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Clougha Pike Walk: The Ultimate Hiking Guide

Clougha Pike Walk: The Ultimate Hiking Guide

The Clougha Pike Walk is a great trail option in the Forest of Bowland Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB). Starting at Rigg Lane Car Park in Quernmore, Lancaster, the Clougha Pike Walk explores beautiful moorland and provides stellar views of the coastline and surrounding national parks. There’s also the option to add on an out and back hike to Grit Fell during this walk. In this guide, we’ll tell you everything you need to know about the Clougha Pike Walk in Quernmore, Lancaster.

Clougha Pike Walk Intro

The Clougha Pike Walk is one of the best walking routes in the Forest of Bowland AONB. Along the way, you’ll enjoy historical, natural and cultural attractions. Before we delve into describing the highlights of the walk to Clougha Pike in Lancaster, let us share with you a trail map and list the trail specs.

Clougha Pike Walk Map and Route Details

  • Type: Loop
  • Distance: 9.2km
  • Time: 2.5–3.5 hours
  • Accumulated elevation gain: 335m
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Trailhead: Rigg Lane Car Park
  • Map: Wikiloc

Clougha Pike Walk Route Description

One of the best things about this walk in Quernmore, Lancaster, is the varied attractions along the route. During the approx. 10km walk, you’ll initially enjoy remnants of an old quarry. Soon though, you’ll be delighted by far-reaching views of the coast and countryside. Nearing the summit of Clougha Pike, you’ll then pass a fascinating decorative sculpture. So, where exactly does the Clougha Pike Walk start? Rigg Lane Car Park.

Dan and Beck on the Clougha Pike Walk in Quernmore, Lancaster, near Rigg Lane Car Park

Starting at Rigg Lane Car Park in Quernmore, Lancaster

After parking at Rigg Lane Car Park in Quernmore, Lancaster, you’ll join a path, heading northeast. Right from the get-go, you’ll start to enjoy attractions along the walk. The path leads by a lovely woodland called Rigg Wood. You’ll then pass old rocky structures, which are from the Birk Bank Quarry, which was in operation over 250 years ago. Whilst following this path, Beck and I enjoyed watching hot air balloons, in the distance, rise slowly into the sky.

Eventually, you’ll turn right onto a track, known as the shooter’s track, that meanders through the Clougha Access Land. As you gain elevation on this Quernmore walk, you’ll soon have exquisite views of the Yorkshire Peaks, Morecambe Bay, Lune Valley and the city of Lancaster itself. Of course, you’ll also have lovely countryside in the Forest of Bowland to gawk at too.

After starting from Rigg Lane Car Park in Quernmore, Lancaster, Beck walks up a track

Other Things to Look Out For Along the Way

Eventually, you’ll reach Andy Goldsworthy’s Clougha Pike Chambers (also known as the Clougha Pike Three Chairs). Plonked in the middle of the access land, the Clougha Pike Chambers is a fascinating sculpture to scope out en route.

Beck walking by the Clougha Pike Chambers, near Grit Fell

From this sculpture, you’ll head west towards the summit of Clougha Pike. With Grit Fell to your left, you’ll notice the terrain becoming rockier and more uneven. This part of the landscape is known as Clougha Scar and it surrounds the peak of Clougha Pike. From the trig point at the summit, you’ll enjoy sweeping views of the Forest of Bowland.

To complete the hike, you’ll then continue north towards Little Windy Clough and Windy Clough, which are both marginal meltwater channels. You’ll also walk by Fell End Fell. Soon enough, you’ll be walking through Rigg Wood, passing a lovely stream, before returning to Rigg Lane Car Park. Beck and I enjoyed a bit of speed hiking during the final stages of the walk.

Rigg Wood, near Grit Fell and Rigg Lane Car Park in Quernmore, Lancaster

FYI – our Wikiloc GPS-guided map doesn’t show where some of these attractions specifically are en route. The Ordnance Survey Map may be better for showing you exactly where the highlights of the walk are located. Although, by using our GPS-guided map, following the route and finding the aforementioned attractions is pretty easy and self-explanatory.

Grit Fell Out & Back Option

If you’re looking to extend the walk, it’s possible to do an out and back to Grit Fell. Essentially, after exploring the Clougha Pike Chambers, you’ll still follow the trail heading west. But, once you’re about halfway towards Clougha Pike, there’s a trail, leading left, that you’ll take to summit Grit Fell. Personally, Beck and I didn’t visit Grit Fell. But, at 467 metres, Grit Fell provides another decent vantage point for views of the Forest of Bowland AONB.

