Ten of the cosiest pubs to visit in Lancashire

PUBLISHED: 00:00 19 October 2015 | UPDATED: 14:45 28 October 2017

Interior at the Butlers Arms


Enjoy a relaxing meal by the fireplace at some of Lancashire's top pubs.

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

The New Inn, Yealand Conyers

Things did not look good for this historic inn. A chequered past had seen highs and lows and it was eventually closed, much to the distress of locals who wanted to keep it as a focal point for the community. They tried to raise enough money to turn it into a community enterprise but the economics defeated them until a white knight in the shape of Barry Robinson, the owner of Plato’s in Kirkby Lonsdale and the Longlands Hotel in nearby Tewitfield, came along.

Highly experienced chef John Connor, along with his Darwen-born wife Zoe, are now running the inn. The food has been receiving rave reviews and it is a place making an impression. 

01524 805037, www.newinnyealand.com

The Three Fishes

This former Lancashire Life Food & Drink award winner continues to earn accolades as one of the UK’s finest more than a decade after it first opened. Quality regional producers are at the heart of the menu inspired by Nigel Haworth.

You can also enjoy regional cask ales and an award winning wine list chosen by leading wine expert, Craig Bancroft. It is the first of the Ribble Valley Inns to have opened. 

The Three Fishes, Mitton Road, Mitton, Lancashire, BB7 9PQ, 01254 826888, www.thethreefishes.com

The Cartford Inn

Patrick and Julie Beaume are at the helm of this 17th century riverside coaching inn, one of the UK’s top gastropubs. It boasts many accolades from the Michelin and Good Food Guides as well as being a winner of a prestigious Lancashire Life Dining Pub of the Year award.

Simple yet creative dishes are the mainstay of the menu using quality ingredients from local suppliers all prepared with care whether it’s a tempting starter, sharing platter or three-course meal. It is a place that consistently hits the mark.

There is lots of beautiful countryside to explore in the area and if you want to spend the night The Cartford Inn has many stunning rooms to choose from.

The Cartford Inn, Cartford Lane, Little Eccleston, Preston, PR3 0YP, 01995 670166, www.thecartfordinn.co.uk

Assheton Arms

The awards have come thick and fast for this Grade II listed pub in beautiful picture postcard Downham village. The former Lancashire Life Dining Pub of the Year has carved itself a reputation for top quality food. 

The kitchen team makes the best possible use of the fabulous fish supplied by Chris Neve. Haddock, hake, monkfish and salmon are menu regulars. This is all served up with spectacular views of Pendle Hill. It was also recently named on the Top 50 Gastropubs list.

The Assheton Arms, Downham, near Clitheroe, BB7 4BJ. 01200 441227, www.asshetonarms.com

Inn at Whitewell

Set above the River Hodder, the Inn at Whitewell is a spectacular rural inn offering home cooked ingredients that you can enjoy beside a cosy fireplace. Take pleasure in its relaxed environment, the stunning views of the Forest of Bowland and the lovely food created by the talented kitchen team. The inn also has 23 plush bedrooms where you can enjoy a country living experience.

The Inn at Whitewell, Clitheroe, Forest of Bowland, BB7 3AT, 01200 448222, www.innatwhitewell.com

Eagle and Child, Ramsbottom

The transformation at this popular pub is remarkable. The multi-award winning venue has a smart new bar and eating areas, as well as a stunning orangery with superb views across to Holcombe Moor.   

There is also a huge garden for outdoor dining and a smallholding maintained by the local Incredible Edible group. A new outdoor kitchen and bar is also set to open. The coaching inn is run as a social enterprise and has supported dozens of local young people into work and training in the food sector. 

01706 557181, www.eagle-and-child.com

Parkers Arms

Chef patron Stosie Madi and business partner Kathy Smith have brought the good times back to this lovely rural inn with critical acclaim from Jay Rayner and awards, including a Lancashire Life Food & Drink Award. The Parkers Arms capitalises on the area’s rich bounty of produce, creating modern, sophisticated food and local ales get a good show too. The menu is made up of 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

Bay Horse Inn, Ellel

Craig Wilkinson was shouting about provenance and traceability long before the likes of Jamie Oliver and an army of celebrity chefs turned them into foodie buzz words. The chef patron has been unswerving in his dedication to using and supplying local produce since he was a teenager.

Lancashire favourites like Goosnargh duck have been on his menus for years and now suppliers from the county are numerous. They also have their own herb garden, and customers sometimes bring in game from shoots while some of the fruit and vegetables come from the nearby Hay Carr Estate, which the Bay Horse Inn used to be a part of. 

01524 791204, www.bayhorseinn.com

The Butlers Arms, Pleasington

From the days when Michael Hales used to cook with his gran, Queenie Whitworth, this dedicated chef’s passion for turning out top quality food has never waned. Today, he runs the popular Butlers Arms in Pleasington.

The talented chef has transformed the fortunes of this now thriving pub. Working with an enthusiastic kitchen and front of house team the Butlers Arms is building a reputation for quality dining and service. Much of the produce served is local, including some from just a few steps away from the pub.

01254 207233,  www.thebutlersarmspleasington.co.uk




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