Walking in the Forest of Bowland and Pendle

40 Walks in Lancashire's Area of Natural Beauty

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.



All seasons, but suitable gear required on the tops in winter or bad weather


Caton, Dunsop Bridge, Slaidburn, Whaley, Clitheroe, Chipping, Sawley, Bolton-by-Bowland, Downham


Suitable for competent walkers. Navigational skills required. Some walks are on farily remote moorland.
Must See

Must See

The 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
27 Mar 2008
4 May 2018
17.2 x 11.6 x 1.1cm
  • Overview

    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.

  • Contents

    The Beginnings of Lancashire
    Areas Covered in this Guidebook
    Notes and Advice for Walkers
    Lune Valley
    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
    Central Moors
    Walk 15 Langden Round
    Walk 16 Brennand and Whitendale
    Walk 17 Whitendale and Croasdale
    Hodder Valley
    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
    Ribble Valley
    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

  • Maps
    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

  • Updates
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    Be notified by email when this book receives an update or correction

    March 2018

    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.

    March 2017

    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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Terry Marsh

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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