10. Gisburn Forest - (4,7 or 10 miles) This is an excellent forest trail suitable for families situated close to the Trough of Bowland (North of Clitheroe, Lancs). Gisburn Forest is operated by the Forestry Commision based at Grizedale in the Lake District
There are 3 waymarked options although I would avoid the longer with younger children as it gets a bit steeper. There is no leaflet available but there is a display board at the start point at Cocklet Hill car park. For the 8 mile (moderate) option I would perhaps allow 2 hours with plenty of stops!
The trail twists and turns through stone surfaced 'footpaths' and forestry roads passing through open broad-leaved woodland and dense deciduous forest. The route passes each side of the valley of Bottoms Beck before crossing a short causway across Stocks Reservoir a pleasant surprise near the end of the expedition. There are a couple of places where it would be wise to dismount but advance warning is given on sign posts.
The forest is alive with wild flowers and, particularly, the common spotted orchid which is abundant in July
Common Spotted orchid in July
To drive to the start point at Cocklet Hill take the B6478 (sign posted Slaidburn) from the A65 at Long Preston. Just after Tosside turn right down minor road for 1/4 mile.
There are no facilities on the trail but a pub and garage are nearby at Wrigglesworth and Tosside. There are various picnic areas in the forest including High Laithe Barn.
High Laithe Barn