Family-friendly adventures in Bowland
DAY 1: Arrive by Train | Ride 12 miles | Walk 3 - 5 miles
DAY 2: Ride 12 miles | Walk 1 - 2 miles | Depart by Train
This itinerary starts in the market town of Clitheroe and heads out into the country lanes of the Forest of Bowland to the pretty village of Dunsop Bridge, where you can walk with alpacas and explore the beautiful Dunsop Valley on foot or by e-bike before heading to Bowland Wild Boar farm for a wide range of family-friendly activities.
Arrive by train at Clitheroe Station. Hourly service from Blackburn and Manchester. Timetables at www.northernrailway.co.uk
Pick up hire bikes from Ribble Valley e-bikes. Visit the website or call 01200 426246 to book rental slots in advance.
Collect a picnic from Bowland Food Hall, then head out of town and cross the River Ribble onto quiet rural lanes for the 10-mile ride to Dunsop Bridge.
Take a picnic Lunch Beside the stream in the Dunsop Valley. If you didn’t have time to organise a picnic, drop into Puddleducks Tea Rooms in Dunsop Bridge for coffee, cake and light snacks.
Explore the gorgeous Dunsop Valley on foot or by bike, on a gentle 5-mile hike up the valley. This scenic riverside ramble is surrounded by the spectacular scenery of the Bowland Fells, but the route itself is easy going underfoot and gentle enough for all abilities to tackle.
Cycle 4 miles to Bowland Wild Boar Park where you can stay in one of their camping pods, tents or luxury holiday lodges.
Total distance cycled day 1: 24 miles
Spend a fun-packed morning at Bowland Wild Boar Park, where you can enjoy tractor rides and farm tours, feeding the animals and exploring the nature walks.
Enjoy lunch in the café at the Wild Boar Park before setting off back to Clitheroe. Stop off en route at stately Browsholme Hall (check website for opening times) for afternoon tea in the Cart Shed Tea Room or detour to the picture-postcard village of Waddington for refreshments in one of its three welcoming country inns: The Higher Buck, Lower Buck or Waddington Arms
Return to Clitheroe to drop off your hire bikes and catch your train home from the station.
Total distance cycled Day 2: 24 miles
The Dunsop Valley is ideal for exploring by off-road mobility vehicle, download an easy access route here or for details about an all-terrain vehicle for use by people with restricted mobility, visit the AONB website.
There’s plenty more to see and do in the area to extend your break a while. The entire Forest of Bowland AONB is criss-crossed with footpaths and cycle trails. Picturesque villages like Slaidburn, Chipping, Waddington and Wray are within just an hour or so in the saddle, while the towns of Clitheroe and Bentham have more shops and entertainment to offer and are linked with good onward public transport connections. Click here for more ideas and itineraries.