From the rich history of Whalley Abbey to the vast array of independent retailers that grace the high street, Whalley is a destination for shoppers and historians alike, writes Libby Faulkner
The Cistercian abbey of Stanlow moved to Whalley in 1296. However, the church was built between 1330 and 1380, and the abbot’s lodging and infirmary not completed until around 1440. As well as the abbey’s interesting historic background the village also hosts the Whalley viaduct. The viaduct was built between 1846 and 1850 and is the longest and largest railway viaduct in Lancashire. The abbey ruins and the viaduct make for a perfect family day out, accompanied, of course, by lunch at one of the village’s many cafes or pubs.
The village has gone from strength to strength with the introduction of new parking, now making access through the centre easier than ever. With assets such as an award-winning outdoor shop as well as a truly independent award-winning wine retailer it’s no wonder people are flocking to this picturesque village.
If wandering the village for lunch doesn’t take your fancy perhaps an evening of fun and games will do. The annual Whalley Pickwick Night in December sees people in Victorian costume come to raise funds for charity. The first event was in the 1980s as a late night Christmas shopping event, and in more recent years has expanded with stalls, indoor events and a religious service.
Various walking routes also make the village the perfect attraction for hikers and ramblers alike. Whalley Nab is a large wooded hill that sits over the river from the village. Many routes take you on the hill overlooking the village and alongside the River Calder.
A popular nightlife scene has also begun to take shape in the village with the introduction of new wine and cocktail bars as well as new eateries.
Whether its history, culture, retail therapy or nightlife Whalley has everything while still maintaining the quaint beauty of a Ribble Valley village.