TOWNS & VILLAGES IN NORTH WEST ENGLAND
If you have any photographs of the towns/villages in question that you have taken I could include them on this page with an acknowledgement to the photographer
Cheshire, Lancashire, Greater Manchester, Merseyside, Wirral
With specialist shops lining the wide main street, Alderley Edge retains a welcoming, relaxed village atmosphere for both browsers and serious shoppers. Its hotels and restaurants offer high-quality hospitality for all visitors and one has recently staked a claim to have more than 200 types of champagne available.
Very much an individual town by comparison with the rest of the borough, Bollington's buildings made from the distinctive local Kerridge stone retain a village atmosphere. A gateway to the beauties of the Peak Distirct National Park, Bollington's remnants of industrial history, the splendid Adelphi and Clarence Mills, stand on the banks of the Macclesfield Canal, reminders of the town's heyday for the cotton industry. "White Nancy", a prominent landmark, stands on the Kerridge hills which form a backcloth to the town.
Chester - the Black and White Town. Pre-dating the modern multi-level shops by several centuries, the Rows in Chester are the first floor shops, forming a continuous upper gallery along the main streets. With the distinctive black and white timber work and oriel windows, the 19th century restorations of much older buildings still fit in wonderfully and enable you to enjoy a new style of pedestrian shopping. The Cross, a reconstruction of the 15th century crucifix, is the historic centre of the City. This was the centre of the Roman Camp layout, and is a wonderful place to watch the passing scene. Town Crier (also the City's Beadle) in full regalia, make regular announcements in summer. The cathedral is built in the distinctive red Cheshire sandstone. Walk the walls - the two mile circuit is almost complete; although the present walls are mainly from the Middle Ages, they have links to the planning of the city that date back to Roman Deva, which began in AD 79. At least part of the circuit should be on every visitor's plan - and the Grosvenor Clock on the bridge that takes the walls over busy Eastgate, is reputed to be the most photographed clock in the UK after Big Ben.
Congleton is an ancient market town and its history dates back to the Romans. The town was well known as an important manufacturer of leather, including purses and gloves during the 16th Century. A new era began in the town when a large silk mill opened in 1752 and employment was provided for about 500 people. Many of the churches in the town date back hundreds of years. Many of the mill buildings have now been taken over and used as shopping arcades.
Nestling against Lyme Park and on the fringe of the Peak District National Park, Disley's village centre clusters round a classical fountain (1823) and church, with restaurants and antique shops.
Great Budworth village is situated about eight miles south of Warrington and overlooked Budworth Mere. The village dates from Saxon times and the name means dwelling by the water. Great Budworth has black and white cottages which are typical of a Cheshire village and every house has its own character. The George and Dragon is the main village pub, the other three pubs are now private homes.
At the northern edge of the borough, its development as a residential area and, of recent years, as home to the large, attractive shopping complex of Handforth Dean, Handforth belies its historic origins as part of the estate of Urian Brereton, who built the historic, privately-owned picturesque Handford Hall in 1562.
Knutsford, an the historic town, is situated in the heart of Cheshire's rich countryside. It was formerly called Canutesford, so named after The Danish King Canute forded the river Lily in 1016. Knutsford is rich in history and the authoress Elizabeth Gaskell used to live there. Knutsford has had associations with Sir Henry Royce, Lord Clive of India, artist John Astley and the colourful character Trumpet Major Smith. The Heritage Centre, originally the town's smithy, has a display about Knutsford's past. Knutsford is full of intriguing alleyways, cobbled courtyards and ginnels that connect 'Top Street' to 'Bottom Street'. There are smaller unusual shops tucked away in these areas selling fine wines, cheeses and home-cured delights; art galleries, the Penny Farthing Museum and much more. Stroll around and discover the unusual Italianate style architecture around the town, the buildings being designed by Richard Harding Watt and add to the warmth and character of the surroundings. Take a walk on the Moor, feed the ducks, wander over to the Heath (originally a racecourse and now a recreational area where the crowning of Knutsford's Royal May Queen takes place following the annual May Day procession). Tatton Park, one of the National Trust's most visited country estates is situated in Knutsford. Arley Hall & Gardens andTabley House can also be visited.
Medieval Macclesfield is the principal town in the borough, among the 30 most wealthy in the county. Centuries of association with the silk industry have not only made the town and its buildings what they are, but have resulted in a trio of unique museums which feature working exhibits, social history and displays of the glamorous fabric. Cobbled streets and quaint old buildings stand side by side wiht a large pedestrianised shiopping centre, major stores and indoor and outdoor markets. Renowned for personal service and a wide range of family-owned specialist shops, the town has the reputation of providing for most needs. The famous and historic Arighi Bianchi store features furniture and furnishing for all. The former Hovis mill stands in Brook Street by the popular Macclesfield Canal. West Park houses the annual Family Fun Day in August when a whole Sunday's entirely free entertainment attracts families from miles around.
Malpas lies on the borders of England and Wales, an area which was fought over for many centuries by the English and Welsh. The Norman castle was situated behind St Oswald's church, and the mound on which it stood is still visible. St Oswald's Church dates from the 14th century and is set next to the site of where the castle once stood. Inside can be seen some medieval stone carving, a 13th century iron bound oak chest and some interesting early stained glass windows. There are two chapels in the church, one to the Cholmondeley family and the other to the Brereton family. There are other buildings worth having a look at, including the Market House, the 17th century tithe barn and the Cholmondeley almshouses built in 1721. The Red Lion was once visited by King James I in 1624 and the chair he used is still there. The tradition goes that if you sit in the chair you must pay one penny for the privilege or pay for a round of drinks for everyone.The Old Vaults Inn is another pub in the village.
A charming market town set beside the River Weaver with a rich history, a wealth of beautiful timber-framed buildings, a wide range of over 250 speciality shops and one of the finest mediaeval town churches in Britain. Beautiful floral displays and lively street entertainment make Nantwich a pleasant and friendly place to visit for shopping, sightseeing or both. There are pleasant walks along the River Weaver and Nantwich Lake, including picnic areas. The Shropshire Union Canal forms a boundary to the town and facilities exist for boat hire, moorings and chandlery at Nantwich Marina. The canal provides opportunities for fishing, boating or just enjoying the peace of the countryside by walking the towpath.
A thriving small town with a pleasant shopping centre and many links to its historic past as a small mining village. Recreational walkways (inclines) have been formed along old colliery railway trackbeds, linking into the Middlewood Way, and there is a Poynton Farm Trail, too. The Park, with its large pool, is home to a popular agricultural and horticultural show every August. The Anson Museum tells the local story and also has a fine collection of gas engines. On the main road the restored fountain commemorates Queen Victoria's Jubilee. The Brookside Garden Centre houses a Miniature Railway and Museum, open all year round.
This unspoilt picturesque village on the River Bollin with historic inns and renowned restaurants, galleries and shops, is a happy hunting ground for discriminating visitors. Some buildings date from the fourteenth century and there is a fine Norman Chapel next to the parish church.
Retaining a village atmosphere, Wilmslow has a reputation for sophisticated modern shops which surround a fashionable department store, together with a range of restaurants suiting all tastes. "Lindow Man", now in the British Museum, was discovered in peat workings at nearby Lindow Common. The smallest tourism attraction in the country, "Romany's Caravan" draws visitors with happy memories of BBC Children's Hour programmes to its site in the town centre.
Cheshire, Lancashire, Greater Manchester, Merseyside, Wirral
Accrington means 'place where acorns are found'. Today it is an attractive stone-built town, surrounded by green hills. Discover more about it's history by following the Accrington Acorn Trail, a self-guided walk around the town. Learn where Accrington Football Club, founder members of the Football League and forerunners of the world famous Accrington Stanley, first met. The Accrington Pals - Accrington was the smallest town in Britain to raise a battalion during World War 1. Tragically at the Battle of the Somme, 235 Pals died and 350 were wounded in just 20 minutes as they tried to cross 'No Man's Land'. Their story was turned into a dramatic play by Peter Whelan.
Situated at the southern most edge of the district, Adlington evolved as a 'cotton' village. The Leeds and Liverpool Canal runs through Adlington. Red house Bridge originally housed a small community of the boatmen who transported cargoes on the canal. Today the White Bear Marina is a major local boating centre with moorings and a chandlery with shops and pubs nearby.
Altham village dates back to Saxon times and is now a conservation area. The picturesque Parish Church of St James is mainly 16th century with a 19th century tower. The splendid interior boasts several Norman features, including a font. The Walton Arms is a former coaching inn and dates back to Tudor times. Nearby is Altham Corn Mill, Mill House and Cottages. The present structure dates from 1816, though there have been mills on the site since the 12th century. Milling ceased in 1880. Beyond the village, the neo-Gothic Moor Side House (1830) was once the home of Lydia Becker, a pioneer of the Women's Suffrage Movement. At Whinney Hill is the famous Accrington Brick and Tile Company. Brickmaking is still carried out at the site, with 'specials' still being handmade by craftsmen.
