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View of Castle Street.

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.

Get in

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.

Get around

There are bus connections with Bolton, Blackburn, Accrington, Skipton, Ribchester and local villages.

Alternatively if you wish to explore the area at a slower pace, Clitheroe makes a perfect starting point for hiking, this is a perfect way of taking in the beautiful countryside surrounding the town.


The castle, 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.

It is worth taking a gentle stroll up to the castle on a clear day as the views of the town, Pendle Hill and towards the Forest of Bowland are breathtaking. The ruins of the castle itself are also interesting, with information boards dotted around the site each offering a story involving the town and castle.

Top Hat Tours offer waking tours for groups taking in the town or surrounding Ribble Valley, the tours are suitable for groups of 2-10 people and take in some of the towns more hidden areas. The tour guide will be dressed in authentic Victorian costume and bring the tours to life by including 'resident ghosts and sound effects'. These tours cover the history of the area, ghost stories and tales of local legends. [2]


  • 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.
  • Visit the Platform Gallery at the railway station - an excellent craft gallery.
  • Visit the 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. Be sure to sample some locally made Lancashire Cheese, or if you wish to enjoy a hearty meal, try a home made Lancashire hot pot in one of the many cosy local pubs that can be found in Clitheroe and the villages surrounding the town.


Plenty of characterful inns and public houses in town.


  • [1]. UK Cottages has holiday cottages close to Clitheroe as well as across Lancashire including the Ribble Valley, the Forest of Bowland and Morecambe Bay.

Caravan and Camping There are a wide range of camp sites located in the Ribble Valley offering pitches for tents, trailer tents, caravans and motorhomes. Some sites also offer static caravan rentals, although these will cost considerably more than bringing your own tent.

  • Clitheroe Camping and Caravanning Club Site, Edisford Road, Clitheroe, Lancashire, BB7 3LA, 01200 425294. £7-£12 per person/night.

Contact The tourist site for the Ribble Valley

Get out

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