and lapwings.
A stone track took us over another bridge and on the right we saw a farm gate with a purple Coronation Meadow Sign on it. Coronation Meadows is a Wildflower Meadow Restoration Project started by HRH The Prince Of Wales. Since the Queen’s Coronation ,Great Britain has lost a huge percentage of its naturally farmed meadows. This initiative started in 2013, aims to protect remaining wildflower meadows, create new ones and get people interested in them. There are now ninety Coronation Meadows in the country with Bell Sykes Farm representing the Ribble Valley.
Bell Sykes Farming methods have changed little over the years, hence their inclusion in the Coronation Meadows project. Seeds from the ancient pastures have been used to create new meadows, some are on the farm and others are elsewhere in Lancashire.
The meadows were looking resplendent, in them were thousands of buttercups and clover, ribwort plantain, self-heal and yellow rattle. I also spied one orchid, maybe there are more. The diversity of wildflowers encourages bees and butterflies. It was however very breezy on Sunday , so we didn’t actually see many.
Toward the end of the walk we passed through a couple more of Bell Sykes beautiful Coronation Meadows.
Once back in Slaidburn we had a coffee and piece of cake ( of course! ) sat outside the cafe that looks over the Village Green. By this time the Vintage Steam Fair was in full swing, rousing tunes piping from beautiful fairground organs. 😊 I shall leave you with a few photos.
So I do love a bit of online research, especially if it involves finding a gorgeous place to stay. I am lucky enough to live in a beautiful corner of Lancashire called The Ribble Valley ,famed for its lush green countryside and picture postcard villages. If I was a tourist in my own town, I think I would look to one of these lovely destinations for a couple of nights away. In fact my suitcase is already packed!
Coach & Horses, Bolton By Bowland. The Cinderella in me is always totally charmed whenever I see this lovely old coaching Inn with its pumpkin coach sign. Award winning food, micro brewery and seven stunning rooms complete with molten brown toiletries, bathrobes and coffee machines are features of a stay here. The village of Bolton By Bowland itself is very picturesque with two attractive greens, a tea shop and lots of countryside walks nearby. Dog friendly. coachandhorsesribblevalley.co.uk If you like the area The White Bull Inn at Gisburn is another option.
Nancroft Cottage, Mearley. Now you could say I’m biased , my cousin’s own this delightful holiday cottage. But my goodness they’ve really gone the extra mile to make Nancroft a welcoming place to stay. This 18th Century farmhouse sleeps 8 , has two bathrooms, a boot room, a wood burning stove , enclosed garden and lots of lovely home comforts. It’s located in the tiny hamlet of Mearley at the foot of mystical Pendle Hill. You feel remote here but are only a short drive into the bustling market town of Clitheroe with its Castle and other attractions. Two pubs are within walking distance. Dogs Welcome . Cottages.Com. Also nearby ~ The Chicken Shed At Knowle Top is a romantic retreat with panoramic views.
Ribble Valley Retreat, Langho. Fancy stopping in a beautiful Bell Tent in the lovely Ribble Valley countryside? These luxurious hideaways are tucked away on a working farm in Langho. I’m smitten! The tents have the most gorgeous interiors and also come with their own fire pits, bbqs and picnic benches. BBQ Packs and Breakfast Baskets are optional extras. The retreat is handily situated near the train station so short trips into nearby Whalley and Clitheroe are a must. Ribblevalleyretreat.co.uk If you enjoy glamping check out Wigwam Holidays , also in Langho.
Spinning Block Hotel At Holmes Mill, Clitheroe. If you prefer to be at the centre of things then this stylish hotel in a bustling former mill will be right up your street. There’s plenty here to entertain including a Food Hall, Bistro Restaurant, Beer Hall ( hosting one of the longest bars in Britain) and an Everyman Cinema. The hotels 39 rooms have a rustic yet luxurious feel and Beercations and Drink It Dry evenings are popular. Clitheroe itself has a wealth of independent shops, cafes and bars to explore. Holmesmill.co.uk The Spinning Block is just one of a selection of James Places Hotels in the area.
St Leonard’s Church, Old Langho. Now for something a little different. Have you ever thought about Champing? That’s Camping in a church by the way. Now I would love to do this, but my friends and family seem a little reluctant. I say , embrace the Quirky, it’s an Adventure! The Champing price includes the provision of Camp Beds, Chairs, Lanterns, Tea & Coffee making facilities and a loo! St Leonard’s is a pretty little church with some ornate features. There’s a lovely pub very close by and this could be an ideal base for exploring The Tolkien Trail, the scenic Ribble Valley did inspire Middle Earth you know. Dogs Welcome. Champing.co.ukTraditional Campsite options are numerous in the Ribble Valley. Angram Green Campsite between Worston and Downham is situated near where Whistle Down The Wind was filmed.
