Rawtenstall Area Guide

Nestled in the South Pennine Hills, between Bury and the Ribble Valley the vibrant market town of Rawtenstall marries idyllic rural living with a thriving town centre, excellent schools and quick and easy access to Manchester and the region’s cities and business destinations. This increasingly popular combination means a wide range of homebuyers are flocking to Rawtenstall to take advantage of its bustling cobbled high street, dramatic countryside scenery, with fantastic transport links, quality local amenities and a wide range of investment-worthy properties.


Things to do in Rawtenstall

Rawtenstall is home to the picturesque Whitaker Park, with Snig Hole Park in Helmshore, and Victoria Park in Haslingden, also close and popular venues. Whitaker Park boasts an extended restaurant, childrens’ playground, BMX track, tennis courts and The Whitaker, a stunning museum and gallery.

A popular walking hotspot, check out the fascinating Shoe Trail in Rawtenstall, Haslingden Halo and Cribden Hill, Clow Bridge Reservoir and The Singing Ringing Tree, at Crown Point, Mary Townley Bridal and Cycle Loop, The Plunge over at Edenfield, the popular Irwell Valley Trail and Peel Tower or Holcombe Moor walks above Ramsbottom.

Rawtenstall also has one of the best dry ski slopes in England, The Hill at Rossendale, which is also home to Ninja Coffee, whilst a popular climbing wall, Grip & Go, which provides fun for all the family and there is a new woodland-themed adventure golf course, The Squirrel’s Lair, at Marl Pits American Golf Driving Range, where Il Corso, Italian bistro and bar can be found on the edge of the countryside

Things you didn’t know about Rawtenstall

Rawtenstall is the hometown of well-known celebrities including Coronation Street’s Sam Aston (Chesney) and Bill Roach (Ken Barlow), model Agnes Deyn, and actress Jane Horrocks.


There are an excellent choice of schools in Rawtenstall, including highly regarded primary schools like St James the Less RC, St Mary's CofE, St Mary's RC Haslingden, along with sought-after secondary schools like Alder Grange, Haslingden High School and All Saints RCHS. There is also the Ofsted-rated Outstanding BRGS/ Bacup & Rawtenstall Grammar School.


Rawtenstall lies just 15 miles north of Manchester, 22 miles east of Preston, 45 miles south east of Lancaster; a gateway to the Lake District, 8 miles from Bury and 15 miles from Hebden Bridge. The nearest motorways are the M66 with great connections to the M60 and M62, plus the M65, with road connections via the A56.

Commuting for work and leisure from Rawtenstall is made easy, with excellent direct motorway and bus links. A new £3m bus station, which opened in 2021, has proved a great asset for the town, with regular buses like the X43 Witchway comfortably transporting you into the centre of Manchester in less than 45 minutes.


Rawtenstall was incorporated as a municipal borough in 1891. It grew considerably and gained national recognition during the industrial revolution with its cotton and wool making mills, and became the hub of footwear manufacturing in the UK. It even created the UK’s first pair of slippers.

Eating & Drinking

Rawtenstall town has dozens of interesting places to eat and drink, including Britain’s last remaining temperance bar, Fitzpatricks (don’t miss the rosehip cordials, which it’s been making since 1899).

Visit The Northern Whisper, Cask or Hop for the best craft ales, grab some Italian tapas at A’Vucciria, modern Turkish cuisine at La Turka, or pop in for artisan coffee and cake at Isabakes, Siphon, Fresh or Doo Dahs. Music lovers congregate at St Mary’s Chambers, to dance all night to regional acts and international DJs in this grand period setting, or The Blind Tiger, a popular spot for all genres of live music.


New Hall Hey shopping centre on the edge of Rawtenstall boasts a reliable collection of big brand shops such as M&S, Aldi and TK Maxx, complementing Boots, Tesco, Aldi and Lidl, more centrally, alongside award-winning women’s clothing boutiques Ivy Label, Sophie’s and Sunday Best.

Rawtenstall and the neighbouring villages and towns such as Crawshawbooth, Haslingden and Ramsbottom are largely made up of quality independent traders and small, popular markets. Stroll across the old cobblestones in the centre of Rawtenstall and explore an abundance of bespoke shops on the picturesque Bank Street, and pay a visit to the thriving Rawtenstall Market, which are bolstered by monthly farmers markets, Foodie Fridays and artisan markets on the redeveloped Town Square and gardens.