Tag Archives: forest of bowland

Flora, Fauna and a Festival in a Forest.

I haven’t just been spending my time yomping up hills recently. At the weekend Wil and I joined some friends at the annual Cloudspotting Festival in Gisburn Forest, a popular family-friendly Arts & Music festival, set in the heart of the beautiful Forest of Bowland in Lancashire.

As this year’s festival was actually on a smaller scale than usual, with two nights camping and one full day devoted to fun events for all the family plus some great Live Bands, it was called A Break In The Clouds. Being my first ever experience of Cloudspotting, I wasn’t sure what to expect!

Apart from the early evening midgie beasts ( we were in a forest after all) , I loved it. When I wasn’t participating in laughter yoga, noshing on yummy festival food, drinking cider in the Bitter Suite Bar, listening to storytelling by the campfire or dancing along to Sweet Baboo’s psychedelic floor- filling tunes, I was chasing butterflies in the surrounding wildflower meadows. 😁

Our friends daughters ( aged 7 and 8 ) had a wonderful time too. There was plenty going on for kids including Forest School, The Highway Rat Trail and Interactive Theatre ‘ The Sorrowful Stag’ . What was lovely about ‘A Break In The Clouds’ was the chilled friendly vibe. It felt very safe and allowed the kids a rare degree of independence, that children don’t get to experience so much these days.

Here are a few images that myself and my friend Fiona took. 😊

Cloudspotting Hen Harrier.
Wildflower Meadow.
Bronte & Lydia.
Festival Footwear.
Silver Y Moth.
The Sorrowful Stag.
The Sorrowful Stag.
Festival Food.
Common Spotted Orchids.
Holistic Therapy Trailer.
The Green Canteen.
Damselfly.
Small Skipper.
Forest Camp Fire.
Festival Thoughts Tree.
Headliners, Lancaster Band ~ The Lovely Eggs.
A Break In The Clouds. 🙂

The Cloudspotting Festival is set to return in it’s fuller form in 2019. 🙂

Are you off to any festivals this Summer?

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Beacon Fell Country Park ~ Chipping, Lancashire.

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Orme Sight Sculpture.

Beacon Fell Country Park in the beautiful Forest of Bowland area of Lancashire is not that far from where I live, yet it is somewhere we rarely visit. I think that will change this year, now that we have discovered what a fab afternoon out, this popular Country Park is. After picking up my niece and nephew and demoting Mr Hugo to the boot, we set off from Clitheroe to the village of Chipping and beyond, passing Bowland Forest Gliding Club and Blacksticks Lane ~ which immediately made me think of the Lancashire cheese. 😊

The park has several car parks, the main one having a cafe and visitor centre and a small parking charge. After piling out of the car, we set off to explore. There are several sculptures dotted round Beacon Fell. In hindsight we should have bought a 20p map from the visitor centre, as is the usual case with sculpture trails, we failed to spot them all.

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Violets.
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Tree Creeper. 🙂

Beacon Fell Country Park is a mixture of heather moorland at the summit and spruce woodland ,so is a rich haven for wildlife. There are numerous walking trails and the blue Fellside trail may also be used by mountain bikers and horse riders. The weekend we visited was very busy with families and dog walkers, so we failed to spy the area’s native roe deer. I imagine at quieter times, there is probably lots more to see. I settled for a photo of a camera shy kestrel. 😊

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Camera shy Kestrel.
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Lizard Love Seat.

The views from Beacon Fell’s Summit ( 266m high) are lovely all around. From the Bowland Fells you can glimpse the Lancashire coastline and on a bright day, the skies are generously big.

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The Summit.
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Top of the park.
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Golden Gorse.

On our future return we will be sure to look out for a heron, a walking snake , a living willow deer and a black tiger. We did at least spot a dragonfly, he isn’t on the map! There is also a tarn to discover, which apparently buzzes with real dragonflies….

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After a couple of hours of climbing trees, wildlife spotting and throwing sticks for Hugo ( his ball on a rope ended up tangled round a tree branch as usual 🤣) ,we had a drink at the cafe and a quick look in the visitor centre. We all agreed a return trip is a must!

Ribble Valley ~ Glamping Ideas.

Ribble Valley and Pendle Hill by Keith Melling. Click on image for website.

