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.
Of course, before you read this guide, feel free to watch our Forest of Bowland hiking video (coming soon). For your convenience, when you press play below, it’ll start at the section showing the Clougha Pike Walk.
We hope you find this guide helpful. For other great walks in the Forest of Bowland, read our guides on the Stocks Reservoir, Trough of Bowland and Bowland Knotts trails.
Table of Contents
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.
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.
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.
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.
What’s speed hiking? It’s a great way to improve your hiking endurance and capability. Find out more about it here.
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.
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 using Rentalcars.com. You’ll find a wide variety of cars on Rental Cars for good prices. The website is user-friendly and booking online is simple and easy.
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.
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.
These are our five hiking gear essentials for this walk.
- Merrell Moab Mid Gore-Tex Hiking Boots: these hiking boots are super comfortable and lightweight.
- The North Face Venture Jacket: a fantastic windproof/waterproof jacket.
- Osprey Skarab 30L Day Backpack: a great backpack for hiking, which has plenty of space to store your gear.
- The North Face TKA Glacier Fleece Jacket: an excellent warmth:weight ratio fleece jacket that’ll help keep you warm.
- Columbia Convertible Trousers: a value for money pair of water-resistant convertible trousers.
Make sure to also pack plenty of water, snacks, sunscreen and a hat! For a longer hiking gear list, check out our 66 Travel Items You Must Travel With. For a general list of everything you’d need for a great trip around the UK, read our Packing Checklist.
- 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.
- 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!
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