Courses and Experiences

Alternative Adventure and Outdoor Activities Service

We deliver professionally run outdoor education and outdoor pursuits activities for the widest possible range of groups. Venues used are around the Lancashire, Merseyside and Greater Manchester area. This includes corporate events, management groups, Over 50’s clubs, hen parties, stag parties, adult and junior birthday parties, fun days for family groups, primary schools, junior schools and secondary schools, pupil referral units, special needs organisations, further education and sixth form colleges and youth groups.

Our activities include Rock Climbing, Forest Schools, Open Canoeing, Orienteering, Abseiling, Archery, Gorge Walking, Caving, Mobile Climbing Walls, Problem Solving Exercises, Mountain Biking, Sea Cliff Traversing, Team Building Exercises, Kayak Canoeing, Mountain Walks, Winter Skills, Navigation, Raft Building and more.

We deliver qualification course from a number of National Governing Bodies.

Be A Garden Maker

A beautiful small garden centre located in a rural location. Lovely tearoom serving homemade traditional food, dogs welcome. Easy access for limited mobility. Gift shop and reclamation shop in our onsite barns also gives interesting things for our home and garden.

Coars Farm, Wigglesworth, BD23 4SN01729 840848

beagardenmaker.co.uk

hello@beagardenmaker.co.uk

Bentham Golf Course

Bentham Golf Course is a picturesque, family-run 18 hole golf course situated at the foot of the Yorkshire Three Peaks. Previously described as ‘a Diamond of the Dales’, Bentham offers a challenge to golfers of all abilities and visitors are welcome every day of the week.

Bentham Golf Course, Robin Lane, High Bentham, LA2 7AG015242 62455

www.benthamgolfclub.co.uk

golf@benthamgolfclub.co.uk

Bowland and Bay

As the Forest of Bowland’s reputation for artisan food spreads across the country, Katie Wilson at Bowland and Bay is showcasing some of Lancashire’s best artisan food and drink

After 30 years in various tourism and buying roles, the pandemic prompted Katie Wilson to reappraise her life and start her own business.

After 2020 she set her heart on supporting independent artisans in her homeland, developing sustainable micro-adventures, that bring visitors closer than ever before to the latest and finest food around the Forest of Bowland AONB.

Bowland and Bay specialises in food tours across the Forest of Bowland and Morecambe Bay – showcasing the very best produce the region has to offer.

From the wheel of her comfortable Mercedes people carrier, Katie takes groups of up to eight on a magical foodie tour of the finest artisans in the region.

Created for food lovers, in the belief that by eating together and sharing stories, visitors have the opportunity to really engage with producers and reconnect with Lancashire’s unique ‘terroir’ on a deeper level.

Katie’s itineraries offer full and half day food tours, each include 7-8 artisan foodie adventures for adults and children over the age of 12 years. Adventures can include cheese and ice cream at the farm, freshly made bakes and comfort classics. Visiting award winning micro-brewers, gin distilleries and inns. There are plenty of opportunities to buy pantry delights along the way.

Strictly for grown-ups are Katie’s weekend Brewery Tours, visiting five breweries, where guests can taste over 15 beers or sample local craft gins, alongside superb street food.

“For me, Lancashire is one of the UK’s hidden gems,” said Katie. “Our food scene is right up there with renowned foodie hotspots like Burgundy in France or Portland in Oregon and a lot of that is down to our climate.

“Lancashire’s climate means we have incredibly lush grass which in turn means our farmers produce great milk which is turned into some of the best cheese in the country.

“The climate also means we can produce great beef, and all the products you associate with that – including, of course, our famous pies!

“We also have the coastline of Morecambe Bay within easy reach, and the unique seafood that this iconic part of the English coastline produces.

“Lancashire really has it all and I think it’s time the county really shouted about its food culture – not just for foodies from the UK – but from all over the world.”

Katie Wilson, Bowland and Bay

Katie runs bespoke tours for larger groups or scheduled tours which couples or individuals can join and meet fellow foodies on the day. There’s such a vast array of options, no two tours are identical and customers can shape their own itinerary to match their tastes, interests and appetites!

“We might visit six or eight artisan producers, ranging from fantastic bakers and pastry chefs, to microbreweries in a barn, a gin distillery high up in the fells or a Michelin-starred restaurant,” said Katie. “One thing you can be sure of however, you won’t go home hungry. This is Lancashire, we do things properly here – there’s no half measures or tiny portions!”

Bowland and Bay Food tours start at £85 per person for a half-day Lancashire Foodie Adventure – including all tastings. For more details, consult our tour schedule.

