I’ve done a lot of shoots in the past two years since starting photography as a profession which has been difficult during the pandemic, but luckily I am still managing to get quite a few clients. I’ve compiled a list of five great towns to visit and take photos around Lancashire.
Clitheroe is a market town surrounded by the Ribble Valley. Walking around the area, there are so many independent local shops and the market has a traditional and historical feel to it.
There are plenty of places to eat at that also offer a good pint of beer from the local Bowland Brewery. This brewery is based in Holmes Mill and you can even book to have a tour of the brewery. Bowland Brewery takes inspiration from the Forest of Bowland, which is a short distance from Clitheroe and the forest was designated as an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty in 1964.
A short way from the market is Clitheroe Castle, which is the smallest Norman castle in the UK. The stairs going up to the castle are steep but are definitely worth the exercise! At the top of the castle, you can see views of the town with the beautiful Ribble Valley in the background. There is lots to see at the castle as well with a museum, labyrinth, war memorial, the pinnacle and more.
Clitheroe is a beautiful place to visit and there is lots to do in the area, I hope I can return soon to explore further.
Next on the list is Burnley, where I currently live. It is well-known for Turf Moor, home to Burnley FC, and I can vouch that parking gets nuts all around the residential areas and the town centre gets very busy on match days! Burnley is also home to Towneley Park, which is a huge area of forest and parkland, which is lovely to walk around. I’ve taken quite a few photos here as practice for testing any new equipment out. Last time I visited there was a mini gallery on display about local wildlife in Towneley and Burnley’s local festival was on too!
While Towneley is mostly woodland, there are statues and cenotaphs dotted around to find. There are also lots of fields to walk around and you can pay a visit to Towneley Hall as well which has exhibitions and galleries inside. Another must see is the lake. If you sit near it quietly, you are likely to see squirrels that reside in the nearby trees, and of course the swans and ducks that live next to the lake.
Todmorden has several places of interest to see and is another market town. It’s a town I love visiting as there is lots to do. I’ve explored an abandoned graveyard, the canal, and even Devil’s Rock which is situated on the Moors. Although Todmorden is part of Yorkshire, it was part of Lancashire until 1974 and the border between Lancashire and Yorkshire used to run through the Town Hall. I still class it as part of Lancashire myself.
Devil’s Rock (also known as the Great Rock) is a really great place to visit and take photos but is not easy to get to! By car there are lots of twisty, steep, and very narrow lanes to climb which mean you need to be careful, but I think Devil’s Rock is worth it.
When you eventually get there, the Rock is a lot taller than you think and you can actually climb it. Upon climbing it I found some interesting graffiti, beautiful sights, and even a few pools of water created after years of erosion. At the top of the rock it is a lot windier than on the ground so you need to be careful if you’re climbing it – and especially if the weather is wet!
In Oldham there is Tandle Hill Country Park which is a huge woodland park with some fields as well – similar to Towneley in Burnley, but something about Tandle Hill feels magical to me. Tandle Hill is the oldest country park in Oldham and has been classed as a Site of Biological Importance for its rich wildlife and ecological systems.
There is also a war memorial monument that you can visit which commemorates soldiers from Oldham for their part in the First World War. Another monument to see is something that looks like a gravestone to remember those who died as a result of the Peterloo Massacre. What’s really beautiful about this place is that they have a dedicated area to plant memorial trees.
Last on the list is Watergrove Reservoir and the Drowned Village in Wardle. The history of the reservoir is that Watergrove village was a milling and quarry area, but in the 1930s it was decided that a reservoir should be created to provide drinking water for Rochdale. The village and a number of surrounding farms were also destroyed and the village now lies underneath the reservoir. There is also a bird watching area nearby and several walking trails too.
The reservoir itself is a vast body of water and it feels very calming watching it. While there isn’t a whole lot to do here besides take in the sights, it is a lovely place to visit that is rich in history and heritage.
Towns in Lancashire
While there are many more beautiful places to visit in Lancashire, I haven’t visited them all! I will be writing more articles about the beauty of local places in Lancashire and the North West as I visit them.
Jamie Robinson is a professional photographer for Robinson Photography based in Lancashire. You can visit his website.
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