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Take a short drive or cycle ride out of Lancaster along the River Lune and you’ll find yourself in the much celebrated and very beautiful Lune Valley.
From TMW Turner who painted this landscape, to the poet Thomas Gray and Victorian Art Patron John Ruskin, all honoured the wow factor of the Lune Valley.
One of the English countryside’s unspoilt gems, the Lune Valley begins just a few minutes’ drive from Lancaster and borders the Forest of Bowland Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and the Yorkshire Dales. For centuries it has provided inspiration for artists and writers, among them Wordsworth and Turner. The poet Thomas Gray was particularly impressed by the Crook O’Lune which he described as having “every feature which constitutes a perfect landscape.” See what he meant by taking a walk up to Gray’s Seat near Caton where the magnificent panorama featuring Ingleborough and the Howgill Fells unfolds.
Just further along the Lune Valley is the market town of Kirkby Lonsdale where the view across the River Lune so impressed John Ruskin that it was named after him. The gentle countryside of the Lune Valley is perfect for walkers looking for a quiet stroll or longer ramble with plenty of scenic places for a picnic.
If you’d rather take two wheels, the riverside cycleway follows the Lune from Lancaster and is also part of the 170-mile Way of the Roses cycle route from nearby Morecambe to Bridlington. The Lune Valley is also ideal for those who enjoy fishing, birdwatching or horseriding.
Picturesque villages with their unique heritage and individual shops, cafes and pubs are dotted throughout the Lune Valley with many hosting quirky events throughout the year including an art trail and a scarecrow festival.
Bordering both the Forest of Bowland Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and the Yorkshire Dales, this area of Lancashire boasts both stunning countryside and gastronomic gems; as discovered by Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon in the awardwinning series ‘The Trip’ when they stayed at Hipping Hall near Kirkby Lonsdale.
But you don’t have to be famous to feast in the Lune Valley, there are plenty of restaurants and cafés to suit every pocket and many picturesque spots are just perfect for a picnic.
Local specialities such as Lune Salmon and salt marsh lamb feature on menus throughout the area including The Highwayman near Kirkby Lonsdale, The Castle Inn at Hornby and The Fenwick Arms at Claughton.