Increased Access in the Forest of Bowland
The increased access provided by the CRoW act gives the walker many more options. Had this been available at the time of writing Bowland-Dales Traverse, I would almost certainly have started the walk on the coast at Glasson Dock (near Lancaster).
As it is the current route can be tinkered with. For instanceyou can now eave the Langden Intake track just before it reaches the Trough road (GR632512) near Dunsop Bridge. Here you turn right, cross the stile and a footbridge over Langden Beck, and then trace the beck’s south bank to the Hareden track (GR643506). This saves nearly a mile of road walking.
The Fair Snape Totridge ridge is now open to the public on non-shooting days (there will be about 12 shoots between 12 August and 10 December each year.) So in dry conditions it would be worth turning right on reaching the watershed at Fiendsdale Head (GR588485) and following the ridge over to Totridge before descending NE down to the bridleway west of Mellor Knoll. This would take the route NNW to the Hareden track and out onto the Trough road.
Those bound for Slaidburn could pick up the former route by turning right along the road, then left on the bridleway to Closes Barn (GR656506), where a tarmac lane heads north through the Dunsop and Whitendale valleys.
Those wanting to get to Slaidburn for the night without doing a big detour through Whitendale could head to Dunsop Bridge, follow paths south of the River Hodder past the impressive Knowlmere Manor and over Giddy Bridge, then cross back onto the north side using the footbridge at GR 672502/. A path leads from here eastwards to the Slaidburn road, just west of Newton Village, where there’s a pub, the Parker’s Arms for those in need of refreshment.
Take the Clitheroe road out of Newton back to the near bank of the river, then turn left to head NE, across fields (the river meanders away but rejoins the route beneath Great Dunnow Hill. A concessionary footpath then traces the Hodder all the way into Slaidburn.