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1823 Spinning Block Hotel, Clitheroe: ‘Don Draper would love this place’ – review

Clitheroe’s Holmes Mill combines a brewery, food hall, restaurant and hotel to stylish effect. In fact, there are so many foodie delights it’s no wonder our writer spent so little time in his room

Even by east Lancashire’s unassuming standards, Clitheroe maintains a low-profile. This gateway to the Ribble valley – an area loved by walkers, cyclists and foodies – sits at the end of a train line from Manchester but you would have to go back to 1985 (when the Fall played live in the grounds of Clitheroe’s tiny Norman castle), to find Mancunians hot-footing it to this market town in large numbers.

Holmes Mill is meant to change all that. A vast, Grade II-listed former textile factory, it was reopened last August as a brewery and bar, food hall, hotel and restaurant. It also comprises smaller concerns, such as a comedy club and gelateria. A gym, pool and cinema are yet to be added.

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Standup paddleboarding off Scotland’s wild west coast

A new SUP and digital detox break on this beautiful coast means switching the smartphone off and focusing on the meditative pull of a paddle and the rhythm of the sea

Two otters shot across the rocks and dived into the sea in front of my board. They emerged moments later on a nearby islet, with an inquisitive look and a mildly concerned peep.

I powered the paddleboard towards the white beach and, as it scuffed against the sand, jumped into the clear waters. Pulling the board above the high-tide line, I took a deep breath. The sun was beginning its fall behind the Small Isles of Muck, Eigg and Rùm, casting bright orange and red light against the clouds. Further north, the foreboding Black Cuillins of Skye were wrapped in swirling dark cloud. To the east, over the water we’d just paddled, the last of the sunlight was easing up the snow-specked Knoydart and Moidart mountains.

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