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The Forest of Bowland is a wild stretch of deep valleys, gritstone fells and peat moorland that crosses the border between Lancashire and Yorkshire. It is surrounded by the South Pennines and the Yorkshire Dales, from which it is separated by the Ribble Valley and the Aire Gap. Crisscrossed by drystone walls and dotted with farms and villages, it is an enchanting corner of Northeast England to visit. Holiday cottages in the Forest of Bowland lie within a designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, with superb walking, wildlife-watching, horse-riding and plenty of other outdoor pursuits on their doorstep. The area covers 312 square miles of unspoiled countryside, from Hurst Green in the south to Wennington in the north, and its rural communities are idyllic bases from which to explore.

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The village of Barley is a stone’s throw from the path to the 577-metre summit of Pendle Hill, from which panoramic views across the Ribble Valley can be enjoyed. The picturesque village of Downham, which barely seems to have changed for centuries, is another popular place to book a holiday cottage in the Forest of Bowland. Nearby, Slaidburn can be found nestled on the banks of the River Hodder, with a stunning 15th century church. Dunsop Bridge is another pretty village, where Puddleducks Tea Room has become a customary stop for walkers exploring the surrounding countryside. Chipping is essential for steam train enthusiasts, thanks to its renowned annual steam fair. Hiking to the summit of Beacon Fell is also highly recommended on self-catering holidays in the Forest of Bowland, with views as far as Morecambe Bay and Blackpool on a clear day. Crook O’ Lune is another iconic spot, on a sweeping bend in the River Lune. From here, there is a scenic trail through the countryside, into the city of Lancaster.