A tiny riverside hamlet made famous every 21 years when the gigantic Aughton Pudding is baked over a celebratory weekend. The pudding is the world's largest.
Recognised by English Heritage as the best preserved cotton mill town in Britain. The towns colourful history has been beautifully restored and includes the shortest street in Britain. The market is on Wednesdays and Saturdays and is full of colourful Lancashire characters. In the centre of town, the Bacup Natural History Museum contains a varied and overflowing collection of 19th Century relics as well as case after case of butterflies and archaeological specimens. Surrounded by sweeping moorland, Bacup is an ideal base for exploring the South Pennines.
Barley is a pleasant village located at the foot of Pendle Hill. Its position provides an ideal starting point for Pendle Hill as well as for walks around Ogden and Black Moss Reservoirs. Facilities include a picnic area by the river and visitor information centre. The village is well serviced by the Barley Mow restaurant and the Pendle Inn.
Barnoldswick is a very pleasant town retaining much of its character. Industrialisation came comparatively late and it was well planned and orderly, avoiding the rapid growth in factories and attendant slum dwellings which affected so many northern towns and cities. Barnoldswick has largely managed to retain its architectural heritage and therefore much of its character. It has narrow alleyways, historic cottages, interesting old pubs and some lovely traditional shops situated around a newly constructed, sensitively designed square. Pleasantly compact and with the countryside only a few minutes' walk away, Barnoldswick has an atmosphere which attracts people from larger towns to shop.A Town Trail is available from the Tourist Information.
Barrowford is full of architectural interest. You can see 17th and 18th century farmhouses and handloom weavers' cottages alonside the later 19th and 20th century mills. Pendle Water streams through the centre of the settlement past historic Park Hill, home of the Pendle Heritage Centre and the beginning of the Pendle Way.
BILLINGTON AND LANGHO
This parish can trace its history to Saxon times when, in the year AD 798 a battle was fought at Billanghahoh the names Billington and Langho were derived. The Church at Old Langho, which was built of stone taken form the ruins of Whalley Abbey, is of great antiquity, for it is recorded that in 1684 John Slater of Billington contributed to the endowment of Langho Chapel. Today Billington is quite a flourishing community; there are about 30 farms engaged mainly with cattle. From the Old Whalley Road, which runs across a high ridge of land facing Longridge Fells there is an extensive view, not only of the Ribble Valley but some of the higher peaks of hte Pennine Range.
Situated on the banks of the Lancaster Canal it is always popular for lazy walks along the towpath or a relaxing sail on a canal boat. There are many hostelries to choose from and places to stay such as Guy's Thatched Hamlet and Olde Duncombe House.
At the gateway to Lancashire’s Hill Country, the Borough of Blackburn with Darwen comprises two thirds countryside – mostly open moorland with dramatic vistas, tranquil reservoirs, gentle farmland and wooded valleys. This is walking country, and whether it is a short stroll down a leafy lane, or a more strenuous walk to Darwen Tower, there is an opportunity to take life at your own pace and enjoy the great outdoors. The recently refurbished Blackburn Shopping Centre plays host to an extensive range of over 130 shops and stores and this extends to the adjacent areas, where major high street names mingle with established locally-owned shops of character. Experience the special atmosphere of a traditional market with the bustle for bargains and background of friendly banter. Visit Lancashire’s only Anglican Cathedral with its distinctive lantern tower, rebuilt in 1998 which gives an added magnificence. Look in at Blackburn Museum and Art Gallery.
Blacko is on the old turnpike road to Gisburn and has magnificent views across the meadows to Pendle Hill. Overlooking the village is the intriguing Blacko Tower, and below is the popular picnic spot of the Watermeetings.
Blackpool is certainly a fun-filled resort and is among the largest in England. You can wander along the famous Golden Mile in and out of luxurious arcades packed with the latest attractions, visit the Sea Life Centre or take the lift up Blackpool Tower and take the Walk of Faith. Beneath the tower are seven floors offering live entertainment throughout the day, including the Tower Circus. You have missed a treat if you have never seen the splendour of the Ballroom with its mighty Wurlitzer organ. Blackpool Pleasure Beach with the Big One rollercoaster is Britain's busiest tourist attraction, and draws 7.5 million visitors a year. Blackpool has not just one, but three piers offering various attractions. Stanley Park has pathways galore, a large lake where you can hire a boat, a playground, pitch and putt, tennis, crown green bowling and crazy golf. Nearby is the Model Village and the Zoo Park a 32 acre animal kingdom. There are very few places now where you can ride on a tram and here you can ride for 12 miles from Squires Gate at the south side of Blackpool to Fleetwood. There is plenty to occupy you in the evening as well, with nightclubs, fun pubs and shows. Visit Blackpool in the Autumn and see the famous illuminations, with a six mile string of shimmering light.
The lovely sandy beach with the famous Blackpool Tower
BOLTON BY BOWLAND
Visitors cannot fail to fall in love with this typical English village. Village green, stone cross, old stocks, cared for cottages, inn and babbling brook give Bolton-by-Bowland a charm of its own. The parish church, dedicated to St Peter and St Paul, is well worth a visit and contains the Pudsay tomb, one of the most remarkable monuments to be seen in any church. Its limestone slab engraved with the figure of Sir Ralph Pudsay, his head resting on two deer. With beautiful scenery and winding lanes, this rural area is a must for visitors, whether exploring by car, foot or cycle.
The picturesque hamlet of Briercliffe is situated approximately three miles north of Burnley with views over the Thursden Valley. This stone-built community was once a centre for the cotton industry and contains many interesting and historic buildings dating from the period.
Nestling in a basin between the River Calder and the River Brun, and surrounded by hills and moorland, Burnley is a town full of surprises. The dirty mill chimneys and slag heaps of the industrial past have long since gone, and Burnley is a modern and thriving town of the 90s.There are a contrasting attractions from industrial archaeology to stately homes, from a bird conservation centre to a children’s fun house. There is something for all tastes and ages. You are never more than five minutes away from the beautiful Lancashire countryside and with walks, including the 40 mile Burnley Way, surrounding the town you will be able to experience “A Town Amidst the Pennines” for yourself. Pendle Hill dominates the town. At 1,831 feet Pendle Hill is not quite a mountain yet it is big enough to inspire all who see it with its magical, mysterious tales of the Pendle Witches, who were accused, tried and executed for witchcraft in the 17th century. Pendle Hill provides fascinating walks over its springy turf and tussocks of moorland grass. It is home to an abundance of wildlife, from grouse and curlew to hare and fox, and once you get to the sumit you can see for miles to Blackpool Tower, the Lake District and the Yorkshire Dales.
Bury has an extensive selection of shops, with both local and national high street retailers, as well as very popular indoor and outdoor markets. The Art Gallery and Museum accommodates many famous and interesting exhibits. The Met Arts Centre is host to many regular music and theatre events. There is a transport museum at Castlecroft. A 15 minute walk, or short bus journey up the valley will take you to Burrs, a country park, popular for canoeing and possessing a wealth of interest for its industrial archaeology.
A delightful village in a beautful steep-sided wooded valley. Terraced cottages cluster round the mill which was built in 1835 to weave cotton and is still in use today, although the River Calder no longer provides the power. The open greens that lead down to the river together with the wealth of trees adds to Calder Vale's charm.
Situated in the north of the County of Lancashire, this beautiful area combines superb countryside and coast with a rich and fascinating history. It has important international connections being the ancestral home of George Washington. Dominated by Warton Crag the area encompasses towns and villages such as Carnforth, Warton, Yealand Conyers and Beetham – each with their own distinctive character. It is widely believed Carnforth derived its name from its position by the ford crossing the River Keer. Settled by invading Danes, many of the place names in the surrounding district suggest Scandinavian origin – Hallgarth, Grisedale and Thrang End are examples. Shifts in the salt marsh occasionally reveal shipyard artefacts including remnants of tools and half wrought ship yard timber. Carnforth railway station was the location for the filming of the well know film ‘Brief Encounter’ starring Trevor Howard and Celia Johnston. A range of specialist shops, newly refurbished War Memorial Square and pubs and restaurants make Carnforth the ideal base for a tour of the area and a gateway to the Lake District.
Chatburn is 400 feet above sea level, situated in a hollow between two ridges which slope towards the Ribble just off the A59 Clitheroe to Skipton road on the outskirts of Clitheroe. The stately spire of the Parish Church dominates the building which was erected about 1838. The line of the Roman road between Ribchester and Ilkely, built two thousand years ago, lies between Chatburn and Worston to where it crossed Heys Brook. A large quantity of Roman coins was discovered here in the eighteenth century. The village also boasts two excellent pubs, The Brown Cow and the Black Bull, which was built in 1855.
