Bowland's Stellar Nightlife
Bowland Wild Boar Park
Nestling beside the River Hodder in a remote valley beneath the rugged ridgeline of the Bleasdale Fells, Bowland Wild Boar Park maintains a tradition dating back to the middle ages – along with a host of fun activities for the whole family.
The Wild Boar was a fearsome creature which once roamed wild across the ancient Forest of Bowland – inspiring fear and reverence among local foresters in equal measure.
Today, wild boar continue to flourish in the Forest of Bowland, but only within the confines of one of the Forest of Bowland’s most popular – and sustainable – visitor attractions. And as well as nurturing the Forest’s only remaining population of wild boar, the park is home to a whole host of fascinating animals – from owls and deer to ostriches and meerkats.
Located between the pretty farming village of Chipping and the ancient hamlet of Whitewell, the Wild Boar Park lies at the heart of an especially scenic corner of the AONB known known as ‘Little Bowland’.
As the name suggests, visitors can expect to get up close and personal with the area’s population of wild boar – and usually a handful of super-cute stripey boarlets – but the park’s other residents are equally engaging – especially for children.
Alongside traditional farm animals like rare breed sheep, goats, pigs, chickens and ducks, visitors can also see native species like red deer and rabbits. In addition, the park has a whole menagerie of altogether more exotic species, ranging from the perennially popular meerkat family, to emus and ostriches, alpacas and llamas. Some of these animals can be hand-fed and petted at certain times of day – check the website for details as timings vary.
The park also has an adventure playground and zipwire, tractor and trailer rides and signposted short wildlife walks suitable for the whole family. And after a busy morning getting to know all manner of furry and feathered friends, why not adjourn to the café for hot and cold snack? There’s indoor and outdoor seating and a separate ice cream parlour for those long hot days of summer.
We also have our Rare Breed meat sales in the shop. Indoor activities come rain or shine in the Barn and Education Centre next to the Playground.*
- Ice Cream Parlour and Café serving homemade food (Take away only)
- Barrel, Tractor and Trailer rides *
- Lamb Feeding, Chick Holding *
- Tank Experience
- See Llamas, Red Deer, Ostriches and lots more!
- Camping pods
- Mobility scooter/Tramper available to book
The park is open weekends and midweek during peak season from 10.30am to 4.30pm and dogs on leads are welcome.
Bowland Wild Boar Park, Leagram, Chipping, Preston, PR3 2QT01995 61075
Cobden View self catering cottage
Cobden View cottage is set in its own grounds with glorious panoramic views of Sabden valley and Pendle Hill in the Forest of Bowland. Through its windows, you can also see sheep and cattle (plus some hens and geese) that graze the hillside fields at Cobden Farm. The well-equipped cottage, with two bedrooms, can sleep up to five people and a baby. There’s a spacious lounge with a log burner, a dining kitchen with plenty of room, a shared four-piece bathroom and a utility room. All have lots of extras aimed at making your stay special.
Well-behaved dogs are more than welcome. The private rear garden has decking area ideally sited for al fresco meals, or just relaxing and enjoying the wonderful scenery. On clear nights, it’s perfect for Dark Skies gazing.
Walk from the door of Cobden View onto public footpaths close by that link with others criss-crossing Sabden valley. The cottage is a mile from Sabden with its two shops, including a Post Office; Sanwitches cafe in the former mill; a beauty salon Ella-Mia; and two pubs. For children, there’s a lovely play park and grass play area next to Sabden Brook where they can paddle. A Sabden Treasure Trail leaflet, produced by the Pendle Hill Landscape project, is a great way to discover the village.
Location-wise, the cottage is not far from Blackpool, Lytham St Annes and Southport seasides (less than an hour’s drive), the Yorkshire Dales and West Pennine Moors (an hour); M65 (10-15 mins); A59 (10 mins).
Cobden Farm Sabden Clitheroe BB79ED01282 776 285
Dale House Barn Luxury B&B
Michelin-trained chef Dominique Ashford has tuned into the slower rhythms of nature after swapping the top end restaurants of London for wild food and foraging in the Forest of Bowland
For a really wild adventure in one of the most remote parts of the Forest of Bowland, Dale House Barn ticks a lot of boxes.
