The thriving market town of Chorley, Lancashire, situated on the edge of the Pennine Moors, has an interesting history dating back to the bronze age. Excavations have uncovered a wealth of artefacts which are currently on display at the town's Astley Hall museum, and nearby Anglezarke Moor is home to Round Loaf, a Neolithic or Bronze Age burial mound dating back 3500 years, probably containing the remains of the leader of a tribe who once inhabited this lonely spot.

Chorley, like most Lancashire towns owes its wealth mainly to the cotton industry and the industrial revolution of the 19th century. Today only three mills remain working; a reminder of the town's once-thriving industry. The town was granted a market charter in the 1250s; today Chorley has two markets, the Flat Iron Market and the Covered Market. For one weekend each year French market traders arrive in the town to sell their wares, with Chorley's merchants returning the favour in France. A speciality of these markets is local Lancashire cheese together with the famous Chorley cake; the Chorley cake street fair is an annual event when local bakers compete to produce the largest specimen!


Astley Park is a beautiful, wooded parkland in Chorley; its paths run along the banks of the River Chor and large areas of grass make it an ideal location for formal and informal games. A lake boasts exotic lilies as a summer feature and there is also a Sensory Garden and an ornamental garden area near to the park’s bowling greens. The park has a café with a small picnic area nearby and a pets corner which is always popular with children visiting the park.

Astley Hall dates back to Elizabethan times and has retained much of the timber framing of the period. A Grade 1 listed building with a vibrant and interesting history, this important landmark has much to offer visitors. Famed for its unique plasterwork dating from the mid 17th century, the Hall is also home to an excellent museum and Art Gallery. Collections include fine 18th century creamware, fine and contemporary art, glass and the first ever Rugby League Cup. With ten different exhibitions held here each year there is sure to be something to suit every taste and interest.

Yarrow Valley Country Park is an ideal setting for an array of educational and recreational activities. Created on land previously used by the textile industry and for mining the park follows the River Yarrow for about six miles and is of great local historical importance. It contains the wooded areas and nature reserves of Birkacre and Duxbury Woods and with its restored mill lodges and watercourses, picnic areas and visitor centre the park has become a fascinating resource for visitors to the area whilst retaining the valley's natural rural qualities.

Camelot Theme Park offers an entertaining and fun-packed day out for the whole family. Themed around the legend of King Arthur and his court, the park is split into five lands where visitors can learn the art of wizardry, witness mighty battles between great knights and enjoy exhilarating and nerve-shattering rides. Kings Realm and Merlin's Playground have gentle rides for younger children and visitors of all ages are assured of an exciting day out here.


As well as a town centre which boasts a good variety of independent shops combined with big high street names such as Boots, Dixons, Woolworths and JJB, Chorley also has a wealth of unique shopping attractions where you are sure to find that special or original gift.

Botany Bay is a fantastic retail and heritage experience; housed within a converted Victorian Mill can be found five floors of antiques, crafts, furniture and other collectibles together with unusual exhibits such as tanks, tractors and aircraft. Here you can explore the Dickensian-style shops and Victorian Market Place or spend time in the authentic Victorian Penny Arcade. Children will particularly enjoy visiting Puddletown Pirates, the North West's largest indoor adventure play centre. This really is an extraordinary place and well worth a visit!

If you are looking for bargains or local produce then the Chorley Markets are the place for you. The Flat Iron Market which gets its name from the practice of displaying goods flat on the ground is held on Monday and Tuesday and the Covered Market is available every day except Wednesday and Sunday.

Nightlife and Eating Out

Whether you favour oriental, Italian or traditional English food you are assured of excellent dining opportunities in Chorley.

The Bistro offers a modern British menu catering for all tastes, including vegetarian in a contemporary setting.Parmesan and Pepper is set in the heart of Chorley and is considered to be one of the finest restaurants in the North West. The restaurant is Italian in style and specialises in seafood, pizza and pasta with a daily specials board.

Number Fifteens is one of the only bars in Chorley with an outside drinking area. Part of the Yesteryear Pub group the establishment is aimed at the more mature customer, with tunes from the seventies and eighties setting the tone.

The Market Tavern on Cleveland Street is full of atmosphere and character. With a big screen TV, Friday night karaoke and guest live acts on Saturday evenings you are sure to fund a warm welcome here. The Railway Inn on Steeley Lane is another warm and friendly establishment offering good quality beers and a variety of live music on Saturday nights, ranging from folk to rock.

Tourist Information

Although Chorley does not have a local tourist centre, information about any aspect of the town is readily available at:Chorley County Information Centre. Tel: +44 (0)1257 241 693

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Chorley does not have its own airport. The nearest airports are Liverpool, 38km away and Manchester, 40km away. Both rail and bus services to and from the area are frequent and easy to access.

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