The Parlick Fell Circular Walk, which takes in Parlick Fell and Fair Snape Fell is a great hike in Lancashire. This loop trail is one of the best walking adventures that you can have in the Forest of Bowland Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB). In this guide, we’re going to tell you everything you need to know about the Parlick Fell Circular Walk. After describing the highlights of the hike, we’ll talk about how to get there and then answer some FAQs, which will include information about different trail route options.
Anyway, 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 Parlick Fell Circular Walk.
Parlick Fell Circular Walk Overview
If you want scenic views of the Lancashire countryside, look no further than the Parlick Fell Circular Walk. Barring bad weather and poor visibility, there are many exquisite vantage points during the walk. From several elevated positions, you’ll enjoy stellar views of the Forest of Bowland and the surrounding countryside. The main viewpoints along the walk are at the summits of three particular points – Parlick Fell, Fair Snape Fell and Paddy’s Pole. In our trail description, we’ll dive into a bit more detail about all of these attractions and peaks that you’ll explore during the walk.
Before we dive into the nitty-gritty details of the walk, it’s worth noting that there are many trail variations for the Parlick Fell Circular Walk. These route alternatives visit differing fells and points of interest. We’ll cover the most popular trail route alternative in the FAQs section. For now, we’ll provide trail specs, GPS-guided directions and a trail description of the Parlick Fell Circular Walk, which takes in Parlick Fell, Fair Snape Fell and Paddy’s Pole. Indeed, it’s one of Lancashire’s best walks.
Parlick Fell Circular Walk Map and Route Details
- Type: Loop
- Distance: 11.2km (6.95 miles)
- Time: 3–4 hours
- Accumulated elevation gain: 560m
- Difficulty: Moderate
- Trailhead: Startifants Lane (Parlick Fell postcode for parking – PR3 2NP)
Parlick Fell Circular Walk Route Description
In the trail description below, we’re going to talk about the main attractions and highlights along the Parlick Fell Circular Walk. It all starts at Fell Foot.
After parking on Startifants Lane, the walk starts in an area known as Fell Foot. Immediately, you’ll follow a track, heading northwest, straight towards Parlick Fell. At 500 metres, you’ll begin a steep climb up the southern slope of Parlick Fell. In fact, there are several paths on the southern slope all leading up to Parlick Fell. In reality, it doesn’t matter which path you choose, as they all lead towards the summit of Parlick Fell. Either way, it’s a fairly gruelling climb up this fell.
At 432 metres above sea level, Parlick Fell provides glorious far-reaching views over the Lancashire countryside. On the weekend, it’s likely that you’ll see plenty of hang gliders and paragliders. After soaking in the stunning views, you’ll head north, right through the Ribble Valley, towards Fair Snape Fell.
Fair Snape Fell
From Parlick Fell, you’ll have a roughly 2.4km walk to reach Fair Snape Fell. Along the way, you’ll pass Wolf Fell to your right. Certainly, this part of the Parlick Fell Circular Walk is quite flat and easy going. We took advantage of the flat terrain and enjoyed some speed hiking.
What’s speed hiking? It’s a great way to improve your hiking fitness. Find out more about it here.
Remember, that this part of the walk can get very boggy after rainfall. Indeed, it was quite boggy at and around Fair Snape Fell. So, make sure to wear decent hiking boots. Admittedly, the views from Fair Snape Fell are fairly tame. At 520 metres above sea level, you’ll only really see flattish surrounding moorland. You won’t enjoy the sweeping views you encountered at Parlick Fell. Thankfully, not far away, at Paddy’s Pole, you’ll again enjoy breathtaking views of the Lancashire countryside.
To get to Paddy’s Pole, you’ll follow a trail from Fair Snape Fell in a southwesterly direction. At Paddy’s Pole, you’ll find a trig point and a cairn with a pole protruding outwards from the top. Facing south, you’ll get a mighty good view of Pendle Hill.
After enjoying the magnificent views, you’ll continue south towards River Brock.
