The Trough Of Bowland : Lancashire

Nov 13, 2019 | Go Outside, Lancashire, Walking

Route Information

An out-and-return circular

Route Difficulty: Easy

Distance: 6.27 km (8.08 miles)

Route Elevation: 417 m

Route Time: 3-4 hrs

Start and Finish: Dunsop Bridge Car Park, Dunsop Bridge, Clitheroe, BB7 3BB

Depending on the featured walk and especially in mountainous areas, you may need to Calculate the time using Naismith’s Rule and factor in to your own pace.


The nearest public toilets and refreshments are at Puddleducks Tea Rooms next to the car park at Dunsop Bridge.


The only real hazards are along the Ouster Rake (path) especially in winter where it can get quite boggy and the path is not always clearly marked.

The Urban Ranger Website cannot outline every single hazard on a walk – it’s up to you to be safe and competent, and to be able to read a map and use a compass. Plan your route properly with the latest advice from the AdventureSmart website

Public Transport:

Traveline for UK Public Transport

Weather Forecast:

Dunsop Bridge Weather Forecast

Dunsop Bridge is a village in the Borough of Ribble Valley, Lancashire, England, 9 miles (14 km) north-west of Clitheroe, 15 miles (24 km) south-east of Lancaster and 24.5 miles (39 km) west of Skipton. It is in the civil parish of Bowland Forest High. Historically, the village is part of the West Riding of Yorkshire, but was placed under the administration of Lancashire County Council on 1st April 1974. It is often cited as the geographic centre of Great Britain.

The Trough of Bowland is a valley and high pass in the Forest of Bowland Area Of Outstanding Natural Beauty, in Lancashire, England .”

The pass, reaching 968 ft (295 m) above sea level at the head of the valley, links to Wyresdale, dividing the upland core of Bowland into two main blocks. Though steep and narrow, the road is the most direct connection between Lancaster and Dunsop Bridge, and hence Clitheroe. It was the route taken by the “Pendle witches” to their trial at Lancaster Castle in 1612. The Grey Stone of Trough, at the head of the pass, marks the line of the pre-1974 county boundary between Lancashire and the West Riding of Yorkshire. Historically, the Trough marked the western most boundary of the ancient Lordship of Bowland.

The Trough is scenic and popular with visitors, particularly walkers and cyclists, so it is unsurprising that it is sometimes considered synonymous with the Forest of Bowland as a whole. However, it is in fact only a small part of the wider (312 sq.miles) Area of Natural Beauty.

The starting point for this walk is from the car park next door to Puddleducks tea rooms in Dunsop Bridge, postcode BB7 3AZ. Leave the car park and turn right down the lane next to the tea rooms and head past Dunsop playing fields towards Holme Head Cottages. Pass the cottages and head through Holme Head Wood and over the bridge. Follow the path next to the river Dunsop until you reach Lower Brennand farm a few miles up stream. At the farm there is a folk in the path and you need to take the left path past the farm buildings until you reach Brennand farm its self. Turn left at the farm and head up Hind Clough on Whin Fell towards Brennand Stones and then head left towards the Oyster Rake path. Follow the route and head towards Bleashaw Clough on Turner Hill.

At through Barn get on to the road (Trough Road) and head left following Losterdale Brooke towards Sykes Cottages. Just after the cottages you need to leave the road at little forest and cross the bridge until you are now on the right hand side of the river. Follow the river until you reach Hareden Hall Farm. Pass over the bridge and back on to the road, which you will now follow all the way back to Dunsop Bridge.

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