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7 reasons to stay at Holmes Mill in Clitheroe

Established in 1823, Holmes Mill has grown from a humble spinning block to the beating heart of Clitheroe’s cultural and culinary scene.

Written by Becky Hardy
Published 06.04.2022

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THE BISTRO BAR & GRILL

With its Art Nouveau décor and a menu that reflects the very best of British seafood and grilled meats, the Bistro Bar & Grill is set to offer you a dining experience that is mouth-wateringly memorable.

When it comes to food, the philosophy of this modern British restaurant is really quite straightforward: the Bistro team take only the finest ingredients, treat them with care and respect, and deliver simply stunning dishes each and every time.

And, with the Bowland Food Hall for a larder, the Bistro, Bar & Grill has access to the best and freshest ingredients to be found in the North West. Their meat is sourced from Bowland and Lancashire, their seafood comes from Fleetwood, Lancaster and the markets at Manchester, and their seasonal fruit and vegetables are sourced from the farms of the flat lands of West Lancashire.

Not that it’s all about the food, here. Their decadent selection of drinks are also to dine for. Stylish, sophisticated and superbly well-stocked, the Bistro’s bar – sitting right at the heart of the restaurant – offers everything from a relaxed morning coffee or pre-dinner aperitifs to cocktails with the girls or a cheeky nightcap before heading up to your hotel room.

 

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THE BEER HALL

How often do you go away on holiday to find that your chosen staycation spot also has its own designated beer hall? Not often, right?

But that’s exactly what you’ll experience at Holmes Mill – and, let us tell you, it makes for quite the trip. The Beer Hall here is Bowland Brewery’s flagship tasting parlour. And what a flagship it is.

Great beer deserves a great bar, and The Beer Hall at Holmes Mill boasts not only one of the longest bars in Britain – measuring a whopping 105 feet and four inches in length – but also one of the best-stocked. It’s home to 42 hand-pulls and hosts a minimum of 24 individual cask beers at any given time, and that’s before we mention the bank of bespoke keg beers and lagers, too. And, of course, there’s an ever-changing selection of ciders, bottled beers and cans. So, while there isn’t quite every kind of beer you can imagine, this expertly curated selection comes pretty darn close.

Not that it’s all about beer, here. Holmes Mill is already making a bit of a name for itself as something of a foodie mecca in Lancashire, and it’s easy to see why. The comprehensive menu of tasty tucker served up in The Beer Hall features everything from small plates and snacks to nibble on with your drinks, to crowd-pleasing classics like burgers, hot dogs and pies. And there’s something for everyone, too, so veggie’s need not worry.

Like a little live music with your pint? Say no more. Fancy the perfect beer pairing with your meal? The bartender’s already got it sorted for you. Want to sample the newest beer on offer? Head along on a Thursday and be among the first to sample it. Up for a challenge? Head along to their Drink It Dry nights midweek and see what you’re made of. Or maybe you think of yourself as an intrepid beer explorer? Why not try their Circumnavigation and sample beers from all over the world? Whatever you fancy from your nights out, we can guarantee you’ll find it here.

THE BREWERY

Any staycation resort which has its own brewery onsite is a winner with us. Not that Bowland Brewery is any old brewery, mind. Their ales of outstanding natural beauty – brewed beneath the chimney at Holmes Mill – are crafted by some of the best artisan brewers this side of Lancashire and are inspired by the scenery and wildlife of the breath-takingly beautiful Forest of Bowland Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

Ales like Hen Harrier (4%), Boxer Blonde (4%) and Pheasant Plucker (3.7%), which make up some of Bowland’s core range of beers, have quickly established themselves among local ale aficionados to earn the brewery a string of prestigious awards. But you can always find a cheeky special edition craftie along with plenty of seasonal ales too, which makes a visit here always worth your while.

You can peruse Bowland Brewery’s entire range of bottled and canned beers in the Bowland Food Hall in Holmes Mill, where gorgeous gift packs and even mini casks are also available to take home. But what we love about Bowland Brewery (nosy parkers that we are), is to peek behind the scenes on one of their Brewery Tours and tastings and see exactly how the magic happens. They took a hiatus due to COVID but are due back very soon.

BOWLAND FOOD HALL

This is a bold statement and certainly not foregone conclusion by any means. But we feel confident to crown Bowland Food Hall as Holmes Mill’s pièce de resistance when it comes to visitor attractions. It’s that good.

