Discover the Forest of Bowland

Guided Walking Holiday - 7 Nights b&b

8-15th May 2022
A two centre holiday in the grandeur and isolation of this little known walkers’ paradise

two men walking on moorlands

Next departures:

Key info:


    • Exploring Lancashire’s wild and unspoilt landscapes, its peaks, rolling hills, lakes and woodlands.  
    • Great locally-sourced meals in comfortable homely accommodation, in two centres in the south and north of this area of outstanding natural beauty.
    • Discovering the history and stories of this little-known gem in the heart of England.


The holiday is offered on a bed and breakfast basis, for the 7-nights. 

Standard double room –  £660 per person for single occupancy

The Forest of Bowland:

Designated an area of outstanding national beauty (AONB) in 1964, Bowland is essentially upland country forming part of the Pennines, sharing many of the characteristics of other upland areas such as the Peak District and Yorkshire Dales National Park, but its essential landscape character is one of grandeur and isolation. The area is dominated by a central upland core of deeply incised gritstone fells with summits above 450m as well as vast tracts of heather-covered peat moorland.

Lancashire’s Forest of Bowland isn’t an area that springs to mind as a place to enjoy great walking, and that’s great for the locals, and for us as there are few tourists enjoying this peaceful isolated walkers’ paradise. 

Join me for guided walks in the The Forest of Bowland….

Daily Itinerary:

Here is the day-by-day itinerary, click on the day to learn more.

Independent travel to ‘The Forest’ in Fence. Check-in is from 15:00. We will gather in the bar at 18:30 to meet the tour leader for a short briefing before dinner.

Distance: 9.1 miles (14.7km) Ascent/ descent: 1870ft / 520m. 

Geologically linked to the main body of the Forest of Bowland, Pendle will forever be associated with tales of witchcraft and today Pendle Hill is on our doorstep. Whilst not the highest, Pendle Hill is the best loved of all the Bowland hills.

Pendle Hill from Coln

A short drive takes us to the village of Barley, where our walk begins. Our circular route takes us around the area using the 'witches way' at times and visiting the top of Pendle Hill with its panoramic views over the surrounding countryside. After the walk, we could visit the sculpture trail and then enjoy a local drink at the Barley Mow pub. 

pendle witch

Distance: 10.5 miles (17km)  Ascent/ descent: 530m/ 1738ft.

Shear beauty on this high ground. The objective for today is to reach the summit of Fair Snape Fell by walking the 'Langden Round'. 

We take the cars to Langden brook on the 'trough of Bowland', and we start our walk. This fine walk starts by the brook before heading off and up deep into on open access land and to the summit of Fair Snape Fell (521m). After a lunch stop, we follow the route around on the peaty moorland to Totridge Fell and then return back to the start via Langden Brook. 


Distance: 12.5 miles, 20km. Ascent/ descent: 625m/ 2050ft

The extra length on today's walk is worth it for the feeling of remoteness and tranquillity. Today we head to the former administrative capitol of Bowland Slaidburn, to start the walk. We head over Dunslop Fell, the first of our two climbs of the day. From Dunslop Head we continue on down to the hidden pastures of Whitendale. We follow the course of the river up to the Salter Fell track, then we head back high on the track above the Croasdale brook to return to out start. 

After a good day on the hill, what could be more pleasant than relaxing at the 13th century inn called Hark to Bounty for a cheeky drink, before returning to our hotel?  

Today we transfer between hotels. 

There are many touristic and walking options today which your guide will discuss with you. 

Distance: 10.5 miles/ 17km. 582m Ascent/ descent 1909ft

Wards Stone (561m) is the highest point in the Forest of Bowland and today's aim. This popular moorland traverse starts below Littledale and heads up past old quarries, gritstone outcrops and heather to Grit Fell, and onto Wards Stone beyond. Unusually, there are two trig points at Wards Stone, the Eastern one being the higher. On the way down, we can take in the views from High Stephens Head before heading down to the valley and back.     

Distance: 7.5 miles/ 12.2km. 301m Ascent/ descent 988ft

Woodlands, meadows and the river Roeburn. We finish the week with a late breakfast, and a slightly gentler walk in a site of special scientific interest (SSSI). The Roeburndale valley boasts a wide range of flora and fauna.  

Departure after breakfast

Departing frog with suitcase

Please note that if weather conditions are bad, or conditions change locally then it may be necessary to diverge from a part of the programme at short notice. Please be assured that every effort will be made to keep to the advertised programme.

Our Accommodation:

Accommodation is across two locations:

(1) The Forest at Fence: Cuckstool Lane, Fence, Burnley, Lancashire. BB12 9PA. 

We will be staying in the small village of Fence for the first four nights. Fence derives it’s name from medieval times when a fence was put up by instruction of the King to keep his deer in the same place. The small community became known as Fence over time. Here, we are in the south of the Forest of Bowland area of outstanding natural beauty. There is a store and Post Office in the village. 

The rooms are all doubles, modern, quiet and comfortable, with with en-suite bathroom, tea/ coffee making facilities, hairdryers, TV and WIFI throughout.

Breakfasts and dinner on the first evening will be taken at the hotel restaurant. A full breakfast is available in the restaurant from 07:00 each day. Each evening at 18:30 we will meet in the bar at the hotel, for drinks and an overview of the following day’s walk before going to dinner. There is ample parking available. 

NOTE: Only eight rooms are available on this tour. Accommodation is allocated on a first come, first serve basis. 


Our package includes ‘Standard Double’ rooms and a hearty full ‘a la carte’ breakfast. Click here for the menu. 

For dinners you can either make your own arrangements or asked to be included on a group booking at the hotel or one of the many restaurants in town. 

(2) The Fenwick: Horby Road, Claughton, Lancaster. LA2 9LA. 

We will be staying at The Fenwick for the last three nights in the Beautiful Lune valley. Here we are in the northern area of the Forest of Bowland area of outstanding national beauty.  

Both accommodations are owned by the same firm and have similar facilities 

Additional Information:

To book, you may either ring me on 07979 501887 or if you prefer, you can email me and I will get back to you.

You will need to pay a deposit of £100 to secure your place. The final balance will be due 8 weeks before departure.

All payments can be made via BACS. Please ensure you put your surname and initial as a reference.

Account details:

Sort code: 11-03-67

Account number: 13435862

Reference (surname and initial)

This is not an exhaustive list but highlights the main requirements.
Please note, some of the tracks can be boggy after prolonged rain.

Essential Items

  • Waterproof walking-boots, properly worn in and which provide good grip
  • Waterproof jacket and over trousers
  • Rucksack
  • Gloves and a warm hat
  • Water bottle – 1 ltr
  • Sunscreen and sun hat
  • Several layers of clothing – which can be added or removed as required

Recommended items

  • Gaiters – these can be useful after rain
  • Personal first aid kit
  • Sit Mat
  • Specialist walking socks

Optional items

  • Blister kit
  • Flask for hot drinks
  • Walking poles (can be useful)

Our first hotel, The Forest at Fence, is just 12 minutes drive (6 miles) from the Centre of Burnley, the nearest town. In Burnley there is a train line from Preston.

If you require collection from Burnley or, assistance in getting to the hotel, then please call me on 07979 501887.

When we travel between hotels, there will be space for at least 4 people in the leaders car if required.  

Four walks are covered by the following maps. I have copies of these maps to show you each evening in our briefings.

1:25:000. OL41 Explorer Map. The Forest of Bowland and Ribblesdale