Freemasons at Wiswell

UK England North West England Lancashire Clitheroe

A slice of country refinement in the heart of Lancashire's Ribble Valley

There is something unique the about the moors, hills, and pink-coloured buildings of the Ribble Valley in Lancashire. Many farms and villages are constructed from Pendle Grit stone, including the picturesque medieval village of Wiswell (pronounced Wizel), where the Freemason’s Arms is located. Tucked down a lane in the middle of the village, this is not only a locally renowned place to eat, it's also a comfortable base for what is a very underrated spot in the heart of Lancashire's most enticing region.

Hundreds of years ago, the Freemasons was actually three cottages, one of which was a lodge for Freemasons. Nowadays it's the food that is the star of the show here – under head chef, Steven Smith, serving ultra high-end gastropub fare of Michelin star quality in lodge’s upstairs dining rooms (indeed it has just achieved 5th place in the Estrella Damm’s Top 50 Gastropub Awards). Local fresh produce is always part of the menu so expect the freshest veg, Lancashire beef, Manx lobsters and scallops, plus unusual signature starters like truffle cheese hot dogs and lamb fat & rosemary brioche. You can even book a table in the kitchen if you want to be close to the action!

We're glad to say that breakfast is included in the price of their four brand-new rooms, and predictably it's almost worth coming here for this alone (duck fat fried bread, anyone?), although the rooms themselves are pretty special too. Named Mr Fox, Mr Hare, Partridge, and Grouse, and located in the building next door, each is uniquely styled and very elegant, with a contemporary country look and feel, incredibly comfortable super-king-size beds and high quality linen, underfloor heating, all singing-all-dancing lighting and plenty of closet space – plus tea and coffee-making facilities (including Nespresso machines) and bottled water. Reinforcing the no-expense-spared feel, they also all have 50-inch Smart TVs, Sonos sound systems and fast wifi. Bathrooms are gorgeous and spacious: two rooms have mezzanines with freestanding roll-top bathtubs and they all have spacious bathrooms with enormous showers, toiletries and robes.

That it's a terrific place to stay, there's no question, not only for the food and the overall feel of being thoroughly pampered, but also because The Freemasons is such a great base for the countryside around. There are fabulous walks straight from the pub into the nearby Wiswell Moors, you're very close to the glorious landscapes of the Forest of Bowland AONB and it is only about a 15-minute drive north to the handsome town of Clitheroe for shopping and the Bowland Food Hall.



Open all year


Rooms from £280 to £330 per night.


Contact Website  01254 822 218  Freemasons at Wiswell, Wiswell, Clitheroe, Lancashire BB7 9DF

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