Back in 2008, Paul Morris, owner of The Chocolate Cafe in Ramsbottom, had an idea of creating a chocolate market. ‘A few stalls around the Urn’ he said. Collaborating with the Council’s Town Centres business support officer, Ruth Shedwick, together they created a Festival that exceeded expectations.
We already had the quirky name, the great location and excellent independent businesses, but it was the town’s growing number of quality chocolate retailers that led to the quirky idea to hold a chocolate festival.
The first festival in 2009 focused on a chocolate market with just 12 chocolate stalls situated on Market Place around the towns iconic Urn sculpture. Thousands attended the first Festival and we quickly came to realise ‘we needed a bigger boat!’ With support from Ramsbottom Business Group the Festival has grown year on year and has certainly put Ramsbottom on the map. From these small humble beginnings the Festival has grown into a two day event, still very much focused on high end quality chocolate, but with a great family appeal. With the addition of new and innovative ideas each year, the winning combination of chocolate, entertainment and fun is what makes our Festival the number one choice.
Chocolate Festival wins Award
Ramsbottom Chocolate Festival won the coveted Manchester Tourism Award 2012 – Best Small Event. Yes, our quirky little festival that had grown beyond expectations from humble beginnings was proud to have won this prestigious award. Battling competition with big town centres, our market town came out on top. Ruth Shedwick (former organiser) and Paul Morris (far right) collected the award at the Lowry presentation evening.
Ramsbottom remains the home of the original and the best UK chocolate festival offering a truly unique chocolate experience for all the family.
Ramsbottom Hits Top Ten
Ramsbottom Chocolate Festival was noted as being in the Top Ten best Chocolate Festivals in Europe. Not only is our quirky event top billing for our innovative Festival design, but Ramsbottom as a town itself has also made the Top Ten for best places to live in the UK (The Sunday Times).
The 2017 Festival
This year the event is going to be bigger and better than ever before, we have lots of family entertainment planned to make this year extra special.
For further information about the Ramsbottom Chocolate Festival, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
We advise our Festival goers to take public transport where available or utilise our popular park and ride service. Disabled parking facilities are available in town for blue badge holders behind Murray's Family Clothing.
By Steam Train
Catch The East Lancashire Railway and travel in style. For more information about return trains, other services throughout the day and prices call 0161 764 7790 or go to www.eastlancsrailway.org.uk
By public transport
There are frequent bus services from Bury linking with direct tram services from Manchester. Go to www.tfgm.com or tel: 0871 200 2233.
Ramsbottom is 14 miles from Manchester and easily accessible from the M66 and M60 motorways via the A56 and has free parking in town. Parking is available in town, however, there are time restrictions on supermarket car parks, we suggest you use our Park and Ride service (see below) and take the stress out of finding a spot.
Park & Ride
Park and Ride facilities are available at Woodhey High School, Bolton Road West, Ramsbottom (BL0 9QZ). Note a small charge of £2 per car is applicable. The gates will be open from 9.30am until 5.30pm. All vehicles must be removed before 5.30pm on both Saturday and Sunday, Our volunteers at both Woodhey and the Festival drop-off point will inform you of shuttle bus times to avoid any waiting. Note on both days – first bus leaving Woodhey 10am / last bus from Festival 4.30pm.