Contact us direct to discuss your specific needs: 07476 001539 or hello@bowlandandbay.co.uk

Based below Nicky Nook fell, Lancashire 07476 001539

hello@bowlandandbay.co.uk

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

www.wildboarpark.co.uk

info@wildboarpark.co.uk

Browsholme Hall

The Parker family has been associated with the Forest of Bowland for more than five centuries and their family seat of historic Browsholme Hall is the oldest family home in continuous occupation in Lancashire.

Browsholme Hall Tudor stately home

Browsholme Hall is a magnificent Grade I listed Tudor Hall, displaying an eclectic collection of museum quality artefacts alongside a recently restored Eighteenth Century Tithe barn.

Set amid 600 acres of picturesque parkland, informal gardens and extensive woodland, Browsholme tells a social story of family and local history spanning some 500 years; its origins within the Forest of Bowland Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and its interaction with the local and regional community.

The Parker family has been associated with the care and custodianship of this pretty corner of the Forest of Bowland for 16 generations and they continue to maintain their obligations to the area and preserve their ancestral legacy with pride.

The hall itself dates back to 1507, and despite numerous updates and alterations over the years, Browsholme boasts one of the finest surviving antiquarian interiors in England, displaying a vast collection of family treasured collected over five centuries ranging from the skull of a martyr thought to have been executed following the pilgrimage of grace, to bronze age swords, Roman glasswork and a comprehensive collection of oil paintings.

The grounds are a wildlife-rich natural oasis, comprising mature woodlands, ornamental lakes and acres of beautifully maintained formal and informal gardens.

Although it is still very much a family home, Browsholme is open to visitors on Tuesdays and Wednesdays during the spring and summer months and also hosts special events, functions and bespoke weddings.

Accommodation is also available within the estate grounds in a handful of cottages and eco-lodges and the Cart Shed café is open for light refreshments on public days.

Browsholme Hall, Clitheroe Road, Cow Ark, Clitheroe, Lancashire, BB7 3DE01254 827160

Browsholme Hall

hello@browsholme.com

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

www.dalehousebarn.co.uk

ashforddominique1@mac.com

Goosnargh Gin

Richard and Rachel Trenchard were quietly building a widely admired brand of artisan gin, distilled and rooted in the landscapes of Bowland – and then the Hairy Bikers dropped in for a quick G&T…

After developing an interest in handcrafted small batch gins, which bordered on an obsession, Richard and Rachel Trenchard decided to use over a decade of amassed knowledge to launch their own artisan spirit brand from an additional outbuilding at their home in the shadow of Beacon Fell.

Being gin obsessives, their approach was meticulous – from botanicals which reflect the local area or promote the rich geography and heritage of Bowland, to the artwork for the label and the distinctive retro bottles, nothing was left to chance.

The end product was – perhaps unsurprisingly – a stand-out gin, which was an immediate hit with gin connoisseurs across Lancashire and beyond, winning a prestigious Gold award at the International Wine and Spirit Competition in 2019.

New bottlings – or ‘chapters’ joined the range – all remaining true to the couple’s core values of distilling an authentic artisan product inspired by – and rooted in – the Forest of Bowland.

Following on from the original Chapter One – Signature Gin, which is distilled with 14 botanicals designed to capture the essence of Bowland, was Chapter Two – Dark Skies – a deeper, more warming gin inspired by the glittering starscapes of Bowland’s velvety black night skies.

Further chapters and seasonal releases followed – including Hay Time – flavoured with summer aromatics sourced in collaboration with local farmer Peter Blackwell whose wildflower meadows are some of the most species-rich in Northern England. Richard and Rachel make a donation to conservation projects in the Forest of Bowland for every bottle of Hay Time gin sold.

Alongside producing award-winning gins, Richard and Rachel opened a gin school, allowing visitors to come along and handcraft their own gin. Their foraging and distilling dates allow visitors to collect and distil with foraged botanical following the guidance of an expert forager on the same day.

And as the nation emerged from the first lockdown, a pair of celebrity foodies dropped in to see what all the fuss was about. Dave Myers and Si King – better known as the Hairy Bikers – spent a day making their own gin for their popular BBC TV series The Hairy Bikers Go North.

Si and Dave clearly enjoyed the experience – and after the programme aired for the first time in September 2021, Richard and Rachel were inundated with bookings from across the country and beyond. In response to the surge in demand for their products and experiences, the couple recently opened a second outlet at Wyresdale Park, near Scorton.

As well as a shop retailing the entire range of gins and associated merchandise, Goosnargh Gin’s new Wyresdale outlet will soon be hosting gin schools and other events. While the new shop is open from Thursday to Sunday from 10am to 4pm, advance booking is essential for gin school. Check the website and social media for updates.

Visitors are always welcome at Goosnargh Gin’s two outlets, but check opening times on the website first. Booking in advance is essential for gin school and foraging courses.

