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Set on the banks of the river Hodder amid the breathtaking beauty of the Trough of Bowland is the glorious Inn at Whitewell. Despite its splendid isolation (set your SatNav when leaving the M6), there is much to enjoy when you eventually arrive.

The Inn boasts seven miles of fishing rights (four rods), and embraces a thriving wine merchant and shop, plus 26 individually decorated bedrooms; it's also situated in grand walking and cycling country, with paths and trails radiating from the front door.

Owner Charles Bowman and his staff have imbued this ancient stone hostelry with warmth, personality and a pleasing quirkiness - in fact, the whole place is wonderfully relaxed, laid-back and mildly eccentric with a lived-in country-house feel. Expect a hotchpotch of antique furnishings and paintings, blazing log fires, heavy beams and colourful rugs on stone or wood floors throughout the taproom, the library and warren of dining areas.

The views across the beautiful Hodder Valley and surrounding moorland are spectacular from almost every room. On sunny days, arrive early to bag one of the teak tables on the fabulous riverside terrace.

Rooms from

Doubles/twin: £140

Good to know

  • Major credit card accepted (not Amex)
  • Alfresco & private dining
  • Shooting & fly fishing
  • Wedding venue
  • Parking available
  • Dogs welcome overnight

Quiet romance
Book a table in the candelit restaurant, enjoy the luxurious rooms and soak up the views.

Outdoor adventures
The inn is in the heart of prime shooting, cycling and walking country - bring your dog, don your boots and ramble across the fabulous local countryside.

Water and waves
With seven miles of fishing rights and guided fishing excursions available, the Inn at Whitewell is the perfect spot to soak up the gorgeous river Hodder.


The 26 bedrooms ramble across the upper floors, adjoining coach house and a new-build barn - each has been individually decorated in classic country-house style as befits this grand old inn.

Rooms ooze comfort and good taste, with luxurious Colefax & Fowler fabrics, antique furnishings, fine old prints and paintings, sofas and wing chairs, superb stereo systems and retro-style phones. If you're not feeling pampered enough, seven rooms also have peat fires to make those winter evenings a little more cosy, while the big bathrooms boast incredible Victorian bathing machines, thick towels and bathrobes. The best and largest rooms overlook the river and the wild moorland beyond.

Rooms 4 & 9 were refurbished in early 2021 - expect smart Lewis & Wood fabrics and wallcoverings; two new rooms (25 & 26) with kitchen garden and river views opened in December 2021. Visitors who fancy staying longer with friends or family should book The Piggeries, a beautifully restored and delightfully furnished three-bedroomed cottage just a short stroll from the inn - from £2,080 per week.

Restaurant & bar

Jamie Cadman has headed up the kitchen team for some 20 years and continues to serve up delicious plates of modern British food at this isolated rural gem.

The menu in the bar focuses on satisfying dishes such as potted crab, traditional fish pie or Cumberland sausages, while the candlelit restaurant offers more elegant, extravagant dishes - perhaps Goosnargh duck, breast, croquette of duck leg, braised cabbage and apple, parsnip puree, and Cumberland sauce.

The local area provides the kitchen with fantastic beef and lamb from Burholme Farm down the road and great game from the Dunsop shoot, while other produce is sourced from around the Ribble Valley. Round off with a plate of Lancashire cheeses and a glass of Quinta Nova port. With no shop for miles around, hampers and picnic lunches are available to order - perfect if you wish to head off into hills for all-day walks and bike rides.

Charles Bowman's passion for wine can be seen in the superlative list of 400 wines (24 by the glass). With a bias towards smaller producers and 'natural' winemakers who concentrate on quality rather than mass-production, it is arranged by style rather than region and the ever-changing list is a delight to explore - every bottle can be purchased from the shop (Bowland Forest Vintners) at reception.

Private dining

Private dining for parties of up to 24 guests can be arranged in the Orangery, or up to 14 guests in the Gallery, which overlooks the Hodder river and rolling fells, and for larger parties and events the Marquee on the terrace can seat 60-120 guests.

Things to do

For a little injection of history, head to Gawthorpe Hall in Padiham. Sir Charles Barry, who designed London's Palace of Westminster, was responsible for the striking interiors of this imposing house outside Burnley. Gawthorpe Hall was once home to the Kay-Shuttleworth family, influential figures in the local textile industry. There are paintings here on loan from the National Portrait Gallery, so it's worth the visit.

The rugged grandeur of the nearby Forest of Bowland is a spectacular part of Britain's Pennine landscape. The forest is characterised by steep-sided valleys and tracts of heather-covered grouse moor. In addition to gentler routes and family rambles, there are several long-distance trails to enjoy - including the Ribble Way and the Pendle Way. For something a little different, try the 9km-Tolkien Trail at Hurst Green, north of Blackburn.

Getting here


Nearest train station: Clitheroe
Taxi from station: 18min
Drive: Lancaster 40min; Preston 42min; Blackpool 51min


Whitewell, Clitheroe, Lancashire BB7 3AT

Enquire to book

To make a booking enquiry, please use the form below or you can call our reservations team on 020 8161 0100. Our phone lines are open Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday, 11am - 3pm.

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