It really is easy to reach the Forest of Bowland without having to drive there. Trains and buses run to Clitheroe, Preston and Lancaster, which means there's ample time to sit back and enjoy the views as you travel through some of England's beautiful countryside.
Once you're there, you can rely on a comprehensive bus network to get you around some of the most popular towns and villages, from Clitheroe to Newton and Slaidburn, as well as a circular route around Pendle Hill. Then again, it can be just as much fun to walk and cycle to your chosen destination!
Getting to the Forest of Bowland
With a good number of trains and buses running to Clitheroe, Giggleswick, Burnley and Preston you can easily travel to the Forest of Bowland without having to take the car.
Clitheroe Interchange is the most central rail station for Bowland. The train from Manchester Victoria to Clitheroe takes about an hour and a quarter, while London's Euston to Clitheroe takes around three and a half hours with changes at Stockport and Bolton. A train journey from London Euston to Preston (just to the south west of the AONB) takes as little as just over two hours with no changes.
It is just as easy to reach the AONB by bus, with National Rail running buses such as the service from London's Victoria station to Clitheroe, which takes from around 7 hours with a change in Preston. A single journey can cost as little as £25.
Getting around the Forest of Bowland
While the rugged and remote beauty of the Forest of Bowland means that it may sometimes be difficult to access by any other means than walking and cycling, there is still a comprehensive bus network that links certain towns and villages. For example, the 10 and 10A Bowland Transit bus service links Clitheroe with the Hodder Valley villages of Newton, Slaidburn, Dunsop Bridge, Whitewell and Settle.
The Pendle Witch Hopper runs a circuit around Pendle Hill, as well as linking Clitheroe to Chatburn, Barley, Barrowford and Nelson. The market town of Garstang is reached by the half-hourly bus no. 40 between Preston and Lancaster.
In the Lune Valley, the Lune Villager service (80/81) runs seven days a week and late into the evening, from Lancaster to Caton and Hornby, with a select few services going through to Wray and Wennington, plus a limited service to Bentham and Ingleton.