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ribble valley walks

Walk Whalley Pendle hill

We are very lucky to be situated in the picturesque Ribble Valley, with many of it’s rolling hills and stunning landscapes designated an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty – it’s a walkers paradise!

Whether you choose a serious ramble or a gentle stroll, you will be rewarded with breathtaking countryside.

Walks with Taste in the Ribble Valley

Combining wonderful walks with delicious food sounds like a winning formula to us- who doesn't love good walks and good food?

These 7 self-guided, circular walks by Ribble Valley Borough Council offer the perfect opportunity to walk in the stunning Ribble Valley countryside and finish with a hearty meal and a well deserved drink!

Each route starts and finishes at a delightful place to eat.

The walks vary in distance and terrain so there should be something to suit everyone! The hard part is deciding which walk to choose first! 

Ribble Valley Walks


A 3 mile circular pub walks from the Aspinall Arms taking in glorious riverside paths, gazing pastures, ancient lanes and wild moorland of Ribble Valley, with excellent views throughout.

The Aspinall Arms is a 19th Century coaching Inn, that sits on the banks of the River Ribble, overlooking the All Hallows' Medieval Church and Great Mitton Hall. 

3 miles / 4.8 km

1.5 hours

Moderate: steep climbs and steps

Dog friendly - Livestock will be grazing in most of the fields, so please keep dogs under control and ideally on a lead.


This adventurous three-hour hike explores the foothills of Pendle, offering extensive views of the Ribble Valley, before diving into the wooded valleys beneath its flanks. It's the perfect route for a Sunday morning ramble or a Summer evening ramble.

The Assheton Arms is a popular destinationn inn, overlooking the picture postcard village of Downahm with a large outdoor seating area offering outstanding views of Pendle Hill.

4.8 miles / 7.8 km

2.5 - 3 hours

Moderate: 250m of ascent. Some short, steep climbs. Several stiles.

Dog friendly - - Livestock will be grazing in most of the fields, so please keep dogs under control and ideally on a lead.

Ribble Valley Walks
Ribble Valley Walks


This easy riverside ramble starts from Holmes Mill, where you can enjoy a pre- or post-walk meal or shop for some mouth-watering picnic treats before wandering through the grounds of Clitheroe's Normal Castle to the River Ribble - the perfect spot for an alfresco lunch or picnoc supper.

Holmes Mill is a lovingly restored Victorian textile mill at the heart of the bustling market town of Clitheroe. It offers a unique dining, retail and leisure experience which includes a brewery, beer hall, hotel, restaurants, cafe and the extraordinary Bowland Food Hall; a temple to fine local food.

4.2 miles / 6.8 km

1.5 - 2 hours

Easy: 100 m of ascent on good paths with just a few stiles.

Dog friendly - Livestock will be grazing in most of the fields, so please keep dogs under control and ideally on a lead.


Admire spectacular panoramic views of the Yorkshire Dales, the Bowland Fells and the Ribble Valley on this rewarding hike to the summit of Beacon Hill before returning to the Spread Eagle via ancient drovers' tracks for a well-deserved drink.

Nestling in the beautiful village of Sawley, The Spread Eagle is a historic coahing inn. With the river running at one side and the remains of a Cistercian Sawley Abbey on the other, it boasts a picture perfect location. 

6.2 miles / 10 km

3.5 hours

Pretty challenging: a long, steady climb on field paths and tracks, followed by a rugged descent

Ribble Valley Walks
Ribble Valley Walks


A pleasant afternoon ramble through the pastures above Waddington and up onto the fell for breath-taking views over the Ribble Valley before returning via pretty wooded ghylls for a pint at a bustling pub at the heart of the village.

The Waddington Arms is a wonderfully welcoming country inn located beside an ancient bablling brook at at the hub of a vibrant village.

4.3 miles / 7 km

2 - 2.5 hours

Moderate: 160m of ascent on good paths with several stiles.

Dog friendly - Livestock will be grazing in most of the fields, so please keep dogs under control and ideally on a lead.