Eccles Moss Farm, Bleasdale Road, Whitechapel Preston, PR3 2ER | Goosnargh Gin at Wyresdale Park: The Courtyard, off Sheep Street (behind the Applestore Café)01995 641001

goosnarghgin.co.uk

hello@goosnarghgin.co.uk

NaturesGems Tours

Experienced naturalist and active conservationist Gemma Wren leads small groups on bespoke nature tours of Morecambe Bay and its diverse range of habitats.

Owned and operated by practising environment consultant Gemma Wren, NaturesGems Tours offers immersive wildlife experiences in some of the county’s most nature-rich environments.

Most of Gemma’s tours take place within the Arnside and Silverdale AONB or Lake District National Park, exploring coastal, woodland and upland environments and observing the species which live there.

The half-day tours offer a taste of the AONB and its wildlife, visiting a number of local nature reserves and established wildlife-watching locations which vary according to the season and which species are likely to be in the area.

The full-day tours offer visitors an opportunity to really immerse themselves in the habitations of Arnside and Silverdale and chalk up an enviable list of rarities, including bittern, hen harrier and osprey, waders, warblers, otters and – in the summer months – rare butterflies and dragonflies and some spectacular orchids on the chalk grasslands of the AONB.

Your itinerary could include RSPB Leighton Moss, Foulshaw Moss, Whitbarrow Scar and Gaitbarrows and will involve a walk of around six miles. A picnic lunch of wholesome local produce is provided by local business Baba Ganoush, who use eco-friendly packaging and local ingredients for their tasty vegetarian lunches.

Everyone with an interest in nature is welcome, from beginners to the more experienced, but as they inevitably involve a significant amount of walking in hilly and sometimes rough terrain, they may not be suitable for those with mobility or health issues.

Gemma can also arrange bespoke tours for individuals and small groups and while she can cater for family groups by prior arrangement, the tours aren’t generally suitable for children under 10 years of age.

Most visitors bring their own binoculars or telescopes, but Gemma has a small number of high-quality optics which guests may borrow for the day.

“One of the beauties of the AONB is the sheer variety of species you find here in the AONB,” said Gemma. “We’re right on the intersection between the northern boundary of many southern species and the southern boundary of northern species and this part of Morecambe Bay has a sort of microclimate where all these species can co-exist.

“This unique environment – along with the huge seasonal changes which sweep across the Bay as the year unfolds – mean that no two trips are quite the same and there are usually one or two surprises along the way.”

Get in touch

Gemma’s website contains more information on NaturesGems tour schedule: www.naturesgemtours.co.uk. Or email Gemma on: naturesgemtours@gmail.com.

Ribble Valley E-Bikes

Based in Dunsop Bridge in the heart of the Forest of Bowland, Ribble Valley e-bikes has a fleet of electric bikes available for visitors to hire and explore Bowland straight from the shop.

Ribble Valley E-bike Hire is based in Dunsop Bridge at the heart of the Forest of Bowland

Our hire shop in the pretty village of Dunsop Bridge is at the heart of the Forest of Bowland and within easy reach of some superb on and off-road routes – and a safe, largely traffic-free bridleway for families to explore.

Within a couple of miles’ riding, you’ll soon discover another benefit of e-bike touring: they make climbing hills a doddle. Both the Forest of Bowland and the Ribble Valley are very hilly, which makes touring on a standard push bike quite a challenge.

If you decide to make a weekend of it, we can arrange delivery e-bikes to your accommodation so you can enjoy a ride direct from the door.

And if you’re looking for the ultimate car-free adventure, we can also arrange two or three-day rentals where we will look after luggage transfer while you cycle from inn to inn.

We will also give you a comprehensive handover and supply a puncture repair outfit, helmets and a full technical back up and recovery service in the unlikely event of breakdowns.

Choose from meandering road rides which incorporate plenty of stops at local points of interest or more challenging off-road routes which get you even closer to nature in some of England’s most breath-taking scenery.

Guided and self-guided tours

We have devised a collection of circular e-bike routes which showcase the best rides and scenery – and local hospitality – in the Forest of Bowland Ribble Valley.

We can provide paper printouts of these routes when you collect your bikes, or alternatively, for more technologically advanced riders, we can supply GPX routes for upload to your smartphone to equip you with ‘cycle satnav’.

For families and larger groups, we can also arrange ‘e-bike safaris’ with an experienced local guide, who will take you to the most amazing beauty spots and viewpoints and provide technical support and advice on getting the most out of your time in the area.

Dunsop Bridge Garage Dunsop Bridge Clitheroe Lancashire, BB7 3BB01200 426246

www.ribblevalley-e-bikes.co.uk

Info@ribblevalley-e-bikes.co.uk

Champion Bowland Charity no. 1177246

Discover Bowland is owned and administered by Champion Bowland, a Charitable Incorporated Organisation which aims to promote the conservation, protection and improvement of the physical and natural environment of the Forest of Bowland Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. 


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