- Forest of Bowland
A place of tranquility and outstanding natural beauty! Where better to spend a short break than in the heart of a very special part of England? A well kept secret to many, the Forest of Bowland is both a delight and a pleasure with its rolling pastures, working farmland and dense forestry - designated as an "area of outstanding natural beauty" it certainly lives up to its classification. It is a magnificent area for wildlife, walking, fishing, touring, culture and many outdoor activities. Not far from Preston, Manchester, Liverpool and the Lake District it is the ideal location to discover the wonders of the North West.
Once you have discovered the spectacular Ribble Valley, you will want to keep the area to yourself, many visitors like to say they have found a hidden gem including the Queen who, in her biography by Sarah Bradford, announced that she would like to retire to this region of rural England.
Quiet country roads lead to many scattered villages and picturesque hamlets, unspoilt and steeped in history that reflects a time of Lancashire past. Two minutes away from the hotel is the well preserved 17th Century village of Chipping which boast an haunted pub and the oldest trading shop in the country. Further down the road you will find Hurst Green, home to the splendid buildings of Stonyhurst College, a magnificent 16th Century Manor House, now a Jesuit College and its famous links over the years include: Oliver Cromwell who spent a night there and Arthur Conan Doyle who attended as a scholar and the well-publicised "Tolkien" connection. Whalley, an ancient village some 10 miles from the hotel offers the attraction of an early 14th Century Abbey, built by Cistercian monks, an ancient 13th Century parish church; a ghost walk; and small and unique individual shops. Not forgetting the charming village of Dunsop Bridge which is the nearest village to the Centre of the British Isles according to Ordnance Survey.
A must visit is the ancient market town of Clitheroe, where the Norman Castle Keep of Clitheroe Castle still dominates the skyline of the town more than 800 years on. It is renowned for it´s many individual award winning shops such as Byrne´s Wine Shop and Cowman´s Sausage Shop both famous for their high quality and award winning produce. Longridge, is also well worth a look, as the second largest market town and has its own fascinating industrial heritage all of its own. Close by is Pendle Hill, which overshadows Clitheroe and is the original home to the infamous Lancashire Witches. Two local women accused of witchcraft were taken to Lancaster Castle for trial and later hanged on August 20th 1612 in front of huge crowds!
'The Witches Trail' , originally taken on foot, celebrated its 400th anniversary recently. It winds through the wild beauty of the Trough of Bowland and the Ribble Valley and the route passes through some of the most spectacular scenery in the country which has changed little since the witches took their fateful journey.
The above is just a glimpse of what the surrounding area has to offer and you can be assured that once you have visited this beautiful corner of Lancashire, for whatever reason, you will want to return to its beauty and explore a little more.