It’s a tough job to select Lancashire's best villages to visit, but Lancashire Life have given it a go. See if you agree with their choices.
Where it is: The village stands in countryside a couple of miles north east of Clitheroe, close to the A59. The nearest railway station is at Clitheroe and if you’re following a satnav, type in the postcode BB7 4DN.
Famous for: The lack of signs, television aerials and other indicators of modern life. Even if you don’t know the village itself, you’re likely to know it from its many appearances on television – because Downham remains largely untouched by the 20th century (let alone the 21st) it is often used as a location for filming period dramas.
I’m always a little late to the proverbial party when it comes to food trends: street food, kale, cocktails in jars... And so it is that I am the last food blogger in the north of England to visit The Parkers Arms in Lancashire. I’ve spent the last two years, seeing pics and reading reviews but never making it out there. But now I have and it was well worth the wait!
We went up late on a Saturday afternoon. About an hour from our house, it’s a great drive up to Newton-in-Bowland past Clitheroe, through Waddington and then past the sheep in the hills. The Parkers Arms isn’t a trendy gastropub with a soulless interior and identikit menu. This is a ‘proper’ pub with proper ale, proper fire and properly lovely people working there. We were tucked in next to the fire which was lit even though it was a lovely warm day outside, but we didn’t mind as it just added to the general ambience of the place.
With a spare weekend available and a love for all things outdoors, we recently decided to do a bit of ‘glamping’ here in Lancashire. Glamping offers many of the home comforts, whilst still enjoying an outdoors experience. Box Tree Farm was the chosen destination for our weekend in the village of Wennington, nestled between Hornby and Low Bentham, in the beautiful Lune Valley.
I’ve been wanting to explore more of the eastern side of Bowland so to get started I picked an easy route along the River Hodder from The Parkers Arms at Newton-in-Bowland. I plan to go back later in spring and do a longer walk but today I wanted a nice easy walk with some grub and a drink at the finish line.
I parked up in the pub car park and nipped in to tell them I’d be back to eat later. There aren’t loads of spaces but parking isn’t a problem as long as you let them know you’re eating or having a drink afterwards. Even if it’s just for a cup of tea. There is also alternative parking at the top of the village if you are just walking.
When the surviving member of a family that was part of the French Resistance in Nazi occupied France appeared as the guest of honour at the opening of Chorley’s show garden at this year’s Chelsea Flower Show, a story of selfless bravery that began in 1943, involving an injured RAF navigator and a courageous group of French people, finally got the public attention it deserved.
Forget the gym, let our beautiful (and sometimes challenging) Lancashire landscape inspire you to get active.
Walking Its free, doesn’t require specialist equipment (except for comfy shoes) and you can do it anywhere. This vastly underrated form of exercise is proven to help reduce the risk of developing chronic illnesses, is suitable for all ages AND we’ve got loads of free walking routes to download from visitlancashire.com.
With a Thomas mad toddler in tow we headed to the East Lancashire Railway on bank holiday weekend for a Day out with Thomas and his friends on the East Lancashire Railway.
Sir Topham Hat opened the day on the station platform, with flags fluttering, steam engines hissing and excited children a plenty. I’m not sure who was more excited about the arrival of Thomas into the station, parents or children. But when he pulled onto platform 4, pulling four carriages and tooting hello, we all cheered very enthusiastically, and I half expected him to give a trademark wink!
With the arrival of the new Princess (Congratulations William & Kate!) we’re feeling particularly patriotic in Lancashire. If you're also feeling royally inspired check out our list of suitably regal things to do in Lancashire.
Top of the list is Lancaster Castlewhich is still owned by the Queen (or the Duke of Lancaster as she’s known to Lancastrians) and is her only castle in the north of England. The Shire Hall, within the Castle has the country’s largest display of coat of arms shields bearing the arms of every English monarch from Richard the Loinheart onwards.
Intriguingly there is, what appears to be, a very unassuming pedlar’s trunk at the heart of a new exhibition that opened last week at Samlesbury Hall near Preston. But appearances can be deceptive and the story behind this battered suitcase reveals it to be a fascinating time capsule.
The pedlar’s trunk had been walled up in Samlesbury Hall at some point during the C16th, until it was discovered in the mid-19th Century (some 200 years later.) The trunk was then bought at auction by a private individual and later sold to Stonyhurst College, who still own it to this day. But why all the fuss over a trunk?