CHRISTMAS OFFER 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.

0 comments

More from Out & About

Art is just one of the many attraction on offer in this busy Lakeland town.

Read more
Wednesday, December 5, 2018

Garstang is a lovely old market town and the perfect place to walk off the Christmas dinner. John Lenehan reports

Read more
Thursday, November 29, 2018

Christmas traps many people indoors so it is nice to get out into the wild and breathe in some fresh air. The Wildlife Trust’s Alan Wright finds a hidden corner where you can look out for lots of birds

Read more
Wednesday, November 28, 2018

This pretty coastal town has an irresistible pulling power for people wanting to set up their own business and that’s good news for locals and visitors

Read more
Tuesday, November 27, 2018

This Lancashire city is transforming itself into a centre for the best food and drink, hospitality and heritage

Read more
Preston
Friday, November 16, 2018

With the West Pennine Moors and the summits of Rivington Pike and Winter Hill right on its doorstp, Bolton has plenty of options for walkers.

Read more
Bolton
Monday, November 12, 2018

Lytham Hall was the spectacular setting for a glittering weekend of steam engines, tractors, cars and family fun.

Read more

Barrowford is one of Lancashire’s most stylish towns but it also has some quirky tales to tell

Read more

The busy West Lancashire village of Parbold scores highly for natural beauty and community spirit

Read more

The two-and-a-half year initiative to preserve the remains of the copper mines.

Read more
Coniston
Thursday, November 8, 2018

Books by Lancashire writer Paula Daly are being filmed in the Lakes by the Broadchurch team for a six-part TV drama starring Rochdale’s Anna Friel

Read more
Wednesday, November 7, 2018

Fact and fiction merge to create a tale of murder and kidnap in a novel based on Rufford Old Hall by National Trust volunteer Margaret Lambert

Read more

Liverpool has always buzzed, even in its darker days, but today it’s booming, and underpinning the resurgence are institutions with roots deep in the Merseyside soil

Read more
Liverpool
Friday, November 2, 2018

With carpets of damp fallen leaves and rotting deadwood covering woodlands, autumn is the time when fungi of all shapes and sizes thrive. The Lancashire Wildlife Trust’s Molly Toal explores the mushroom kingdom.

Read more

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy



Subscribe or buy a mag today

Local Business Directory

Property Search