You will be rewarded with wonderful views of Pendle and the South Penines as you pass through pastoral countryside. The trees along the route are also particularly interesting, with the route passing through beautiful old Beech woods on the lowland followed by the shapes of weathered trees on the high ground.

Set in 36 acres of beautifully maintained gardens, the Best Western Higher Trapp Hotel, with on-site restaurant, is full of charm, comfort and luxury.

5 miles / 8 km

2 - 2.5 hours

Partly challenging walk: long steady climb and a little wet in a very few places.

Ribble Valley Walks
Ribble Valley Walks


Admire breathtaking views across two stunning landscapes. An early climb will be well worth it, with panoramic views across the Bowland Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty to the north and then, once you have crossed the hill, the Penines to the south. It is the perfect route for a mid-week escape followed by a sumptious meal.

The Foxfields Country Hotel is the home of Artisan Ribble Valley. Born out of passion of where they are from, this restaurant is a food celebration of county pride and Ribble Valley love.

2.5 miles / 4 km

1.5 - 2 hours

Fairly challenging walk: early climb to the top of the hill, ladder stiles and perhaps boggy in places.

Nick o’ Pendle and Jeppe the Knave’s Grave from Pendleton walk

A walk specially commissioned by Whalley Warm and Dry, courtesy of former Editor of Country Walking Magazine, Mark Sutcliffe.

This satisfying little hike explores the foothills of mighty Pendle and visits the grave of a highwaymen beheaded for his crimes in the middle ages then interred on the site of a much earlier Anglo-Saxon burial. The start and finish point adjacent to one of the finest real ale pubs in Britain is an added bonus…

The Forest of Bowland - Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty

The remarkable Forest of Bowland is not to be missed.

Expanses of sky above the wild dramatic sweep of open moorland. Gentle and tidy lowlands, criss-crossed with dry stone walls and dotted with picturesque farms and villages. This is a place like no other, a place with a strong sense of stepping back in time to a forgotten part of the English countryside.

With so many wonderful places to walk in this Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, you are truly spoilt for choice! Thanfully the Forest of Bowland website makes it a little easier to decide which walk to go on first - you can choose by distance, access, facilitities and even interests.

The Tolkien Trail

Tolkien Trail

Image courtesy of Andy Pritchard

Walk in the footsteps of author J.R.R Tolkien on this 5.5 mile circular trail and see the stunning landscapes that may have inspired him when writing Lord of the Rings, including Hobbiton and the Buckleberry Ferry.

J.R.R Tolkien regularly spent time at Stonyhurst College in the Ribble Valley whilst working on the ‘Lord of the Rings’. Renowned for his love of nature, it is thought that the beautiful countryside and woodlands in the Ribble Valley, inspired J.R.R Tolkien whilst working on the epic trilogy.

A number of names which occur in 'The Lord of The Rings' are similar to those found locally including Shire Lane (in Hurst Green) and River Shirebourn (similar to the family name which built Stonyhurst). The ferry at Hacking Boat House (still working when J.R.R. Tolkien was here) may have provided the inspiration for the Buckleberry Ferry in the book.

The Tolkien Trail is a 5.5 mile circular route starting and finishing at Hurst Green in the Ribble Valley, Lancashire, just a ten minute drive from us. The Shireburn Arms in Hurst Green is a great place to relax and dine after completing the walk.

Clitheroe 50k

Clitheroe 50k

Looking for a challenge? Want to clock up some miles for Country Walking's #walk1000miles? Why not complete the Clitheroe Ramblers 50k route? This wonderful circular walk takes you through the heart of the majestic Ribble Valley countryside. 

Clitheroe Ramblers

Clitheroe Ramblers, one of our local Ramblers groups, are a very active and friendly group and extend a warm welcome to new walkers. 

They have a wonderful programme of group walks suitable for all ages and abilities, all led by experienced walk leaders. 

To download the 2019 Walks programme, please click 'Download' below.

Opening hours:
Tuesday - Saturday 10am - 5pm
& Sunday 12pm - 4pm