The Ribble Valley boasts many stunning natural landscapes and almost picture-book towns that make it a top destination for tourists.

While there are plenty of guidebooks out there offering recommendations for things to see and do, we thought it would be more interesting to hear from the locals themselves.

As tourism officer Tom Pridmore said: “The Ribble Valley is often referred to as the Food Capital of the North, not only has it an outstanding array of food experiences but stunning landscapes and a rich heritage.” 

The Ribble Valley certainly is a food heaven. It offers many gastronomic experiences ranging from Michelin-starred dining to family-friendly eateries. The area is known for its variety of international cuisine and high-quality homegrown produce, making it a unique destination for food enthusiasts. The Ribble Valley is also home to numerous wine bars and pubs, from elegant to homely and charming. 

Apart from food and drink, the area has an impressive selection of short and long-term accommodation options that cater to all budgets and preferences. The Ribble Valley has everything from glamping to cosy cottages and luxurious lodges to stunning Tudor manors and beautiful B&Bs.

Another feature that sets Ribble Valley apart is its rich heritage. The area is home to historic sites such as the 14th-century Whalley Abbey, the Ribchester Roman Museum, and the medieval Clitheroe Castle. 

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The stunning Stonyhurst College is a famous landmark that served as an inspiration for the popular author JRR Tolkien while writing The Lord of the Rings, and the local scenery is said to have inspired his fictional locations. 

Lancashire Telegraph: Stonyhurst College

The Ribble Valley also hosts annual cultural, music, art, and food events, including the famous Clitheroe Food Festival. It is also known as England’s tastiest walking destination, and it’s easy to see why.

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With stunning landscapes and a network of footpaths winding through hills and valleys, visitors can indulge in scenic walks followed by hearty food.

The Walks with Taste initiative features a series of circular, self-guided trails based around great places to eat. There are 16 routes to choose from, making it the perfect destination for visitors keen on exploring the area on foot. 

So, here we’ve tapped into the collective wisdom of those who call the Ribble Valley home to discover their thoughts on the best ways to spend your time in this magical part of the world. 

According to resident Natalie, the Ribble Valley is a truly remarkable destination for both nature lovers and food enthusiasts as the area boasts stunning hikes and picturesque scenery, such as the Tolkien Trail, and Sculpture Trail, which are sure to leave visitors in awe of their natural beauty.

Lancashire Telegraph: TV: The sculpture is set to feature in a film

And for those who love to explore local cuisines, the Ribble Valley does not disappoint with an unrivalled selection of restaurants that offer an extraordinary dining experience. 

Some must-try options that Natalie recommends are The Higher Buck at Waddington, The Rum Fox at Grindleton, Northcote, and The Parker’s Arms at Newton-in-Bowland.

Natalie notes that her “foodie friends from all over the UK love visiting the Ribble Valley,” making it a sought-after destination in Lancashire and throughout the country.

Overall, the Ribble Valley offers a unique blend of natural beauty and incredible gastronomical experiences that are hard to find elsewhere. 

Francesca may not be a resident of the area, but her loyalty to The Milking Parlour in Clitheroe is unquestionable. She recently visited the establishment and was blown away by the quality and taste of their ice cream. In fact, she was so impressed that she couldn’t stop thinking about it all week!

Francesca commended The Milking Parlour for their well-crafted ice cream and wide range of unique flavours. Although she resides in Trawden, she sees no obstacle that would keep her from returning for another serving of their delectable frozen treats. 

Francesca noted how much she values The Milking Parlour’s commitment to producing exceptional ice cream. Her satisfaction is a testament to how the establishment exceeds expectations and leaves a long-lasting impression on its patrons.

Overall, Francesca’s experience at The Milking Parlour truly showcases the passion and skill that goes into every scoop. Despite not living in the area, she is more than willing to make the drive just to indulge in their delicious treats. 

Michelle, who is not from the local area, recently visited in April to conduct research for her upcoming novel.

During her stay, she had the opportunity to explore Bleasdale Circle, an ancient ritual circle. Standing within the circle, Michelle couldn’t help but feel connected to the surrounding environment.

She was able to view the notch cut in the distant Fair Snape Fell, which allowed her to appreciate the Solstice connection the original builders had with the world around them.

To access Bleasdale Circle, Michelle suggests parking at St. Eadmer’s Church and taking an easy walk to reach the circle. Her experience at the ritual circle left a lasting impression on her and may even inspire her writing. 

While everyone’s preferences are different, it’s clear that the Ribble Valley offers a wealth of activities, locations and experiences to enchant and feed any visitor.

Whether you’re seeking breathtaking natural landscapes, charming towns and villages, or unique cultural experiences, there’s something for everyone here.

So why not take a leaf out of the locals’ book and discover the best of what the Ribble Valley has to offer?