A dozen delightful destinations that should be on your list of places to visit in the Ribble Valley.

Great British Life: The Inn at Whitewell. Photo: Kirsty ThompsonThe Inn at Whitewell. Photo: Kirsty Thompson

Bottoms up

The Ribble Valley is a haven for wine lovers, with historic D.Byrne and Co. in Clitheroe, and the Shed at Stydd Gardens in Ribchester being particularly well known. Family-owned Whalley Wine Shop also continues to collect awards with a desire to make it more accessible and enjoyable for people to buy fine wine and spirits.

Similarly, Bowland Forest Vintners think that buying wine should be fun – and you’d be hard pressed not to enjoy a trip to their characterful shop, inside The Inn at Whitewell. And while you’re there you could enjoy a meal at the Inn which is one of the finest dining destinations in the county and is surrounded by glorious countryside. thewhalleywineshop.com, bowlandforestvintners.co.uk

Great British Life: Mountain biking in Gisburn Forest. Photo: Jon SparksMountain biking in Gisburn Forest. Photo: Jon Sparks

Walk this way

Gisburn Forest is famous for mountain biking, but there are also miles of fantastic footpaths to explore.

At the moment, families with young children can enjoy the Zog trail on a pushchair friendly route. Collect an activity trail (and maybe a snack) from the cafe/visitor centre and use the app to interact with Julia Donaldson’s beloved dragon.

There are plenty of routes criss-crossing the forest, taking in birdwatching hides, picnic areas and stunning scenery; the circular trail around Stocks reservoir is particularly rewarding.

Gisburn Forest is one of five accredited Dark Sky Discovery Sites in The Forest of Bowland AONB, so look out for after-dark events with local astronomers and photographers. forestryengland.uk/gisburn-forest-and-stocks

Clitheroe cabaret

An almost-monthly cabaret lounge welcoming visitors to a decadent spectacle of world-class aerial acts, fire performers, professional dancers, and live music. The Hideaway Cabaret in Clitheroe sees Flip Side Fitness transformed into sophisticated cabaret lounge that oozes sophistication and sauciness with a side of sequins.

Owner Yvette Mauback-Lang has performed ice shows for the likes of Alton Towers, Swarovski, Range Rover, the Bahrain Grand Prix, and Red Bull Racing, while husband Zoltan is a former Hungarian gymnastics champion who has performed with Cirque du Soleil in Las Vegas.

Bring your own bottle and marvel at the world-class acts, then take to the dance floor between each performance to show off your own best moves. iceglitzproductions.com

Coronation meadows

Coronation Meadows were the brainchild of HRH The (then) Prince of Wales to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the Queen’s coronation. The idea to create new meadows – at least one in every county – came when he read Plantlife’s 2012 report and recognised that 97% of the UK’s wildflower-rich grasslands had been lost in the previous 75 years.

Bell Sykes Meadows in Slaidburn includes six unimproved flower-rich fields which can be explored on a scenic circular walk from the village. Three meadows include grasses such as meadow foxtail and sweet vernal grass, with flowers including great burnet and meadowsweet. The upper three fields are home to the characteristic flowers of dry hay meadows in northern England. coronationmeadows.org.uk

Great British Life: The entrance to Gisburne Park. Photo: John LenehanThe entrance to Gisburne Park. Photo: John Lenehan

Estate of play

Hindelinis restaurant sits within Ribblesdale Park, at the heart of the privately-owned Gisburne Park Estate; 1000 acres of picturesque Ribble Valley countryside. Visitors to the restaurant enjoy fantastic food sourced from local suppliers – and may also meet friendly local deer and the park’s resident peacocks.

The restaurant, which is open seven days a week, features a creative menu and has a bright and welcoming atmosphere. This warm welcome is much appreciated after a wet and windy dog walk in the surrounding parkland. Ribblesdale Park offers a wealth of accommodation options and runs a host of events throughout the year, so look out for live music and family friendly fun. ribblesdalepark.com

Absolute bangers

Farnsworths Fresh Foods in Whalley may not be a fashionable foodie venue or a picturesque farm shop, but it’s where you’ll find some of the tastiest sausages in Lancashire. This family-owned company supplies discerning butchers and top class eateries across Lancashire, which is testament to quality and flavour of their sausages, burgers and more. As a wholesaler, the smallest quantity of sausages you can buy is 2.5kg. But don’t worry; when they’re this tasty you’ll want to fill your freezer. 01254 824644

Pies and plants

You shouldn’t travel through (or even remotely near) Chatburn without calling at Roy Porter’s Butchers for a pie. Radio presenter Chris Evans proclaimed them the best pork pies he’d ever tasted, and there are plenty of people across the Ribble Valley who would agree. High quality meat is sourced from local farms, and the pastry is made from scratch on the premises. Vegetarian pies are available, too.

