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Photo: Graham Cooper, supplied by Forest of Bowland AONB.Photo: Graham Cooper, supplied by Forest of Bowland AONB.The AONB truly does offer some of the most picturesque and remote walking in the country.

It is the sheer range of walking trails on offer that sets the Forest of Bowland apart - from idyllic isolation high up in the moorland hills to wandering the settlements, woodland cloughs and river valleys in the lowlands. This landscape of stark contrasts beautifully vast open spaces really is a walkers' paradise. 

And it isn't just challenging routes along fell tops and moors that you'll be able to explore - there's also plenty of scope for shorter, less strenuous walking in the valleys, not to mention a fantastic selection of picturesque riverside walks.

Here are some of the most popular walks you'll be able to try out:

  • The Ribble Way - this 70-mile route follows the river right the way from the sea near Preston to its source high up in the fells of the Yorkshire Dales. You'll pass through an ever-changing landscape, with the route itself split into seven more manageable sections with plenty of scope for admiring the best spots in Preston, Ribchester, Stonyhurst, Clitheroe, Settle and Horton. For more information on the Ribble Way, see lancashire.gov.uk

  • Lancashire Witches Trail - A new trail to commemorate the 400 year anniversary of the Lancashire Witches will be launched in September 2012. The route starting from where the witches lived near Pendle Hill, nad finishing in the place of their trial and execution in Lancaster is approximately 50 miles, taking in some breathtaking scenery in the Forest of Bowland AONB.
    Photo: Tom Richardson, supplied by Forest of Bowland AONB.Photo: Tom Richardson, supplied by Forest of Bowland AONB.
  • Pendle Way - A 45-mile circular route that can be broken into 8 separate sections and which passes through the villages of Barnoldswick, Earsby and Newchurch-in-Pendle. Walkers can also tackle 6 shorter circular walks along the same route. This is a great option for more seasoned walkers, with plenty of opportunity for admiring the natural landscapes. 
  • Beacon Fell Country Park Trails - While it may be a perfect trail for mountain bikers, the circular Fellside Trail only takes around an hour to complete on foot, with equal opportunities for horse riders if permitted beforehand.

>> For a whole list of other available walking routes and downloadable PDFs, visit www.forestofbowland.com/walking_routes

Welcome Walkers and Cyclists

Throughout the Forest of Bowland you'll also come across a number of accommodations that are officially either walker or cyclist friendly (or both!), which means that they've got everything walkers and cyclists need to have a comfortable stay, from space for drying outdoor clothing and footwear to secure storage for bicycles, puncture repair kits and other useful services.

Take a quick look through our accommodations section and you'll find a number of these Walker and Cyclist friendly places to stay, including Bleasdale and Caldertop Cottages, Middle Flass Lodge and Higher Gill Farm. 

Walking in the Beacon Fell, Forest of Bowland, with children. Photo: Diana JarvisWalking in the Beacon Fell, Forest of Bowland, with children. Photo: Diana Jarvis