I must admit I am prone to taking for granted the fact that I live in one of the most beautiful parts of the country. If England is a ‘green and pleasant land’ then the gorgeous ‘Ribble Valley’ encapsulates this. Tucked away in the Forest of Bowland AONB , it’s lush meadows, picture-postcard villages and the historic market town of Clitheroe are all lorded over by the scenic slopes of Pendle Hill. Meandering brooks and rivers criss-cross the valley, including it’s namesake ‘the River Ribble’. Hailing from the nearby Yorkshire Dales ,the river makes its merry way through Lancashire and towards the sea, lending it’s name to an often overlooked area of the county. But with it’s thriving foodie scene, cosy watering holes, quirky independent retailers, stunning countryside and fascinating history, the Ribble Valley is the perfect destination for a break away.

With this in mind , I thought I would look into the glamping scene here. Over the last twelve months several glamping options have sprung up in the Ribble valley. And what better way to enjoy an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. 😊


Camping Pods at Bowland Wild Boar Animal Park.

No tent needed for this back to basics style of glamping. Bring with you everything you’d need whilst camping, except for the tent. The pods are fully insulated and all usual campsite facilities can be found on site. The real charm of these camping pods is the fab location, inside the grounds of Bowland Wild Boar Park near Chipping, which is a very popular visitors attraction, especially with families. With wild animals and farm animals on your doorstep, a large kids adventure playground, tractor rides, riverside walks and a lovely café, this glamping option sounds like a fun family favourite. Pods from £65 per night. Dogs may stay too for an extra £5 per night. wildboarpark.co.uk

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Ribble Valley Wigwams.

Set on a family run farm near Langho, these six luxury heated en-suite wigwams have views towards Pendle Hill and Longridge Fell. All cabins have an integrated shower room with walk-in shower, hand basin & toilet, electric hob, toaster, kettle, microwave, fridge and television. A home away from home! You might prefer to bring your own bedding, however you can hire a bedding pack as an additional extra. A picnic bench and fire-pit outside completes the cosy camp. There is a small shop on site in reception and a riverside walk will take you into the charming village of Ribchester, with it’s Roman Museum, art gallery and selection of eateries. Wigwam prices from £75 per night. Three of the cabins are dog friendly. wigwamholidays.com

Yurts at the Red Pump Inn.

I have long coveted a stay in a yurt and these beauties are only up the road from where I live in Clitheroe, in the tiny village of Bashall Eaves. Owned by the Red Pump Inn, there are four fabulous Yurts, set in a private garden area adjacent to the Inn. Each yurt has a king size bed with fur throws, a cosy wood burning stove, fairy lights, electric lamps and sockets and it’s own ensuite bathroom. Breakfast is included in the price and is taken inside the Red Pump , which is also a popular steakhouse and real ale pub. Nearby attractions include Bashall Barn Food Visitor Centre and the historic town of Clitheroe with its many pubs, independent shops and Norman Castle Keep. Yurts prices for a two night stay from £250. Dogs are welcome for an additional charge of £12.50 per night. theredpumpinn.co.uk

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Hobbit Hill Glamping Cabins.

Did you know that the lush green Ribble Valley inspired the writings of Lord of the Rings author J. R. R. Tolkien? His son boarded at Stonyhurst College near Hurst Green and Tolkien often visited and penned much of his beloved novel here,perhaps taking inspiration from the surrounding countryside for Middle Earth and the Shire. The glamping cabins at Hobbit Hill are set on the Tolkien Trail….and look cosy enough for any discerning Hobbit. Two of the five cabins have king size beds and all have sockets, fridges, toaster and microwave plus a firepit/bbq area outside. There are toilets and shower facilities on site and some very good country pubs and cafes in the nearby villages of Mitton and Hurst Green. Glamping Cabin prices from £70 per night. hobbithill.co.uk

For more Lancashire Glamping Ideas, check out this post Can you glamp in Lancashire?

Thanks for reading.

I now feel inspired to walk the Tolkien Trail !

Camping and a walk in the Forest Of Bowland.

No need to dust down the old leaky tent for the first camping trip of the year ! Happily We  Wil had bought a nice new one a few weeks previously . This tent was meant to be the same model as our original. But it seems a whole lot bigger. Erm it’s practically a marquee !

Anyway we didn’t venture to far from home. We chose Fell View Park near the pretty village of Scorton. Perched on the edge of the Forest Of Bowland AONB , Fell View is adjacent to the owners farm and is surrounded by meadows full of bleating lambs and nesting lapwings.