And while you’re in Chatburn, grab an ice cream from Hudsons Ices (est.1947) before heading to Newlands Nursery and Garden Centre. Owned by professional gardeners Chris and Peter Bristol, Newlands has a range of reasonably-priced perennials, bedding, shrubs, hedging, fruit and vegetable plants and offers guidance on how to keep them thriving. newlandsnurserychatburn.co.uk

Heart and sole

Whalley Warm and Dry has attracted customers from every postcode in England, making this award-winning outdoor shop less a ‘hidden gem’ and more a treasured Ribble Valley institution.

Nothing is too much trouble for the knowledgeable team and their specialist boot fitting service ensures there is something for everyone. Some boots even come in five different widths, with the option to stretch and mould them in specific areas. The fact that farmers, fencers, and foresters trust Whalley Warm and Dry for weatherproof footwear is testament to the quality you can expect. You’ll find everything you need – from base layers to boots and bags – to explore the stunning local scenery in comfort. whalleyoutdoor.co.uk

Coffee cafe

There’s a good chance you’ll smell the delicious aroma of coffee roasting on Wellgate before you actually step inside Exchange Coffee in Clitheroe. The shop has shelves full of tea and coffee tins and is home to 30 varieties of freshly roasted coffee, with 60 different loose leaf teas available to take home.

The shop leads through to a three-storey coffee house which also serves lunch and cakes. The distinctive William Morris décor is stylish and welcoming, making you feel as though you’ve stepped into the 1930s as you ascend the stairs. Keep climbing for the reward of the cosy and quiet ‘attic’ room, by which time you will have really earned your coffee break. Exchangecoffee.co.uk

Great British Life: Historic homes in Ribchester. Photo: Kirsty ThompsonHistoric homes in Ribchester. Photo: Kirsty Thompson

Just Roman about

The Romans were pretty keen on Ribchester: one of them, on returning home, wrote that the village was the richest town in Christendom. Their fort here was called Bremetannacum and its history is recorded at the small museum in the village. A well preserved helmet was found here which is now on dispaly in the British Museum. The village is no longer the richest in Christendom, but there is a lot to love.

One attraction is the Ribble Way which passes through the village and with a range of pubs, cafes to offer sustenance, it’s a dedicated walker or cyclist who doesn’t decide to sack off their exertions in favour of sampling the great range of food and drink on offer.

Little gem

Aptly named, this farm shop and eatery acts like a ‘little town’ stocking almost everything you could possibly need. Situated just outside Longridge, Little Town is a farm shop, butchery and tea room, with its own garden centre. Alongside delicious home-reared and home-cooked produce, Little Town also sells heating supplies and animal feed.

Although it has recently expanded, Little Town Farm Shop still feels familiar and welcoming. The family pride themselves on stocking home-bred meats and dairy products from their own farm, so they can vouch for every product’s quality and every animal’s health and welfare. They work with other local suppliers and family-run businesses to source the items they don’t currently produce. littletownfarmshop.co.uk

Great British Life: Beautiful Browsholme Hall. Photo: Kirsty ThompsonBeautiful Browsholme Hall. Photo: Kirsty Thompson

Family history

Set in unspoilt countryside with a three-acre lake within its grounds, Browsholme Hall is Lancashire's oldest family home. 14 generations of the Parker family have lived here, from Henry VII to the present day.

Amanda Parker has just been appointed by King Charles lll as His Majesty’s Lord Lieutenant for the County of Lancashire.

Tours of the historic hall and gardens run on Tuesdays and Wednesdays from April to October, when the Cart Shed Tearoom is also open to enjoy tea and cake or lunch from the locally sourced menu.

Browsholme is also home to the Tithe Barn, a popular wedding venue soon to feature in a TV show ‘Wedding Valley’ on W Channel. Browsholme.com