This pretty farmhouse B&B and camping barn is the ideal location for a peaceful rural retreat to recharge the batteries or an action-packed weekend of walking, cycling, foraging and cooking.
Nestling beneath the craggy outcrops of Bowland Knotts, high above the sparkling waters of Stocks Reservoir, Dale House Barn is the perfect base from which to explore Bowland on foot or by bike.
And there’s no need to rough it in this isolated location. Dominique is an experienced chef and her cookery and bread making courses are incredibly popular with guests. As you’d expect, the food is pretty awesome, too and most of Dominique’s guests book in for dinner and her legendary breakfast while staying at Dale House.
Dominique worked primarily as a pastry chef for over 25 years in some of the best kitchens in the UK – including the Roux brothers, Terence Conran’s Le Pont de la Tour, The Houses of Parliament and Aiden Byrne.
Dominique now uses her skills and imagination to devise dishes that include as much wild, seasonal, local and sustainable produce as possible with an aim to have zero waste.
Partner Andrew is a keen outdoorsman and a local game keeper who provides Dale House with a steady supply of venison, rabbit, wild duck and pigeon. And despite the accent on local game, vegetarians and vegans are well catered for too!
Complemented by foraged herbs, leaves and berries and locally grown vegetables, be it breakfast, afternoon tea or dinner, mealtimes are always a highlight at Dale House.
Dominique hosts a wide range of food and rural skills courses, which all take place in the farmhouse kitchen and a purpose-built professional kitchen.
Each course is limited to maximum of five people with most run as private workshops for family and friends. Guests will chat, cook and eat their way through the day with plenty of opportunity to get involved on a practical level too.
For the more actively inclined, the traffic-free mountain bike trails of Gisburn Forest are a short ride away and a hilly 10k trail run around Stocks Reservoir is easily accessible.
Quiet road cycling routes and miles of wilderness walks start right from the farmhouse gate and if you need a bit of help to negotiate the hilly terrain, Ribble Valley E-bikes can deliver electric bikes direct to the door.
During the autumn and winter months, the Forest of Bowland’s dark skies offer amazing views of the planets and constellations while the onset of spring heralds the arrival of a host of rare visitors, including ospreys, ring ouzel, curlew and sky dancing hen harriers.
Hearty breakfasts with homemade bread, granola and preserves, eggs from our hens and locally sourced bacon and sausages. Packed lunches, hampers and picnics are also available. A perfect location for exploring the Forest of Bowland.
Dale house barn and B&B, Dale head farm, Slaidburn, Lancashire, BB7 4TS01200 411 095
Dale House Camping Barn
Our charming barn is available for groups of up to 14 people. It has 2 mezzanine sleeping areas, a large double height dining and seating area with a log burning stove. There is a small kitchen, 2 toilets and 2 showers. A private south facing garden affords fantastic views over the meadows towards Stocks reservoir and Gisburn forest.
The barn is also a great space for entertaining or business meetings with a focus on good food and enjoyment of the outdoors. It can be booked for private catered events and meetings.
Dale House barn and B&B, Dale head farm, Dale head, Slaidburn, BB7 4TS01200 411 095
Eldroth House Holiday Cottages
Eldroth House is a superb stone built property in the idyllic rural village of Eldroth. It offers extremely well furnished and spacious one and two bedroom accommodation close to the market town of Settle, and is perfectly placed for exploring the beauty of the Forest of Bowland, the Yorkshire Dales and the Lake District.
The tranquil gardens with running stream and small orchard are ideal for relaxing after a day’s walking, cycling, sightseeing or shopping. We provide everything you need to make your stay peaceful and enjoyable. After the sun sets there’s a whole new world to discover in the dark skies over Bowland and we are a Dark Sky Friendly business.
Our first Guests described the Barn as ‘a little piece of heaven’! It is the
perfect romantic getaway for couples. At the end of the day, sink into the comfy, super king sized bed and maybe do some dark sky star gazing!
Some of our latest Guests said ‘Thank you so much for sharing your beautiful cottage. If only other property owners shared your ideals we would never be disappointed! You have everything so perfect, location, comfort and that extra special touch.’ Your four legged friends are welcome in the Cottage too!
