Brock Bottom
Beacon Fell

22nd August 2023

  • 6.8 miles / 11.0 km
  • 215 m ascent
  • Easy 
  • 7.9 Naismith miles

Of the areas that Bentham Footpath Group walk, the Forest of Bowland is generally the quietest. That’s not to say it doesn’t have its hot spots though, and it’s at one of these – the Beacon Fell Country Park that we start this easy walk.

The Country Park has a number of attractions all within a well defined and quite small boundary, so you could easily augment the walk by adding one or more of . . . a sculpture trail, orienteering challenges, waymarked walks around the site, a barbecue site, viewing points, and a visitor centre with café and toilets. The whole site is a Biological Heritage Site, so you may also see interesting and rare flora and fauna.

Although we start at the Visitor Centre, we soon leave the site and head down to Brock Bottom, where we pick up the River Brock and head upstream passing Brockmill on the way to Gill Barn Wood. We then enjoy great views of Parlick and Fair Snape Fell before climbing back up to the Beacon Fell site where we wander around the Beacon.

  • Total distance 11.0 km (6.8 miles)
  • Total ascent 215 m
  • Easy walk


We start at the visitor centre at Beacon Fell Country Park. The site is well signposted, once you are within a couple of miles of the Beacon, and when you get close you will encounter a narrow road around the base of the Fell. For safety reasons this is a one way route, so just follow it until you arrive at the large car park with the visitor centre, or if you prefer, use one of the other car parks scattered around the perimeter road.

In order to get close enough to start seeing the brown tourist signs, satnav users can enter the postcode PR3 2ER, but be prepared to use common sense once on site – your satnav may not recognise the one way flow for example. If you prefer paper maps, the grid reference for the Visitor Centre is SD82296508, whist the what-3-words tag is shirt.plank.peach.

If you navigate using Google Maps, then things get easier: The precise location of the visitor centre is very easily reached by entering “Beacon Fell Visitor Centre, Preston” into Google Maps on your smartphone. Google Maps also has the one-way system clearly marked, suggesting a short cut from Garstang along Crumbleholm Road (which isn’t one-way) bringing you out onto the one-way system before (just east of) the visitor centre.

Having parked up and paid the reasonable £1 parking fee, we need to find our outbound path. To do this walk down from the café to the lower car park and then to the right hand end of that parking area where you will see a public footpath sign indicating a path heading downhill next to a picnic area.

Follow this through a wooden kissing gate and then down the hill with great views over the Lancashire Coast – Blackpool Tower will often be visible, as is Preston city centre. The path soon curves round to the right, crosses a drystone wall, and then goes through an old disused gate to pick up a narrow path along the edge of a small stream within dark woodland.

This slightly claustrophobic section soon ends, and we exit onto an open yard in front of a large house – this is Salisbury House – from here we head down the lane that serves the house to pick up a minor road where we turn left.

If, as we did, you schedule the walk for late summer / early autumn, take a container to harvest blackberries and other hedgerow fruits and nuts along this section of the walk. In addition to the blackberries, look out for sloes, hazelnuts, rose hips, elderberries, and crab apples.

Once at the road (called Bleasdale Road), head left: The road is generally quiet, and visibility is good, but it’s not traffic-free so some care is needed.

After a short while you will approach a junction, where you will see a sign for the Otters Den Lodges – our route bears round to the right here still on Bleasdale Road, passing the lake in front of the lodge on our left, and seeing the half-timbered building that houses Goosnargh Gin a little way ahead.

Goosnargh gin is made on site here and is always available for sale – there are currently seven variants of the award winning drink, each with quite distinct flavour profiles resulting from unique blends of botanicals – some locally foraged. Have a look at Goosnargh Gin’s website for more detail of the background story to this interesting business, or let the hairy bikers explain by viewing a video at the BBC

We now press on to the bottom of the road, where we have a choice of two routes. The larger road bears left – this is Button Lane, whilst our route is much smaller and effectively straight on – this is Stanalee Lane, and we follow this for a little while ignoring a road exiting on the left, passing Lower Stanalee, and then arriving at the very attractive Cloggers Farm.

About 100m beyond the farm, the road takes a hard left turn, and we look for an overgrown public footpath sign on the right, on the outside of the bend which indicates a path down through the woodland toward the river Brock – this is the end of our road walking for a while.

We follow the path down to a small footbridge over the river – this is Brock Bottom, and a good place to take a break. From here, we cross the bridge and head right – you will see two paths, one through the woods, and the other along the side of the river – it doesn’t matter which you take they come together again.

