<div style="display:inline;"> <img height="1" width="1" style="border-style:none;" alt="" src="//googleads.g.doubleclick.net/pagead/viewthroughconversion/1028731116/?value=0&amp;guid=ON&amp;script=0">
6 ISSUES FOR £6 Subscribe to Lancashire Life today click here

Ramsbottom - This former mill community has been making waves with its stylish shops and great food

PUBLISHED: 00:35 09 May 2013 | UPDATED: 17:22 11 April 2016

The East lancashire Railway is a major attraction

The East lancashire Railway is a major attraction

Glynn Ward

Just because something is a cliché that doesn’t mean it’s untrue. So when people describe Ramsbottom has a hidden gem, they have – to throw in one more cliché – hit the nail on the head.

The countryside that surrounds this Rossendale town has attracted walkers and ramblers for generations and the East Lancashire Railway, with steam trains that runs through the Irwell Valley, has added to its allure.

However, Ramsbottom is now gaining a reputation as a good place to live, shop and eat. It’s well known that when the BBC was trying to persuade staff to relocate from London to Salford, they were taken on a tour of Ramsbottom to illustrate the good things Lancashire has to offer.

In recent years, there has been a food revolution fuelled by the many award-winning food producers, restaurants and cafes. Events like Ramsbottom Chocolate Festival have helped to attract thousands to the town for the two-day event. It is now said to be the biggest festival of its kind in Europe. Meanwhile, the Ramsbottom Festival has attracted some big names in modern music and crowds to match.

These things help to raise the profile and make people realise that this is no longer simply a former mill town.

However, history is important to this friendly town founded in the Georgian era.

It was the fast-flowing river Irwell which brought the Industrial Revolution here. Wool, cotton, paper and metal goods manufacture all thrived thanks to the clean and plentiful water.

Among those industrialists were the Grant Brothers, later immortalised by Dickens in Nicholas Nickleby as the Cheeryble brothers.

Today, visitors will find in the region of 100 shops and businesses in the centre of Ramsbottom – a good number for a compact community. Many are independents and often specialist stores, with goods that can’t be found elsewhere in the region.

It has even been debated as a place to move to by the famously demanding mothers of mumsnet.com, where one contributor concluded: ‘Ramsbottom has become quite desirable - a couple of new nice bars, a fabulous award winning restaurant (and other nice ones) delis, farmers markets etc. Lovely little town within 5 mins of motorway north and south, makes it desirable for commuters.’

Well, they do say that mother knows best!

Five things

1. Ramsbottom is known to be stylish, independent and just a little bit quirky. Where else could you hold the world black pudding throwing championships?

2. The skyline is dominated by the Peel Monument built by one of the industrial families. Hundreds of people climb Holcome Hill at Easter for egg rolling.

3. The Irwell Sculpture Trail, one of the largest public art schemes in the UK, runs through Ramsbottom

4. Ramsbottom Heritage Gallery has exhibitions and information about the area and recently acquired a rare and original oil painting of the centre of Ramsbottom in the early 1800s.

5. The Summerseat Players are a thriving theatre company run by volunteers. They are based in the Theatre Royal, in the heart of Ramsbottom with an auditorium seating 200.


More from Out & About

Mon, 14:02

How many of these local landmarks can you recognise?

Read more
Quiz Spring

Rebekka O’Grady and photographer John Cocks meet some of the new independent businesses calling Southport home

Read more
Friday, February 9, 2018

Plans for around 600 new houses to be built in pretty Wyre village

Read more
Wednesday, February 7, 2018

John Lenehan toasts the re-opening of a Lancashire engineering landmark and notes an invention to revive any walker.

Read more
Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Kirkby Lonsdale sits on the spot where Lancashire, Yorkshire and Westmorland meet, making it a great base to explore the Lake District and the Yorkshire Dales. All these walks start of within a ten mile radius of Kirkby Lonsdale, making them a perfect day trip for anyone staying close to the historic market town.

Read more
Kirkby Lonsdale
Monday, February 5, 2018

From businesses selling banjoes to bridalwear from a former New York costume designer, Colne is a town for all seasons. Mairead Mahon reports.

Read more
Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Lake District walks dominate the top ten of Britain’s 100 list.

Read more
Lake District Lake District Walks
Friday, January 26, 2018

Barrow was built on hard graft but there’s plenty of beauty to be found as well, as Mike Glover reports


Read more
Thursday, January 25, 2018

Despite its bad reputation, the cuckoo has been a great and clever survivor in the wild. However, numbers have dipped since the 1970s. The Lancashire Wildlife Trust’s Alan Wright investigates this iconic spring bird.

Read more
Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Many of us are frustrated by our inability to swim well. Sarah Hill did something about it and now helps others. She spoke to Roger Borrell.

Read more
Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Celebrate the historic waterways of Lancashire with one of these canalside walks that allow you to enjoy the countryside and witness echoes the the county’s industrial past.

Read more
Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Their football clubs both wear navy blue and white strips, but how well can you identify landmarks in Bolton and Preston?

Read more
Preston Bolton Quiz
Friday, January 12, 2018

Spring is not too far off and that’s the time when the birds start getting noisier in our woodlands. The Lancashire Wildlife Trust’s Alan Wright investigates a couple of the stars of the Dawn Chorus.

Read more
Wednesday, January 10, 2018

John Lenehan selects a relatively gentle walk to blow away the post-Christmas cobwebs

Read more
Ribble Valley Walks
Great British Holidays advert link

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Subscribe or buy a mag today

Local Business Directory

Lancashire's trusted business finder

Job search in your local area

Property Search