The Ribble Valley
(view from the Chicken Shed)
The Ribble Valley is one of the U.K.’s best kept secrets. Within close distance of the Yorkshire Dales and the Lake District, it has a little bit of everything, dramatic landscapes, soft rolling hills, picturesque little villages and also a cultural hub in the bustling market town of Clitheroe.
The Ribble springs from the Dales and makes her meandering way to the sea by Lytham St. Anne. She is fed by the Hodder and Calder, and has seen the Celts, Romans, Normans and Saxons fight, settle, build garrisons or castles along its banks.
Today, the Borough is primarily agricultural. Low-scale eco-tourism brings visitors who enjoy to explore off the beaten path, away from crowds, at one with nature.
(5 minutes’ drive)
The market town is of a perfect size to have all the amenities, but small enough to show unique character. The town is nestled over the ruins of a Norman castle and brims with small shops and boutiques as well as cafes.
Follow the Clitheroe galleries on a walk:
(10 minutes’ drive)
The medieval town of Whalley on the River Calder has a Parish Church of note as well as a sizeable ruined Cistercian abbey
Take a Drive:
Yorkshire Dales Loop
The suggested drive from Settle shows you some of the most dramatic views in the Yorkshire Dales National Park. The roads are narrow and sheep will cross freely so the tempo is slow. Stop to admire Pen-y-Ghent, Ingleboro and Wernside, the Yorkshire 3 peaks. Follow the dry-stone walls and fells to the small villages of Lutton. Stop at Malham for a walk to Malham Cove and the waterfall which has a seasonal flow across a dramatic stone precipice. Add detours to Grassington for some crafts and gifts shopping, Bolton Abbey by the River Wharfe or pretty Gargrave before heading back down into Settle, a busy market town.
Trough of Bowland Loop
The drive through the Trough of Bowland is a must in North-Western England. Through the picturesque villages of Waddington you rise steeply into the moors and across Waddington Fell into the Hodder Valley. Cross the bridge at Newton and hold left towards Dunsop Bridge. Have a break at the Puddleducks Tea House, the “Centre of the UK” . Cross the Dunsop River towards the Trough of Bowland. When you come through the other side of the pass and climb uphill again, depending on the weather, you will be able to see the sea and Morecambe Bay with the Lake District behind. Take the loop arund the Forest of Bowland and find the road to Wray and then Bentham where Slaidburn will be signposted. Stop by the Great stone at Fourstones, which, as legend has it, was thrown there by the giant Fin Mac Cool. You’ll have a great view from there to the Yorkshire Three Peaks. The road will narrow uphill and take you through the wildest nooks of Bowland. When in Slaidburn, visit the Riverbank Tearooms next to a car park by the Hodder. You can either follow the road back to Newton-in-Bowland or go a different route back via Holden Clough and Sawley.