The Lawrence Hotel ~ Padiham. Were right on the edge of the Ribble Valley here, but I cannot resist including this elegant Boutique hotel in picturesque Padiham. The 14 design led rooms range from Snug to Suite and include handy luxuries such as Rainfall Showers, Fluffy Bathrobes and Alexas. There’s an in house no rush restaurant with some lovely looking menus ~ the afternoon tea one looks particularly divine. Take your time to explore the area, Pendle Hill, NT Gawthorpe Hall and The Singing Ringing Tree should be on your itinerary. Dogs Welcome. the Lawrence hotel.co.ukFeeling flush ~ why not try a gourmet break at Michelin Star Northcote Manor in Langho.
The Red Pump Inn ~ Bashall Eaves. I do love a welcoming country Inn and my little corner of Lancashire has plenty of them. The Red Pump at Bashall has a popular steakhouse, cosy real ale bar and eight chic French inspired bedrooms. And that’s not all. Further fabulous accommodation at the Red Pump comes in the form of several glamping yurts and shepherd huts. Nearby attractions include Bowland Wild Boar Park and Browsholme Hall. Dog Friendly. Redpumpinn.co.ukOther lovely country inns in the area include The Inn at Whitewell and The Higher Buck at Waddington.
Hedgerow Luxury Glamping ~ Newsholme. The adults only luxury pods on this gorgeous glamping site all come with their own private patio and hot tub. Each are individually styled and include fabulous touches such as Blue Tooth Speakers, Underfloor Heating and Rainforest Showers. If you can bare to leave your pod there are beautiful communal areas too including a firepit cabin and artisan store. Get to know the other residents at Hedgerow, there are chickens, alpaca, Swiss sheep and Highland Cows! And your base here is on the Lancashire/Yorkshire border, so plenty to explore. Hedgerowluxuryglamping.com Just over the border Peaks & Pods also provide glamping pods with hot tubs.
Otter’s Rest ~ Clitheroe. Let’s finish with a secret hideaway in Clitheroe, so secret I’m not quite sure of where it is… Doesn’t it look idyllic. This award nominated Eco House sits by the waterside, somewhere near Primrose Nature Reserve. Inside the lodge is cosy and stylish and completely in tune with its woodland surroundings. I love that there are two terraces where you can sit , relax and enjoy the tranquil sound of the babbling brook. There is definitely a good chance of seeing Kingfisher, Dippers or maybe even a shy Otter. And your only ten minutes walk into Clitheroe’s bustling town centre. Airbnb Pendle View Holiday Lodge at nearby Barrow also has an enviable waterside location.
Hope you like my Ten Choices for Lovely Places to Stay in the Ribble Valley.
Of course there are many many more too! It’s a wonderful area to explore.
Where would you choose to stay in the Ribble Valley? Have you any recommendations?
We got out for our first longish walk this year, a year which we started off by catching covid. Oh joy! Luckily for both Wil and I, our experience of the virus was pretty tame. We both had colds, runny noses and sneezed alot. We watched alot of Netflix. The End. Though I must admit, it was good to take our boots off when we finished this hike, it tired us out more than we care to admit….
Paythorne is a small village ( well more of a hamlet really) between Gisburn in the Ribble Valley and Hellifield in North Yorkshire. Theres not much there except a pub, a tiny Methodist church and a large Caravan Park. At the moment there is definitely some sort of dispute in the village regarding a proposal to extend the caravan park. Everywhere you look there are orange signs saying ‘ Say No To More Caravans ‘ , I think there are more signs than houses.
We parked in the village car park opposite the pub and set off. The walk is one of bridleways, fields and country lanes and is 6 or so miles long.
Ready for a gentle wander around Whalley? Here are a few photos from Sunday mornings stroll around this attractive Ribble Valley village, a couple of miles from my hometown of Clitheroe.
We parked near the impressive 48 arches of the red and blue bricked viaduct that spans the river Calder. Whalley Viaduct is the longest railway bridge in Lancashire and if you travel from Blackburn to Clitheroe by train, you will cross this impressive structure.
Nearby is the fourteenth century Whalley Abbey Gatehouse which belonged to the Cistercian abbey in the village. I can almost imagine the monks passing through the archway.
If you look closely in the trees around Whalley you may be surprised to see some life-like bird sculptures. Delighting those who spy them amongst the greenery, the wrens are lovingly handcrafted by a lady in the village. Most are sweet little wrens , but you never know who could be watching you from above.
A spot of quiet contemplation ? The peaceful garden of the English Church Of Martyrs nextdoor to Whalley Abbey is dotted with benches, full of flowers and there are several religious statues.
We head to the River Calder via the pretty stone terraces on Calder Vale.
Whalley Weir is a man made weir on the river and is said to be the reason why the monks of Whalley chose this spot for their abbey. It’s a tranquil place to watch the ducks. 🦆
Back in the village and here is the Old Grammar School, now used as a pre school and for adult education. The War memorial is a focal point.
