There is a reason why the Forest of Bowland is given the title of Area of Outstanding Beauty (AONB). With its endless rolling hills and fascinating wildlife, one of the greatest factors about the area is the plethora of walking routes; and of course, the intriguing things to see along the way.
From the simple, relaxing stroll-friendly routes to the more vigorous hikes, there is an outing for everyone. Boots at the ready, because you are in for a treat with these 6 great walks in the Forest of Bowland…
Bell Sykes Hay Meadow Walk – 2 Hours
Expect meadows full of flowers (dependant on the season of course) and wildlife on this route. Starting at the village of Slaidburn, you will begin your walk surrounded by the Bowland Fells.
The meadows at Bell Sykes are a specific site of Special Scientific Interest because of the wide array of species. There are hundreds of different flower species, alongside fluttering butterflies, insects and swallows.
Find out more information on the route and a full downloadable guide visit the Yorkshire Dales Millennium Trust here.
Aitken Wood and Pendle Sculpture Tramper Trail – 2 Hours
Bursting with history, art and intrigue, this short woodland walk sits in the shades of Pendle Hill and is simply breathtaking. The history of the Pendle Witches inspired 4 artists; they created a range of sculptures in wood, steel and stone. These pieces of art will greet you along this walk.
Whilst the route through Aitken Wood can be steep at times, you will be rewarded with the stunning art and views of Pendle Hill. Not only this, but you could even spot some protected bird species. Click here for more info and a sneak peek of what you could see.
Roeburndale 3-4 Hours
This walk is not for those seeking a relaxing stroll. There are steep sections and you will need sturdy footwear. It’s around 8 miles and full of woodland and wildlife, especially breeding birds. If you are lucky you may see the Wood Warbler, Pied Flycatcher, Redstart or Green woodpecker – all present in the area. The eastern edge is a Site of Special Scientific Interest due to its wonderful creatures.
Click here to download a PDF which will give you more information about the route and more insight into what you may witness along the way.
Newton Circular 1-2 Hours
This pleasant walk begins in the picturesque village of Newton-in-Bowland and will take you down a relaxing riverside path and plenty of parkland. You’ll meander by Knowlmere Manor and tumble over a suspension bridge over the River Hodder.
You’ll witness breathtaking views from some of the higher grounds, so a camera could be a vital carry-along. Another essential is a solid pair of boots as much of the ground is muddy and wet. Click here for the route information.
Riverside – Caton 1-2 Hours
Looking for an easy stroll? This riverside walk isn’t just stunning, but comfortable, with plenty of stops for lunch. The villages of Caton and Brookhouse lie in a scenic area near the Crook O’Lune – painted by Thomas Gray and William Wordsworth and admired greatly by Queen Victoria. Along this walk you have the chance to see a wide range of animal habitats which are home to everything from the rare hen harrier to the kingfisher. Keep an eye out for Sand Martins in the Summer as large colonies will use the sandy banks of the lune for nests.
This circular route is pleasant, with plenty of pubs, cafes and more nearby, making for a leisurely day out. Click here for the full route information.
Downham, Worsaw Hill, and Chatburn 2-3 Hours
Unofficially named as Lancashire’s prettiest village, Downham is the starting point for this circular 5 mile walk. This location is certainly a stunning backdrop – so much so, it was the scene of the iconic film Whistle Down The Wind and a scene from Wuthering Heights. Unbelievably, it hasn’t changed over the years, with no overhead wires being added, or even satellite dishes and road signs.
You will start walking along the footpath overlooking Pendle Hill and move along past Chatburn. Highlights include the Fairy Bridge and a limestone knoll. See more information on the route and a step by step guide here.
These are just six of our many favourite walks in the Forest of Bowland. After all, we couldn’t list them all – there are so many. To see a more extensive list, visit the official Forest of Bowland website here, where you can view maps and walking guides on their very own app! It couldn’t be easier to explore the great walks in the Forest of Bowland.
When all the exploring is done and you are looking for a relaxing, cosy retreat, don’t forget about Holgates Ribble Valley where we have a collection of holiday homes for sale in the area, and availability for holiday home hire. We are in the ideal place for you to explore the Forest of Bowland and witness its true beauty for yourself. Get in touch with our team for more info, or check out our holiday availability here.