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Pennine Lancashire Festival of Food and Culture

There's a feast of foodie delights taking place in Pennine Lancashire over the next month

Published on January 14th 2010.

Pennine Lancashire Festival of Food and Culture

The towns and villages in the Lancashire Pennines are doing a sterling job of reinventing themselves as destinations for food lovers. Their annual food and culture festival has attracted over 100,000 people since it began in 2006, and is now listed as one of Visit Britain's top ten festivals. Visit Britain are the national body charged with bringing in more overseas visitors.

A highlight of these is the Michelin Star gourmet short breaks at The Millstone where chef Anson Bolton has received two rosettes for the last eight years.

This year's festival takes place from 17 August to 17 September. Events which caught our eye include the World Gravy Wrestling championships, which received press coverage as far away as the Far East and Australia last year. If you fancy sliding around in a pool of gravy to raise money for the East Lancashire Hospice, call the organisers on 01706 879 555. It takes place on 31 August in Bacup. Teams and individuals are invited to apply.

Those who prefer to keep their gravy on their plates rather in their hair, might be more interested in some of the top-class dining events planned. A highlight of these is the Michelin Star gourmet short breaks at The Millstone where chef Anson Bolton has received two rosettes for the last eight years. He's created a menu that showcases the region's best produce and will be introducing each course to diners on the night.

The price for this is £82.50 per person, including overnight accommodation in the hotel, the four-course dinner, a full English breakfast, and a hamper of Lancashire goodies to take home. The short breaks take place on Friday 28 August and Friday 4 September. To book, call The Millstone on 01254 813 333.

Several events take in some of the region's best scenery with pony trekking picnics in Rossendale, steam train dining in a Pullman-style dining coach on the East Lancashire Railway, and the West Pennine Moors Ale Trail. This coach trip visits four old rural inns of the West Pennines – the Black Horse in Darwen (home of the Hopstar Brewery), the Victoria Hotel in Tockholes, the White Horse at Edgworth and the Strawberry Duck by the shores of Entwistle reservoir. It cost £6 and takes place on 21 August. Call 01254 688 040 to book.

There's also lots of foodie markets, including a Medieval food market at Clitheroe Castle, which has just undergone a £3.5m transformation to make it into an all-weather visitor attraction. There'll be Medieval entertainers amongst the stalls, and a special Medieval menu served in the café.

Other fun stuff going on includes mushroom hunts, witches banquets, and opera with strawberries and champagne. If you've got some empty weekends over the next month, check out the festival's website – there's loads of stuff happening in them there hills. For full details, go to their website or call the enquiry line on 01706 829 432.

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