A picturesque village on the slopes above the River Loud, in Medieval days no less than five water mills were sited along Chipping beck. This is a conservation area with stonebuilt cottages. Several attractive inns are to be found in the village centre. Lizzy Dean was a serving wench at the Sun Inn. She was engaged to be married to a local man. On the morning of her wedding, on hearing the church bells, she looked out of the window of her room in the Sun Inn and saw her bridegroom leaving the church with another bride on his arm. She hanged herself in the attic of the pub. Her last request was that her grave be dug in the path to the church so that her ex-boyfriend had to walk over it every Sunday. She died in 1835 aged 20 and is said to haunt the Sun Inn.
Chorley has a history as deep as England itself. This is no more evident than in the area's stately homes, parks and gardens. Located in the centre of the town Astley Hall is a charming country house, built around a timber-framed courtyard, dating back to the 16th century. If antiques and crafts are more to your liking then a visit to one of the local galleries is a must. The Park Hall Hotel is the venue for the North West's largest antiques and crafts fair held every Sunday. There are two markets in Chorley. The covered market is renowned throughout the area for the quality of its fruit and vegetables together with a variety of household goods and bric-a brac. Known as the Flat Iron, the open-air market is the best in the North West with more than 100 stalls displaying a wide selection of goods every Tuesday. Popular with locals and visitors alike, the Flat Iron attracts coach trips from all over the North West.
Named after the temporary church established by Oswald, King of Northumbria as he travelled south to battle. A community later grew up, taking its name from what was almost certainly its first building. The oldest part of Church Kirk today dates back to the latter half of the fourteenth century and the masive masonry of the tower bears witness to its use as a watch tower. The church also features two beautiful art nouveau windows, designed by the renowned Edward Burns Jones.
One of the oldest villages in Wyre with a cobbled square and market cross leading to the magnificent church of St Helens - known as the Cathedral of the Fylde. This picturesque village is the venue for the colourful Country Market and Flower Festival held every August.
Claughton was a Saxon town, featuring St Chads Church, founded in the time of Henry I. The oldest of the two bells in the church date from 1296 and is thought to be the oldest in the country. There is a brickworks founded in 1886. The quarrying is up in the hills to the south and an aerial ropeway carries the clay down to the factory. Lane Cottage has a plaque stating "Great Storm - waterline - 8th August 1967" from the torrential storm that also swept away many cottages in nearby Wray. The line is at neck height!!
Between Accrington and Great Harwood is Clayton-le-Moors, 'clay town in the moors'. The areas clay led to growth of brick making. Marshall's Clay Products, based at nearby Altham, still make bricks today, including the world famous red Accrington NORI bricks. Other industries that contributed to the growth of Clayton were calico printing and soap manufacture, including the famous Dr Lovelace's floating soap.
The jewel in the Ribble Valley crown is undoubtedly the busy market town of Clitheroe, with its old character and customs. It is the centre for all aspects of the Valley’s life. Clitheroe is a shopper’s paradise, it has a wide variety of outlets, many of them run by the same families for generations, and it is easy to see why it has been singled out for praise in the past by the national media. There is everything, from specialist wines and world famous sausages to supermarkets and fashion outlets. The town is watched over by its ancient Norman castle, perched on a massive rock of limestone at its centre. Its grounds are a central meeting point for townsfolk and visitors alike. With formal gardens, tennis courts, a bowling green, a summerhouse restaurant, a museum and an open air auditorium and bandstand, there is something for everyone. Also be found in the town are picnic areas, a swimming pool and the Civic Hall Cinema. Steeped in history, Clitheroe has much to offer the day visitor, or indeed anyone who chooses to use the town as a resting place when exploring the rest of the valley.
Set between Chorley and Wigan, this was formerly a coal-mining area. Chisnall Hall colliery, now closed, was long regarded asa model of merchanisation in the County. It has now been reclaimed for agriculture and as an open space. Coppull Ring mill with its distinctive dome is a notable building which is now the local Enterprise Centre. The mill lodge has also been preserved. The Yarrow Valley Country Park which incorporates the reclaimed lodges of the former Bleach Works is just to the north of Coppull.
Strong links with agriculture and farming are still vibrantly apparent in this delightful area. Town Bridge and Church Street are recognised as being symbolic of great architectural and cultural merit, with the latter being described as 'probably the finest example of a Lancashire Village Street'. Delightful open farmlands actually extend into the centre of the village.
Darwen is surrounded by the West Pennine Moors, and offers a traditional shopping experience where a warm welcome awaits the visitor. Darwen market serves as a focal point for the whole town with its five day and three day market. A local landmark is Darwen Tower offering superb views over the West Pennine Moors and beyond. Seven miles of footpaths in a natural woodland setting can be experienced at Sunnyhurst Wood, Darwen where the Old Keeper’s Cottage now serves as a visitor centre. The town of Darwen has featured on BBC television as the home of private detective Hetty Wainthropp in the series “Hetty Wainthropp Investigates”, starring Patricia Routledge. Filming for the series took place in the town and surrounding area. Locally, Blackburn station and the offices of BBC Radio Lancashire were used as film sets. Further afield, the towns and attractions of East Lancashire have provided a varied backdrop for filming Hetty’s detective exploits.
One of Lancashire's loveliest villages, Downham is home to Lord and Lady Clitheroe and is dominated by the ancient church of St Leonard, with its 15th Century tower which, according to legend, houses three bells brought from Whalley Abbey. The village was used as the location for the film "Whistle Down the Wind" and, with its babbling brook, splendid views towards Pendle Hill and post office which doubles as a tourist information centre it is not to be missed.
Dunsop Bridge, in the Ribble Valley, has been officially declared by Ordnance Survey as the nearest village to the exact centre of the British Isles. On the riverside green there is a commemorative public telephone box to mark the spot. This spot is a popular starting point for country walkers. From the church the road leads to Sykes Farm and then climbs to the summit of the pass where lies the boundary stone between Lancashire and Yorkshire. It was this same route that the Lancashire Witches were taken to their trial at Lancaster Castle. Dunsop Bridge is the entrance to the famous Trough of Bowland. Lovely winding paths from here through the moors to Lancaster are popular with thousands of fell walkers. At St Hubert's Church the painting of a horse on the ceiling above the altar is supposed to be of the Derby winner "Kettledrum". Owned by the Towneley family it is said that the church was paid for with the horse's winnings.
The riverside park at Edisford, just outside Clitheroe on the Longridge road, is a popular leisure spot with children's swings, a miniature steam train on summer Sundays, picnic areas, walks and an opportunity to paddle in the river. Alongside the park is the Roefield leisure centre, Ribblesdale swimming pool and an indoor tennis centre.
Fleetwood is a thriving seaside resort and busy port with a traditional pier, a beautiful harbour yacht marina and a promenade packed full of attractions. Fleetwood has the only original main street tramway in Britain; it has a lighthouse in the middle of the road and is home to the world famous “Fisherman’s Friend” lozenges. The town has an assortment of attractions including a modern boating lake and model yachting pool where many colourful regattas are held throughout the year. Although the fishing industry may not be as large as it once was the nautical theme is not lost. An assortment of ships and leisure craft sail in and out of the harbour daily and visitors can send boxed kippers home as a tasty reminder of their stay in Fleetwood. Fleetwood is a shoppers delight with a discounted shopping village, factory outlets and Fleetwood’s traditional market with stalls both indoor and out. Visitors flock to Fleetwood each year for its colourful events such as Tram Sunday and the Fylde Folk Festival. Whether you want peace and quiet, an interesting day out or somewhere to keep the most active children entertained, it’s all in Fleetwood.
A picture showing Fleetwood's colourful trams. Take a trip to Blackpool
Foulridge is a small community centred on a picturesque village green surrounded by weavers’ cottages. You can walk around Lake Burwain and the Leeds Liverpool canal passes the village and goes through the historic Mile Tunnel, the longest in Britain. Take a sail along the Canal.
Whose name means "fore enclosure" or "fenced-in-place" is a very ancient township. It dates back to the Domesday Book where it was mentioned as "Fortune". Today it is divided by the A6 with the western side having most of the village including the school and amenity area and another north-south transport corridor, the Lancaster Canal. To the east of the A6 is Hollins Lane which was the original coach route from Lancaster to Preston. A mixture of stone and brick cottages flank Hollins Lane and the landscape changes to woodland and rolling hills leading eventually towards the Forest of Bowland Fells.
Freckleton is an old settlement mentioned in the Domesday Book. It stands now as a thriving area, thanks in part to the British Aerospace Aerodrome situated in neighbouring Warton. It is possible to join the Lancashire Coastal Way at Freckleton for a walk along the Ribble Estuary.
