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 National Landscape 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 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).
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
Our charming barn is available for groups of up to 14 people. It has two 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
Nestled in the heart of the Forest of Bowland National Landscape, 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 are set in beautiful open countryside close to Pendle Hill and in the Forest of Bowland National Landscape. 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
If you want a complete escape from the stress and strain of modern life, a holiday at Higher Gills Farm could be just what you need. Situated at the foot of Pendle Hill, Higher Gills Farm offers magnificent panoramic views of the Forest of Bowland, and the Ribble Valley from your accommodation. In the distance can be seen the high moors of the Yorkshire Dales including Ingleborough and Penyghent.
Numerous footpaths run through the farm and onto the moors and nearby villages. If birdwatching is your passion we have our own bird hide and are close to many wildlife hot spots.
Higher Gills Farm Whytha Road Rimington BB7 4DA
Lakewood Cottages are located on a small farm just outside the village of Galgate, a few miles south of the historic city of Lancaster and also a few miles from the small market town of Garstang.
A more idyllic location would be hard to imagine with the cottages enjoying their own, private lakeside setting (fishing welcome on the lake).
Finished to a high standard the cottages offer good, spacious family accommodation. Less than 200 yards away is one of the most beautiful stretches of Lancaster Canal which along with the lake and surrounding countryside, offers a multitude of pleasant and enjoyable walks. Golf and fishing are also available locally.
These cottages are a wonderful rural retreat, ideally placed for exploring Lancaster, The Lake District, Yorkshire Dales, Forest of Bowland, Fylde Coast and Morecambe Bay.
The converted barn consists of four cottages, Granary (sleeps 2), Mill Cottage (sleeps 4), Stable Cottage (sleeps 4) and Stone Barn (sleeps 6), all four star gold award rated.
Please visit the Lakewood Cottages website for further details.
Cragg Hall Galgate Lancaster LA2 0HN01524 751 053
Moss Wood Caravan Park is set on the coastal plain just outside the Forest of Bowland, south of the historic city of Lancaster and near Cockerham Sands on Morecambe Bay. We have 31 hard standing pitches to accommodate touring caravans, and 140 holiday homes on the park. We are proud winners of the Lancashire Tourism Award in 2019 for Ethical, Responsible and Sustainable Tourism – and have been recognised for our environmental work nationally such as through the David Bellamy Conservation Award Scheme.
As innovators in sustainable tourism, our park is full of greenery and is an oasis for native wildlife – perfect for a peaceful and relaxing country escape. If you want to relax on the park you may enjoy our fishing lake, a stroll down the Woodland Walk, or try out our Nature Trail to spot some of the species that call Moss Wood home. Other amenities on our park include WiFi which allows you to engage with us over social media where we love to see pictures of wildlife you’ve spotted at Moss Wood.
If you want to explore the area, the Forest of Bowland is right on our doorstep and full of wonderful walks and attractions we highly recommend, with businesses who share our eco-friendly ethos. They are even cycling distance if you prefer to leave your car for the day! A little further is Blackpool, Lancaster and the Lake District.
To book go to https://mosswood.co.uk/
Moss Wood Caravan Park, Crimbles Lane, Cockerham, Lancashire, LA2 0ES 01524 791 041
Patty’s Barn is a collection of 10 self-catering cottages all full of character and original features. Situated on the edge of Morecambe Bay and just south of the bustling, historic city of Lancaster.
With the great outdoors directly on the doorstep, we welcome you to indulge in the constant change of nature whilst enjoying the unspoilt natural beauty of the surrounding area. The perfect spot for a rural coastal retreat with family and loved ones.
Our accommodation can sleep up to 54 people combined with a combination or indoor and outdoor events spaces. We welcome group bookings.
Patty's Barn, Hillam Lane, Cockerham, LA2 0DY 01524 751 285
Set in a peaceful location close to the historical village of Ribchester, is a small hamlet of cottages with private hot tubs and spacious, open plan living. Tennis courts, cinema rooms and snooker tables are available in the larger properties, which can accommodate up to sixteen guests with the smaller homes suitable for up to four. Summer relaxation and festive gatherings have been firm favourites since opening in 2016. Over ninety guests can be accommodated in total, making the cottages a popular choice for local wedding venues.
Log burners, comfy sofas and underfloor heating create a homely and inviting atmosphere, perfect for family holidays, celebrations with friends and rural escapes. Ideal for both short and long stays, each of the cottages are well equipped with Smart TVs, Wifi, en-suite bathrooms, king size beds and modern fixtures and fittings. Every home has a unique character, with some stretching over four floors and others providing ground floor, accessible accommodation. One is home to a piano and another a sauna!
There really is no need to leave the tranquillity of your cottage in such a picturesque setting within the Ribble Valley. If you do, friendly local pubs, an old-fashioned, glass house restaurant and rustic wine shed are all within walking distance. It is also a true paradise for cyclists and ramblers alike. The welcoming team are always on hand to ensure your cottage is spotlessly clean, to recommend local activities and to make you stay truly unforgettable.
