Walking in Lancashire: 40 walks throughout the county including the Forest of Bowland and Ribble Valley by Mark Sutcliffe: companion for your year-round walks - book review -

Walking in LancashireWalking in Lancashire
Walking in Lancashire
As summer draws to an end and autumn approaches, pull on your sturdy boots and explore Lancashire’s amazing walks and stunning rural corners.

The Red Rose county is home to some of England’s best walking country, stretching far beyond the more recognised and popular tourist trails and deep into untamed hillsides, colourful moorland, the fascinating remnants of Lancashire’s industrial heritage, and a rich history which includes the War of the Roses and the Pendle witch trials.

And to help you on your way, Cicerone – an enthusiastic publisher based in Kendal specialising in outdoor activities guidebooks – has produced a new guide offering 40 day-walks in Lancashire, including the often-overlooked regions of Forest of Bowland, Ribble Valley and West Pennine Moors.

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Cicerone has a range of nearly 400 guidebooks for walking, trekking, climbing, mountaineering and cycling, covering the UK, Europe and other regions of the world. The guides are pocket-sized, with clear OS mapping and directions, and their authors are amongst the leading experts in their areas.

Walking in Lancashire has been written and compiled by experienced outdoor writer and editor, Mark Sutcliffe, a former editor of Country Walking and Lakeland Walker magazines who has in-depth knowledge of the Forest of Bowland where he spends much of his spare time hiking, bird watching and taking pictures.

With walks for a variety of abilities, ranging from low-level valley trails to higher hill routes, this new guidebook offers plenty of year-round walking options for active families and committed hikers alike.

All the walks are accessible from a range of nearby villages, towns and cities including Preston, Blackburn, Burnley, Chorley, Lancaster and Clitheroe, and let you explore the dales, moors, uplands and coasts of Lancashire, including beautiful Morecambe Bay.

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Some higher level routes climb above 2,000ft and can be challenging in winter conditions, requiring appropriate clothing and footwear, good navigational skills, and basic knowledge of mountain safety, but most of the routes are suitable for any walker with a reasonable level of fitness.

For those who venture out, the rewards include ancient woodland and gritstone moors, historic Pendle Hill, the RSPB reserve at Leighton Moss, the Neolithic Bleasdale Circle, the Roman museum at Ribchester, Andy Goldsworthy's sculptures on Clougha Pike, the Inn at Whitewell, Jubilee Tower, the Abbey Lighthouse, and nearly one hundred miles of Lancashire coast.

And with an introduction full of information about the area, including accommodation, transport and access, appendices containing a route summary table to help you plan your days out, and helpful notes on wildlife, history, geology and available refreshments, there could be no better companion for your year-round walks!

(Cicerone Press, paperback, £12.95)