Walking in the Forest of Bowland and Pendle
By Terry Marsh
A guidebook to 40 diverse circular day walks suitable for walkers with navigational skills. The Forest of Bowland and Pendle are two of north west England's upland AONBs, perfect for walkers who enjoy exploring rough hilly, sometimes pathless terrain. The routes include Ward's Stone, Pendle Hill, Longridge Fell and Fair Snape Fell.
SeasonsAll seasons, but suitable gear required on the tops in winter or bad weather
CentresCaton, Dunsop Bridge, Slaidburn, Whaley, Clitheroe, Chipping, Sawley, Bolton-by-Bowland, Downham
DifficultySuitable for competent walkers. Navigational skills required. Some walks are on farily remote moorland.
Must SeeThe Lune and Hodder valleys, open moors and the view from Clougha Pike, Sawley Abbey, tales of witches, and historic villages like Downham, Hurst Green and Waddington
The Forest of Bowland and Pendle provide vastly differing terrain – from the lush farmlands of the Ribble valley to the more rugged rough pastures of the Forest of Bowland uplands and the huge boggy uplifts of the main Bowland massif itself.
The walks in this guidebook are suitable for those who already have good navigational skills and range from 3 miles to 12.5. For walkers who like to ‘collect’ summits, there are six Marilyns within the area of the Forest of Bowland and Pendle, only two of which (White Hill and Easington Fell) are not included in any of the walks. However, this guidebook does offer information on how to access both for those who wish to access them by elongating one of the existing routes. The other Marilyns that are included in the walks are Ward’s Stone, Pendle Hill, Longridge Fell and Fair Snape Fell.
None of the walks in this book present technical problems in good weather conditions, especially in summer, and the vast majority may also be tackled in winter by competent walkers. However, some of the walks transverse bleak and featureless moorland where mist becomes a major hazard, and others involve a measure of road walking where you will need to take care against approaching traffic (although road stretches have been kept to a minimum).
At the start of each walk there is a box that provides information on the start/finish point (including details of refreshment and toilet facilities), distance, height gain, the terrain along the route and relevant Ordnance Survey maps.
The Beginnings of Lancashire
Areas Covered in this Guidebook
Notes and Advice for Walkers
Walk 1 Crook o’ Lune and Caton
Walk 2 Crook o’ Lune–Aughton–Hawkshead
Walk 3 Annas Ghyll and Forge Mill
Walk 4 Littledale
Walk 5 Ward’s Stone from Littledale
Northwest and Western Moors
Walk 6 Clougha Pike
Walk 7 Ward’s Stone from Tarnbrook
Walk 8 Abbeystead Reservoirs
Walk 9 Over Wyresdale
Walk 10 Hawthornthwaite Fell Top
Walk 11 Scorton, Nicky Nook and Grize Dale
Walk 12 Calder Vale
Walk 13 Brock Mill and Beacon Fell
Walk 14 Parlick and Fair Snape Fell
Walk 15 Langden Round
Walk 16 Brennand and Whitendale
Walk 17 Whitendale and Croasdale
Walk 18 Longridge Fell
Walk 19 Whitewell and the River Hodder
Walk 20 Dunsop Bridge and Hodder Bank Fell
Walk 21 Dunsop Bridge and Mellor Knoll
Walk 22 Gisburn Forest
Walk 23 Stocks Reservoir
Walk 24 Bowland Knotts
Walk 25 Slaidburn and Newton
Walk 26 Bradford Fell
Walk 27 Hurst Green and the Ribble Way
Walk 28 Great Mitton and the Ribble Way
Walk 29 Sawley and the Ribble
Walk 30 Waddington and West Bradford
Walk 31 Bolton-by-Bowland
Walk 32 Sabden and Spence Moor
Walk 33 Whalley and the River Calder
Walk 34 Around Downham
Walk 35 Downham and Twiston
Walk 36 Pendle Hill from Downham
Walk 37 Pendle Hill from Barley
Walk 38 Black Moss Reservoirs and Twiston Moor
Walk 39 Ogden and Newchurch
Walk 40 Salterforth, Weets Hill and White Moor
Appendix Route summary table
As well as including details of the appropriate Ordnance Survey map(s), each walk is supported by a map outlining the route. In the main you will need three OS maps, or the new walking and cycling map from Harvey Maps:
• OL21: South Pennines
• OL41: Forest of Bowland and Ribblesdale
• Explorer 287: West Pennine Moors
• Harvey Maps: Forest of Bowland
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Walk 21: The ladder stiles at Root Farm have been removed... after turning for Wild Boar Park turning, the wooden shed only has its base remaining....chicken sheds have been moved closer to the farm i.e. after the right turn of the main track leading to people missing the turning...much of Whitemore Plantation has been cut down.
Walk 2 has been affected by landslip, and the section through Aughton Woods Nature Reserve cannot be safely completed. There are no immediate plans to restore the footpath. An alternative walk will be provided in the next edition of this guide. Meanwhile, walkers may consider following the walk as far as the Waterworks Bridge, and crossing there to join Walk 1.
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Dr Terry Marsh is a Lancashire-based award-winning writer and photographer who specialises in the outdoors, the countryside, walking and travel worldwide. He has been writing books since the mid-1980s, and is the author of over 100 titles.
Terry holds a PhD in Historical Geography and a Master of Arts degree (with Distinction) in Lake District Studies, is a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society (FRGS) and the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland (FSA Scot), a member of the National Union of Journalists, and an Honorary Life Member of the Outdoor Writers and Photographers Guild.
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