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Hawthorn Hedge.

The campsite has plenty of EHU points, good hot showers, an undercover washing up area and a small fishing lake , which is home to lots of ducks and geese.  We stayed in the non electric tent field and had it all to ourselves for the first night.  The hedges were heavy with the scent of hawthorn blossom and the resident Greylag Geese were happily honking away.

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Mama and brood.

There’s a little Local Information Room on site with maps of nearby walks , so we took a leaflet for a Circular Route taking in ‘Nicky Nook’. The fell top is a relatively easy walk ~ about 215m to the top.

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Spot the Lapwing.
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Bowland Fells.
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Nicky Nook Summit,
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Cotton Grass.
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The Tarn.
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Descending Nicky Nook.
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Golden Gorse Blooms.

As you can see ‘ The Forest Of Bowland’ is not actually a forest in the traditional sense. The name Forest was given to Royal Hunting grounds in ancient times. Bowland is made up of  ruggedly beautiful moorland and gentle lowlands. The AONB actually covers 312 square miles of rural Lancashire and neighboring Yorkshire.

After descending ‘Nicky Nook’ we found ourselves on a country lane and followed the signs to the Apple Store Cafe  in Wyresdale Park.  The cafe set in a sheltered walled garden in the grounds of Wyresdale Hall, is the perfect place to drop by for a brew and a cake. 🙂  We sat outside , though it did look lovely inside, the glass house interior felt a little stuffy even on quite a drizzley day. The lovely waitress served our refreshments on mismatched vintage crockery, and even brought out a sausage for Hugo! 

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The Apple Store.
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My tea came in a Henry viii adorned teapot. 🙂

 After tea and cake we explored the grounds a bit ( I never saw the estate peacocks 😦 ) and then decided to deviate from our route and headed into Scorton itself for a wander. On the way we spied this cute cottage with it’s quirky garden signage.

 To get to Scorton we had to cross the M6. Who knew that such a tranquil place is so close to the motorway. The pretty village  has  a Bar Restaurant, spa shop and a cafe/gift shop. We had a couple of drinks in the lovely and dog friendly Priory Stout Bar. 

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The rare Hen Harrier is the symbol of The Forest of Bowland.
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A Scorton Doorway.
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Typical Village transport. 😉

 

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Hugo looking sorry for himself. The Priory is a friendly place to unwind with a drink or enjoy a meal. Pets welcome! 

 After a drink or two we continued on our way. We headed back through Wyresdale Park, across the fields and onwards to the campsite. It was a beautiful walk. 🙂

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Bluebells.
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Friendly horses.

 

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Cheeky lambs.

Fell View is definitely a campsite we will return to I think ,as there is so much nearby countryside to explore and the area is indeed one of Outstanding natural beauty.  🙂

Can you Glamp in Lancashire? Yes Of Course!

I  sometimes feel that Lancashire gets a raw deal in the holiday guides. As beautiful  as my home  county is ,with its rolling hills, pretty villages,miles of stunning coastline and it’s fascinating industrial heritage, lovely Lancs is often overshadowed by it’s more touristy cousins, the Yorkshire Dales and the Lake District. However Lancashire can compete in the glamping stakes! I did some research and found the following options. 🙂

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Stanley Villa Farm Glamping.  A lot less fuss than putting up a tent are these cute camping pods at Fylde Trout Fishery near Blackpool. There are 24 on site , with views over the fishing lake. All have 2 single beds with mattresses and enough room for a double airbed too, so ideal for couples,groups of friends or families. No electricity but the main lodge on site has communal cooking facilities and free teas,coffees and hot chocolates!  Each pod has it’s own fire pit and bbq facilities and a separate mini pod contains children’s toys,games and sports equipment. Pet friendly too. Prices from £47 per pod,per night. www.campingbugs.co.uk

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Shepherd’s Huts at Samlesbury Hall. Brightly coloured family friendly Shepherd Huts in the grounds of a historic 14th century Hall. There are 3 in the prettily arranged ‘Hut Hamlet’ , each with two double beds with memory foam mattresses, low-wattage electricity and cosy ensuites. Kids will love the Mayflower playground and the mini menagerie. The Hall itself ( check on opening times) is free entry and the guided tours are free too. The restaurant in Samlesbury Hall does cooked breakfasts….and there is a Wafflery called  ‘ Dotties’. One pet-friendly hut. Prices from £25 per person, per night.  www.samlesburyhall.co.uk

