Welcome to Rawtenstall!
Rossendale entered a period of major growth during the Industrial Revolution. The climate and weather, as well as Rawtenstall’s close proximity to Manchester was beneficial for the blossoming cotton industry.
Rawtenstall’s historic textile past is very much in evidence at every turn you take in the town. Ilex Mill dominates the area; a fine example of a 19th Century cotton mill now converted to luxury apartments. Row after row of stone, terraced houses, some back to back and some skilfully built on steep inclines with sharp angled roofs, criss-cross the town.
For a unique taste of this period head to Fitzpatrick’s, Britain’s last remaining temperance bar. Pull up a seat and sample the non-alcoholic delights of a Sarsaparilla cordial and savour the aroma of the herbs and spices.
Visitors to the Weavers Cottage can dip into a bygone era with one of the finest examples of an 18th century loom shop, complete with a Victorian kitchen, a clog shop, working “tippler toilets” and a tea room serving light refreshments. Rossendale Museum, once a mill-owner’s home and set within the tranquil Whitaker Park, unravels the local and social history of the area. Look out for the constantly changing exhibition programme and regular family events/activities.
Don’t miss out on Helmshore Textile Museum in Rossendale, winner of Small Visitor Attraction of the Year 2009/2010, the authentic Lancashire cotton mill comes complete with working machinery, a mighty waterwheel, live demos, exhibitions and events.
Rawtenstall Market is a thriving traditional market where you can find almost anything and everything under one roof!
Work your way down Bank Street for some great independent retail therapy. Try Sunday Best for the fashionista, their range is as good as you’d find in any large city centre and Bolthole for quirky gifts. Lambert’s Mill Shop is home to the Rossendale Shoe Museum, a designer of bespoke furniture, a café and over 20 local producers. It’s all under one roof so you are sure to snap up some tasty treats.
The Golf driving range and academy will be worth a look, and after tee off why not enjoy further activity at the Marl Pits pool and Sports complex. Situated amidst the picturesque Rossendale hills, the complex includes an airy 25 metre pool with a variety of water activities for all ages. For seasonal fun in any season try Ski Rossendale. The snow sport venue provides dry ski slope facilities for skiing, snowboarding and snow tubing, specialist instructors and all equipment with 3 different slopes to choose from.
And for the kids!
Hit the slopes with the Ski Rossendale Kid’s club, where you and your little ones can learn new skills and make new friends that could last a lifetime. For an indoor adventure visit Runamaock, a multicoloured, multitiered soft play park that includes a baby play area for the little kid’s and a café for the big kids. For even more exercise and excitement take a dip in Marl Pits Pool. The leisure complex runs a varied activities programme that will get the whole family involved.
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