Just minutes away from the coast, the Fylde countryside offers a very different perspective to your holiday. The towns and villages trace their history back hundreds of years. Kirkham received a Manor Charter in 1296 and Singleton is recorded in the Domesday Book. Surrounded by farmland, the Fylde’s villages have their own special attraction. Weeton-with-Preese is the site of a bronze age archeological find and Elswick’s 17th century non-conformist Chapel is the oldest in Lancashire. The thatched cottages of Treales, Roseacre and Wharles, Freckleton’s annual music Festival and the remains of a 17th century post Mill at Warton all add to the charm of rural Fylde. There is a village green and duck pond at Wrea Green. The Cartford Toll Bridge at Little Eccleston provides the northerly exist from the parish over the River Wyre. Clifton-with-Salwick and Newton-with-Scales both boast excellent hospitality at their traditional village pubs and Thisleton and Westby with Plumpton have their roots very firmly in the agricultural community. Fylde’s ‘windmill’ connection is evident at Staining where a 200 year old example is now a private house.
Garstang is the gateway to some of the finest countryside in the North West with walking routes that run through beautiful fields and woodland at the edge of the River Wyre and the picturesque Lancaster Canal. Once referred to as “Cherstanc” in the Domesday book, Garstang combines a happy blend of old and new with historic buildings and quaint alleyways alongside high street stores, exclusive restaurants and cosy country inns. Back in the 18th century Garstang was a popular stopping point for coaches en route from London to Edinburgh and the traditional market which still takes place every Thursday dates back to 1310 and the days of Edward II. With over 70 stalls lining the length of the high street it is as popular today as it has always been. The rural villages dotted around the outskirts of the town each have a charm and character of their own with whitewashed cottages, well kept farmhouses, country craft shops and village stores. Garstang is the gateway to the Forest of Bowland, where walkers can explore Harrisend Fell, Bleasdale, Fairsnape and Parlick as well as picturesque countryside villages of Scorton, Caldervale and Oakenclough.
Relax by the river after doing your shopping at Garstang market and visiting its many shops
Straddled aside the A59, between Clitheroe and Skipton, it is home to a large and long-established auction mart, which is the focal point for the farming community from miles around. Hotels include the Ribblesdale Arms, dating back to 1635, and the newly-restored White Bull, reputedly named after hornless wild cattle. The parish church has Norman windows and arch and stained glass dating back to the 14th century. Guy of Gisburne, of Robin Hood fame was said to have come from here.
A picturesque village with its own individual charm of country pubs and tea rooms. Every Wednesday enjoy the banter and bargains of the traditional outdoor market in the village square.
Situated to the north east of Preston, visitors can purchase the local fayre of Goosnargh Cakes. In the village is the late medieval Church of St Mary's in which can be found a well preserved register dating back to the early 1600s. On the outskirts of the village stands Chingle Hall. Built in 1620 and the birthplace of St John Wall, it is reputed to be one of the most haunted houses in England.
There is a record of a church at Great Harwood as early as 1335 when it was governed from Blackburn and then known as St Laurence’s Chapel. The area must have been rich in terms of agriculture (and almost certainly textiles) and the monks of Whalley Abbey were determined to own it, but they were always beaten off by the influential Hesketh family who then lived at Martholme, which is now privately owned. The disused railway line is now a splendid walk, a sort of linear nature reserve at its best in may when the bluebells are seen to perfection. Another excellent walk starts from Great Harwood Church (dedicated to St Bartholomew in the 15th century) and is signed to Whalley and the Nab. Time, however, should be spent exploring this wonderful church and the town of Great Harwood which is best pronounced at Harrod as in the famous London store but dropping the ‘H’. Great Harwood, slowly from the start of the Industrial Revolution and then quickly following the coming of the railway in 1877, developed from a pretty village to a busy town. The heart of the village however, still remains around the church and the old footpaths to Whalley can still be traced. The Mercer Memorial Clock Tower was erected in memory of a local man, John Mercer, who invented the Mercerisation process for cotton.
Grindleton commands a wide panoramic vista of the Ribble Valley and Pendle Hill. Many of the houses hugging the hillside were originally weavers cottages, dating from the pre-industrial days when all cloth was produced on handlooms and often transported by pack horse over the fells to market. The village has two well establishe public houses, the Duke of York and the Buck Inn.
Hambleton is situated just north of the Shard Bridge on the edge of the Wyre Estuary. The village has an interesting mixture of old properties blending with new. The parish church is dedicated to the Blessed Virgin Mary and boasts an elegant silver spire. Wardleys Creek on the Wyre Estuary at Hambleton was a small port under the control of Poulton many years ago - today Wardleys is exclusively a marina for pleasure craft overlooked by Wardleys Riverside Pub.
Haslingden market dates back to 1676 when King Charlesd II granted the right to charge tolls and stallage. It is a bustling town, an ideal base for walking out onto the stunning Haslingden Grane or West Pennine Moors. Only a few minutes away are the Helmshore Textile Museums, internationally famous for their collection of early textile machinery. These working museums are fabulous examples of Britain’s industrial past.
This small village near to Padiham saw pioneering work on electrical power, and it is believed to have been the first place with electric street lighting The remains of the old hunting lodge of the Towneley family still survives on the moor above the village, but of the old Hapton Castle nothing remains but the site, though that is a spectacular one of the edge of a wooded gorge.
Features the award winning Helmshore Textile Museums and millshops. Stroll along the riverside and enjoy the countryside and wildlife.
HESKETH WITH BECCONSALL
The most northerly parish in th district of West Lancashire has a lengthy foreshore along the south bank of the Ribble and also extends along the west bank of the River Douglas. Eskyth as in Hesketh Bank, is Scandinavian for racecourse. Not that there is a racecourse in Hesketh Bank today but time was when a bygone lord of the manor held horse races in the sands at the confluence of the Rivers Ribble and Douglas. It is now predominantly a market gardening area, once largely waste and marshland, washed at high tide by the sea.
Visitors to Heysham Village enjoy the colourful and varied outdoor stalls which line Main Street. Heysham is an old settlement and the name can be traced back as far as the Domesday Survey of 1086. Indeed, with centuries-old fishing cottages proudly displaying evidence of their age, chapel ruins and unspoilt cliff tops, there is plenty of scope for celebrating its rich history. The ruins of St Patrick's Chapel, standing on the rocky headland above Half Moon Bay in Lower Heysham, and St Peter's Church clustered just below it, both date back to the Saxon period. The Chapel was thought to have been a private place of worship for a medieval landowner of the area and there is evidence of one of the earliest Christian communities in northern England. A unique feature is a set of stone 'coffins' which provide an eerie reminder of the religious practices of the past.
The Rocks at Heysham
Hoddlesden nestles in a valley two miles east of Darwen. It is centred around a lovely square and separated from the town by the Blacksnape ridge. ~An old millstone has been positioned in the cobbled forecourt in front of the "Ranken Arms", at the junction of Queen Street and Carus Avenue in the centre of the village. The millstone had been lying on the river bank outside Lower Darwen Paper Mill until it was cleaned and suitably engraved to form a permanent memorial in the village.
This is another parish with long historical associatons, mostly linked with Hoghton Tower which was erected between 1562 and 1565 by Thomas de Hoghton, replacing an earlier manor house. Its lords have maintained an unbroken line of descent from pre-Norman days, the baronetcy being the second oldest in the kingdom. Legend has it that King James I, when dining there, knighted a fine loin of beef which appeared on the table, and an inn within the parish is now called 'The Sirloin' in remembrance of the event. Hoghton Tower is open to the public.
This unspoilt village is situated in the beautiful Cliviger Gorge 3 miles south east of Burnley on the A646. The church is of particular interest and the burial place of several notable Burnley people, including General Scarlett who led the charge of the Heavy Brigade at the Battle of Balaclava, Lady Scarlett, Lady O'Hagen the last resident of Towneley Hall and several members of the Towneley family.
Known as "Hornbei" in the Domesday Book, Hornby has a privately owned castle, which can be viewed from the bridge over the River Wenning. It also has Castle Stede said to be the last motte and bailey in Lancashire, giving an excellent view of the River Lune. A second world war pillar box is situated near the moat. The church which has an octagonal tower is reputed to have been built in 1514. However, much rebuilding of it took place between 1817 and 1889.
Backed by the fells of Longridge this lovely village is known as the home of Stonyhurst College, one of the finest Roman Catholic day and boarding schools. The College is open to the public during July and August and well worth a visit. There are excellent accommodation and eating establishments in the village and lovely walks around the area.
Lying snugly in a hollow by the River Brun amongst woods, moorland and pasture, Hurstwood is a delightful village of great charm and character. It contains a number of very old attractive buildings, including Hurstwood Hall built by Barnard Towneley in 1579, Spenser's Cottage, reputed to have been the home from 1576-1579 of Edmund Spenser the Elizabethan poet, and Tattersall's house, possibly the oldest building of all.