Part-farm shop, part-deli, part-juice bar and part-health food store, this fabulous foodie haven offers up one of the most exquisite showcases of the finest, tastiest and healthiest food and drink in the North. All sourced from local producers, farmers and growers, of course.

However we choose to see it, Bowland Food Hall is all about quality and provenance. After all, if we are what we eat, then we might as well eat only the very best.

So, visit this foodie mecca, and be well prepared to discover your new taste obsession when you do. Because Bowland Food Hall stock everything you could ever imagine, and more – all brought together with passion and flair to create a feast for all the senses. Now this is food shopping as it should be.

THE GELATERIA

 Sweet-toothed sunbathers, assemble – Holmes Mill have their own Gelateria serving up fresh, homemade gelato in a whole host of sumptuous flavours that are darned near impossible to resist.

Quick question – is there anything better that the indulgence of gelato on a hot, summer’s day, made using locally sourced milk and cream? Because, honestly, we don’t think there is.

At The Gelateria, you’ll always find a constantly rotating selection of 18 classic and innovative flavours on offer – so, while you’ll never be disappointed, you can still try something new every time you pop in.

Vegans, don’t despair – they’ve got you. The Gelateria make sure to have new flavours of vegan sorbet available every week, so you have plenty of variety to choose from, too.

Not a fan of gelato? Weird, but ok. Not to worry – The Gelateria also serves up a sumptuous selection of waffles, shakes, crepes and other desserts. So whatever your sneaky sweet cravings, they’ll have just the dessert to hit the spot.

EVERYMAN CINEMA

Yep, when we said Holmes Mill had everything you could ever wish for from a staycation spot, we weren’t lying. 

Sure, it would be great to soak up that summer sunshine all day, every day. But we’re too used to our great British weather to think any breakaway will be as plain sailing as all that.

Which is why we are here for the rainy day retreats Holmes Mill offer up in abundance. And one of our favourites is their onsite Everyman Cinema.

Now, for any of you who haven’t yet had the pleasure of watching a film at an Everyman, let us give you a taste of what you can expect – because Everyman aims to completely revolutionise our cinema experience.

Sit back and relax in plush, luxury seating as you prepare to watch the very latest and most exclusive screenings of new releases, indie films and classic blockbusters. And, if you regret not getting that hot dog combo on the way in, simply order food and drink to be delivered directly to your seat. Oh, we almost forgot – the drink here can mean wine, beer and spirits as much as it can that XXL Diet Coke.

Think all your home comforts, but with that unforgettable big-screen experience.

THE LOCATION 

Now having firmly established itself as the jewel in Ribble Valley’s crown, Holmes Mill is a breakaway bolthole with elegance, energy and entertainment in spades.

There’s everything you could ever want here – including an enviable location. Because, while you don’t really have any reason to leave, Holmes Mill also makes for a perfectly positioned base from which to explore all the Ribble Valley has to enjoy.

The quiet, idyllic villages and soul-soothing countryside they have in this neck of the woods are particularly sublime. And speaking of woods, they happen to be outstanding, too – that is, the Forest of Bowland is anyway, as one of the UK’s 46 Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Which makes it the perfect pitstop for a spot of hiking, cycling, scrambling, wildlife spotting and stargazing.

Fondly referred to as the foodie capital of the North, Ribble Valley offers an array of gastronomic experiences for the discerning diner – from Michelin-star restaurants to family-friendly eateries, you’ll find plenty to fill your boots (and your plates). Not to be overlooked though, the countless wine bars and pubs in the area also set themselves apart from the crowd by their unequivocal elegance and charm.

Culture vultures will find plenty to indulge their curiosity here, too. Heritage sites such as the 14th century Whalley Abbey, the Ribchester Roman Museum and the medieval Clitheroe Castle have many a fascinating story to tell, while the enigmatic Stonyhurst College allegedly served as a source of inspiration for legendary author JRR Tolkien. Not that the area’s draw lies entirely in its past – Ribble Valley also plays host to a variety of annual cultural, music, art and food events, including the ever-growing Clitheroe Food Festival.

Considering all that Ribble Valley has to offer, it’s little wonder that the area is now regarded as one of the happiest UK. Indeed, we’ve even heard rumours that the Queen told her biographer that she and Prince Phillip once yearned to retire to the valley. Whether that’s true or not, what we do know is that you’ll have a right royal knees up here, whatever floats your boat.

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