10 of the best dining pubs in the Ribble Valley
PUBLISHED: 00:00 03 June 2016
Our guide to some of the Ribble Valley's best gastropubs, in no particular order. Emma Mayoh reports
Spread Eagle Inn
This lovely coaching inn in the heart of the Ribble Valley has lovely views of the River Ribble, the remains of the historic Sawley Abbey, which dates back to the 12th century, and Pendle Hill.
The dining room takes full advantage of these views so you can enjoy the scenery while dining on award-winning food from Lancashire tapas and afternoon tea to classic dishes and platters.
Spread Eagle, Sawley, Clitheroe, BB7 4NH, 01200 441202, www.spreadeaglesawley.co.uk
The Higher Buck
Waddington’s historic Higher Buck re-opened in 2014 after a makeover, which added a few modern touches to the traditional pub set-up.
Numerous comfy sofas, roomy booths and the obligatory open fire bring a relaxed atmosphere and they serve a decent pint too. A lot of care is taken in sourcing the food – just what you’d expect from chef Michael Heathcote, who took The Duke of York in Grindleton to culinary success. Flavours are enhanced using an Esse charcoal grill and many of the ingredients are produced locally.
The location in the centre of the village and the hearty, varied menu, make it an ideal end to a day exploring Bowland.
The Square, Waddington, Clitheroe BB7 3HZ, 01200 423226, www.higherbuck.com
The awards have come thick and fast for this Grade II listed pub in picture perfect Downham village. The former Lancashire Life Dining Pub of the Year has carved itself a reputation for top quality food. The kitchen team makes use of the fabulous fish supplied by Chris Neve. Haddock, hake, monkfish and salmon are menu regulars. This is all served with spectacular views of Pendle Hill.
Assheton Arms, Downham, Clitheroe, BB7 4BJ, 01200 441227, www.seafoodpubcompany.com/the-assheton-arms
This lovely village in the pub in the heart of the Ribble Valley is the ideal place to spend an afternoon enjoying good food and drink. Originally a roadside coaching inn, the building, which once housed a Chinese restaurant, has been gutted, redesigned and rebuilt. Under the ownership of the team behind Mitton Hall and The Emporium in Clitheroe, this village pub is flying. The menu is full of local produce and specialties as well as wholesome meals like Cowman’s Cumberland sausages, creamy mash and onion gravy, Goosnargh duck breast with potato gratin, creamy Savoy cabbage and bacon and curry spiced monkfish, Bombay potatoes and mint yogurt.
Waddington Arms, Waddington, Clitheroe, BB7 3HP, 01200 423262, www.waddingtonarms.co.uk
Freemasons at Wiswell
This delightful country pub provides what some have described as a memorable gastronomic experience. And one visit to the Freemasons at Wiswell will make you realise its just not all talk. Chef patron Steven Smith, born in Blackburn, learned his much lauded culinary skills in some of the north’s top establishments before he decided to strike out on his own. It was the first pub in the history of the Good Food guide to receive seven out of ten and it took the top spot in the guide’s Top 50 Pubs list.
Freemasons at Wiswell, 8 Vicarage Fold, Wiswell, Clitheroe, BB7 9DF, 01254 822218, www.freemasonsatwiswell.com
Inn at Whitewell
This Lancashire heavyweight, which dates back to the 1300s, deservedly has an excellent reputation. It has picked up many awards for its food and head chef Jamie Cadman, steers this ship successfully while flying the flag for Lancashire food.
Expect seasonal grouse from Lancashire Moor, pheasant and partridge from the Dunsop shoot and Bowland beef and Lonk lamb from Burholme Farm, all of which can be seen from this wonderful, rural inn. Most evenings there will be plenty of diners waiting for an opportunity to sample food from this delightful menu, as well as to drink in the truly beautiful views and surroundings. There are in-house vintners able to offer an extensive and interesting range of wines, with up to twenty available by the glass.
Inn at Whitewell, near Clitheroe, BB7 3AT, 01200 48222, www.innatwhitewell.com
Red Pump Inn
If steaks are your thing, then the Red Pump Inn is the place for you. They source their beef from respected butcher, The Ginger Pig. The wide variety of steaks that include fillet, sirloin, rump, rib-eye, Argentinean picanha are expertly cooked by chef Thomas Drinkall and the team. The grill menu also has chicken, lamb and fish cuts as well as Irish stew and fish chowder for those requiring less of a protein feast.
The Red Pump, Clitheroe Road, Bashall Eaves, near Clitheroe, Lancashire, BB7 3DA. 1254 826 227. www.theredpumpinn.co.uk
The Three Fishes
This former Lancashire Life Dining Pub of the Year continues to earn accolades as one of the UK’s finest. Ian Moss, who has been head chef since 2014, has worked as sous chef at Northcote, also has previous experience in and around London including Michelin star establishments. Quality regional producers remain at the heart of Ian’s menu.
The Three Fishes, Mitton Road, near Whalley, BB7 9PQ, 01254 826888, www.thethreefishes.com
The Shireburn Arms
Situated in Hurst Green, the home of the Tolkien Trail, The Shireburn Arms is a 17th century inn with great character. Head chef Tom Drinkall serves up beautiful food that puts Lancashire produce in the spotlight. The pub’s patio areas to the front and rear are the ideal place to enjoy it and soak up the sun in the summer.
The Shireburn Arms, Whalley Road, Hurst Green, Clitheroe, BB7 9QJ, 01254 826678, www.shireburnarmshotel.co.uk.
The country pub in Newton-in-Bowland is a cracker. Amazing cooking using the best produce from the Trough of Bowland is what this place is all about. Food here is a celebration. As you would expect, seasonal produce is well used too and local ales get a good show. The menu is brimming with hearty fare as well as dishes with a global influence.
Parkers Arms, Newton-in-Bowland, near Clitheroe, BB7 3DY, 01200 446236, www.parkersarms.co.uk