Scorton is a small picturesque village on the banks of the River Wyre, located on the edge of the Forest of Bowland (AONB) in the Lancashire countryside and is the North West’s destination for walkers, cyclists and visitors alike. Records dating to the 17th century refer to “Scurton” meaning ‘farmstead near a ditch or ravine’. For a small village, Scorton has much to offer residents and visitors alike… cycling, walking, fishing, shopping and eating, to name but a few. It is also the venue for the annual Scorton Steam Fair weekend and the annual Bikes and Barrows Festival and although the village only has a relatively small population it is well provided for, with a garden and gift centre, cafe, hotel and restaurant, delicatessen, local shop, post office, primary school, three churches and much more.
As with many of Lancashire’s villages during the 19th century, Scorton was once part of the thriving cotton industry with its own cotton mill. The village’s cotton mill was powered by an underground waterwheel supplied by a feeder from the nearby River Wyre and there was also a railway station up until 1939. Sadly the three storey mill closed sometime around 1920 and became a joiner’s shop and there is very little of the original mill remaining today.
North east of Scorton is Wyresdale Park (featured on Channel 4 Country House Rescue in 2011) which was once a 10,000 acre estate owned by the Ormrod family from Bolton. They developed the grounds into a premier sporting estate along with one of Europe’s largest fisheries (supplying trout worldwide) and built Wyresdale Hall a Gothic revival style hall in 1856 on the estate. Wyresdale Hall has a beautiful walled garden and Victorian glasshouse serving a wide range of delicious food. The estate’s gardens and parkland cover an area of 800 acres with 100 acres of ancient woodland, there are lawns for croquet and football and tall trees to climb if you are feeling adventurous! There is a lake nearby for boating and swimming and even a hot tub! Overlooking the lake, sheltered in the woods, are tents and lodges with access to the lake.
Scorton is a good starting point for a variety of walks with a number of interesting routes starting from the village centre, including the millennium way route to nearby Garstang which overlooks the river and fields. Behind the village is the 215m Nicky Nook hill where you can take in 360 degree stunning views of the Lancashire countryside, including the Lake District fells, Morecombe Bay and Blackpool Tower (and maybe the Isle of Man!). If you’re a cyclist in search of a challenge, then there is the 85 mile circular route called the “SoS” taking you through Chipping, the Ribble Valley and passing many pretty villages all the way into North Yorkshire and back.
Driving along the A6, look out for the Scorton sign and once there you will find there are numerous places to eat and drink – such as homemade food at the Barn (also gifts and plants), The Priory restaurant and bar and accommodation, the Apple Store Cafe (with parking), gifts and food from the tearoom at Daisy Clough Nurseries and not least of all, delicious homemade ice cream from the Village Shop and also the Barn. There is also a riverside restaurant and bar at the Claylands Park and delicious fish and chip takeaway at the nearby Six Arches Caravan Park. There are picnic areas, play areas, caravan and camping sites, public conveniences (Gubberford Lane) and parking, and a village hall hosting the Scorton Food and Gift fair selling handmade gifts and local produce.