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Lancaster and the Lune Valley

base map

DAY 1: Crook of Lune and Wray on foot

DAY 2: Lancaster, Carnforth and Silverdale by rail

This itinerary explores the under-the-radar loveliness of the Lune Valley on the northern edge of the Forest of Bowland AONB. A short bus or train ride from Lancaster transports you to a landscape of characterful stone villages, verdant riverside paths, shady lanes through ancient woodland and sweeping views of higher, wilder country in the distance.

a stile next to woodland in the lune valley, lancashire

DAY 1

Arrive by train at Lancaster station. Then, depending on your mood or fitness level, take a train to Wennington or a bus to Caton, Hornby or Wray. There are dozens of worthy walks around the Lune Valley, but here are a couple to whet your appetite.

Crook of Lune 3.7miles / 5.5km / 90 minutes

This riverside wander reveals views of the valley that were once painted by JMW Turner, as well as ancient woodlands and a return over slightly higher ground that delivers even more vistas.

Take the 81 or 82 bus to Lune Bridge, just across the river from the starting point. The return bus to Lancaster also passes through Caton. However, if you still have the energy there’s a traffic-free cycle route that follows the river for about 4 miles back to the city centre – and it’s flat.

Lunch

There’s a kiosk at the Crook of Lune car park (open Friday to Sunday) or lots of options in Caton village, about a 10-minute stroll away.

Afternoon

Explore the charming little village of Wray and meander through the densely wooded valley of Roeburndale: a secluded natural oasis on the northern edge of the Forest of Bowland.

woodlands at roeburndale in the Forest of Bowland AONB

Wray and Roeburndale 1.4miles/2.5km /1hr 15m

This undulating circular walk explores the secluded Roeburndale valley, and you might wonder why you hardly see anyone else in such a beautiful place.

Explore the beautiful Roeburndale woodlands and look out for rare butterflies and woodland birds like the redstart and pied flycatcher. The woodland floor is carpeted in dense drifts of bluebells in May and the autumn colours in September and October rival those of New England.

Sustainable connections

Take the 81 or 82 bus to Wray and return the same way.

DAY 2

Hop on the train for the short ride to Carnforth on the Furness Line and walk through the stunning coastal limestone scenery of Arnside and Silverdale AONB to catch the train back to Lancaster from Silverdale.

Walking at Warton Crag

Carnforth, Warton Crag, Silverdale 9km 2hrs 30m

This linear walk along lanes, woodland paths and limestone outcrops takes in sweeping views over Morecambe Bay from the top of Warton Crag. Depending on the time of year, there’s a good chance you’ll see some rare butterflies and moths, and even lizards and slow worms.

Lunch

Eat at the Old School Brewery in Warton or save yourselves for some great cakes near the end of the walk at Wolf & Us in Silverdale.

Sustainable connections

Take a 10-minute train hop from Lancaster to Carnforth. Return by train from Silverdale.

Linger Longer

Extend your stay at the Gathering Fields Wellbeing Centre – the perfect rural venue for yoga retreats, forest bathing, sound meditation, flower essence therapy and nature-based activities.

Lancaster’s sense of lived history makes it a satisfying place to explore for a day or two, and its manageable size makes this easy to do on foot. Over recent years the city has developed a thriving arts scene of galleries, craft shops and theatre shows, and there always seems to be some kind of festival going on.

The Lune Valley is also a hive of activity with a number of art studios, craft producers and trails. Visit: www.lunesdalearts.co.uk

Explore More

Cycle up to Jubilee Tower. The views from here are breath-taking, encompassing Lancaster and the Lune estuary, the Lake District fells, the Great Orme on the North Welsh Coast and maybe a glimpse of Snaefell on the Isle of Man.  From Jubilee Tower, for the energetically minded, Ward’s Stone – the highest point in the Bowland Fells – is a short, but boggy walk east across the moors.

Find more walks and cycle rides in and around Lancaster at the Visit Lancaster website: visitlancaster.org.uk. For more short walks in northern Bowland and the Lune Valley, visit www.tathamfells.me.uk