If you would like to see an academic article on Bacup, (pronounced ‘baykup’ please, not ‘back up’), with lots of dry references and notes, then Wikipedia does an excellent job here. If, however, you are a photographer, have a soul and are inspired by light and texture, then stay on this page. Situated in a deep valley created by the River Irwell, Bacup is an anomalous mix of architectural gems of stone buildings, spectacular moorland and state of the art sculptures. In short it’s a photographer’s paradise.
Stone buildings, stone roofs, tall, thin, low and high. Britain’s shortest street and steepest roads - they’re all here. Ever changing light transforms their colours, shapes and textures for stunning images.
A £2M fund has been established for the refurbishment of the many listed buildings and public domain space in the town centre, to be spent over 5 years from 2014. Not only will this improve visual aspects of the town for the architectural photographer but there will be more cultural events for the street photographer. Bacup is home to the world famous Coconutters who perform regularly during the year.
For the sports photographer Bacup has within its bounds, or within a mile or two, football, cricket, equestrian sports, skiing (water or otherwise), off road motorcycle and 4X4 courses. The Mary Towneley Loop (Pennine Bridleway) passes within its boundary as do many other bridleways and footpaths. High on the moors the Valley of Stone project has created a series of fascinating walks amongst the industrial archaeology of stone quarrying where many of the artefacts can still be seen. However, for the adventurous sports photographer Bacup is home to the Adrenaline Gateway, a unique national centre of excellence for mountain biking. Unique because it is not in a forest and therefore offers spectacular views which, hopefully, do not distract the national team from its training rides. The short but excellent video on the left gives a good impression of the testing routes for the athletes and the vistas available across the Rossendale hills for the spectator. And if that doesn't please, there’s always the Irwell Valley Sculpture Trail.