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North West - The Forest of Bowland

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Top 100 places to visit in north west england

The Forest of Bowland

1. Glider Flying Lessons

Adrenalin junkies will relish the opportunity to fly a glider with a qualified instructor over the rugged landscape of northern England. The Bowland Forest Glider Flying Club is set on the edge of the west Pennine moors in the Forest of Bowland, Lancashire, so you can learn to fly in truly dramatic surroundings! A trial lesson in a two seater trainer costs just £50.00 and the local fells offer excellent flying in most wind directions.

2. Ribchester Roman Museum

The village of Ribchester next to the river Ribble was an important Roman fort and staging post. Ribchester Roman Museum is small but undeniably impressive, containing a fascinating selection of excavated artefacts from Roman Ribchester as well as gravestones commemorating Roman auxiliary cavalrymen from as far away as modern day Syria. The White Bull pub nearby features an entrance dominated by Roman stone pillars!

3. Longridge Cinema

The Palace Cinema in Longridge provides a unique and friendly cinema going experience and a welcome change from the usual bland corporate multiplexes. Upon entering you can purchase a real mug of hot chocolate, tea or coffee, and take it with you to watch the film! The National Anthem plays before each feature (all stand please), and there is a good selection of current releases.

4. The Inn at Whitewell

The Inn at Whitewell near Clitheroe in Lancashire, is a pub/restuarant popular with locals, which also serves as an Inn with 23 rooms. There's a bar menu and a seperate restaurant menu, both of which include well prepared favourites, and some alternative choices such as game. The food is reassuringly homely - unpretentious and good, featuring the best of local ingredients and satisfyingly large portions!

5. Fair Snape Fell Walk

This is a great walk on the south western tip of the Forest of Bowland. The starting point is at Fell Foot, in-between and just north of Beacon Fell Country Park and the village of Chipping. On a clear day you can see Blackpool Tower to the west, and Morecambe Bay to the north. Perhaps the best time of year is September, when the heather turns purple with flowers. This walk is about 4 miles in total and takes 2 to 3 hours.

6. Stonyhurst College

Founded in 1593, this famous Catholic boarding school has a long and interesting history. During your visit you will learn about life at Stonyhurst as it used to be, see the chapels, library and the seven Victoria Crosses won by former pupils. The landscape near Stonyhirst provided the inspiration for J.R. Tolkein's Lord of the Rings, and the setting for Sir Arthur Coanan Doyle's Hound of the Baskerville's.

7. Clitheroe

Clitheroe is a traditional Pennine market town in east Lancashire, and an excellent base from which to explore the Forest of Bowland and the Yorkshire Dales. The surviving Norman keep of Clitheroe Castle was built in 1186 and you can also visit the recently refurbished Castle Museum. Cowman's Sausage shop on Castle Street boasts a fantastic selection of speciality sausages!

8. Trout Fishing on Stocks Reservoir

Stocks Reservoir is the largest fishery in the North West of England, with four and a half miles of fishable shoreline and 350 acres of open water. Situated at the head of the Hodder Valley in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, Stocks has a wild and unspoiled quality the perfect place for a days fly fishing. Current fishing records stand at 22 lb's and 12 oz for a Rainbow Trout, and 16 lb's 12 oz for a Brown Trout.

9. Pendle Hill Walk

Pendle Hill is famous for its connection with the "Witches of Pendle" who were found guilty and hanged for witchcraft at Lancaster gaol in August 1612. This walk makes a circuit of the plateau that forms the summit. The route uses one section of path which is hard to follow, so it is an idea to ensure you have map and compass if visibility is poor.

10. Slaidburn and the Riverbank Tearooms

Slaidburn is a quiet village on the banks of the river Hodder in the Forest of Bowland. There has been a settlement at Slaidburn since at least Anglo-Saxon times, when the name, which means 'stream by the sheep pasture' was given to this area. Stop off at the Riverbank Tea Rooms for tea and homemade cakes and watch the numerous local ducks enjoying themselves on the lawn. There is even a duck racing event in late summer!
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