FYI – some people extend the walk even further to Wards Stone and Wolfhole Crag. Personally, Beck and I did the Wolfhole Crag and Wards Stone Walk as an individual walk.

Adding Grit Fell onto the Clougha Pike Walk

How to Get to Rigg Lane Car Park


Clougha Pike Parking: the simplest and quickest way to get to Rigg Lane Car Park (AKA Birk Bank Car Park) is to drive there yourself. If you don’t have your own set of wheels, we recommend hiring a car.

Car Hire

DiscoverCars.com

If you don’t have your own car, you should hire one using Discover Cars. Personally, we use Discover Cars and highly recommend them for finding your ideal car hire at an affordable price. Booking online is super easy and the free cancellation policy is great.

To find out more about renting a car with Discover Cars, read our Discover Cars review and Discover Cars Insurance review.

It’s possible to get to Rigg Lane Car Park using public transport. From the city of Lancaster, you can catch the 487 bus to the Post Office in Quernmore. From there, it’s around a 1.6km walk to Rigg Lane Car Park. Of course, driving to the car park yourself is the easiest way to get there.

FAQs

Below, you’ll find the most frequently asked questions about the Clougha Pike Walk in Quernmore, Lancaster.

How Long Is the Clougha Pike Walk?

The walk is approx. 9.2km long, taking around 2.5–3.5 hours to complete.

Where Is Clougha Pike Located?

It’s located in the Forest of Bowland AONB in the village of Quernmore. This village falls inside the city of Lancaster in the county of Lancashire.

How High Is Clougha Pike?

It’s 410 metres high.

Are Dogs Allowed Up Clougha Pike?

In terms of Clougha Pike dogs rules, Clougha Access Land is unfortunately a no-go for dogs.

Who Owns Clougha Pike?

It’s part of the Abbeystead Estate, which is owned by the Duke of Westminster.

Hiking Essentials

Make sure to pack plenty of water, snacks, sunscreen and a hat! Anyway, these are our hiking gear essentials for this walk.

Osprey Skarab 30
Osprey Skarab 30

The Osprey Skarab 30 is our go-to hiking backpack for day hikes. This well-designed unisex backpack is comfortable and spacious, so you’ll have plenty of space to pack everything without feeling the strain on your upper back.

Osprey Ultralight Raincover
Osprey Ultralight Raincover

A waterproof backpack cover is an absolute must when you’re adventuring outdoors. The Osprey Ultralight Raincover Medium is a high-quality waterproof cover that’ll keep your backpack bone dry.

GRAYL Reusable Water Bottle
GRAYL Reusable Water Bottle

The GRAYL GeoPress is the best water filter bottle that allows you to purify 710mL (12 ounces) of water. This bottle will make water safe to drink wherever you’re hiking.

BUFF Original Ecostretch
BUFF Original Ecostretch

The BUFF Original Ecostretch is a great option when it comes to multifunctional headwear. We use the Ecostretch as a neck gaiter to keep the sun off our necks and it helps us keep warm in cooler climates.

Sony Cybershot RX100 VII
Sony Cybershot RX100 VII

Capture epic photos and videos with the Sony Cybershot RX100 VII. This is hands-down the best compact camera. We love using this simple point-and-shoot camera when we’re hiking as it’s lightweight and durable.

To find out more about all of the gear that we use and recommend, read our guides about our favourite hiking gear, travel gear and camera gear. Otherwise, read our comprehensive travel packing checklist.

Bonus Tips

  • Rigg Lane Car Park to Clougha Pike: if your mission is to just summit Clougha Pike (maybe you’re trig-bagging), then you can follow our trail map in an anti-clockwise direction. By doing so, it’s around 2.7km from Rigg Lane Car Park to Clougha Pike and makes for an approx. 5.4km out and back walk.
  • Clougha Pike From Jubilee Tower: this is an alternate trail option. By all accounts, it’s another great walk.
  • Other great walks in the Forest of Bowland: read our guides on the Stocks Reservoir, Trough of Bowland and Bowland Knotts trails. Otherwise, feel free to read our in-depth Forest of Bowland Visitor’s Guide or our Lancashire Walking Guide.
  • Visit the Lake District: the beautiful Lake District isn’t too far from the Forest of Bowland. If you haven’t explored the Lake District, then add it to your bucket list!

Are you keen on doing this walk? Share this guide with your hiking buddies on Facebook.

Daniel Piggott

Physiotherapist turned travel blogger, Dan is a keen hiker, natural wonder seeker and world traveller. He loves writing travel guides to help his readers explore the most beautiful destinations in the world.

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