Discover markets, mills, shops and moorland in Hyndburn, at the heart of Lancashire’s Hill Country.The area’s principal town, Accrington is known far and wide as home to the famous football team – Accrington Stanley. Still playing today, the team compete in the Unibond League Premier Division. Accrington is also home to Europe’s finest collection of Tiffany Glass at the Haworth Art Gallery. The Spinning Jenny was invented in nearby Oswaltwistle by James Hargreaves in 1764. Learn more about the cotton industry in the Time Tunnel at Oswaldtwistle Mills, just one of their many attractions. Don’t miss Stockleys Sweets Visitor Centre, where scrumptious sweets are made. Bargain hunters can discover a host of mill shops in Hyndburn, from Karrimor to Red Rose Velvets plus friendly markets and the best selection of small specialist shops in East Lancashire. The name Accrington means Town surrounded by oaks. The acorn symbol has been incorporated into town centre buildings, windows, street furniture and now a Town Trail. Special ‘Acorn Trail’ paving stones mark the way and wall plaques can be found at points of interest. A free full colour Acorn Trail Guide is available form the local Tourist Information Centre in the Town Hall.
Lying two miles south of Beacon Fell Country Park. Surrounded by cottages and the local village pub is hte market cross and village green, which was once the site of cattle and sheep fairs. Roads leading into the village have the quaint sounding names of Button Street and Silk Mill Lane.
Situated in the heart of lowland Wyre and Fylde on the old Preston to Blackpool Road. Nearby is the ancient Carr House Green Common with its wide open space teaming with wildlife and affording good views to the Forest of Bowland Fells.
IRWELL VALE VILLAGES
Stroll alongside the River Irwell which will take you through the delightful villages of Irwell Vale. Step back in time and relive the peirod of the early 1900's with rows of cottages which are an excellent example of a Lancashire mill village. Visit Lumb and the conservation areas of Chatterton and Strongstry villages. The recreation ground at Chatterton is the former site of Aitken's Mills, which is associated with the Chatterton Plug Riot of 1826.
Kirkham has been occupied at least since Roman times. Finds on Mill Hill prove the existence of a Roman settlement - probably a fort dating from the first century. In 1296 the Abbey of Vale Royal granted to Kirkham a Charter making its inhabitants free men with the right to hold a market and fair and to control trade and justice. Kirkham thus became a Seigniorial Borough - with a Charter from its Lord. The ancient town was built in the form of a cross with the market place in the centre in which were installed, by the 19th Century, a Market Cross and Fish Stones. The ancient Fish Stones stand in the Market Square which is used for the weekly market held every Thursday. The village also enjoys a full range of quaint shopping facilities, established hostelries and eating houses.
Situated on the Wyre Estuary, Knott End is easily reached by car, bus or even by boat - catching the small ferry from Fleetwood. Sample the variety of pubs and restaurants, wander round the shops or just relax on the promenade and enjoy the views of Fleetwood and the magnificent sweep of Morecambe Bay. For the more energetic the 16 mile Wyre Way Walk can be started from Knott End or tee-off at the local 18 hole golf course.
This proud city gave its name to the county of Lancashire. The castle, one of the best preserved in England was established by the Normans in the same location originally chosen by the invading Romans. There are guided tours from Easter until late autumn and for those not of faint heart here is an opportunity to be incarcerated in a desperately dark dungeon! Alongside the castle sharing the same commanding position, is the Priory Church of St Mary, founded in 1094 on the site of an earlier Anglo Saxon church. Exquisitely carved choir stalls are one of many outstanding features. The city museum houses many different displays and mounts a number of excellent exhibitions. Down on St George’s Quay, on the banks of the Lune, is the award-winning Maritime Museum, developed within the 18th century palladian-style Custom House. The museum brilliantly traces the era when Lancaster was one of the leading maritime trading ports, when great ships unloaded their precious cargoes alongside the quay. Much of the wood brought to Lancaster was used by Gillow, the city’s world famous furniture maker. The Ashton Memorial, set in Williamson Park was built in memory of the wife of James Williamson, linoleum magnate and arguably Lancaster’s greatest benefactor and houses excellent exhibitions and fine viewing gallery and is open to the public. Much of the city centre has been pedestrianised – look out for some of the quaint signs that still jut out from the walls above Lancaster’s older shops. Within the Marketgate centre is Lancaster Market where you will find friendly stalls offering fresh local produce together with others offering goods as diverse as quality leather bags and collectors’ CDs.
Set in beautiful countryside, Longridge, the Ribble Valley’s “other” capital, is a popular starting point for many country walks and cycle rides. Visitors are often astounded by the view from the top of Longridge Fell, from where it is possible to see almost all of the Ribble Valley and even as far as the Welsh Hills, Blackpool Tower and the Isle of Man. The town is also close to Preston and Blackburn. Here you will find a friendly Lancashire welcome as well as a range of pubs, restaurants, independent retailers and small businesses. Apart from being the shopping and social centre of the local farming community, the town’s interesting mixture of shops attracts many visitors. Longridge is also home to a popular Thursday market, which brings a certain hustle and bustle to the quiet pace of everyday life. For those itching for physical activities, a variety of sporting and recreational facilities, including a well-equipped sports centre, can be found in Longridge.
A small rural community in the west of the borough Longton is another village of ancient origin. The Parish Church, St Andrew's was completed in 1887, but there is record of a chapel on the same site as long ago as AD 1150. A document refers to "Earward Priest of Longton" of that date. The village is also home to the award winning Longton Brickcroft Nature Reserve, a haven for wildlife and one of South Ribble's most popular beauty spots.
The Lune Valley is an undiscovered gem of England’s North Country and represents one of the finest corners of our ‘green and pleasant land’. The River Lune has its source high among the hills of Cumbria and makes it way through the most northerly part of Lancashire on its way to the sea west of Lancaster. Between the picturesque town of Kirkby Lonsdale and the historic city of Lancaster is one of the most attractive stretches of river imaginable where the silvery Lune meanders through a landscape of outstanding natural beauty. Here you will find unspoilt and ancient villages, historic churches and winding lanes, tumbling streams and wooded valleys, wild moors and lowland pastures. To stay for a while here is a relaxation in itself, where you can be active or inactive as you wish, savouring the beautiful surroundings and enjoying the sweeping views of the Lake District and Yorkshire Dales which are only a few miles away. The idyllic Crook O’ Lune in its wooded river setting, the way marked Lune Valley Ramble and gritstone Clougha Pike provide some of the best views in the country. Historic villages such as Hornby, Wray and Melling lie waiting to be discovered. The Lune Valley has a place in literary history too. Charlotte Bronte attended school in Cowan Bridge and visited the church at Tunstall; places that became immortalised as ‘ Lowood School’ and ‘Brocklebridge Church’ when Jane Eyre was written. Poet William Wordsworth, in his popular ‘Guide to the Lakes’ recommended travellers not to miss the Lune Valley on their way to the Lakes.
Lytham Green, with its trademark Windmill, puts this attractive and intimate town in a class of its own. Lytham hosts the Fylde’s café society with restaurants and al fresco dining places shoulder to shoulder with specialist shops and attractions. Admire the wonderful detail of the new mosaic on the Piazza – thousands of pebbles bringing the spirit of Lytham to life. Take in a show or a concert at Lowther Pavilion and Lytham Club Day is the ideal time to see this charming community come to life. Lytham’s history is depicted in exhibitions presented by the local Lifeboat Society and Heritage Group at the Windmill and Old Lifeboat House. A visit to Lytham Hall gives a fascinating insight into the Lytham rich heritage. Fashion, foods and fine antiques are found in the independent shops which line pleasant thoroughfares.
Past winner of the coveted title of the 'Best Kept Village in Lancashire', Mawdesley is devoted to mainly agricultural pursuits, yet was once associated with a thriving and established basket making industry founded over 150 years ago. Mawdesley Hall, thought to have been erected by William Mawdesley in 1625 is worthy of particular architectural note, as is the school.
Morecambe can rightly claim to be a resort fit for a new millennium. Massive investment in a series of exciting and award-winning projects has ensured tat the town is admirably placed to meet the demanding tourism challenges of the next century. The Bay, famed for its breathtaking sunsets, is an internationally important feeding site for thousands of birds making long migratory flights to Africa or north to the Arctic. This has led to the development of the remarkable Tern public art project, which has adopted several different bird themes, and also collected a number of prestigious awards into the bargain. On the new-look Stone Jetty, families can tackle a variety of games, including hopscotch and a maze. The resort, renowned for its friendliness, now boasts an outstanding range of entertainment to suit all tastes. A road-train trundles up and down the seafront throughout the day, swing boats and a bouncy castle are in constant action and pony rides on the beach are gentle reminders of a more traditional seaside age. See also the statue of Eric Morecambe which was unveiled by the Queen. There are pleasant surprises in store for shoppers visiting the area. Morecambe’s Festival Market, just behind the central promenade has replaced the traditional open-air market which served the resort for ore than 60 years, and there is no doubting its success.
Although there was a small settlement in the area long before the Normans invaded our shores in 1066, Newburgh came into its own in the 14th century. The village's land, cottages and farms belonged to the Earl of Derby during the English Civil War and, to this day, Newburgh retains a close-knit community spirit, and a strong desire to maintain the village character. A winner of the 'Best Kept Village' competition, Newburgh holds an annual fair every June.
