A walkable trail around the historic town of Clitheroe sees visitors enjoy and appreciate a fantastic collection of art, writes Sarah Clemson

Quietly over the years Clitheroe has created something of an artistic movement through the arrival of many independent galleries to complement thealready established council-run heavyweights that are the Platform Gallery and the Steward’s Gallery.

Six galleries have now joined together to create Artwalk Clitheroe, a unique art trail through the town, which can be completed easily on foot and provides true diversity across the full spectrum of art.

The Artwalk is free of charge, open to all and it welcomes families and are all dog friendly. All the galleries are open during usual working hours throughout the year with the addition of some special Sunday events, when you can meet the artists and enjoy refreshments and music.

The ethos behind Artwalk Clitheroe is to showcase the wealth of artistic talent within the Ribble Valley. The events and concept have proved a phenomenal success with visitors travelling from Cheshire, Yorkshire, Greater Manchester and the Lakes to experience the art trail. Additionally, the work at all six venues revolves so there is always something new to see and enjoy time and again.

The six galleries featured on the Artwalk are:

Platform Gallery
Featuring changeable craft exhibitions, a craft shop and showcasing work by local and national designer-makers.

Steward’s Gallery
Housed within Clitheroe Castle, this is a dedicated space for art, photography and social history exhibits. An Open Art Competition is staged annually. The current exhibition, ‘Castles in the Air,’ features paintings and sculptures by Adrienne Seed, the winner of last year’s Ribble Valley Open Art Competition. The theme for this year is Extraordinary Women and the closing date for applications is 29th June.

Longitude Gallery
Established for five years, the gallery specialises in Modern British fine art and sculpture with particular patronage of local artists.

Atelier Arts
Atelier Arts is a dynamic working space for artists in the Ribble Valley. Artists Beverley Chapelhow and Keith Parkinson, who run Atelier Arts have been working from their studios in the centre of Clitheroe since 2012. Formerly called Ribble Valley Art Studios, Atelier Arts is the base for up to eight working artists and offers a range of arts services for professional and recreational artists alike. These include studio space, exhibitions of art for sale, art classes and workshops, community events, private tuition, talks and demonstrations.

The Keep
This is a boutique gallery for the 21st century, with original contemporary sculpture, exclusive prints, ceramics, books and gifts, unique light shades, cards and gifts. Known for its relaxed and less formal space in which to view contemporary artwork and design-led homeware, this is a small but beautiful space with great tunes, nice lighting and an atmosphere that’s chilled, not frosty!

Knowle Top Studios
Home to Irene Amiet and Duncan Phillips’ stunning photography and uniquely printed gifts featuring their images.
Katherine Rodgers, Ribble Valley Arts Development Officer, supported the idea to create an art trail from day one and gathered the six gallery owners together: “My role, is to support and showcase the Ribble Valley’s artistic talent in its many forms and the Artwalk is really gaining momentum with vast numbers enjoying the events and visiting the town all your round.”

Sarah Clemson of the Longitude Gallery comments: “There’s something so positive about the Artwalk, visitors just love the festival atmosphere of the Sunday events and can really enjoy art in a relaxed way. We are all friendly and welcoming and want to diminish the view that art is pretentious and stuffy.”

There are many lovely stories to report: “One couple visited Artwalk last year from Cheshire and returned again this year having enjoyed it so much. They booked an overnight stay with an evening meal this time and bought a much-loved piece of art to adorn their walls at home. It shows that the whole town benefits when businesses join together with good ideas.”

Knowle Top Studios adds: “As independent artists, we’ve always felt there was no competition in art, but that artists of various backgrounds create a symbiosis. Clitheroe has some of the North West’s finest art galleries, all within short walking distance from each other, all bringing their exhibitors’ unique style to market. Our Artwalk celebrates this variety in a fun and relaxed way that benefits families with children as much as experienced art connoisseurs.”

Sunday 24th June
11am and 4pm
Sunday 9th September



Tedd Walmsley

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