Clitheroe Castle stands on an isolated 100 feet high limestone crag and dominates the town of Clitheroe. It was built in the late 12th century by Robert de Lacy and is one of Lancashire’s most iconic buildings. Today only the keep remains and is said to be the second smallest in England. It offers great views of Clitheroe, Pendle Hill and the Ribble Valley landscape.
Clitheroe Castle Museum lies in the shadow of the castle and recently received a multi-million pound makeover. The galleries contain displays exploring the history of Clitheroe, the local landscape and natural history, and an Edwardian kitchen. Many of the exhibits are interactive, allowing the children to dress up, press buttons, and generally have fun. The North West Sound Archive is situated on the top floor of the building.
A fantastic café offers traditional Lancashire dishes utilising local produce such as sausages from Cowman’s and Mrs Dowson’s ice cream. Other facilities include a reception and gift shop, toilets, baby changing area, and lifts.
Extensive gardens surround the keep and museum. They are home to a rose garden, children’s playground, skate park, and a maze. A bandstand hosts concerts in the summer. The grounds also host other events such as the town’s annual bonfire night fireworks display.
In the summer (April to October) the museum is open daily from 11 am to 5 pm. Opening times in winter are noon to 4 pm. Admission to the museum costs £3.65 for adults and £2.75 for concessions. Accompanied children enjoy free entrance. Admission to the castle and grounds is free.
The castle and museum are situated at the southern end of Clitheroe town centre. The nearest long-stay car park is on Lowergate (postcode BB7 1AD). The castle is around ¼ mile from the train station.