GPS Cycle and Walking Routes


Forest of Bowland Walks

Please use the links below to view full route information including descriptions, elevation profiles, interactive maps and GPS downloads.

You can also view an overview map of all the routes in the using the Forest of Bowland Walk Map


Route NamePhotoDistanceDescription
Abbeystead Reservoir2 miles (4 km)This short circular walk takes you around Abbeystead Reservoir in the Forest of Bowland. The reservoir has an impressive curved weir and is surrounded by some beautiful countryside. This walk starts in Abbeystead and follows the Wyre Way footpath along the southern shore of the reservoir. You'll pass near to the waters edge with a woodland section through Hinberry Wood. You then pass the weir and Bank Wood before returning to Abbeystead. It's a fairly easy walk with lovely views of the River Wyre and the Forest of Bowland countryside and hills.
Beacon Fell Country Park2 miles (3 km)Explore 271 acres of woodland, moorland and farmland in the Forest of Bowland AONB. Beacon Fell is situated 266 metres (873 feet) above sea level giving fabulous views of Morecambe Bay and the Isle of Man (on a clear day). There are several miles of lovely woodland walking trails and an excellent visitor centre with a wealth of information. Beacon Fell is situated a few miles north of Preston.
If you'd like to extend your walk you could head to the nearby Parlick and Fair Snape Fell where there is a wonderful footpath with fantastic views over the Forest of Bowland.
Clougha Pike5 miles (8 km)This circular walk takes you to Clougha Pike in the Forest of Bowland. The hill is located a few miles east of Lancaster, reaching a height of 413m (1,355ft). Clougha Pike commands wonderful views over Morecambe Bay, Snowdonia and the Lake District Fells.
You can park at the Rigg Lane car park (postcode below) just to the west of the hill. You then head towards Ottergear Bridge near Cragg Wood and the River Conder. The path then takes you towards Wisp Hill and Black Fell before coming to the Clougha Pike summit. Take a while to soak in the wonderful views. On a clear day you should be able to see the coast and beyond to the Isle of Man.
The route then descends back to the car park via Windy Clough with views of Trough Brook on the way.
An alternative, shorter route is to start from Rigg Farm and follow the Rowton Brook to the summit. The walk can be extended by continuing east along the path to Grit Fell and Ward's Stone, the highest hill in the Forest of Bowland. It can be quite a difficult walk though as it is a boggy area.
Cyclists can reach the hill on regional route 90 which runs through Quernmore.
Forest of Bowland Walk68 miles (109 km)A circular walk around the Forest of Bowland AONB in Lancashire. You start at Caton and visit Slaidburn, Clitheroe and Garstang before returning to Caton.
The walk begins with a lovely riverside stretch along the River Lune from Caton to Hornby. You continue to Slaidburn before following the River Ribble through Clitheroe and climbing Longridge Fell for some splendid views. The next section takes you to Calder Vale and then onto Garstang, passing Beacon Fell which is well worth a slight detour from the trail (see video). The final section takes you from Garstang to Caton passing Nicky Nook with its fabulous viewpoint (see video) and the Barnacre and Grizedale Reservoirs.
Gisburn Forest4 miles (6.5 km)Enjoy miles of wonderful woodland walking and cycling trails in this large forest in the Forest of Bowland. Mountain bikers can enjoy a moderate 9.5km blue grade trail and a more challenging red grade trail. Walkers can enjoy 5 waymarked walks of varying lengths and difficulty. In the forest you will find wide, well surfaced trails taking you through mixed woodland and conifer plantation with a wide variety of wildlife to look out for in one of the hides. There are also becks, streams and waterfalls.
This easy circular route starts at the forest hub and takes you to Hesbert Hall before returning with a waterside section along Bottoms Beck and the lovely Stocks Reservoir. If you'd like to continue your walking in the area then you could try the Stocks Reservoir route which takes you all away around the reservoir.
Longridge Fell5 miles (7.5 km)Enjoy a walk to the summit of England's most southerley fell on this wonderful walk in the Forest of Bowland. The walk begins at the car park at Turner Fold and takes you to the 1,148-ft (350-m) summit on woodland footpaths. There are fabulous views from the high point including theFylde Coast, the Vale of Chipping, the fells of theForest of Bowland (includingParlick,Fair Snape FellandBeacon Fell), theYorkshire Dales and on a clear day the Lake District fells.
