Forest of Bowland

Moss Lane

17 August 2017

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Days out in the Forest of Bowland

The Forest of Bowland has a legitimate claim to be at the centre of the Kingdom and is thought by some to be the inspiration for JRR Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings.

This rugged landscape is dominated by heather-clad moorland, isolated hill farms and pretty little stone villages – just perfect for walking, cycling or simply winding down and tuning into the slower rhythms of nature.

Some geographers actually pinpoint this Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty as the centre of the Kingdom, so it’s perhaps not surprising that in an unguarded moment, the Queen mused that she might like to retire here.

It’s a sparsely populated area of moorland and verdant valleys between Clitheroe and Lancaster where hen harriers tumble on the breeze and hardy fell sheep graze among the heather.

Bowland was among the first areas of Britain to be opened up to public access under the Countryside and Rights of Way Act in 2005 and you can lose yourself in thousands of acres of deserted moorland.

For an easy walk which takes you right into one of Bowland’s secret valleys within a few minutes of leaving the car, stop off at the parking space at Hareden and wander up the track into Haredendale, one of the many hidden valleys hereabouts where you may catch sight of Hen Harriers performing their spectacular ‘sky dance’.