NEWCHURCH IN PENDLE
Newchurch, nestled below Pendle Hill, home to St Mary’s Church, famous for the Eye of God tower, which was thought to watch over parishioners and protect them from witchcraft. It is rumoured that it was from this graveyard that the witches stole bones to use in their spells. Witches Galore, known as “the little shop with a big reputation” is also to be found in Newchurch. The shop is home to a wealth of fact and fiction on the Pendle Witches and is usually easily recognised by a gathering of witches sat outside the shop.
Padiham existed well before the Norman Conquest and for centuries it was a market town where produce from Pendleside was bought and sold. Its hilly core still retains the characteristics of the early Industrial Revolution with its narrow winding lanes crossing at angles and cobbled alleyways running off into forgotten corners. This central core has now been made a conservation area.
The charming and picturesque village of Parbold, which rises from tth River Douglas to form Parbold Hill, is an ever-popular visiting place. Offering magnificent views over the surrounding countryside from Parbold Hill, the village itself is a thriving shopping area. The township is blessed with excellent places to eat and drink as well as a beautiful stretch of the Leeds/Liverpool Canal - ideal for an autumn stroll or a summer picnic.
Situated on the edge of Morecambe Bay and an ideal area for bird watching. There are three churches in the village which is full of history. Pilling also has a pottery which is open to the public.
Pleasington, a picturesque village situated to the north west of Blackburn was mentioned in the Domesday Book as Plesigtune or The Village of Plessa's People. The Old Hall was built in 1587 by Thomas and Richard de Hoghton and John Southworth. Near to the Old Hall stands the impressive mock-gothic Pleasington Priory Roman Catholic Chapel which is dedicated to St Mary and St John the Baptist. The twin towers of the church, the southern one of which houses a bell, can be seen for miles across the open countryside of Pleasington and Livesey. The village extends along Victoria Road for quite a distance. Pleasington can also boast two fine and charming rows of hand-loom weavers' cottages of the late 18th century, one facing the Railway Hotel and one alongside the curiously named "Clog and Billycock Inn". This Inn was originally named the Bay Horse, but this was altered in remembrance of a landlord who, it is said, always wore clogs and a billycock hat.
POULTON LE FYLDE
The ancient market town of Poulton-le-Fylde with its cobbled market place, medieval stocks and historic church attracts visitors year after year. Once a busy port the Skippool area of Poulton-le-Fylde derived its name from “Pool Town” and can be found mentioned in the Domesday Book. Today Skippool is home to a variety of traditional boats, old and new, which are moored side by side along the banks of the estuary. In contrast to its ancient centre, the town has a warm, friendly atmosphere with cosy tea rooms, exclusive shops and restaurants serving mouthwatering recipes from around the world. Warm summer evenings see the traditional pubs bursting at the seams with people enjoying their drinks in the picturesque market square. The Parish Church of St Chads in the heart of the town is one of the most attractive buildings in the area. Poulton-le-Fylde regularly takes top honours in the regional Britain in Bloom competition and has represented the North West several times in the national finals. Poulton-le-Fylde probably began life in Saxon times, its name deriving from “town by the pool”, now known as Skippool. The town’s fascinating history can be traced on one of the regular town trails organised by the local historical society.
The pretty square in Poulton-le-Fylde
PRESTONProud Preston - my home town - is the administrative capital of Lancashire set against a backdrop of countryside rich in heritage. The town has also become the retail, commercial and cultural centre for Lancashire and exhibits a buoyant and vibrant town centre. Close at hand, however, lies impressive countryside such as the verdant Ribble Valley and the upland moors of the dramatic and beautiful Forest of Bowland and Beacon Fell Country Park. The town lies at the heart of Lancashire. Preston’s excellent shopping facilities attract people from across the North West. The Victorian Miller Arcade is a delight for speciality shopping. Built by Nathaniel Miller, it is modelled on the Burlington Arcade in London, with its Italian terracotta façade. There are two major modern Shopping Centres, Fishergate and St Georges. The Harris Museum and Art Gallery houses collections of fine and decorative art and social history as well as a changing exhibitions programme. The picturesque Victorian Avenham Park overlooks the River Ribble. It hosts a season of Sunday Bank concerts as well as family events. There are two major leisure centres and ample golf courses around the region.
looking towards the Harris Museum which is well worth a visit (my home town)
Rawtenstall has a wealth of attractive Victorian buildings, a museum in a former mill owner’s mansion at Whitaker Park, a floodlit dry ski slope, Britain’s last remaining temperance bar where you can sample original old concoctions such as black beer, sarsaparilla and dandelion & burdock. and the Groundwork Countryside Centre. It is the terminus for the award-winning East Lancashire Steam Railway.
Ramsbottom is an unspoilt Victorial mill town with a host of interesting shops and cafes. Much of it was built by the Grant brothers, immortalised in Nicholas Nickleby as the Cheeryble brothers. There is a Heritage Centre, a historic town trail to follow or the more energetic can walk up to Holcombe Village and Peel Tower on Holcombe Hill.
Read Hall, mentioned in the book "Mist over Pendle, was originally the seat of the Nowell family, of whom Dean Nowell, of St Paul's Cathedral was probably best known. A pleasant village, steeped in history, where a skirmish in 1643, between a Royalist army and local Parliamentarian levies resulted in the downfall of the Lancashire Royalist cause.
This ancient town, built on the site of the Roman station a Bremetenacum, is set aside the River Ribble and today attracts numerous artists and visitors. A fort was erected to guard the junction of two Roman roads and is thought to have covered six acres, a large portion of which now lies under the old church and churchyard. The Ribchester Roman Museum contains many relics. Rebuilt by the Normans, Ribchester was destroyed by the Scots under Bruce. The parish church of St Wilfrid existed in the 12th Century, the current building being restored in 1925. The remains of an ancient Norman chapel at Stydd, a mile from the village, house a 16th Century font, bearing the arms of the de Lacys, with several ancient coffins and incised tombstones.
Home for many years to composer Francis Duckworth, whose hymn tune "Rimington" is still regularly heard at Martin Top Chapel, this village and the small hamlets of Newby, Middop, Martin Top and Howgill nestle in delightful countryside. Many archaeological finds have been made in this area and near Stopper Lane is the disused lead mine, reputed to have produced the silver for "Pudsey's Mint," which attracted interest recently when exploration work was again carried out. The Black Bull Inn is home to a model transport museum and next door, Cosgrove's House of Colour attracts fashion-conscious men and women from a wide area. The village Memorial Institute is a thriving meeting place and attracts local snooker enthusiasts.
The charming and ambient village of Rivington is surrounded by moorland of outstanding natural beauty and interest. Numerous nature trails and walks abound within the area, which is a popular local point for hikers and ramblers. Rivington Pike, l,191 feet above sea level and the preserved site of a former signal beacon, enjoys magnificent and unrestricted views of the Lancashire Plain. A network of reservoirs and gardens adds to the special, natural appeal of Rivington and its adjacent countryside.
The old village of Roughlee, which runs alongside Pendle Water with breathtaking views of Pendle Hill, features the beautiful and historic Roughlee Hall, once the home of Alice Nutter, the gentlewoman accused of witchcraft and executed in 1612.
Rufford is a delightful village which straddles the A59 road between Burscough & Tarleton with picturesque black and white houses and is home to the famous Rufford Old Hall, one of the National Trust's most beautiful properties in the North West. There is access to a lovely stretch of the Leeds/Liverpool Canal with plenty of walks in the area.
The impressive bulk of Pendle Hill dominates this close-knit community. Pendle Hill is where George Fox, founder of the Quakers, had a vision which led to the foundation of the movement. Today it is regularly visited by hundreds of hikers, particularly on Halloween, when its witches are said to roam. The local handloom weavers used to weave parkin using oatmeal as the warp and treacle as the weft.
A small and very pleasant village. In the Parish churchyard of St Leonard the Less there is reputed to be a "witch's grave". Iron spikes have been driven through the grave to prevent the "witch" from rising up. The village is best known for Samlesbury Hall which dates back to the 14th century. It is the most impressive building in South Ribble area and its beatifully preserved condition makes it the borough's most popular tourist attraction.
This pleasant village on the banks of the Ribble is chiefly known for the ruins of Sawley Abbey. The Abbey was a Cistercian Abbey like Whalley housing the White Monks. The last Abbot, thought to be Thomas Bolton, was concerned in the Pilgrimage of Grace along with Abbot Paslew of Whalley. Sawley Abbey is open to the public, dawn to dusk each day.
A small and friendly village situated on the edge of Bowland. Noted for fine buildings, Scorton is also protected as a conservation area. The Priory, a cafe, restaurant and village store set in the centre of Scorton is well worth a visit.
A wonderful grey stone village set on the banks of the Hodder in the moorland region of the Forest of Bowland. Slaidburn is not to be missed. A small heritage centre has opened and the village is the perfect place to stroll around at any time of year. The church is mostly 15th Century, but has a history that can be traced back over eight centuries, with much to see. The Hark to Bounty Inn still houses the Moot Court-room of the Forest of Bowland, said to have been used by Cromwell. With good fishing at Stocks Reservoir and lots of parking and eateries and a well-stocked village shop, Slaidburn is not to be overlooked.