The path upstream is part of a series of woodland trails from a picnic site at Brockmill, so expect to meet lots of other people here – particularly in the summer holidays when the river is a magnet for families.

We continue upstream crossing another footbridge until we arrive at Brock Mill Lane. We turn right and cross the Brock on the attractive Higher Brock Bridge and then immediately after the bridge head left toward Brock Cottage Farm. Keep the buildings on your right, and as you come past them, you will see a gate and stile giving access to a footpath through a meadow at the side of the river.

We follow this round and then take a stile onto a path right at the edge of the river where a walkway has been provided in places to help on the otherwise muddy and slippery banks. The walkway has started to degrade in a number of places but is still passable with care.

We continue upstream until the path heads away from the river and picks up a track leading down to a white cottage – currently part way through a program of restoration. On the way down to the cottage, look over to the left and you will see a series of large diameter pipes crossing the Brock. This is part of the water supply to the North West that we saw on our Dunsop Bridge walk.

The path hugs the garden wall of the cottage, and then enters a flat meadow behind the house – we stick to the right hand side of this and continue to head upstream. Before long we see a footbridge over the Brock, and we use this as our cue to head up the rough lane to the right – so tempting as it is, we do not cross the bridge.

The lane (called Snape Rake Lane) is steep and muddy, but soon meets a flat road where we head left walking along the top of an area of woodland known as Boggy Wood. The name is apt.

We walk along the road for about 200m until we find a footpath / bridleway sign on our left taking us down a narrow path into the woods. At this stage the bridle track and footpath coincide, and it would be easy to follow the bridleway too far down into the wood – where the going can get quite wet. So, look out for a small path (unsigned) leaving the bridle way on the right at a left hand bend. You will see a footbridge in the woods ahead and this is where the path goes next.

We cross the bridge and are greeted by a sign indicating that we are entering the Waddecar Scout Camp where activities may include archery and tomahawk throwing. The sign recommends that we take care – which seems like sensible advice.

Almost immediately we are greeted by an amphitheatre which presumably the scouts use as part of their meetings – strictly speaking the path lies just below here, but if there are no activities taking place when you pass through, this makes a great lunch stop.

From here we see a track heading east along the flat land at the edge of the river, and we follow this for a while, through the scout camp and then over a double stile onto a riverside meadow.

There is a footbridge visible at the end of the meadow, but as at Snape Rake, Lane, we avoid the temptation to cross, and head hard right over a stile and into woodland, with a stream on our left,  with wooden walkways to help clarify the route.

As earlier in the walk, these are somewhat “tired”, so some care is needed, as we follow the path up through Gill Barn Woods eventually arriving at a climb up to a stile where we leave the dense woodland and suddenly find ourselves in open fields with a great view of Parlick and Fair Snape Fells ahead. Between the two is a horse shoe shaped ridge which makes a great walk – so good in fact that it’s part of the BFG Library – click here to see that walk.

The path ahead is clear and keeps to the left hand fence line, as we cross two fields. At the far end of the second, we note that the path has been amended: The OS shows it on the right of the fence and then heading through the garden of a property ahead. In reality it is to the left of the fence and then round the perimeter to find a stile onto a minor road.


At the road we head right, and after a couple of bends, see a footpath sign on the left, taking us up a gravel lane towards a cluster of farm buildings – with Beacon Fell filling our field of vision ahead.

The track soon bears left, with a smaller continuation ahead – this is the route we take – it’s signed as Heatherway farm, and as we progress, we need to look for a stile on the right (no more than 50m) which takes us into a somewhat marshy field for a while.

We follow the line of trees, meandering to find a dry route, until we see a path rising up the hill on the left – it has helpful yellow topped marker posts.

We follow this uphill, and soon arrive at the perimeter road around Beacon Hill – so depending on the route you used to get to the site, this may well look familiar.

We now see a track heading steeply uphill, just to the right of where we arrive at the road. We take this up through the pine trees, back into the Country Park. We follow the track uphill, soon meeting a crossroads. If you want to go to the panorama marked on the OS map, go left here, and then find the path off on the right to take a scramble uphill to the trig point. In practice, the views here are of Parlick and Fair Snape Fell which we have already enjoyed, so we recommend going straight on, past the sculpture, and onward around the hill side and back to the visitor centre.

Worth noting on the final section as we approach the centre is a viewing flatform with views across Morecambe, and another sculpture – which allows you to see through the right eye of the curious figure.



Video Fly Through