The Valley

The Washburn Valley is a special place for many people.

Both residents and visitors hold it with affection for its natural beauty and tranquillity – their own local lake district.

What is special about it?

  • Its very distinctive heritage of Human and Natural History with landscape strongly influenced by past generations through settlement form, dry stone walls, transport routes and field patterns; from Bronze Age cup and ring stones to contemporary sport and leisure activities. Through the ages the river has powered mills for corn, fulling, cotton and flax. In the 17th century the Fairfax family of Roundheads lived here; and in the 19th, JMW Turner visited to paint many scenes. There is a rich and diverse collection of architecture with over 100 listed buildings, ranging from a gate post to an Elizabethan manor house.     More>> 

  • Its renowned Natural Habitat and Species from the obvious woodland, heather moorland and much-loved curlew, lapwing, ducks and geese to less visible amphibians, reptiles and insects, especially dragonflies.     More>>
  • The readily available Sport and Leisure Activities. The Valley is a magnet for casual walkers and serious hikers – within 10 or so miles you can walk from the high moorland around Thruscross to the flat valley bottom around Leathley. It’s also popular with runners, cyclists and anglers, and offers the only dam-release canoeing facility in England. Find out more on the Yorkshire Water Website.