Clitheroe is an attractive market town in the Ribble Valley in East Lancashire, which claims to be at the geographic heart of England. It lies to the south of the Forest of Bowland and is the ideal staging post for visiting that area, known as 'Lancashire's hidden gem'.
It is well known for its Norman castle, dating back over 800 years and for great food and wine shops.
Clitheroe has a railway interchange, with hourly trains to Blackburn and Manchester (Victoria Station). It is also served by regular buses from Preston, the X80 and 280, which run hourly during the day.
- 1 Clitheroe Castle, Castle St, ☎ . which is often said to have the smallest Norman keep in England. It stands on a 35-metre outcrop of limestone and is one of the oldest buildings in Lancashire, and is surrounded by pleasant gardens and a park. It is also the only remaining castle in the county which had a royalist garrison during the English Civil War.
- 2 Browsholme Hall, Clitheroe Rd, ☎ . Open some summer weekends. The oldest surviving family home in Lancashire is the ancestral home of the Parker Family, who have lived there since it was built in 1507.
- 3 Sawley Abbey. The remains of a Cistercian abbey founded in 1148, set on the banks of the Ribble against a backdrop of dramatic hills. Free.
- 4 Whalley Abbey, The Sands, Whalley, ☎ . A 14th century Cistercian Abbey on the banks of the Calder.
- 5 Pendle Hill. summit is 557 metres (1,827 ft) above sea level. It is the centre of Lancashire Witch Country, and an important site for Quakers, as the place where, in 1652, George Fox had his vision to propagate his Quaker beliefs.
- 6 Stonyhurst College. Roman Catholic independent school, established 1593
- Wander through the main streets and experience a typical northern English market town, especially on market days. There has been a market in Clitheroe since Norman times. The market is open Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays, with a Flea market on Fridays.
- Platform Gallery. at the railway station - an excellent craft gallery.
- Ribble Valley Sculpture Trail. This includes over 20 interesting sculptures, plus interpretation boards about the area and its wildlife. The trail travels through Brungerley Park and Cross Hill Quarry, combining river and woodland walking with good views and wildlife in the nature reserve managed by the Lancashire Wildlife Trust. Starts less than a mile from Clitheroe town centre, heading north towards Waddington.
Clitheroe is well served by specialist shop, and an award-winning off-licence, D. Byrne & Co, on King Street. It also has an excellent Booths Supermarket - an institution in Lancashire.
A good choice of cafes and restaurants throughout the town.
- The award-winning Three Fishes, in the Ribble Valley, Mitton Rd., Mitton, nr. Whalley, BB7 9PQ, 01254 826888 is a pub restaurant serving Real Beer and Real Food.
Plenty of characterful inns and public houses in town.