For those of us advancing in years, the prospect of a long drive book ending an exhausting ramble can be simply too much.
Thankfully there are alternatives that might delay your return home, but will certainly make your rambling experience a much smoother one.
If you’re looking to get away from Devon for a long weekend, then Bowland Fell Park in Yorkshire is worth exploring for a change of scenery. This amply equipped static caravan site is a great choice for ramblers who don’t quite fancy roughing it in a tent.
At Bowland Fell Park, you have the option of either staying in a spacious static caravan, complete with kitchenette and bathrooms, or renting a luxury apartment. Either way you’ll find yourself with a comfortable base of operations, somewhere that you can relax after finishing a ramble.
The Park lies on the very edge of the Forest of Bowland, an officially designated Area of Outstanding National Beauty. Over 500 listed buildings and 18 monuments litter this vast area of wilderness, which also contains the Geographical centre of Great Britain. Landmarks and geographical oddities aside, you can get easy access to the network of excellent footpaths in the local area directly from the Bowland Fell Park site. You can check out some more routes right here.
This 7-mile ramble shouldn’t take you any longer than 2 and a half hours, just in time to freshen up and head out to Crowtrees Inn, the Park’s onsite pub which is open 7 days a week.
It’s usually best to arrive at the Park for around 10am, unpack your things and meet the welcoming hosts. Take a little tour of the site to get your bearings, then head out to Stephen Park to begin your walk around the local area.
You’ll find Stephen’s Park (BB7 4TS) from Bowland by taking a left out of the Park grounds and heading town to the village of Tosside. When you reach The Dog & Partridge, cross the road and head on to Bailey Lane.
You’ll soon find yourself plunged into the Forest. After just under a mile, you’ll see a left turn down the Gisburn Green Bike Trail.
Whilst keeping an eye out for downhill bikers, follow this trail through the forest until you reach Stephen Park.
Once you’ve regrouped, you can head further down, following the same path, into the forest. Continue to follow the Gisburn Bike Trail until it turns into Dugdale Lane. You might need to look out for the odd car passing by here, as there are a few farms in the local area.
Take a left when you hit the B6478, this minor road will take you back up through the Forest and out by The Dog & Partridge for a quick pint, or perhaps something stronger. Of course, if you’d rather put your boots up back at the Park, then you can do that. Head on back the way came, to rest up at Bowland Fell Park.
Once you’ve changed your clothes you can take a well-earned break by the indoor swimming pool, that all residents of the park have access to. After your dip, take a shower in your cabin and then walk on round to the little on-site pub.
Packed full of character, the Crowtrees Inn was a farmhouse in the 17th Century. Now it’s a great place for the inhabitants of the park to enjoy a drink as well as a well cooked meal, at the end of the day. Drink and eat your fill, then take a relaxed walk back to your cabin for a good night’s sleep.
In addition to being able to take your dogs with you, Bowland Fell Park offers Launderette facilities and a Farm Shop that sells everything a rambler could need.
Prices in Spring are cheaper than in the Summer, so now’s the time to book a quick weekend away and take in an especially beautiful part of the country!