Forest of Bowland Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty

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One of the enjoyable things to do any day in Britain is to go for a walk in the country. Whether you are in the mood to put on your wellies or good hiking shoes or just your trainers, there is a level of walk that will work for you. This past May I went for a leisurely stroll with an aunt and uncle starting in Dunsop Bridge which is considered the gateway to the Trough of Bowland. Our walk started in the parking lot in the village of Dunsop in the Forest of Bowland Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. The River Dunsop runs through the village and there is a park and picnic tables if you want to make a day of it. We had just been to The Inn at Whitewell for lunch and were walking off our calories.

We headed right out of the parking lot, through the village then right after the shop/café and before the bridge, past some houses and along a foot path following the river. After the houses you will go over a footbridge over the river then turn right and walk along the river. We continued up to #4 on the circular short walk as far as the artificial concrete weirs of the United Utilities installations then turned round and returned to the village. If you don’t have a map with you there is one in the parking lot but it does not give you the full route that you will find on the web site below. The part of the walk that we did is paved so easy walking and dry. If you venture further the track is not paved, is more challenging and can be muddy at times. There is an alternate short route for pushchairs/wheelchairs that eliminates the footbridge.

The fields were lush and green, dotted with sheep, and the hills were covered in bluebells. From a distance the flowers looked like a blue haze over the hillsides. At certain points on the walk, the sheep were within a few feet from us which made for some excellent photographs. I make my own greeting cards and I am now spoiled for choice when it comes to making a spring/Easter card for next year. We saw a lone duckling squeaking its way up the river and wondered where its mother was. About half an hour later we found a mother with a few other ducklings. Hopefully they were reunited.

After two or three hours walking we were ready for some refreshments. Unfortunately Puddleduck’s cafe had just closed for the day (5:00 pm) by the time we returned to the village. But the shop was still open and we were able to get delicious black current ripple ice creams which we ate on the patio in the sun. It was the perfect end to the afternoon.

According to the link below, Dunsop Bridge is in the exact centre of the British Isles and there is a plaque unveiled by Sir Ranulph Fiennes, verifying this fact.

Scroll down to the Dunsop Bridge circular walk on this website and click on the pdf file and you will see the map and instructions for this walk.

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