If you’re in need of a new, killer Instagram post to mark the nice weather officially making its grand entrance into 2022, then the East Lancashire Railway is your secret weapon.

From quaint bars to quirky sculpture trails, the heritage railway will provide a unique way to explore the most Instagrammable spots of the Irwell Valley and make the most of the sunshine.

If your feed is lacking a mouthwatering foodie post or a panoramic shot of picturesque countryside, then this guide will provide you with the best secret spots that are waiting to be uploaded to the ‘Gram.

Jersey Girls Ice Cream – Burrs Country Park (#jerseygirlsicecream)

Who can resist the opportunity for a heavenly foodie pic on Instagram? Grab a scoop or two from The Jersey Girls Ice Cream Parlour whilst snapping up your next post. Just a short minute walk from Burrs Country Park station, the parlour 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

You can keep up to date with the latest news and events through their Facebook page.

Mr Fitzpatrick’s – Rawtenstall (#mrfitzpatrickstemperancebar)

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, which have definitely earned an ‘Instagrammable’ status.

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

Find out more on their website.


Irwell Sculpture Trail – Bury, Ramsbottom and Rawtenstall (#irwellsculpturetrail)

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 artists and hop off at either Bury Bolton Street station, Ramsbottom station or Rawtenstall station to explore the trail that winds its way through the Irwell Valley.

The trail is the largest sculpture route in the UK and provides a fascinating backdrop to the local landscape, which is waiting to be shown off in the sunshine.

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

You can find out more and plan your route on the website.


Bloom Coffee Co. – Bury (#bloomcoffeeco)

Located just around the corner from Bury Bolton Street station on the East Lancashire Railway, the independent coffee house provides endless opportunities to snap your next Instagram picture – and your four-legged friends can be in it too, as Bloom Coffee Co. is also dog-friendly!

Already with hundreds of tagged posts on Instagram, Bloom Coffee Co. is an obvious choice if you’re looking to level up your Insta feed with a post of their luscious full English breakfast, with veggie and vegan options are available too.

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

You can keep up to date with Bloom Coffee Co. through their Instagram.


Northern Whisper Brewing Co. – Ramsbottom & Rawtenstall (#northernwhisperbrewingco.)

With just over 100 hashtagged posts on Instagram, 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

Find out more on their website: https://northernwhisperbrewingco.co.uk/


Peel Tower, Holcombe Hill – Ramsbottom (#peeltower)

For those whose Instagram feed is lacking picturesque views of Lancashire, head to Peel Tower which stands 128 feet high on Holcombe Hill overlooking the town of Ramsbottom 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 (#hearthoftheram)

After hopping off the train at Ramsbottom, take a short minute stroll across the River Irwell to discover the Hearth of The Ram which sits on the edge of the countryside. The perfect spot for your next ‘foodstagram’ post with a range of hearty meals to choose from, the pub provides the best quality food and drink that reinvents classic local flavours.

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

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

Closest station: Ramsbottom, three minute walk

You can find out more on their website: http://www.hearthoftheram.com/


The Mouse Trap – Ramsbottom (#themousetraprammy)

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 brings endless Instagram moments with their warm-toned interior, cosy 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

You can find out more on their website.


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 and would get you storming the Instagram algorithm 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

You can find out more about the route here.


The Chocolate Cafe – Ramsbottom

This hidden gem knows how to take a classic milkshake to new, Instagrammable heights. The Chocolate Cafe is just a 5 minute walk from Ramsbottom station and has a range of mouthwatering sweet and savoury treats that are sure to cause envy amongst your Insta followers.

As well as the cafe, you can pay a visit to their chocolate shop with a full range of quality handmade chocolate products with innovative flavours and their mini chocolate factory where you can see the team at work creating 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.

Find out more on their website.


With amazing heritage steam trains, picture perfect platforms, 12 miles of stunning scenery and seven different stops for you to hop off and explore, East Lancashire Railway is the perfect way to capture the fascinating spots along the Irwell Valley.

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