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Forest of Bowland Walking Guide

Located in northern Lancashire, the Forest of Bowland includes wild upland and cultivated valleys. Essentially part of the main Pennine range, the area is dominated by gritstone fells with summits above 450 m and large areas of heather-covered peat moorland. Pendle Hill, a large isolated hill, is located in the south eastern edge of the area.

Forest of Bowland

The foothills around the central core of high land are notable for their steep-sided valleys which open out into the cultivated lowlands of the Ribble, Wyre and Lune Valleys. This lower land is criss-crossed by drystone walls and is dotted by farms and villages built from the local stone. This contrast in landscapes between the green lowland and wild uplands is an essential character of the area. Well-wooded and dotted with picturesque stone farms and villages, these lower slopes, criss-crossed by drystone walls, contrast with and complement the dramatic open sweep of the gritstone heights.

The moors provide a valuable habitat for upland birds whilst the lowlands contain woodland habitats that suit a wide variety of species. The local gritstone is widely used as a building material and Slaidburn and Newton are two traditional villages that have seen very little development. Sheep and beef farming is an important source of income for the uplands with dairy farming using much of the valley land. Tourism is an important sector of the area's commercial life with many large towns and cities within an hours drive of the area.

Walking opportunities and wide and varied. The fells and moors offer some wonderful high level walks and with few walkers you can usually walk in relative peace and quiet. There are also many valley walks often linking smaller villages or following one of the major rivers. Pendle Hill is also worth climbing with the 'tourist route' providing a fairly straightforward way to the top. In good weather the summit offers exceptional views particularly north over the Yorkshire Dales National Park.

For more information on this area visit the
official web site for Forest of Bowland

Recommended Books & eBooks

Walking in the Forest of Bowland and Pendle

Walking in the Forest of Bowland and Pendle 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.
More information

Map and Compass

Map and CompassAn instructive guidebook explaining map and compass techniques, to help readers enhance their outdoor experiences. Whether you are experienced in map-reading, or have never used a compass before, this guidebook will sharpen your skills and have you exploring new areas in no time. There are also tips for GPS and digital mapping technologies.
More information

Further Information

Regional Walking Guides

A full list of "Where to Walk" Walking Guides can be found at List of Regional Walking Guides.

Location Map

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