Whalley has many independent shops and cafes, no shortage of places to stop for a brew. We headed over to Cafe Autisan at Whalley Abbey. They do a wonderful rocky road, demolished before I remembered that I should of taken a photograph. 🤣
Hope you enjoyed my bumble around a popular Ribble Valley village. 💖
The weather is so surprising at the moment. Blue skies then snow. Warm sunshine. Then snow. And repeat.
I am wondering what to wear for a week night beer garden drink. Looking in my wardrobe, I seriously haven’t bought any new going out clothes since 2019! Pjamas ~ yes. Walking pants~ yes. But no new tops or dresses. However I suspect I will still be frequenting my warm puffa jacket for any approaching social activities!
At present social activities still revolve around walking, so here are some photos from yesterday’s walk along the river to Chatburn and back. A repeat of a post I did earlier in the year, but a little more wildlife on display. 🙂
It’s not often that Wil and I have a week off work together and don’t book at least a few days away. . So recently it’s actually been quite nice for us to spend some time at home pottering, doing a few jobs and erm ….eating cheese!
We started our week with a ginormous order of cheese from Tipsy Cows in Great Harwood. Their amazing cheese bags are £35 and include a pie, pate, smoked sausage, crackers, bread, a bottle of wine, chutney, grapes and of course a shed load of cheese. Still getting through it now..
From Monday we were allowed to meet up with friends & family for outdoor walks again. We met up with my sister and the kids and walked further into the Dunsop Valley. A truelly beautiful place.
On Wednesday we decided to go up to our caravan in Cumbria, mostly to check that it was still in one piece. Luckily it was! And everywhere we went there were daffodillions of daffodils. On the way we stopped in Kirkby Lonsdale for a walk.
We turned the water back on at the caravan and gave it a quick spring clean. The weather was really warm.
Back in Clitheroe, the new Nature Reserve has opened at last. As we live nearby it has definitely become our go to place for a stroll with Hugo. One morning we bought breakfast from Marks Artisan Bakery on Whalley road after our walk. Sooo good! I am making a note of the wildlife I have spotted at the reserve, which includes Little Egret, Mallards, Teal, Grey Heron and Canada Geese. I will get working on a post soon.
On Good Friday we met some friends for a walk from Worston to Downham and back. We are so lucky to live in the lovely Ribble Valley and have definitely discovered lots of new local walks and rediscovered old favourites during the numerous lock downs.
There have also been less energetic pursuits. On Saturday I met some friends for a Hip flask walk. We didn’t get very far. From one bench to another in the local park..😀
We had planned to stay home on Easter Sunday and enjoy our new fire pit. 🔥
But after checking the weather forecast we realised we would have to head back up to the caravan again and drain it down. Forcasted minus 7 temperatures meant we had obviously been too previous in opening the van up for Spring. So here are some more lovely Easter views from Melmerby where the van is based.
We also called in at my Mum’s in Askham and had a brew in the garden. Got introduced to these cuties. ❤️
Today ( Easter Monday) the sky outside is deceptively blue. It is freezing out there! There was even a smattering of snow this morning.
I have posted about the lovely Dunsop Valley before but I couldn’t resist showing some images from a 5 mile walk on Sunday morning. Only 20 minutes drive from home, the scenic Trough Of Bowland is every bit as picturesque as the Dales of Yorkshire, yet this is a Lancashire gem through and through. The area can also claim to be the Centre Of The United Kingdom, though quite a few other settlements in Northumberland, Yorkshire and even Wales claim to be also. The weather was both blustery and calm, it didn’t really know what to do with itself….
A well deserved breakfast butty topped off the end of our walk from Puddleducks in Dunsop Bridge. 🦆
Well it’s been another weekend of walks and wanders. I can’t promise any different blog content really , Im not the crafty or cooking sort and I’ve really slowed down on my reading. Definitely looking forward to a change of scenery, whilst still appreciating how lucky I am to have so many local walks on my doorstep. The grass is always greener hey….
There are a couple of good walks groups on Facebook that I have been following over lockdown. Both have been quite informative and inspiring when it comes to planning where to go.
Lancashire Walks With Frank & Lee.
Ribble Valley Walking Forum.
One route I found via the forum was a circular walk that can either be started in Sawley or Chatburn. It takes in an old packhorse bridge and the ruins of Sawley Abbey. The Fairy Bridge was so cute. What a beauty. 😊
A popular Clitheroe walk takes in Brungerley park with the Ribble Valley Sculpture Trail at its heart. Recently some of the art works have had a well needed spruce up and a local community group ‘ The Hawthorn Placers’ have been brightening the walk further with colourful painted slabs. ❤️
There are lots of painted slabs to find. Should keep the kids busy in the Easter Holidays. 🙂
I have started tracking our walks on a free walking app called Relive. It makes handy little map videos of your hikes.
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