Eldroth House, Eldroth, Austwick, Lancaster, North Yorkshire LA2 8AQ 07590 252 725
Nestled in the heart of the Forest of Bowland AONB, this glamping pod is ideal for hikers and bikers who want a base more substantial than a tent and less fuss than a hotel. Want privacy with absolutely nobody else around? We can almost guarantee you won’t see a single person while you’re at the pod, so you can sit back and enjoy the stunning panoramic views that stretch for miles over the Dunsop and Ribble Valleys from the hot tub, champagne in hand, with nobody to disturb you. The pod is made out of a solid wood frame and boasts three sides of glass to fully take in the panoramic views.
Burn House Farm Newton in Bowland Clitheroe Lancashire BB7 3EE07908 614 736
Height Top Farm Holiday Cottages
Height Top Farm Holiday Cottages are set in beautiful open countryside close to Pendle Hill and in the forest of Bowland AONB.Perfect for those wanting to escape a hectic lifestyle. The cottages were once the original farmhouse and have been restored keeping many original features without compromising comfort. Nearby walking, cycling fishing and golf are some of the activities our guests may choose but you could just as easily chill out and relax.
Height Top Farm Stump Hall Road, Higham Lancashire, BB12 9BU 01282 772 009
Little Oakhurst Luxury Glamping
Do you desire a night of peace and quiet? Want to relax under the stars in your very own Luxury yurt with a wood fired hot tub? If you do, then Little Oakhurst is the place for you. From the moment you arrive on the farm, you are made to feel part of the family. The yurt is tastefully decorated with scrumptious home-made Nana’s cake on arrival and fresh milk from the cows. You can kick off your shoes, light the fire and snuggle under the blankets. Each Yurt has its own luxury bathroom facilities, one with a roll top bath. So, throw open the doors and admire the view!
Peaks and Pods
Perfectly positioned on a small dairy farm in North Yorkshire, these five camping pods are in a league of their own. These cedar-clad beauties boast panoramic views, well-appointed terraces, and comfortable double beds. All the pods also have their own private bathrooms (either ensuite or just a short stroll away), but the luxury doesn’t stop there. Three of these beautiful pods even have their own hot tubs. The eco-conscious owners have earned themselves a Green Tourism ‘Gold Award’ for commitment to sustainability.
The pods guarantee a cosy night’s sleep with great insulation, heating and double-glazed doors and windows – this is definitely a few steps up from regular camping. Each one is nestled into its own bank next to a dry stone wall to protect you from the elements, should they decide to be unkind.
Inside there is a fully-equipped kitchenette and tasteful crockery, along with an array of utensils, and stowaway wooden tables and chairs. Sleeping up to four (five at a push in the Green Top pods), each has a handmade double bed with a pocket-sprung mattress and sofa bed – ideal for adventurous families. Bedding and towels are provided. Each pod has its own fire bowl that doubles as a barbecue and comes with free kiln-dried wood – just add marshmallows!
Wander round the site and you’ll be happy to discover ‘The Hub’, a fantastic all-weather communal space that comes complete with a wood-fired pizza oven. It’s a great place to relax and socialise.
Boustagill Farm Rathmell Settle North Yorkshire BD24 0LJ07724 940 709
Riverside Caravan Park
Situated where Lake, Coast and Dale unite, Riverside Caravan Park and cottages offers you the chance to escape from the worries of life and immerse yourself in our rural retreat. Whether you’re looking for a short break or a regular bolt hole, we can offer you a blissful hideaway.
Riverside Caravan Park High Bentham Near Lancaster LA2 7FJ015242 61272
Smelt Mill Outdoor Centre
Smelt Mill provides accommodation for groups in the heart of the Forest of Bowland Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. It is ideally located for outdoor activities such as walking, mountain biking and bird watching.
- Rooms – 5 x 2 beds, 3 x 4 beds and 1 x 6 beds
- Full central heating
- Lounge with log fire
- Professionally equipped kitchen
- A multi-purpose room for activities and dining
- Showers and changing rooms
- Drying room
- Multi-media presentation equipment and satellite TV
- Indoor climbing wall
- Garden area suitable for activities, games BBQ etc
- Camping with toilet and shower area
- Guest WiFi
- Limited Off-road car parking
Smelt Mill Cottages Trough Road Dunsop Bridge Clitheroe Lancashire BB7 3BH
For big skies, wide open spaces and the perfect environment for rewilding yourself, head over to the windswept salt marshes of the Lancashire coast, where the Forest of Bowland meets the sea!
