Eco Escapes are all about travelling light and treading carefully in the precious but fragile rural landscapes of Lancashire. They are about leaving the car at home and taking the time to explore new places by public transport, on foot or by bike. They are about discovering the county’s wonderful natural environments and the wildlife that makes its home there.
Above all, Eco Escapes are about making connections: between town and country; between visitors and residents and between people and nature.
Lancashire has two Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty: the Forest of Bowland and Arnside and Silverdale.
From coast to countryside, river to mountain, lakes to forests, these natural oases comprise a huge diversity of landscapes which are home to an amazing diversity of wildlife.
Eco Escapes connects these landscapes to the rest of the county in a more sustainable way, enabling eco-conscious visitors to refresh, recharge and revive with a sustainable short break in Lancashire’s beautiful green spaces.
Everyone is welcome to visit these precious natural gems, which are criss-crossed by public footpaths and quiet country lanes, and we think the best way to explore them is on foot or by bicycle.
The good news for visitors from further afield is that both the Forest of Bowland and Arnside and Silverdale are easily accessible by regular, reliable train services to the stations at Lancaster, Carnforth, Silverdale, Bentham and Clitheroe.
Eco Escapes are about slowing down, taking your time and tuning into the slower rhythms of nature. They’re about relaxing, resetting and reconnecting with the natural world. In fact, you could call it ‘slow tourism’ and for those who want to linger longer, our sustainable itineraries have plenty of ideas and inspiration to turn a day trip into a short break, a hike into an expedition or a ride into a tour.
Lancashire’s outstanding natural landscapes are the perfect environments to try new experiences – from traditional rural crafts to more surprising country pursuits!
A growing number of providers offer training and tuition in a wide spectrum of outdoor activities and experiences, with some providing short residential courses.
As you’d expect in such an idyllic natural playground, traditional outdoor activities such as hiking, navigation, mountain biking and rock climbing are very much to the fore. But how about trying your hand at foraging, distilling gin or walking with alpacas?
In spring and summer, watch seasonal migrants like ospreys, warblers and swallows return to nest and walk through drifts of wild flowers in the meadows
In the autumn and winter months, immerse yourself in stunning autumn colours in Silverdale’s native woodlands or join a Dark Skies workshop to find your way around the night sky at one of the area’s Dark Sky Discovery sites.
There’s plenty of fun activities to cram into a day trip to the Forest of Bowland or Arnside and Silverdale, but making a weekend of it opens up even more options.
Whether you’re looking for a luxurious country house hotel, a cosy B&B or a back to nature glamping experience, Lancashire’s rural landscapes have a multitude of places to stay.
Wherever you stay in the countryside, you’re assured of a warm welcome and if you spend the night in one of our cosy ‘away from it all’ B&Bs, the dark skies and rural tranquillity guarantee the best night’s sleep you’ve had for a while.
FOOD & DRINK
There’s so much scope for enthusiastic foodies to embark on a gastronomic tour of this productive corner of Britain.
The fertile pastureland of Lancashire is dairy farming country where the county’s distinctive Lancashire cheese is made, while the coastal fringes of Morecambe Bay offer a mix of delicacies including fresh shellfish and salt marsh lamb.
You’ll also find artisan pies, award-winning sausages, higher welfare grass-fed meat, and artisan gins in the many local shops and cafes.
Farming is going through a period of change, but is still an important aspect of the local economy and the link between food producers and consumers remains intact, with a direct connection from field to fork.
Local produce can be found in local specialist retailers and at the area’s regular markets in towns like Clitheroe, Carnforth and Bentham, with many producers increasingly opting to sell farm products direct to the customer from the farm gate.
Farmers, landowners and conservation organisations are working together closely to explore more sustainable farming methods while maintaining the region’s rich agricultural legacy to ensure rural Lancashire continues to thrive as a living landscape.