"Clitheroe, in the heart of the Ribble Valley" Clitheroe by MartinSelway

Clitheroe Travel Guide: 17 reviews and 90 photos


I have mainly created this page so that I can share details of one of the best country pubs in the country - the Calf's Head at Worston.

Clitheroe itself has much to commend it, and in due course I'll try and build up a few more tips for the Town and surrounding area.

Info from thisislancashire.co.uk

With market days on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday, Clitheroe is not only a honey pot for its 13,000 inhabitants but welcomes visitors from all over Lancashire.

The New Market was built in 1985 and consists of stone cabins and temporary stalls, the latter not operating on Thursdays.

The atmosphere has an ancient feel to it, which is excellent, because Clitheroe market dates back to the 12th century.

There are good car parks and a new and impressive interchange complex with buses and trains running at regular intervals.

The Victorian Waiting rooms and ticket office have been converted into a very impressive craft and arts centre.

Shopping is also impressive with a famous sausage shop and one of the country's best selections of wines offered for sale in a shop reminiscent of a Dickensian Christmas.

The modern outdoor market is already maturing to such an extent that it also resembles a Dickensian atmosphere.

Good food abounds in the town with old coaching inns still having their arches to remind us that Clitheroe was once an important stop along the old turnpike linking Lancashire and Yorkshire.

A shopping alleyway tucked away off the main street is a place to stroll, enjoy a quiet cup of coffee and look for that special present to delight those who deserve to be made happy.

Clitheroe, the second oldest borough in Lancashire, has an abundance of history. All these events are celebrated in the Castle Museum.

The settlement began life huddled under the protection of a fortification on a limestone knoll. The Ribble at this point is squeezed between the fells around Longridge to the east and Pendle to the west.

Between them there is a gap three miles wide and through which all traffic must pass. Two prominent reef knolls overlook these routes - Clitheroe Castle stands on one and the parish church of St Mary Magdalene on the other.

The site on which the castle now stands was already occupied when the invading Normans evicted Orme the Saxon.

Late in the 11th century the land between the Mersey and the Ribble was given by the Conqueror to Roger de Poitou but in 1102 he joined in a rebellion against William.

This failed and Roger lost all his lands, which were given to Robert de Lacy, and it was he who inspired the building of the present castle.

The Keep of Clitheroe Castle is less than 36 feet around and as such was the smallest in England. Size as we know is not everything because the castle's foundations were constructed on the limestone knoll and thus were immensely strong.

The castle saw its share of action. In 1138 the Scots swept through northern England and a battle was fought on the banks of the River Ribble.

King Stephen's Englishmen were routed by the Scots and the river is said to have run red with blood as the victors butchered some of the survivors.

Modern day Edisford is decidedly more peaceful with its car park shared between those who wish to stroll the footpaths and those who wish to swim in the heated pool.

There s a pleasant caravan park and an area of parkland, which has a playground, a very narrow gauge railway, a cafe and a picnic, site.

Edisford is a haven for anglers in pursuit of trout and salmon while historians seek to discover the remnants of a leper hospital founded by a de Lacy returning from the Crusades and wishing to provide solace for fellow sufferers.

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:shops, castle, countryside
  • In a nutshell:Beautifully situated rural market town
  • Last visit to Clitheroe: Oct 2004
  • Intro Updated May 9, 2016
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Reviews (2)

Comments (2)

  • nickandchris's Profile Photo
    Apr 25, 2005 at 10:22 AM

    Enjoyed your Clitheroe page. Very interesting. We visited a couple of years ago and loved the castle. Hopefully will return to explore more.

  • ettenaj's Profile Photo
    Oct 30, 2004 at 10:47 AM

    Lots of interesting facts here, but I think Martin you should write a book on "where and what to eat " I take it you are not on any kind of diet , hehe


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