10 foodie walks in the Ribble Valley and Bowland
PUBLISHED: 11:01 09 April 2018 | UPDATED: 21:51 30 July 2018
A selection of walks in and around Bowland for outdoor types who like to end their hike on a high note – with some great food and drink.
Sometimes, sharing a pie as you perch on a country stile just isn’t enough.
You’ve done the hike and now you need a suitable reward in the shape of a plate of beautifully cooked food accompanied by a nicely poured pint of ale or a glass of decent quality plonk.
Anyone who has slogged up Whin Fell, slumped over a gate trying for dear life to catch your breath, will know that it’s hard to focus on anything other the fact that the corned beef hotpot on the menu at Puddleducks Tea Room at nearby Dunsop Bridge is almost within your grasp.
Lancashire is a county packed with stunning walks, often through remote countryside rarely disturbed by the internal combustion engine.
But it’s a comfort to know you are never far away from somewhere that serves breakfast, lunch, afternoon tea or dinner fit for a hiking hero.
Scorton to Nicky Nook
Scorton is the gateway to the Bowland Fells and the famous Trough of Bowland.Start out from the village and head out to Grizedale Reservoir and the 215 metre fell wonderfully named Nicky Nook.
There is plenty of high quality food available within Wyresdale Park thanks to the atmospheric Apple Store Café, part of the Wyreside estate, now very popular among hikers who like hearty home cooking.
Foodie hot spots: Apple Store Café plus the excellent Priory Hotel and the nearby Barn at Scorton.
Dunsop Bridge to Trough of Bowland
The Puddleducks Café has become a famous stop ping off point for ramblers looking for a quick bite before or after their walk. It was also visited by The Queen who owns most of this territory as the Duke of Lancaster.
This circular route heads north from the pretty village of Dunsop Bridge and explores the famous Trough of Bowland. You are rewarded with spectacular views of the Brennand Valley.
Foodie hot spots: Puddleducks Cafe.
Dunsop Bridge to Whitewell
If you head south from Dunsop Bridge, you can visit the famous stepping stones over the River Hodder and sample the delights of the multi award-winning Inn at Whitewell which is just around the corner.
The Queen had her first ever ‘pub lunch’ at The Inn at Whitewell, commenting: ‘If all pub lunches are like that, then I’d like some more.’
Foodie hot spots: Inn at Whitewell or take a detour westwards for the renovated Fleece at Dolphinholme.
Dunsop Bridge to Newton in Bowland
If you head east from Dunsop Bridge, you will discover the village of Newton-in Bowland.
This village has visitors from across the country as it’s the home of the Parkers Arms, which is widely considered to be one of the finest dining pubs in the UK, and it has the awards (including one from Lancashire Life) to prove it.
Foodie hot spots: The Parkers Arms and Riverbank Tearooms, Slaidburn.
Newton in Bowland to Slaidburn
If you want to start your walk from Newton-in–Bowland, you can visit the aforementioned Parkers Arms.
Head out towards the north-east and you will reach the village of Slaidburn which is home to the Riverbanks Tearooms and the Hark to Bounty Inn, a historic country pub which has the old courtroom upstairs.
Foodie hot spots: Riverbank Tearooms, Hark to Bounty Inn.
Slaidburn to Croasdale
If you’re setting off from Slaidburn, this walk follows a section of the Roman road called Watling Street that ran from Manchester to Carlisle.
It also crosses paths with the Lancashire Witches Walk from Barrowford to Lancaster, upon which those poor unfortunates were taken from Clitheroe to Lancaster Castle.
Foodie hot spots: Drop down to Waddington, a tiny village with three great dining pubs, The Higher Buck, the Lower Buck and the Waddington Arms.
Downham to Pendle Hill
There are many routes upon which you can tackle the summit of Pendle Hill, but it is hard to find a more tranquil starting point than the village of Downham, where there are no intrusive road signs, satellite dishes or double yellow lines.
The Assheton Arms is an award-winning dining pub that is one of the Seafood Pub Company locations across the Ribble Valley.
Foodie hot spots: Assheton Arms.
Sawley to Bolton-by-Bowland
This walk from Sawley starts out at the Spread Eagle Inn and heads north to Bolton by Bowland.
The Garden Kitchen at Holden Clough Nursery has become famous in recent years for its afternoon tea offerings and it is just a few minutes drive away.
Foodie hot spots: Spread Eagle Inn, Holden Clough Nursery.
Ribchester to Hurst Green
The most famous walk associated with this area is the Tolkien Trail near the grounds of Stonyhurst College and many walkers will pop into Hurst Green and the Shireburn Arms.
You can also visit the Café at Stydd Gardens which is just a mile away from the starting point at Salesbury Hall.
Foodie hot spots: The Shireburn Arms in Hurst Green.
Clitheroe to Mitton
This walk from Clitheroe to Mitton via the Hodder and Ribble rivers passes by a few foodie locations including the Three Fishes, which is part of the same group as the Michelin starred Northcote.
The start and end point of this walk is just 20 minutes walk from Holmes Mill in Clitheroe, which is fast becoming another great Ribble Valley foodie destination.
Foodie hot spots: The Three Fishes, Holmes Mill and Mitton Hall, a remarkable hotel with an excellent reputation for food.