A village built on a small hill called a drumlin (left over from glacial drifts) on the old road to Lancaster from Hambleton. At the top of the hill stands the Seven Stars Pub and nearby is a small community woodland and nature reserve. The views from Stalmine look across to the Wyre Estuary and Over Wyre.
A traditional seaside town which is more than a town by the sea. The gentle feel of a bygone age is steadily being supplemented with an exciting range of new shops and restaurants. Providing a welcome contrast to its neighbour, Blackpool, St Annes is a haven of tranquillity. Younger visitors can enjoy a donkey ride on the beach, while more mature guests can enjoy the sound of a traditional brass band. Pop into the Toy and Teddy Bear Museum and later on, over lunch, visit Pleasure Island and watch the children let off steam at Charlie Chalk’s Fun City at Salters Wharf. Whether you are tempted by cinemas or sand dunes, parks or piers or just a walk along the promenade, St Annes has a lot to offer.
The church of St Michaels-on-Wyre was mentioned in the Domesday Book in the 11th century and the interior has many interesting features including a list of rectors and vicars dating back to 1203. The present structure is beautifully maintained and pleasantly situated next to a bridge overlooking the River Wyre. St Michaels offers a variety of attractions to visitors from eating estalbishments to bed and breakfast to Cane and Basket Ware specialist.
Lying between Southport and Preston, the parish of Tarleton is flanked by the River Douglas which forms the district boundary. Including the hamlets of Mere Brow and Sollom, the parish also incorporates Tarleton Moss, and is an important market gardening area.
The popular seaside resort of Cleveleys is one of the busiest shopping areas in Wyre with bustling markets, seaside shops and plenty of fun. Enjoy the delights of the promenade with outdoor activities at Jubilee Gardens and mini rides at Kiddies Corner or simply relax and soak up the sun or the traditional sea air! Inland at the neighbouring village of Thornton, enjoy exploring a historic windmill or spend time relaxing in the picturesque country park. Dating back over 1,000 years Thornton was once known as Torentum and can be found mentioned in the Doomsday Book. Cleveleys sprang up during the 1890s and by the 1950s had developed into being “The Healthiest Resort in Britain with air like wine.” Cleveleys is a shoppers paradise with an assortment of shops stretching the length of the town. For something slightly unusual, visit the speciality shops at Marsh Mill Village.
The lovely beach at Thornton Cleveleys. Sand and water - what more could the kids want (apart from ice-cream, crisps, drinks, sweets, donkey rides etc. etc.)
Three miles south west of Blackburn on the fringes of Darwen Moor, and built along the ancient highway from Blackburn to Bolton, Tockholes is another robust stone-built village. As well as numerous handloom cottages by the roadside, there are several large farmhouses dating from the 17th century. Tockholes formerly boasted two cotton mills and a thriving handloom weaving community. The natural beauty of Tockholes is such that the Roddlesworth Nature Trail has been devised. "Rocky Brook", the valley of the River Roddlesworth, is a favourite place to picnic and to walk through the woods.
Trawden is a community of farms and weavers’ cottages. From Trawden you can take a short walk to the waterfall of Lumb Spout or go further to the expanse of Boulsworth Hill. A free town trail leaflet is available for Trawden.
Turton is a linear village strung out along a twisty moorland road from Chapeltown, north and east towards the old Roman Road from Manchester to Ribchester. Its origins are industrial and famous residents have included Samuel Horrocks, founder of the famous cotton firm, and Henry Ashworth, whose mills were regarded as a model of an industrial community in the mid 19th century. Turton Tower, developed from a Pele tower, houses a collection of local historical items, weapons and period furniture and is open to the public. The original construction of this building dates back to the 12th century, but most of the existing building dates from the 16th century when extensive alterations were made, and it now stands as a medieval Pele Tower with an Elizabethan farmhouse attached.
The village boasts a popular watering hole, was the winner of the "Best Kept Village" award on many occasions, and its attractive Coronation Gardens appear on a multitude of postcards. Henry VI lived at Waddington Hall for a year, before betrayal to the Yorkists in 1465 and was said to have escaped via a secret panel and staircase from the dining room, but was captured at Brungerley Bridge, on the outskirts of Clitheroe.
An ancient village situated in close proximity to the Rivers Ribble and Darwen. The name of Walton-le-Dale appears more than once in most history books. Julius, in his quest to expand the Roman Empire, sent numerous battalions into the north of England, including Walton-le-Dale. An AD 1140 charter to Henry de Lacy of Blackburn gave reference to St Leonard's Parish Church in Walton-le-Dale. The church tower is typically 16th century in style, with stepped corner buttresses ground from limestone.
Waterfoot is a hamlet in the centre of the Rossendale Valley. Visit the Victorian Shopping Arcade which still has its distinctive canopied walkway in decorative irons and glass or Lamberts Footwear Museum which once was the main industry in the valley.
A series of quaint stone bridges give access to houses bordering the village beck in a community existing prior to the Domesday Book, completed in 1086. Mention is made of West Bradford in the reign of Richard II (1367-1400) when 32 inhabitants paid poll tax, and there were 30 labourers or small farmers and two skilled craftsmen.
Whalley is a village of many different styles, from the ancient Cistercian Abbey, to the nearby Victorian railway viaduct. As one of Lancashire’s most famous old villages, Whalley has been touched by all periods of history, with many interesting buildings, from the Tudor, Georgian and Victorian periods. The ruins of the abbey, with its visitors’ centre, are open to the public and are protected as an ancient monument. Whalley also has a parish church, which is famous for its treasures and beautiful interior. The nearly railway viaduct, completed in 1852, with its 49 brick arches, is described as a triumph of Victorian engineering. The village caters for all its visitors’ tastes, with antique, souvenir and arts and craft shops, as well as a modern library which holds art exhibitions.
WHEELTON and the TOP LOCKS
Divided into two parts - Higher and Lower Wheelton, this pleasantly laid-out village is situated on the main road from Chorley to Blackburn. Its tiny streets slope, giving an accurate impression of the surrounding hilly countryside, with Briers Brow being the steepest to traverse. The locks themselves are a fascinating reminder of the canal linkage once vital to trans-Pennine industrial canal traffic in their difficult descent from the higher reaches of the Leeds to Liverpool Canal to the lower regions of West Lancashire.
This parish is divided into two areas, the older part on the old coach road running through Waterhouse Green to Brindle, and the more modern part on the A6 road where the church of St John is situated. In the north east of the parish is St Chad's RC Church and off the A6 is Shaw Hill Hotel Golf and Country Club centred around a Georgian mansion. Another feature of the parish are the canals, although partly filled in to create pleasant footpaths and open space, one still possesses sevnen locks, all within a half-mile stretch of water.
Built entirely by the parke family in the mid nineteenth century to house the local workforce employed at the nearby paper mills, this idyllic little village features tiny houses, stone-built mills and an impressive village square. With its medieval village stocks and original Methodist Chapel, Withnell Fold was, in latterday times, a famous exporter of banknote paper to the world.
Woodplumpton liesto the west of the A6, north of Preston. At the front of St Annes Church can be found the village stocks, through the Lynch Gate into the graveyard the visitor will find a boulder. Legend has it that, in the 17th century, an old woman called Meg Sheldon was branded a witch and when she died she was buried in the churchyard. Three times she was reputed to have scratched her way to the surface until she was finally reburied face down and a large boulder placed on top of her grave. It is believed that good luck will come to anyone who walks round the stone three times.
|Worsthorne lies approximately three miles east of Burnley town centre. This historic village has a number of interesting listed buildings including the church of St John the Evangelist with its fascinating wrought iron work. The village has close association with the Thursby family who were great benefactors in this area.|
The picturesque village of Wrea Green is an old village near to Kirkham. The main attractions to the village includd The Grapes public house and restaurant, the Villa restaurant, and Ribby Hall Leisure Village. The Grapes is situated overlooking the village green and duck pond.
Wycoller is a picturesque hamlet with an historic pack-horse bridge and a clam bridge that dates back to the Iron Age. In the village are the ruins of Wycoller Hall, reputed to be the Ferndean Manor of Charlotte Bronte's Jane Eyre. Wycoller is on the Pendle and Bronte Ways and the whole valley has been preserved as a country park.
Some of the information and photographs about Lancashire are taken from leaflets produced by Lancashire County Council
Cheshire, Lancashire, Greater Manchester, Merseyside, Wirral
Ashton market is one of the oldest and largest markets in the region, attracting visitors from near and far. Ashton Parish Church (St Michael and All Angels) is a magnificent Grade I Listed building mentioned in the Domesday Book. The 15th Century stained glass is unrivalled in the region. Parish registers held at the church date back to 1594 enabling people to trace their family trees. Guided tours by arrangement.
