Great days out and stellar nightlife in one of England’s last undiscovered upland landscapes

The Forest of Bowland is one of the last remaining upland wildernesses in England – a 300 square mile rural oasis where visitors have the chance to escape the ‘chatter’ of the 21st Century and tune in to the slower rhythms of nature.

The landscape of the Forest of Bowland is the result of hundreds of years of human influence and is of national and international importance because of its unspoiled and richly diverse landscapes, wildlife and heritage, with outstanding heather moorland, blanket bog and rare birds.

The area’s resourceful hill farmers are responsible for building and maintaining the dry stone walls, wildflower meadows, country lanes and outlying barns that are so characteristic of Bowland.

The land has traditionally been managed for game hunting and farming since the middle ages and the large country estates have had a huge influence over the development of the area.

The Forest of Bowland is home to two of the top five venues in the UK’s Top 50 Gastropubs, with another two local establishments in the top 50 list.

The chefs behind award-winning establishments like the Parkers Arms, the Higher Buck, the Freemasons at Wiswell and the Michelin-starred the White Swan are unanimous about the reasons for this: the availability of outstanding local produce right on their doorstep.

Traditional rural skills such as hedge-laying and dry stone walling continue to thrive along with crafts like weaving and basket-making and furniture making.

These are an important component of the area’s heritage and identity and the distinctive hedgelines and walls of Bowland shape the landscape as much as the agriculture which dominates the local economy.

Villages and settlements are few and far between, commercial activity and tourist attractions are minimal and mobile phone coverage remains patchy.

The night skies over Bowland have recently been recognized as some of the darkest in England and granted official status as Dark Sky Discovery Sites.

In other words, Bowland is the ideal destination for a refreshing retreat from the hustle and bustle of the city to reconnect with nature.

Walk for miles across the lonely moorlands with expansive views out over the Yorkshire Dales and Morecambe Bay or cycle on traffic-free quiet lanes.

Lose yourself among the wild uplands and rocky outcrops of millstone grit or immerse yourself in the intimate valleys where nature flourishes through the seasons.

  • Step into a walker's paradise

Food & drink

Discover why the Forest of Bowland is a truly delicious destination

Reconnect with nature

Bowland is home to some of the rarest wildlife in the United Kingdom

Choose your adventure

Explore a paradise for outdoor enthusiasts on foot or by bike