At around the 8km mark, you’ll pass over a short bridge that takes you over a small stream of River Brock. After another 800 metres, you’ll arrive at a farm. From there, you have two options. For an easier finish to the Parlick Fell Circular Walk, simply follow the track leading south away from the farm until it joins Startifants Lane. You’ll then turn left onto this lane and walk to Fell Foot to complete the walk (see image below).
The other option involves re-ascending Parlick Fell from its southwestern slope. Personally, we enjoyed such superb weather, that we thought we’d re-ascend Parlick Fell. Admittedly, the path wasn’t very clear. Although it’s a right to roam area, the trail isn’t well-defined. Thankfully, the further we climbed, more obvious trails began to appear, making our final ascent towards Parlick Fell a little more straightforward. In the end, we decided not to visit this summit of Parlick Fell again. Instead, we followed one of the various routes on the southern slope, away from Parlick Fell, back to Fell Foot.
How to Get There
The simplest and quickest way to get to Fell Foot to do the Parlick Fell Circular Walk is to drive there yourself. Head to the FAQs below for information on parking. 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 super easy.
It’s possible to get to Fell Foot using public transport, but the journey isn’t very time efficient. Essentially, you’d get a bus from Preston to Longridge and then a bus from Longridge to Chipping. All in all, this journey could take 1.5 hours. To do the Parlick Fell Loop from Chipping, you’ll need to walk 3km (1.8 mile) to Fell Foot before starting the official route. Because of the time-consuming journey, we recommend simply driving there yourself.
Below, you’ll find the most frequently asked questions about the Parlick Fell Circular Walk.
Where Do I Park For Parlick Fell?
You’ll need to park at Fell Foot for the Parlick Fell Circular Walk. Admittedly, there isn’t a car park at Fell Foot. You’ll just need to find a space on Startifants Lane. We’ve also been asked about Fair Snape Fell Walk parking options. You may have already gathered from reading this guide; but, you’ll still need to park at Fell Foot and complete the Parlick Fell Circular Walk to get to Fair Snape Fell.
What Are Things to Look Out For Along the Way?
As mentioned in the trail description, the major highlights of the walk are Parlick Fell, Fair Snape Fell, Paddy’s Pole and passing River Brock. Also, outstanding views of the Forest of Bowland (Pendle Hill in particular) and Lancashire await you during the walk.
Are There Wolves in the Forest of Bowland?
No, not these days!
Are There Other Trail Options For Parlick Fell and Fair Snape Fell?
When it comes to Parlick walks, or in other words, Parlick Fell walks, there are other alternatives to choose from. The Parlick Fell Circular Walk described in this guide involves exploration of and to the west of both Parlick and Fair Snape Fells. Most of the other trail variations involve walking to and east of both Parlick and Fair Snape Fells. By following a route east of Parlick and Fair Snape Fells, you’ll also visit Saddle Fell. Please find GPS-guided directions of the typical ‘east’ version of the Parlick Fell Circular Walk below.
These are our five hiking gear essentials for this walk.
Why do you need this?
See it in action
These hiking boots are very comfortable and a great choice for exploring the Forest of Bowland, except during winter. In that case, you'll want winter boots
This camera is hands-down the best compact digital camera on the market. Lightweight, compact and durable, the Sony Cybershot RX100 VII takes high quality photos and 4K videos
Always pack a waterproof jacket when hiking in the UK!
This is an awesome backpack for day hikes. It has plenty of space to store everything you'll need
The GoPro Hero 9 is a fantastic action camera
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 else you’d need for travelling, read our Packing Checklist.
- Head to the Sun Inn: this is a great pub in Chipping. A pint and pub feed after the walk – why not?
- Beware of boggy terrain: it’s certainly preferable to do this walk outside of winter. The Forest of Bowland typically gets very boggy during periods of increased rainfall. Personally, we enjoyed this walk during summer and still experienced patches of mild bogginess.
- Explore other national parks in the north of England: don’t just stop at the Forest of Bowland. Make sure to also check out the Lake District, Peak District and Yorkshire Dales.
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