Bolton's award-winning town centre is much more than spacious covered shopping centres, traditional markets and craft and antique centres - there is the lively Victoria Square, pedestrianised thoroughfares, magnificent Victorian architecture and a mixed range of cafes, pubs and restaurants. Tours of the town centre are available with a Blue Badge Guide (Tel: 01204 334400). The borough of Bolton also includes the town centres of Farnworth, Horwich and Westhoughton, each offering a varied selection of interesting stores, markets and mill shops.
Bury has a bustling market and an attractive range of high street and specialist shops complemented by picturesque parks and a wide range of leisure facilities. Close to the drill hall, where the foundation walls of Bury Castle were discovered in 1846, you can find the Two Tubs public house. Probably Bury's oldest building, it was originally built around 2 giant oak trees (since removed), in the time of Charles II.
A small and attractive village situated next to Douglas Valley along the Leeds-Liverpool Canal. Crooke Hall, now demolished, was once the seat of the Catterall family from 1421-1713 and home of the developer of the Douglas Navigation - Robert Holt.
The picturesque village of Delph has changed little since the nineteenth century. Set against the backdrop of the superb scenery of the Pennine Moors, it possesses a unique character founded on the area's role in the industrial revolution.
The pretty village of Holcombe sits 100 metres above Ramsbottom and the Irwell Valley. Dating back to the 14th century it is a village of great character and home to Andertons Restaurant, which survived a Zeppelin attack in 1916.
Manchester city centre is in the heart of Greater Manchester with a lively, exciting, cosmopolitan atmosphere. Unique areas of the city: Castlefield, Chinatown, the Gay and Lesbian Village, Rusholme and the Northern Quarter, each have a life and character of their own. Enjoy a day browsing the museums and galleries, the thrills and spills of Granada Studios, shop till you drop, wine and dine at one of the many cafe bars and restaurants and then dance the night away in Manchester's unrivalled club scene. Along with top attractions, galleries, museums, superb shopping and stunning Victorian architecture, Manchester is everybody's kind of city.
Oldham celebrated its 150th birthday in 1999. Architectural features include Oldham Parish Church dating from 1830 and the Old Town Hall, both included in Oldham's Town Trail leaflet. The town has a mixture of covered shopping malls, pedestrianised streets and traditional market areas.
Prestwich, due to its proximity to Manchester became home to many of the city's wealthy merchants during the 1800's. The Jewish influence in Prestwich started as early as 1840 and the first synagogue was built in 1935. Prestwich now has the second largest Jewish population in the UK. Located in the area known locally as 'The Village' is St Mary's Church, probably the oldest in the borough, dating from around 1450. Close by is Prestwich Clough with its pleasant woodland walks which now makes up part of Prestwich Forest Park.
The town of Radcliffe was originally a medieval settlement and Radcliffe Tower, the remains of one of the biggest Manorial residences in the kingdom is still visible today. Raddcliffe is now one of the main access points for the Irwell Sculpture Trail and it is here, at Outwood, that one of the world's distinguished sculptors, Ulrich Ruckriem has created his only major work in Britain.
In the North of the borough, nestling in the Irwell valley and overlooked by the West Pennine Moors, the town is a popular destination for visitors to the Irwell Valley and a natural stopping off point for passengers of the East Lancashire Railway. A variety of specialist shops and superb eating establishments are complemented by the surrounding countryside and have helped to maintain Ramsbottom's popularity with visitors to the area. Ramsbottom has a regular programme of special events and is renowned for its traditional Victorian Christmas shopping. The nearby villages of Summerseat, part of which is a conservation area, along with Holcombe, an ancient farming village, built on the edge of Holcomber Moor all retain part of their character from a bygone age. Holcombe Hill is famous for its monument, the Peel Tower, built in homage to Sir Robert Peel and Bury's most noticeable landmark.
The world's widest bridge and one of the finest neo Gothic Town Halls in the country are just two of the features of Rochdale's splendid town centre. St Chads Parish Church, dating from the 12th century, Rochdale Pioneers Museum and the Arts and Heritage Centre are also located within the immediate area. Town Centre trail leaflets are available from the Tourist Information Centre.
The startling contrasts of Stockport's town centre are testimony to its rich and varied past. The floodlit viaduct, Europe's largest brick building, dominates Stockport's skyline, whilst the town centre itself is a maze of small streets and stepped alleys. The town boasts several significant buildings including St Mary's Curch, a 14th century gothic church with rare stained glass, presiding over the historic market place, the Edwardian Town Hall, known affectionately as 'the wedding cake' and the imposing War Memorial Art Gallery. Stockport's most unusual construction must surely be the labyrinth of underground passages cut into the red sandstone underneath the town centre prior to World War II, now open for visitors to explore.
One of the borough's most fascinating stories can be attributed to Tottington. In 1682 Quaker Henry Wood of Tottington left the area to avoid religious persecution. On arriving in America Wood founded a settlement in New Jersey naming it Woodbury after his hometown. Over the years close links have been forged between both towns and in June 2000, a party from Bury retraced Wood's original voyage to America. The town also possesses one of the area' s most unusual buildings. The dungeon in Turton Road, was built during the industrial revolution and was in common use. Just who built it remains a mystery.
Water Lilies at Suimmerseat
The Trafford Centre with its distinctive architecture and 3 miles of shop fronts can offer a new dimension to shopping and leisure. Blending the new with the traditional, Trafford has become an important shopping centre. There are malls, parades and precincts within Altrincham, Sale, Stretford and Urmston, which provide excellent choices for the discerning shopper.
On the northern side of Prestwich Forest Park is Whitefield. Here the Parish Church of All Saints, with its splendid Gothic architure, dominates the landscape. Built with money from the 'Waterloo fund' given for the construction of churches after Napoleons defeat at Waterloo, it is recognised as one of the ' One million churches'.
Wigan conjures up thoughts of coal or cobbles. The reality is that the Wigan of today is surprisingly different. Visitors will discover an exciting blend of attractions, picturesque countryside and hidden villages, award winning shopping centres, popular visitor attractions, heritage and culture. 'The Way we Were' at Wigan Pier is an unforgettable day out with the Music Hall and Schoolroom and the world's largest working mill steam engine. Wigan Town Centre is a modern mix of light, stylish arcades and walks, colourful squares and a centre piece in the shape of the award winning Galleries Shopping Centre. The indoor and outdoor markets are packed with over 250 stalls selling everything from fish to flowers and poultry to pottery. The warmth and character of the place make it a popular destination for visitors.
The picturesque village of Worsley is one of the most important and historic visiting points for the country's canal system. It also contains many interesting old buildings, an historic dry dock and picturesque houses around the unspoilt setting of the Green.
Cheshire, Lancashire, Greater Manchester, Merseyside, Wirral
The lively cosmopolitan city of Liverpool is the birthplace of the Beatles and has a majestic waterfront, a rich and colourful culture and heritage and vibrant nightlife, all of which are reflected in the warmth and humour of its citizens. The Albert Dock has been voted Britain's top Waterfront day out with museums, scores of interesting shops and gift carts, restaurants, cafes and bars. Visit the Anglican and Roman Catholic Cathedrals, take a Beatles Magical Mystery Tour. Take a tour round Goodison Park, the home of Everton Football Club and also Liverpool Football Club Museum and Stadium tour. You can sail across the River Mersey to the Wirral Peninsula which offers contrasting rural tranquillity with more than 2000 acres of unspoilt natural countryside.
Liverpool Waterfront showing the Ferry across the Mersey
Southport is one of Britain's few remaining traditional Victorian seaside resorts with a blend of elegant boulevards and shopping arcades, great live entertainment, wonderful attractions, superb sport, lovely flower filled surroundings and fine quality accommodation to suit everyone. It is a town that buzzes with exciting events throughout the year and attracts hundreds of thousands of visitors from all over Britain and Europe. Located in Princes Park, Southport Zoo, owned by the Petrie family, is one of the Southport's most loved attractions. Pleasureland offers all the traditional fun of the fair including big dipper, log flumes, waltzers, dodgem cars and many more. There are also rides designed to suit smaller children. Visit the New model Village next to the Marine Lake. The Botanic Gardens at Churchtown provide the ideal day out for people of all ages, throughout the year. Entrance is free. Amenities include a boating lake with rowing boats, canoes and paddle boats The garden tour train, based at the main entrance, conveys visitors on an interesting tour of the woodland and extensive floral displays. Visit the aviary and pets corner where you will discover a wide variety of colourful, exotic birds. The antics of chipmunks, rabbits and guinea pigs also provide amusement for everyone. There is a well equipped adventure playground.
Cheshire, Lancashire, Greater Manchester, Merseyside, Wirral
Ellesmere Port is the largest of the South Wirral towns and lies at the south eastern end of the Wirral Peninsula. Often called a 'jewel in Cheshire's crown'. The main shopping centre is the 'Port Arcades' with access to the Market. You can visit the Boat Museum and the Blue Planet Aquarium. The Cheshire Oaks Outlet Village has also proved very popular