Get green and active in Lancashire this half term

13 October 2009

Families can enjoy a range of active and environmentally friendly days out in rural Lancashire this October half term. The newly opened, purpose-built mountain bike trails at Gisburn Forest, near Clitheroe are a must for any mountain bike enthusiast, whatever their ability.

The Gisburn Forest Mountain Bike trails are set in the stunning backdrop of the Forest of Bowland Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. There is a 22 kilometre ‘red’ course for experienced and expert cyclists which includes tricky downhill and boardwalk sections, whilst there is also an easy eight kilometre ‘blue’ route for families and beginners.

Cycle hire is available from Off the Rails in Settle, which has a gold Green Tourism Award. Off the Rails offer one day bike hire as well as 2 and 3 day tours with accommodation. Pre-booked cycle hire can be arranged by visiting

Visitors to the area can also get into the Halloween spirit by enjoying an autumnal walk around Pendle Witch Country.

Lancashire was home to the world famous Pendle witches as well as the Pendle Witch Trials which took place at Lancaster Castle in 1612. The Walking With Witches Trail explores some of the places linked to the witches, and takes in wonderful countryside and spellbinding views along the way; including the iconic dome of Pendle Hill.

Route maps for this walk and many others are available to download for free at or for walking and cycling routes in the Forest of Bowland visit

For a more tranquil outdoor experience, there is Leighton Moss RSPB Nature Reserve, near Silverdale.

Leighton Moss, which also has a gold Green Tourism Award, is the largest reedbed in north west England and home to some special birds such as breeding bitterns, bearded tits and marsh harriers. Lucky visitors may even get the chance to see deer and otters too.

Entry to the visitor centre and tearoom is free. Admission to hides and nature trails is £4.50 for adults and £1.00 for children. Entry is free to RSPB members and those who come by public transport or by bike. For more information visit

The Lancashire Green Tourism Project is a new three year initiative to help to develop the area as a green tourism county.

The Project is designed to help tourism businesses and organisations that wish to operate in a more environmentally friendly manner to achieve the Green Tourism Business Scheme accreditation and work together to develop sustainable tourism activities and to promote Lancashire as a sustainable tourism destination.

Great value attractions that have the Green Tourism Business Scheme accreditation include the Bowland Wild Boar Park, Cobble Hey Farm & Gardens, Forrest Hills golf and fishing, Leighton Moss RSPB Nature Reserve, Off the Rails cycle hire and Beacon Fell Country Park.

To find other green tourism accredited attractions and accommodation, visit

The Lancashire Green Tourism Project is being delivered by the Forest of Bowland AONB team, in partnership with Lancashire County Developments Ltd and the Lancashire and Blackpool Tourist Board, with support from the Northwest Regional Development Agency (NWDA).

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