Longridge Fell is situated to the north of both Preston and Blackburn.
Lune Valley Ramble16 miles (26 km)This lovely easy walk follows the River Lune from Lancaster to Kirkby Lonsdale in Cumbria. As well as the stunning riversde scenery there are wonderful views of the South Lakeland fells and the beautiful Crook o' Lune.
The route is bounded by high moors and limestone hills with the Ingleborough, Whernside and Leck Fells making a magnificent backdrop to the walk.
Nicky Nook4 miles (6 km)This walk takes you up a popular and delightful fell in the Forest of Bowland. Starting in the village of Scorton you follow country lanes and footpaths to the 215m summit, passing a pretty tarn on the way. From the summit there are fabulous views of the Fylde coast, Blackpool Tower, Morecambe Bay and the Lake District fells. You descend through the lovely Grizedale, passing along Grizedale Reservoir and through peaceful woodland before returning to Scorton.
Parlick and Fair Snape Fell4 miles (7 km)This walk from Parlick Fell to Fair Snape Fell is considered one of the loveliest in the Forest of Bowland. The walk takes place on a very good footpath with wonderful views over the surrounding countryside.
The walk starts at the parking area on Startifants Lane and climbs to Parlick Fell. You continue north to Fair Snape, passing Bindhurst Fell on the way. The summit stands at 520m (1,710ft) and commands wonderful views over Londridge Fell and Beacon Fell.
The walk can also be started from the nearby village of Chipping. It's located about 2 miles south east of Parlick Fell and is a great place to stop for refreshments.
If you'd like to continue your walking in the area then you could head to the nearby Beacon Fell Country Park for more wonderful views and woodland trails.
Pendle Hill5 miles (7.5 km)This walk climbs to the summit of Pendle Hill in Lancashire. It starts in the village of Barley and makes use of the Pendle Way long distance footpath to take you on a circular tour of the area. It's a steep climb but the path is pretty well defined for most of the way. From the 557 metre (1,827ft) summit there are fabulous views over the Pennines to the east, the Bowland Fells to the northwest, and the West Pennine Moors to the south.
After leaving the summit you descend to Boar Clough before enjoying two waterside stretches along the Upper and Lower Ogden Reservoirs. The path then leads you back into Barley.
The area is famous for the Pendle Witch Trials. These took place in 1612 when twelve people from the area were charged with the murders of ten people by the use of witchcraft. Ten were subsequently found guilty and executed by hanging.
Stocks Reservoir6 miles (10 km)Enjoy a waterside walk around this lovely reservoir in the Forest of Bowland. The walk begins at the car park at the northern end of the reservoir and heads through the edge of Gisburn Forest and crosses the causeway. You then pick up a walking track which runs close to the waters edge, passing Rushton Hill and Ten Acre Hill on the way. On the western side you head to Eak Hill and Copped Hill Clough before a final woodland section through Gisburn Forest returns you to the car park.
This is a lovely walk through woodland and farmland on well maintained, signed footpaths. There are splendid views of the surrounding countryside and hills plus ample opportunity for wildfowl spotting on the water.
If you'd like to continue your walking in the area then you could head deeper into the adjacent Gisburn Forest.
You could also pick up the long distance Forest of Bowland Walk or head to the beautiful Trough of Bowland.
Trough of Bowland8 miles (13 km)Enjoy rivers, brooks, woodland and beautiful countryside on this circular walk in the Forest of Bowland AONB. The Trough of Bowland is a particularly scenic area of the AONB with its gorgeous valleys, moorland and wooded areas. There's also lots of wildlife to look out for including buzzards and oyster catchers.
This walk starts in the pretty village of Dunsop Bridge and follows a waterside footpath along the River Dunsop to Calder Moor and Whin Fell. At Brennand Farm you turn south towards Rams Clough where you pick up a country lane which runs along the Losterdale Brook and the Langden Brook to Dunsop Bridge. This long waterside stretch is particularly lovely with little waterfalls and other small brooks to enjoy. See the street view link below to get a good idea of what to expect on this section.
To continue your walking in the area you could pick up the long distance Forest of Bowland Walk and visit the pretty Stocks Reservoir.

Photos are copyrighted by their owners