Autumn's here! Cooler temperatures, a touch of rain but I'm now ready for this new season ..... This year in England it's been a good summer.... plenty of sunshine, clear blue skies and so many opportunities to be outdoors...
Early in the summer we drove out into the Ribble Valley, thirty minutes from home and the perfect place to escape from the hustle and bustle.
Our destination .... Downham, often quoted as the loveliest village in Lancashire, complete with a gurgling brook running past the village green and stone cottages ......
It's certainly unspoilt and full of old world charm with an abundance of pretty, beautifully maintained properties.....
It really is like stepping back in time ....with front doors left open .....
The village has been owned and managed by the Assheton family since 1558 and none of the houses is privately owned. The present squire is Lord Clitheroe of Downham.
Overhead electricity cables, TV aerials, satellite dishes and double yellow parking lines are not allowed in the village making it the perfect location for period dramas and films.
This area is claimed to be the inspiration for JRR Tolkien's Middle Earth in The Lord of the Rings.
Downham is also associated with Old Mother Demdike, Alice Nutter and a few other infamous Pendle Witches!
Alice Nutter was supposed to have been in hiding in Downham Old Hall when she was wanted for witchcraft in the seventeenth century. She was eventually tried and found guilty along with others at Lancaster Castle. You can read more about the Pendle witches here.
St Leonard's Church with its fifteenth century tower stands at the top of the steep main street.
From the churchyard there's a spectacular view over to Pendle Hill.
The only disappointment was to see that the village post office and tearooms have closed down.
The Assheton Arms country pub, however, is thriving as people come along to sample the award-winning food and local beers.
The traditional fish and chips with mushy peas, lemon and tartare sauce was delicious and the best we have tasted in quite some time!
Being able to sit outside was a bonus too and the ideal way to appreciate this perfect little village!