After travelling the world with a high-powered job for more than a decade, Lancashire lass Michelle Parry returned to her family farm with a mission to rewild herself and reverse the noise and clutter accumulated through 21st century culture by reconnecting with nature.
Now, Michelle runs a busy schedule of events, workshops and wellness retreats under the big skies of the Lancashire coast, where the emphasis is firmly on the healing power of place in a very special landscape on the salt marshes of Morecambe Bay in the shadow of the Bowland Fells.
“I consider myself one of the lucky ones who experienced life pre-mobile phones and computers,” says Michelle. “I have a lot of gratitude for my upbringing: running wild, making dens and being free-range and feral is what I always knew.
“Over the past 10 years I’ve witnessed the increasingly rapid disconnect humans have with the natural world. I’m one of the lucky ones who experienced life pre-mobile phones and computers.
“Today, I find it hard to wrap my head around how much this is impacting our daily lives, our connection with one another, our planet and the devastating impact it is having to our natural world, on our mental wellbeing, creating a broken ‘new normal’ for our future generations.
“Bridging the gap between the countryside and city life is something I’ve become increasingly passionate about. Here at the Rewilding, we’re on a mission to rewild our fellow humans and welcome you all along for the journey.”
One of the centrepieces of Michelle’s mission is the Untamed Supper Club – a series of informal semi al fresco dinners where anyone and everyone is welcome. As you’d expect, the accent here is on wild and foraged foods, served in the rustic surroundings of an old outbarn dressed for a feast.
The raw ingredients are overwhelmingly locally sourced and a ‘hyper-seasonal’ with food miles often in simple minds, but the cooking influences stretch around the world, from the Scandinavia to the Far East.
The dining is communal, with plates and platters passed between guests seated at a long trestle table where the food, wine and conversation flow as naturally as the tide seeping into the creeks on the salt marsh just a few yards away.
“As a farming family, food is very important to us,” said Michelle. “We’re connected to the land around us and understand the hardworking efforts that go into the production of every mouthful.
“To us, food represents far more than filling an empty space; it’s about the nourishment it gives our bodies in order to thrive and be healthy, the connection it brings when we come together with others. That’s the spirit that underpins our Untamed Suppers.”
Although it’s off the beaten track, The Rewilding is well connected with good public transport links to Lancaster and perfect terrain to explore on foot or by bike.
There are superb coastal walks direct from the farm gate and the excellent cycleways of Lancaster connect seamlessly with the quiet country lanes crossing the coastal floodplains.
The quirky little port of Glasson Dock is just a short ride away, from where a traffic-free cycleway runs along the Lune estuary into Lancaster and beyond to Morecambe, where another cycle route extends around the whole of Morecambe Bay.
For those who want to make a short break of it, combine a stay in the quality accommodation at Patty’s Barn and some foraging on the marsh with a foodie tour of Lancashire and the Forest of Bowland and a visit to the historic old port of Lancaster.
Patty's Barn, Cockerham, Lancaster, North West, United Kingdom07502 726596
Wood End Farm and Alpaca Experience
Our family have farmed here for over 100 years. It is a traditional hill farm, with beef and sheep, set in the beauty and tranquility of this unspoilt area in rural Lancashire.
We believe in preserving the best of traditional farming practice and work hard to conserve traditional hedgerows, meadows and dry stone walls. We have a double en-suite room and a twin ensuite room that can be changed to king-size if required. We offer a breakfast of your choice made from the finest local ingredients; free wifi; flat screen TV; tea making facilities; stair lift; off road parking and a beautiful garden.
We can also offer you an ‘alpaca experience’, beauty treatments or fusion therapeutic coaching – please ask for more information when you book. We can accommodate horses with a yard, tack room and field turnout and if you are a keen cyclist, fisherman or walker we have lockable storage, drying facilities and a hose in the yard.
Wood End Farm Dunsop Bridge Clitheroe BB7 3BE01200 448223