Why go there?
Longridge is the perfect base for exploring the wild and windswept area between Lancaster and Preston to the east of the M6. The town itself sits at the foot of Longridge Fell, a long ridge that offers superb views at its summit, offering you the contrasts of the Fylde Coast, the fells of the Forest of Bowland, the Yorkshire Dales and the towns and villages to the south, including Blackburn.
The town itself came to prominence in the 19th century with the boom in cotton and stone, and serves as an excellent base for a number of walks in the Ribble Valley, including the Ribble Way, which follows the course of the River Ribble from its source in the Dales to the estuary at Preston.
The town council has put together a special Five Walks Pack for exploring the immediate countryside around Longridge, which can be obtained from the local library or post office among other outlets.
To the north is the Forest of Bowland (pictured to the right) an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty that encompasses heather moorland and blanket bog, the latter of which serves as perfect habitat for a number of rare species of flora and fauna.
Where to stay
The Corporation Arms can be found in the heart of Longridge, and is a traditional pub offering five double rooms for £50 (single) or £70 (double) per night, which includes breakfast.
If you don’t mind staying just outside Longridge, then check out Ferrari’s Restaurant and Hotel, which has 22 double rooms, with tariffs ranging from £45-95 (single) to £60-110 (shared).
Where to eat
The Longridge Restaurant is the flagship in a small chain of restaurants owned by Paul Heathcote, and while its menus are expensive, you’ll be treated to the finest in local and seasonal produce. You can even have your meal cooked in front of you by the chef himself by choosing to dine at the Chef’s Table, which menus ranging in price from £36-65.
Also check out local rival Thymes, which also prides itself on using fresh local produce.
Tell us a local secret
It’s believed that JRR Tolkien, who visited the Ribble Valley while writing Lord of the Rings, may have based the locations in the Shire on the local geography to the east of Longridge.
Picture: Kevin Eaves / Shutterstock