Tuesday, 20 July 2010

Lancashire is a land of contrasts.

On the one hand, it has some of the most urbanised and densely populated areas of the UK. The industrial revolution has left a legacy of dark satanic mills (most of which are now trendy loft apartments) and the town planners of the 20th century have left some fairly drab town centres and huge, unloved housing estates.

On the other hand, there is some of the most lush, untouched countryside in England. There are lovely villages, towns and a standard of living that those of us in London can only dream of. The combination of superb countryside and rich urban commuters have led to some brilliant places to visit to celebrate the local cuisine and culture.

As someone who grew up there and has since been a frequent visitor to the region, I get an increasing sense of regained identity in a region once so demoralised by the loss of many local industries since its industrial heyday.

At the weekend, I was lucky enough to be taken to one of the places celebrating Lancashire's gourmet culture, Bashall Barns. This is a farm shop and restaurant in a remote location near Clitheroe. As a dairy farm, they use their own milk to make their very popular ice cream, which is sold in the resturant and in tubs at the shop. Flavours that day included toffee, chocolate and vanilla, as well as seasonal British flavours such as gooseberry and rhubarb.

There is also a delicious selection of local specialities for which many ingredients are sourced in Lancashire, such as Goosnargh chicken and duck, Lancashire cheese and Bury black pudding. The food was served in generous portions, (as I have come to expect in the North) and the friendly staff gave a very warm welcome. Overall a fantastic experience. The farm shop itself had the famous ice cream, as well as local vegetables and beer brewed on-site.

They also had a really good selection of gardening and self-sufficiency books.

Well worth a visit if you are ever in the area, which of course is very unlikely! You might need to take a detour especially.


  1. Ah my home county and you're right the contrast between town and country couldn't be more different, in my case Oldham was home but Saddleworth was a Saturday visit to grandparents, walks on the moors etc. And the food, Lancashire cheese, black pudding, now you're talking!!

  2. Oddly enough - we were in Clitheroe over half term, but unfortunately I didn't know about this place. Maybe next time...

  3. Looks like a great place to visit and eat. If I could get there I know I would spent a lot of time looking around and sampling the food. I really like to see when places get a new purpose in life instead of falling into ruin.

  4. Nice to hear from a fellow Lancastrian Damo.

    There's just life, thank you for your great comments that I have just got all at once! Welcome, and nice to hear from you.

    Hi Rachael, this was my home county, but I saw a totally different side this day.