Historic guided walk revives an ancient countryside tradition

Popular ‘beating the bounds’ perambulation to become an annual celebration of the outstanding landscape of the Forest of Bowland

Walkers beating the bounds of the forest of Bowland

An ancient tradition which was revived after an absence of more than 350 years will again take place in the Forest of Bowland this autumn.

Walkers will gather in Slaidburn on Sunday October 1st for a 10-mile hike exploring the scenic south-eastern boundary of the Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty in rural Lancashire.

There were Perambulations of Bowland in the 15th and 17th centuries where the Lord’s stewards “beat the bounds” mapping the extent of the Forest and the land of the ten manors within the Liberty of Bowland, including the demesne of Slaidburn with its townships of Newton, West Bradford and Grindleton. 

The last historic Perambulation was undertaken by General George Monck, 1st Duke of Albemarle after he was awarded the lordship of Bowland for his role in restoring Charles II to the throne in 1660.

Three and a half centuries later, William, 16th Lord of Bowland, revived the tradition last autumn ­– although the 21st century version is largely symbolic, taking the form of a guided walk from Slaidburn with all proceeds donated to local charities.

Last year’s revival attracted a large group of walkers and William Bowland will again send the group off from the steps of Slaidburn Village Hall and welcome the party back at the end of their 10-mile perambulation.

The Traddock is the perfect base for exploring the Dales and Forest of Bowland on foot.

This year’s event has kindly been sponsored by The Traddock – a boutique country house hotel nestled between the Forest of Bowland and the Yorkshire Dales in the pretty village of Austwick. The Traddock is a popular destination for walkers wanting to explore the Forest of Bowland and the Dales on foot.

The Route

This challenging circular walk from Slaidburn explores the south-eastern extremities of Bowland, beating the bounds first established under Henry V, Lord King of Bowland (1413-22):

“Then over Bradford and Grindleton moors, to the vaccary of Harrop, which bounds on south-east side of Bolton-by-Bowland.”

Starting from the car park in Slaidburn, the route traverses the elevated pastures above the village, climbing gently to Harrop Fold, then more steeply through the woods and onto the summit of Bradford Fell.

Event Format

The walk will be led by local walking guide Mark Sutcliffe, supported by members of Bowland Mountain Rescue. Members of the Forest of Bowland AONB, Champion Bowland and the Bowland Sustainable Tourism Network will be among the participants.

The group will be limited to 50 people who will walk as one group around a circular route of approximately 10 miles. Places are available on a first come, first served basis via the Bowland-based ticketing platform Skiddle.

Parking will be at Slaidburn Pay & Display car park with the group assembling in front of the village hall. The walk will last approximately five hours, with the group expected to return to Slaidburn between 3 pm and 4pm. Tea, sandwiches and cakes (for a small fee) will be served in the village hall from 3pm for walkers, friends and family.


Places on the walk are free, but participants will be asked to make a voluntary donation, with proceeds being split between Bowland Pennine Mountain Rescue Team and Champion Bowland, which awards small grants to help fund community schemes in the Forest of Bowland.

Book tickets here:

Walkers beating the bounds of the forest of Bowland

25th August 2023
in News