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Having previously been a mill town of the Industrial Revolution, Bacup was once described by English Heritage as the best preserved cotton mill town in England and many of its traditional features are being preserved and celebrated in this quaint and welcoming town.
Bacup is mentioned in a charter by Robert de Lacey in 1200 where a small village named "Fulebachope" is described. The Oxford Dictionary of British Place Names translates this as "muddy valley by a ridge", which remains a recognisably accurate description. It makes it one of the oldest settlements in the Rossendale Valley.
In terms of altitude, Bacup is the highest town in East Lancashire (835'/250m above sea level) so it provides many points for a scenic view across the stunning Rossendale Valley.
The famous River Irwell runs from Bacup through the Rossendale Valley to Salford and is an important feature in the Valley. The Irwell Sculpture Trail is well worth a walk and has 70 sculptures between Bacup and Salford Quays. Download the map for the route here.
Bacup is home to one of the few remaining English folk dance troupes who wear black-face - the Britannia Coco-Nut Dancers, or 'Nutters'. They are also the only genuinely old traditional team in existence, 'the most astounding dance occasion in the entire Custom Calendar'.
Must see attractions in Rossendale include the Adrenaline Gateway at Lee Quarry Mountain Bike Trail in Bacup where riders can test their skills on the red and black routes; one of the designers is world class competitor Rowan Sorrel.
Cragg Quarry is another one of Rossendale’s super adrenaline sport quarries. Our quarries hark back to Rossendale’s past stone roots, but with a modern twist, they are perfect for adrenaline junkies and keen mountain bikers.
Bacup is home to the hidden gem of Bacup Natural History Museum, wholly dedicated to the interesting tales and displays of Rossendale’s past.
Bacup is home to the 17 feet long Elgin Street which has the (much disputed) title of 'shortest street in the world' according to the Guinness Book of Records.
Another claim to fame for the town is that the 1980s TV police drama, Juliet Bravo was filmed there, also Hetty Wainthropp Investigates, parts of The League of Gentlemen and much of the film Girls' Night.
Stacksteads is home to the Flight Deck Experience, used by professional pilot and the general public alike so anyone can have their Top Gun moment!
The beautiful Stubbylee Park, which houses Stubby Lee Hall, is lovely for a nice walk and afternoon lunch.
Bacup Royal Court Theatre puts on a wealth of shows; they’ve been showcasing strong, local talent for over 120 years.
Rossendale has a strong offer of real ale breweries, and Bacup boasts the wonderful Bare Arts where you can try lots of distinctive ales.