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The Forest of Bowland, Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, is a beautiful stretch of rugged, unspoilt countryside covering 312 square miles of rural Lancashire and adjacent Yorkshire. Geologically it’s part of the main Pennine range and its series of gritstone fells bisecting remarkable sweeps of heather-covered moorland are perfect for gentle walks, tree-lined mountain biking, fishing and scenic picnics. From Hurst Green in the south to Wennington in the North, the Forest of Bowland is dotted with charming stone villages, some of which date as far back as pre-historic times. People have been living in the parish of Barley for around 3,000 years. Now this pretty, stone village is the perfect place from which to climb imposing Pendle Hill. When you reach the 577-metre summit you’re rewarded with spectacular views of the Ribble Valley and Bowland. Other notable villages within the Forest of Bowland, Lancashire include Downham, which has barely been touched since the 16th century. You might recognise it from the blockbuster Whistle Down the Wind, or more recently from the BBC drama Born and Bred. Another village that has remained delightfully traditional is Slaidburn on the banks of the River Hodder. Pop into its Heritage Centre to see the ornate 10th century Angel Stone carving and then visit the 15th century Church of St Andrew.
Clitheroe Visitor Information Centre
- 01200 425566