Beacon Fell, Lancashire is definitely one of those small summits that packs a lot of view and enjoyment. It is truly accessible to all and wonderful for the children. If you have ever driven north up the M6, not long after the M55 Blackpool exit, look right. You can see the splendour of the the Lancashire hills, the Forest of Bowland. But the first little one you see, standing alone covered in pine trees, is the delight known as Beacon Fell.
The height may be small in relative terms, 266 metres (873 feet), to many peaks but the views are definitely expansive and interesting. Looking east you get the village of Chipping with Longridge Fell. Westwards, on a clear day you can see Morecambe Bay, Blackpool Tower and you may be lucky for it to be clear enough to see the Isle of Man. Other easily places you can see include Preston and Pendle Hill.
The nearby peaks of Fair Snape Fell and Parlick provide a great backdrop across the valley.
Now then, when I say accessible it is not just with the minimum climb etc. The paths are great in all directions, through beautiful forest and open land near the top. There have been made some tramper trails for those requiring wheelchair access plus prams etc would have no problem on most paths.
It is easy to see why this hill is very popular for families as well as walkers, dog walkers and cyclists.
Why Is It Called Beacon Fell
We need to go back at least to the year 1002, as that is the earliest recording of there being a beacon on the top. In fact it has been used as part of a chain of beacons through the ages. In 1588 to warn of a Spanish Armada invasion and in the late 1700s and early 1800s to warn of a French Invasion. In those days the only way to let people know of impending danger was by beacons spreading the message to each up and down the country from high points. At the Queen’s recent Jubilee beacons were lit as they had been then.
History Of Beacon Fell
It is one of the oldest Country Parks in the country. Established as one in 1970. But before that it had many uses and would have been as bare as the surrounding fells.
Originally open farmland it was bought in 1909 by Fulwood District as a water supply. Water running of it was then caught in nearby reservoirs like Barnsfold and the water piped to Fulwood. The glorious conifer woodland you see today was then planted to help with drainage.
Then in 1970, Lancashire Council bought it as part of the first batch of country parks in the country.
To help accessibility the track that went all around the hill, half way up, was turned to a one way road around. Car parks have been dotted around for direct access plus there is a super visitor centre with all the information you need. Parking is charged only on the car parks nearest the visitor centre.
Walking Beacon Fell
For me, it is a truly great dog walk with rich variety. You can even be on the summit within a few minutes, if you really wanted to be so quick.
But there is no need to just go up and down. There are lots of trails to discover. From thick woodland to open land near the top. There is also lots of nature to find. Rabbits are in abundance and you may just well get to see some roe deer. Stoats and weasels can be seen jumping around. There is a little tarn here too that has a vast amount of breeds of damselflies and dragonflies.
So, if you are looking for somewhere in Lancashire, with easy access by car, easy access to walks and paths, easy access to views and nature, for all the family. Then Beacon Fell has to be high up on the list.