The area known as the Forest of Bowland occupies most of the north east of the county of Lancashire in England. It consists of barren gritstone fells, deep valleys and peat moorland. It's an attractive alternative to the overcrowded Lake District, and today this grouse moorland is also used for walking and cycling. One of the best known features of the area is Pendle Hill.
The name 'forest' is used in its traditional sense of 'a royal hunting ground', and much of the land still belongs to the English Crown. In the past wild boar, deer, wolves, wild cats and game roamed the forest. The origins of the name Bowland most likely came from the long-standing connection of the region with archery - the 'land of the bow'. For many centuries much of Bowland belonged to Yorkshire and at one time formed part of Northumbria. In 1974, when county boundaries were reorganized by the UK Boundary Commission, it became part of Lancashire.
Bowland remains as the nortwestern remainder of the ancient wilderness that once stretched over a huge part of England, encompassing the Forest of Bowland, Nottingham Forest, the New Forest (Hampshire) and Savernake Forest (Wiltshire).