Tucked away in the heart of Lancashire’s Ribble Valley, Clitheroe is home to England’s smallest Norman castle. The ancient market town is also near the Forest of Bowland, one of Britain’s 46 Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty.
Things to do
Retrace over 800 years of history at Clitheroe Castle Museum, which stands high on Castle Hill in the shadow of the 12th-century keep. Dating back to the Saxon times, the museum’s intriguing galleries showcase the history and geology of the Ribble Valley. Climb the Castle Tower, relax in the Rose Garden and get lost in Lancashire Labyrinth.
Taste farm-fresh produce and artisanal goods, such as crumbly Lancashire cheese, at Clitheroe Country Market, held every Saturday. Discover an underground cellar at the award-winning Byrnes Wine Shop, sample artisanal beers at Bowland Brewery’s famous beer hall and choose from over 75 varieties of sausage at Cowman’s Famous Sausage Shop.
Follow one of the four Circular Walks through the cobbled streets of Clitheroe and the surrounding countryside. For panoramic views over the entire Ribble Valley, hike to the peak of Pendle Hill. After conquering the eight-kilometer circuit, enjoy traditional English tea at Browsholme Hall, a Heritage-listed estate in Bowland Forest.
Pop into the Longitude Art Gallery to discover local artistic talent from the North West. New exhibitions focusing on paintings and sculptures are staged every two months. Nearby, you can browse a chic curation of local crafts at The Keep, which offers ceramics, jewelry, soap and cards.
Blackpool Airport is a 40-minute drive or two-hour bus ride from Clitheroe. The village is connected to the major metropolises of Manchester, Liverpool and Leeds via the M65. Clitheroe can easily be explored on foot or by using buses or a bike.