Ice cream and gorgeous views: Hidden gems to visit along the East Lancashire Railway


With the Easter holidays upon us, many of us are looking for things to do over the long weekend. And with temperatures expected to rise, several hidden gems tucked away along the East Lancashire Railway line could provide the perfect trip out.

From quaint bars to quirky sculpture trails, we’ve compiled a list of spots within walking distance of the heritage railway to make the most of the sunshine.

READMORE: The gorgeous manor house dating back to the 14th century is Bolton’s hidden gem

Girls Ice Cream Jumper, Burrs Country Park



cow to cone

Just a short minute walk from Burrs Country Park station, the Jersey Girls Ice Cream Parlor produces stunning artisan ice cream from their very own herd of Jersey cattle – truly cow to cone.

Open Tuesday – Sunday 11am – 5pm.

Address – Higher Woodhill Farm, Woodhill Road BL8 1BS.

Closest station: Burrs Country Park, 11 minute walk

Mr Fitzpatrick’s, Rawtenstall



Mr Fitzpatrick’s has lots of indulgent treats – and is a short walk from the station

Mr Fitzpatrick’s is just a short walk from Rawtenstall station and is the last temperance bar in Britain. The bar is vegan and gluten-free friendly with lots of indulgent goodies on the menu such as vintage cordials, cakes, desserts and milkshakes.

Open Monday: 10am – 4pm, Wednesday: 11am – 5pm, Thursday – Friday: 10am – 5pm, Saturday: 10am – 4pm, Sunday: 11am – 3pm.

Address – 5 Bank St, Rawtenstall, Rossendale BB4 6QS.

Closest station: Rawtenstall, five minute walk

Irwell Sculpture Trail, Bury, Ramsbottom and Rawtenstall



Exhibit on Irwell Sculpture Trail in Ramsbottom

With 450 hashtags, the Irwell Sculpture Trail is definitely one of the most Instagrammable spots of the Irwell Valley. Visitors to the East Lancashire Railway can embrace their inner artist and hop off at either Bury Bolton Street station, Ramsbottom station or Rawtenstall station to explore the trail.

Closest station: Rawtenstall station, starts as you head off the station

Bloom Coffee Co, Bury



Bloom Coffee Co.

Located just around the corner from Bury Bolton Street station on the East Lancashire Railway, the independent coffee house offers full English breakfast with veggie and vegan options available too. The restaurant is also dog-friendly.

Open Mon – Fri: 8.30am – 3.30pm, Saturday: 8.30am – 4pm & Sunday: 9am – 3pm.

Address – 6 Market Street, Bury, BL9 0AJ.

Closest station: Bury Bolton Street, two minute walk

Northern Whisper Brewing Co, Ramsbottom & Rawtenstall



Northern Whisper Brewing Co have beers to suit every taste

The Northern Whisper Brewing Co. is a true hidden gem with tap rooms in Ramsbottom and Rawtenstall. Both within walking distance to the East Lancashire Railway, the tap rooms aim to push the boundaries of flavour, having a beer in their range to suit every taste.

Open Wednesday: 12pm – 10pm, Thursday: 2pm – 10pm, Friday – Saturday: 12pm – 12am & Sunday: 12pm – 9pm

Ramsbottom address – Northern Whisper Ramsbottom, 2 Market Place, Ramsbottom, Bury, BL0 9HT

Closest station: Ramsbottom station, three minute walk

Rawtenstall address – Northern Whisper Tap Room, 18 Newchurch Rd, Rawtenstall, Rossendale, BB4 7QX

Closest station: Ramsbottom station, three minute walk

Peel Tower and Holcombe Hill, Ramsbottom



Peel Tower

Peel Tower stands 128 feet high on Holcombe Hill with views spanning Manchester, Cheshire and North Wales.

Located just a half hour away from Ramsbottom station on the East Lancashire Railway, Peel Tower is one of the most impressive sights in the North West. The tower was opened in 1852 to commemorate Sir Robert Peel.

Address – Peel Monument, off Moorbottom Rd, Holcombe, Bury BL8 4NR

Closest station: Ramsbottom, 32 minute walk

Hearth of The Ram, Ramsbottom



The restaurant has a range of hearty meals to choose from

After hopping off the train at Ramsbottom, take a short minute stroll across the River Irwell to discover the Hearth of The Ram. The restaurant sits on the edge of the countryside, offering a range of hearty meals to choose from.

Open Sunday – Thursday: 12pm – 11pm & Friday – Saturday 12pm – 1am.

Address – 13 Peel Brow BL0 0AA Ramsbottom, UK.

Closest station: Ramsbottom, three minute walk

The Mouse Trap, Ramsbottom



Who doesn’t love a cheese board?

When it comes to pure indulgence, The Mouse Trap Cheese & Wine bar is the place to brie . The quirky and unique bar is another gem that offers warm-toned interior, cozy seating and low lighting, serving a range of drinks and a delicious food menu. Perfect to end the day with a glass of wine and a cheeseboard after a long hike.

Open Wednesday: 12–4pm, Thursday – Saturday: 12pm–12am & Sunday: 12–10pm

Address – 47 Bolton St, Ramsbottom, Bury BL0 9HU

Closest station: Ramsbottom, five minute walk

Irwell Riverside Walk, Irwell Vale

Just around the corner from Irwell Vale station you can embark on a relaxing riverside walk along the banks of the River Irwell. The walk is picture perfect with views right down the river overlooking the valley and the East Lancashire Railway.

Address – Start Location Postcode BL0 0QQ.

Closest station: Irwell Vale, three minute walk

The Chocolate Cafe, Ramsbottom



Sweet and savory: The Chocolate Cafe

The Chocolate Cafe is just a 5 minute walk from Ramsbottom station and has a range of mouth-watering sweet and savory treats. As well as the café, you can also visit the mini chocolate factory to watch the team create their range of award winning chocolate.

Open Tuesday – Sunday: 10am – 5pm.

Address – 2 Bolton Street BL0 9HX Ramsbottom, UK

Closest station: Ramsbottom, five minute walk.

For more information and to plan your day out, visit www.eastlancsrailway.org.uk.

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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