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Lanterns & Larks in the Forest Of Bowland.  Hidden on the Bleasdale Estate in an ‘ Area Of Outstanding Natural Beauty’, these luxury Glamping Tents have the most stunning of backdrops, the Bowland Fells. Each lodge has 3 bedrooms, shower and WC  and an  open plan living area with a cosy wood burning stove at it’s heart. A decked terrace , fire pit and barbecue complete these rural canvas cabins. Perfect for families, groups, wildlife lovers, walkers & cyclists…..and dogs are welcome too. Prices start from £365. www.lanternsandlarks.co.uk .

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Feather Down at Dolphinholme Farm.  Also on the edge of the beautiful Forest of Bowland, Dolphinholme Farm is only 20 minutes from the coast and very near the river Wyre. The 1920’s style Safari tents with wooden flooring and cosy wood burning stoves are the perfect getaways for families and groups of friends. Kids have plenty to keep them occupied here. There is a child orienteering course , a treasure hunt and a big play barn!  The farm has an Honesty shop selling it’s own cheese.  Oh and dogs are welcome . Prices for short breaks begin at £189. www.featherdown.co.uk .

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Yurts at the Red Pump Inn.  The Red Pump  is a picturesque Country Inn situated in the tiny village of Bashall Eaves near Clitheroe. As well as the usual accommodation inside the Inn, guests can ‘glamp’ in stylish Yurts, with lovely views of Pendle Hill and Longridge Fell. All feature king size beds with fur throws, a cosy wood burning stove and ensuite bathrooms. Breakfast is included next door in the pub and guests can dine at the Red Pump’s Steak House Restaurant. Nearby attractions include historic Clitheroe Castle and Bowland Wild Boar Park. Dog friendly. Prices from £250 B &B  for a two night stay.

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Lynx Helicopter stay.  For something completely different , how about stopping in a converted 1982 Westland Lynx XZ676 helicopter!  X-ray Zulu 676 sleeps up to four people and includes a custom made low down double ‘bunk’ in the tail of the helicopter, twin pull out bunk for additional sleeping space, LED flat screen TV and kitchen area with mini fridge and microwave. He stands proudly on a campsite 4 miles from Blackpool in the pretty Fylde countryside. Blackpool Wakepark is adjacent to the site and a ‘Learn to Wakeboard’ package is available for the adventurous. 🙂 Prices from £100 per night. www.reamhills.co.uk .

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Feather Down at Wyresdale Park.  Feather Down Farms already have a glamping site at lovely Dolphinholme Farm but it’s not their only one in Lancashire. Wyresdale Park near Preston hosts more cosy canvas lodges on their beautiful country estate.  All lodges sleep six, have their own private bathroom facilities, wood burning cooking stove, veranda with outdoor furniture and a wood fuelled hot tub. Kids will love the games and rope swing, nearby play barn and petting zoo at Old Holly Farm.  There’s a lake to enjoy messing about on boats and a glass house tea room at the Hall. Pets are very welcome. Prices from £429 for a short break. www.featherdown.co.uk.

Star Campers.  So why stay in one place?  When you have the whole of Lancashire on your doorstep, why not explore it in one of Star Camper’s stunningly restored VW Camper Vans !  Star Campers are based in the Ribble Valley near Clitheroe and Sunny above is one of two vans currently available ( 2 more, Buster and Terry should be ready for 2017) for hire. Such lovingly done restorations set apart the camping from the glamping.   Sunny is an original 1972 Tin top Westfalia campmobile and Starline is a 2009 VW T5 TDI. I can certainly vouch for Starline as Wil, Hugo the dog and I took him away for a night last year. 🙂  Dog friendly. Prices from £100 per day. www.starcampers.co.uk.

Glamping Pods at The Golden Ball Pub.  With elevated views over the River Lune near Morecambe these camping pods are affordable luxury. Each of the three pods has a double bed, sofa bed, ensuite shower and wc, flat screen tv and tea and coffee making facilities. With a food serving pub on your doorstep plus all the attractions of the seaside town of Morecambe nearby , these mini cabins are definitely a tempting option. Prices from £50per pod, per night. www.snatchems.co.uk.

whoooo all his research has definitely given me the Lancashire Glamping bug!

Are you tempted?