Let’s Take A Walk…
Bob Clare takes us on a short town walk around Clitheroe pointing out many of the interesting features including the castle, which dominates the landscape
Start: Railway station Clitheroe
Distance: One mile
Time: Less than an hour but add on time for the Castle Museum
Grade: Overall an easy town walk but the way up to the castle is steep
Map: OS OL 41 The Forest of Bowland
Standing in front of the station turn right onto Station Road passing Booths on the right and the entrance to the market on the left. Follow the road as it swings left. At the junction with Parson Lane turn right. Cross the road and just before the railway bridge turn left onto the playing fields below Clitheroe Castle. The way is obvious keeping left following a wide path taking you to a junction below the battlements of the castle. From here go right in the direction of the Sculpture Garden and a noteworthy feature – the Pinnacle.
With the castle to your left keep ahead on a narrow path that leads to a set of steps taking you to the forecourt of the Castle Museum. This amenity is a hidden gem with easy to follow displays providing information about the castle, the town and the exhibits. You’ll need little persuasion to walk up to the keep with a walkway providing an outstanding viewpoint over the town and surrounding countryside. Directly east Pendle dominates this part of the Ribble Valley. To the north Hanson’s Cement Works will be seen while to the west rise the hills of the Bowland Massif.
Returning to the forecourt, bear left to take the main drive down to Castle Street. This is the commercial hub of the town with shops, pubs and tea rooms along its length. When you reach the junction by the library (a striking flat-iron building paid for by the Carnegie Foundation) bear left on to Church Brow. This takes you past some of the oldest dwellings in the town to the church of St Mary’s Magdelene. Turn left into its yard and then follow a path leading down to Church Close. Turn left then immediately right into Brennand Street. At the end, turn right and then left into Railway View Road which leads back to the station.
POINTS OF INTEREST
The Castle: Built in the 12th century probably to replace an earlier wooden structure, Clitheroe Castle’s keep in one of the smallest in the country. Small it may be but standing by it one can easily observe that it would have dominated the settlement that became Clitheroe – and the Ribble Valley a vital communication route between Lancashire and Yorkshire.
The Pinnacle: The recently restored Pinnacle was originally a feature of the Palace of Westminster. During restoration work on the Parliament buildings it was purchased by Sir George Brass Clitheroe’s MP of the time and placed in the Rose Garden to commemorate the coronation of King George VI.
The Swan & Royal: The hotel on Castle Street has had some notable guests in the past including Sir Frank Whittle designer of the modern jet engine, Sir Winston Churchill and Mahatma Gandhi, who toured Lancashire in 1931 to explain the Indian boycott of British goods to textile workers and mill owners.
With thanks to Bob Clare chairman Norwest Fellwalking Club and author of 100 Walks in Lancashire published by Crowood Press.
Bob’s walks are now available as digital guides on the iFootpath website and app.