We picked the hottest day of the year to visit the south western edge of the Forest of Bowland to do our walk. It was graded as easy/moderate so we did not anticipate any problems. We left our car at the Bowland Visitors Centre at Beacon Fell Country Park and quickly made our way up to the trig point to take in the views.
We dropped down to follow several field paths to head for the River Brock at Gill Barn Wood. So far it had been easy walking with great views of the Bowland Fells ahead of us and the fields were full of flowers.
We descended through the woods along a clear path flanked by bluebells to reach a footbridge.
We now had to follow the river downstream on what our route description said was a clear path. It did mention that the section through ‘Boggy Wood’ lived up to its name. We had to divert round some of the worst bits and ended up a little ‘off piste’. We found a bridle way and decided to follow it. The horses hooves had really churned up the ground and we were ankle deep in mud. Even worse, my sense of direction told me that we were going astray. A glance at my GPS confirmed it. The bridle way led us in a big circle. Time for a bit of old fashioned map reading to get us back on track at Brockmill where we could pause for lunch at the picnic area.
Having crossed the bridge we now followed the River Brock downstream on a good path to Walmsley Bridge. Leaving the river we now had just a couple of miles of field paths to take us back to our car. Our route notes stated that the paths could be confusing but the instructions looked comprehensive and we had our map.
Initially it was easy but then things started to go wrong. We encountered several gates that were padlocked and a barbed wire fence not shown on the map. All of which called for big diversions. I was wondering if I had enough water.
We arrived back at the visitors centre just as it was about to close. I managed to get a can of ice cold Fanta. I did not know weather to drink it or hold the can against my forehead.
Les kept up his reputation of giving value for money on his walks. I call him Mr 110%, but today must have been Super Thursday. He added on 33%. Our 9 mile walk ended up being 11.3 miles.
Another adventure with Les.