The Forest of Bowland Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty is one of 46 AONBs covering just under 1/5th of the UK. They offer a wealth of opportunities for both people and wildlife to benefit from the countryside and, as vibrant, living landscapes, they underpin the economy and the health and wellbeing of our society.

Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty have some of the UK’s best countryside for walking, cyclingwildlife-watching and star-gazing and Bowland is no different. From quiet lanes, ancient woodlands, distinctive and attractive villages to flower-filled hay meadows, open moorland and a wealth of local culture and heritage.

Your visit to Bowland can help to keep it special – the money you spend buying local products and using local services helps to sustain our local communities, the communities that help to give the countryside its distinctive character.

Millions of people, both local residents and visitors, enjoy Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty every year – many without realising they are in a designated landscape. Make this year your year to discover – or rediscover – what Bowland and the UK’s 46 Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty have to offer.

For more information about the Family of AONBs visit

Getting to the Forest of Bowland

There are several train lines which surround the Forest of Bowland and which act as perfect gateways into the AONB. Stations often display information about walking and cycling and other opportunities in the area. The Clitheroe Line terminates at Clitheroe Interchange and is the most central train station for Bowland. Other stations on this line from Manchester and Blackburn include Whalley and Langho. To the north there are several smaller stations along the Bentham Line, which runs from Leeds to Lancaster and Morecambe: Long Preston, Giggleswick, Clapham, Bentham and Wennington. Settle and Hellifield can be reached from Clitheroe on a summer Sunday using the DalesRail service. The west coast mainline skirts Bowland, stopping at Lancaster and Preston. For further information visit

Getting around the Forest of Bowland

While the remoteness and peacefulness of the Forest of Bowland is one of its assets, it does mean that it is not always well served by public transport. There is a bus network that links certain towns and villages but as these services are liable to change, it is advisable to look at Lancashire County Council’s website for further information and before making a journey

For ideas for car-free breaks in the Forest of Bowland take a look at our Eco Escapes website.