Dining Out: Hidden gem sparkles after a Sunday stroll tracking down an elusive country inn

Mrs Ellis often complains that I couldn't find a hat if it was perched on my head.

And thus it has been for years with me and the elusive Lower Buck country pub in the lovely village of Waddington near Clitheroe.

As frequent visitors to the Higher Buck, we've often driven up and down the main street and asked ourselves: "So where's its namesake?"

The Waddington Arms is there in all its glory. But not the LB.

The Lower Buck in Waddington.

Being a typical male I don't ask directions. So, on a sunny Sunday, we abandoned the car and set out on foot in search of this mystery hostelry we had heard so much about but never managed to find.

We eventually came upon it just a stroll from the Higher Buck, tucked away down the side of the parish church on a back lane in this picturesque Ribble Valley hamlet.

No signposts that I could see, no hints, just sitting there hiding its light under a bushel on the road to Bashall Eaves.

And what a hidden gem it truly is, so full of country charm and character and with a history dating all the way back to the 1760s, making it the oldest pub in the village.

The Lower Buck burger.

The thing I adore about country inns like the Lower Buck is that they respect their past and set out to preserve as much of it as possible in a world where so much is obscured by stud walls, plasterboard and pastel paintwork.

Not so this place, with its three open fires, its dark oak furniture and its glazed door panel with both white and red roses - a nod to it once being a proud Yorkshire hostelry prior to local government reorganisation in 1974 and now finding itself stuck firmly in Lancashire.

The pub boasts that its emphasis is on real traditional "inn" food with "the freshest of local sourced ingredients." It also prides itself on its "warm hospitality and traditional country offerings."

The menu certainly embodies that with all the pub food classics you would expect to find in a country inn, like handmade pies, Lancashire hotpot and local bangers and mash.

The Sunday roast.

For starters I went for the chicken goujons with their chilli and mayonnaise dip at £6.50. There were plenty of them and they were delicious.

The boss chose a very tasty homemade duck and orange pate served with toast and onion marmalade (£6.50).

For main course Mrs E picked the Sunday roast (what else?) with succulent slices of tender beef and a giant Yorkshire pud (£15.95). As regulars to this column will appreciate, she knows her roasts and declared this one up there amongst the finest encountered on restaurant review duty.

For me it was the whopping Lower Buck burger at £13.95. I am only an occasional burger fancier, but this day it shouted out at me from the menu and I had to give it a go. I'm glad I did because it was as tasty as it was large.

All-in-all I’ve got to say it was a very worthwhile expedition. It may have come late to the Dining Out column but, having reviewed Its two more conspicuous neighbours in the village, it is a most welcome addition.

The Lower Buck Inn

Edisford Road

Waddington near Clitheroe

01200 423342