On the edge of the West Pennine Moors, the charming town of Chorley has a history going back to the Bronze Age.
The town is famous for its markets, which date back in various forms to 1498. Book one of our Chorley hotels and head to the Flat Iron Market for bargains, or into the countryside for beauty.
Chorley has two main markets - the outdoor Flat Iron and the covered market. At the Flat Iron there are more than 150 stalls on busy days, with a plentiful supply of fresh food and produce, including local cheeses and Chorley cakes. There’s another local food and craft market in Fazakerley Street on the second Saturday of every month, with stallholders from across Lancashire.
Sports and leisure
You can explore the town on a Heritage Trail guided walk, or make the most of its leisure facilities. There are tennis courts in Astley Park and the Coronation Recreation Ground, and a leisure centre with two pools, a gym, table tennis, trampolines and badminton and squash courts. There are three golf courses close to the town - the 18-hole championship course at the Shaw Hill Hotel, another 18-hole course at Duxbury Park, and the nine-hole Yarrow Valley course.
West Pennine Moors
The West Pennine Moors stretch over 90 square miles of countryside, encompassing valleys, moorland, woodland, grassland, and more. The area is home to more than 600 species of plants and 100 species of birds. At-risk species including skylark, reed bunting, spotted flycatcher, song thrush and brown hares, as well as the twite, a bird almost entirely restricted to the southern Pennines, are found here. The moors are a great place to go walking, cycling or horse riding. Climb the 1,191-foot Rivington Pike and you’ll be able to see Blackpool Tower, the mountains in the Lake District and even the Isle of Man on a clear day. The 20-foot Pike Tower, on the summit, is a Grade II listed building, and was originally a hunting lodge.
Built around an internal Elizabethan courtyard, the Grade I listed Astley Hall dates from the 1570s. The building was extended in the 1600s and 1820s, but retains many of its original features. Here you’ll find a museum with exhibitions on military history, social history and Bronze Age artefacts, and an art gallery with more than 300 works, including pieces by Sutherland and Turner. There’s also pottery, glassware, silverware, tapestry and antique furniture to admire. The house is surrounded by the beautiful Astley Park, which includes historic woodland, a lake and a Victorian walled garden with an orchard, and a vegetable and herb patch.
Eating and drinking
There are more than 20 types of burger on the menu at the dog-friendly Loch and Quay pub, from kangaroo, to chicken and chorizo, or rare French steak. You can sit in the beer garden overlooking the Leeds and Liverpool Canal and enjoy cask ales and home-cooked pub classics. Head to Papa Luigi’s or the Italian Cottage for pizza and pasta, or the Vujon Indian Dining Room for a curry. At the Old Stables Vintage Tea Rooms, you’ll find an interesting range of cakes and delightfully old-fashioned décor.
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