Ribble Valley is in the County of Lancashire. The administrative centre for the district is the historic market town of Clitheroe. The industrial and commercial centre for the west of the borough is the town of Longridge. The remaining area is mainly rural, ranging from large villages to small hamlets. Some settlements are accessible along the A59 corridor; others are more remote from services and public transport. Along with ancient woodland, biological heritage sites, conservation areas and sites of special scientific interest, two thirds of Ribble Valley is part of the Forest of Bowland Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB).
Ribble Valley has one of the lowest council tax levels in the country and the lowest in Lancashire and high levels of customer satisfaction with services.