Since its opening in 1989, the East Lancashire Railway linking Bury, Ramsbottom and Rawtenstall has helped provide a shot in the arm for this relatively remote area of the county bordering the West Pennine Moors. Ramsbottom itself is a bustling and characterful former mill town which is today undergoing something of a renaissance. Visitors will find specialist shopping, some good restaurants and access to some great scenic countryside. The town's market place is the hub of the action.
Ramsons - Award-winning Italian
Arguably, it's Ramsons that has helped put Ramsbottom back on the map. This newly refurbished destination restaurant has been in business since 1985 and draws visitors from across the north of England. The (English) owner has tip-top sourcing connections right across Italy and Ramsons has been using organic produce since 1987, long before the current vogue. A fantastically detailed all-Italian wine list which is all available for purchase.
Eastern Eye - Indian
Conveniently located next door to the China Cottage on Bolton Street, Eastern Eye is an Indian that's just picked up the Bury Times Best Restaurant award. It's open seven days an week and bank holidays serving a full range of Anglo-Indian dishes. An outside catering service is also available.
Geese - City-style restaurant and bar
Geese opened in November 2006 bringing a sophisticated city-style bar and restaurant to Ramsbottom for the first time. The head chef and co-owner has worked at upmarket Manchester venues such as The Living Room, Chez Gerard and Restaurant Bar & Grill and has brought a similar vibe to Ramsbottom, complete with Modern British menu..
China Cottage - Modern Chinese
Located on Bolton Street close to the town centre, China Cottage is a Cantonese restaurant that's decked out in modern style with an arresting colour scheme. Open every day except Monday for eat in and takeaway, the menu has plenty of choice with more than 140 dishes and a range of set meals and banquets.
Bellini - Italian
This eyecatching Italian extends over two spacious open-plan floors with bars on both levels. The menu is extensive with pizza and pasta favourites supplemented by a good choice of main courses and chef's specials that focus on fresh seafood choices. Bellini has four sister Italian restaurants across east Lancashire.
The Fisherman's Retreat - Gastropub
Three miles east of Ramsbottom, hidden away in the Twine Valley, you'll find one of the northwest's best dining pubs. Originally purchased in 1981, it now sits in 80 acres of its own farmland where much of the traceable beef, pork, lamb and venison that appear on the menu are reared. The dry-aged steaks here are renowned and fresh trout are caught daily from the on-site fishery. Great food complemented by some fine cask ales and a choice of 500 malt whiskies.
Spice Garden - Thai
Tucked away down a side street off Bridge Street, which runs down from Market Place to the station, Spice Garden is a bright, cosy and inviting little Thai restaurant. Expect all the usual suspects on the menu as well as a good selection for vegetarians including starters, mains and a set menu. Open evenings, Tuesday through Sunday.
Best bet is on street, which shouldn't be too much of a problem in the evenings. Or there is a large car park near the Co-op.
ATMs on Bridge Street and Bolton Street close to Market Place.
Civic (01706 821066)
The Grant Arms has long dominated the Market Place and has a bar, function room, restaurant and hotel wing. Originally named 'Top O' The Brow' it became the family residence of the Grant brothers, upon whom Charles Dickens based the Cheeryble brothers in Nicholas Nickelby
Bury Tourist Information Centre (0161 253 5111)
More Lancashire Neighbourhood Watch Areas A59 Whalley Road (2006) | Accrington (2006) | Bolton Road, Darwen (2006) | Carnforth (2006) | Clitheroe (2006) | Henry Street, Lytham (2006) | High Street, Garstang (2006) | Kirkham (2006) | Longridge (2006) | Lord Street, Southport (2006) | Ramsbottom (2006) - Winckley Square, Preston (2006)