#1 of 2 Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty in Lancashire

Best bird watching trails in Forest of Bowland Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, Lancashire, England

201 Reviews
Explore the most popular bird watching trails in Forest of Bowland Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.
Map of bird watching trails in Forest of Bowland Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, Lancashire, England
Park information
Acreage:
198,426 acres
Contact
+44 1200 448000
Helpful links
Top trails (21)
#1 - Scorton and Grizedale Reservoir
Forest of Bowland Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty
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Length: 3.9 mi • Est. 2 h 4 m
#2 - Fair Snape Fell and Parlick
Forest of Bowland Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty
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Length: 5.9 mi • Est. 3 h 19 m
A moderately strenuous circular walk near Chipping starting with Saddle Fell then Wolf Fell before taking in the twin summits of Fair Shape fell, before finishing with Patrick. This way round finishes with a steep descent overlooking the gliding club. The Forest of Bowland is a 'Forest' because it was once a Royal Hunting Forest and not because of any trees. It is a wide open area of grouse moors and until recently the preserve of game-keepers. Access rights have made this area a lot more popular. The route is easy taking in Saddle Fell, Wolf Fell, Fair Snape Fell and Parlick which under the right conditions is a hang gliders mecca. It is also a very good introduction for those who are who not familiar with the Bowland area. Much has been achieved to encourage a sustainable management of the area by improving heather cover, protect bird populations repair walls and enhance the landscape. The word snape means pasture, thus Fair Snape Fell means "fell of the fair (beautiful) pasture".Show more
#3 - Churn Clough Reservoir Circular
Forest of Bowland Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty
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Length: 2.5 mi • Est. 1 h 13 m
#4 - Big End, Pendle Hill and Ogden Reservouir
Forest of Bowland Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty
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Length: 7.1 mi • Est. 3 h 43 m
#5 - Harrisend Fell and Grizedale Head
Forest of Bowland Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty
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Length: 7.1 mi • Est. 3 h 44 m
'Grizedale' behind Scorton is very well known and incorporates 'Nicky Nook'. Less well known is the area to the east of the Oakenclough Road that crosses Harrisend Fell. This is a straightforward route following tracks across the access areas of Harrisend Fell, Hayshaw Fell and Grizedale Fell to Grizedale Head. A fence line along the watershed acts as a handrail for much of the way. As with most places in the Forest of Bowland there are the inevitable wet areas. A period after a number of frosty nights adds to the ease of the crossing. The return is by way of a shooters track to meet up with the Trough of Bowland road after which Harrisend Fell is rounded. An alternative shorter route is to leave the fence at the gate on the approach to Hayshaw Fell visiting the cairn in photo '13'. The descent is then mainly rough and trackless but you should aim for the path below at the point in photo '34'. Do not follow the fence down on the eastern side. A clear day would add to the enjoyment as the far reaching views over Morcambe Bay and to Ward's Stone are a real treat.Show more
#6 - Ribchester Bridge and Hurst Green
Forest of Bowland Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty
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Length: 10.2 mi • Est. 4 h 46 m
Ribchester Bridge c1789 grade II listed Stonyhurst College is an historic building set in a beautiful rural setting. Founded in 1593 it is a co-educational Catholic boarding and day school for pupils 13-18yrs and teaches faithful to the principles of the society of Jesuits. Its alumni include three Saints, twenty-two martyrs, seven archbishops, seven Victoria Cross winners, a Peruvian president, a New Zealand prime minister and a signatory of the American Declaration of Independence. Dutton Hall is a grade II listed c17th house built by a member of the Townley family (of Townley Hall). The current owners are well known in the rose growing fraternity. The Church of St. Saviour at Stydd is said to be the second oldest in Lancashire and is of late c12th origin.Show more
#7 - Hurst Green and the Ribble Valley Circular Walk
Forest of Bowland Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty
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Length: 5.3 mi • Est. 2 h 33 m
A circular walk through the spectacular Ribble Valley in the Forest of Bowland. The walk starts and finishes on Avenue Road. The route takes in the riverside path alongside the Ribble plus the surrounding fields and tracks. There are beautiful views throughout as you take in this peaceful and tranquil setting which, some speculate, could have been Tolkien's inspiration for the Shires in the Lord of the Rings novels. There are several climbs and descents throughout and the paths are generally grass paths and tracks across pastures which can be very muddy after rain. You will need to negotiate several kissing gates plus six stiles, all of which are fairly enclosed so dogs may need a lift over. Several of the pastures you cross are likely to be holding cattle and/or sheep so take care with dogs. Approximate time 2 to 2.5 hours.Show more
#8 - Parlick and Fair Snape West Circular Walk
Forest of Bowland Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty
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Length: 5.2 mi • Est. 2 h 5 m
This is a pleasing round taking in the tops of Parlick and Fair Snape Fells and avoids the peat hags of much of the rest of the Bowland area. The ascent of Parlick Fell from Fell Foot can be made direct or more gently on less well worn deeply cut zig zags. As Parlick sits out on a limb the views from its summit are the best in the area. The walking is easy on grass, even as on this occasion, after recent heavy rain. There is a Glider club nearby at Lower Cook Hill whose planes can often be seen seeking out the thermals along the flanks of the fells. The club used to be based  at Blackpool airport. Hang Gliders and Paragliders  also populate the area. The wind direction and strength determining their take-off points. On reaching Fair Snape Fell, besides the trig point, there is also a wind break and cairn known as Paddy's Pole. You can either continue the route or return from whence you came to prolong the upland experience. The descent to Higher Fair Snape Farm is on zig zags constructed to allow the removal of peat by those with permission. This explains why there is a lack of peat in the Fair Snape area, thus aiding the walking! After crossing a footbridge the low-lying ground is very wet indeed - so you have been warned. The return around the end of Parlick is on rough ground following a series of sheep tracks back to Fell Foot.Show more
#9 - Marshaw and Tarnbrook Wyre
Forest of Bowland Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty
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Length: 6.6 mi • Est. 3 h 29 m
The River Wyre at Abbeystead splits into the Marshaw Wyre and the Tarnbrook Wyre, all of which forms part of the 'Wyre Way', hence the sign post near Stoops Bridge (the start) points to the Wyre Way in three different directions. The area around Abbeystead is described as an unspoilt rural utopia and was once the home of Cistercian monks. Abbeystead Hall was built by the Earl of Sefton in 1887 and entertained royalty during the reign of George V. It is now in the hands of the Duke of Westminster who also owns the vast estate and shooting rights. The walk follows the Marshaw Wyre and road towards the Trough of Bowland. Alongside is the best known beauty spot in the Forest of Bowland for motorists. Tower Lodge on the roadside was the lodge for the now ruined Wyresdale Tower, a former shooting-house. After dropping off the moor is the hamlet of Tarnbrook which was a Quaker village known for the manufacture of felt, rabbitskin and moleskin hats and gloves. On one of the nearby Wyre Way marker stones is depicted a hat. Other stones show insignia to represent the locality. There is one with an aeroplane and a field-gun to show the spot was used for military training during WW2. Show more
#10 - Wolfhole Crag and Middle Knoll
Forest of Bowland Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty
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Length: 11.3 mi • Est. 6 h 31 m
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