Driving on the small roads deep into the moors of what is known as the Forest of Bowland – forest alluding to ancient hunting rights more than trees – one thing strikes me the most. This area of England that is so picturesque, wild and open, yet crammed with hidden corners and eye-pleasing villages, can be yours alone at times. No cars pass my way early this October morning, the only traffic are sheep watching me in curiosity before resuming their grazing. A couple of hare hop along the track, then disperse.
The first morning light paints the hills above the village of Slaidburn as I make my way south-west. The sun brings out the autumnal colour palette of purple bracken and rusty moorland while the trees are still of a deep forest green.
But the sun is a fickle character in England’s north and disappears under a blanket of clouds. In the onsetting drizzle I feel more than ever as if dropped into a landscape of a hundred years ago. Gazing along the moors, I catch the attention of a scraggly-maned horse, its look as wild as the grass, a creature perfectly fitting this unkempt area of outstanding beauty