Oak Bank Farm, Stoneygate Lane, Ribchester, PR3 3YN01254820444
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
Set in a peaceful location close to the picturesque village of Waddington and the nearby town of Clitheroe is a peaceful holiday park, which offers 2 types of accommodation. A one-bedroomed apartment, on the first floor of a Victorian Mansion House which sleeps up to 4 persons, along with 2 two-bedroomed caravans, which can accommodate up to 5 persons. This location is ideal for peaceful country holidays or short breaks. It’s also close by to the very many sought after Ribble Valley wedding venues, therefore a convenient place for your Wedding guests to stay.
Each type of accommodation, is well equipped for a self-catering stay. All properties have free Wi-Fi, and a Smart TV. There are many local amenities close by in the town of Clitheroe, the nearest general store is a 5 minute drive, or a short walk away. You will also find your nearest ATM here. Waddington is a in short walking distance down a beautiful country lane, where you will find the enchanting village which boasts 3 pubs, all come recommended for great places to drink and eat.
Whether you want to somewhere to stay to explore the heart of the Ribble Valley and the Forest of Bowland National Landscape, or you are attending a wedding venue in the area, you will be welcomed at this tranquil family owned holiday park in a area renowned for its beauty!
Shireburn Caravan Park, Edisford Road, Waddington, BB7 3LB01200 423422
Slaidburn Youth Hostel is one of the oldest YHA hostels in England – welcoming guests to this beautiful Forest of Bowland village for more than 80 years.
In addition it has a comfy lounge with an open fire, ideal for the darker nights. It has its own car park This hostel is very popular with cyclists especially those doing the Lands End to John ‘O’Groats cycle route as a mid-way point.
The self-catering side is well provided with a kitchen that has two cookers, a larder fridge and plenty of cutlery and crockery.
King's House, Church St, Slaidburn, BB7 3ER0345 371 9343
Smelt Mill provides accommodation for groups in the heart of the Forest of Bowland National Landscape. 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
Safely nestled in the garden of Fairhurst Cottage, The Garden Cottage offers home from home comfort with all you would need to enjoy a getaway holiday with your pets. Appreciate the peace and quiet, enjoy the garden, listen to the wildlife, look up to the Beacon Fells, relax and reset!
Fairhurst Cottage Fairhurst Lane Inglewhite PR3 2LJ07989 212 901
After returning to her childhood home, natural therapist Helen Leece established a centre for wellbeing and renewal high among the hills on the western fringe of the Forest of Bowland.
The Gathering Fields is a rural Retreat centre teaching Yoga, Meditation, Cookery and Wild medicine. The centre can be hired by companies and community groups and hosts a variety of retreats based around wellbeing in nature.
Standing some 140 metres above sea level, Swainshead Hall Farm, enjoys an elevated position offering amazing views of both the fells and the wide sweep of Morecambe Bay, with the hazy outline of the Lakeland Fells peeping over the northern horizon.
It’s a truly enchanting view that’s entirely in keeping with the aura that permeates this magical rural hideaway overlooking the upper Wyre Valley and the Ward Stone – the highest point in the Bowland Fells.
Helen returned to her family home – a working hill farm of some 280 aces – after a varied career which saw her qualify as a holistic therapist and practitioner of Ayurveda – an Indian-based holistic medical system incorporating diet, lifestyle and herbal medicine.
She immediately set about diversifying, converting the outbuildings into cosy bunkhouse accommodation and indoor and outdoor spaces for learning and discovery, which she christened ‘The Gathering Fields.’
“This little community has been a place where people have come together in friendship for centuries and we want to preserve those traditions,” said Helen. “The name the Gathering Fields seems to capture that instinct for like-minded people to share each others’ company in a relaxed and open setting.”
Ideal for extended families or informal friendship groups, community groups and charities, the Gathering Fields offers yoga, Sound relaxation, herbal foraging with a medicinal twist, Flower essence making or simply revelling in the glorious countryside on the doorstep.
Alongside the camping barn – which was once a cowshed – there’s also a paddock to pitch tents and a wonderfully expansive covered outdoor seating area complete with communal firepit to while away the evenings around the campfire.
A recently restored community pub is a shortish hike across the fields, while the ridgeline of surrounding hills can be reached on foot within an hour. The Gathering Fields also makes the perfect base for exploring the quiet roads and wild trails of Bowland on road, mountain or electric bikes.
“We encourage a ‘back to nature’ approach to stays on the farm,” said Helen. “But while it’s deliberately rustic, the camping barn has all mod cons, with hot and cold water, heating, toilets and indoor kitchen and plenty of room to dry out wet clothes and boots.
“Families love the sense of space and safety and seem to settle in and get comfortable in their surroundings very quickly. We know the surrounding area really well and can point guests in the direction of the best places to walk, cycle, explore – and enjoy a pint! We’ll even supply torches if they fancy a night hike.
“We welcome guests to share stories, skills, open fires, music, make friendships and from here we can bring people together to grow a community.”
Swainshead Hall Farm Over Wyresdale Nr Lancaster LA2 9DN07791254101
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
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.