We discovered this on our sixth fishing trip, one that saw us hire a caravan in a popular forest park for the weekend, so that we could truly surround ourselves in nature and get the most of the local area.
Bowland Fell Park is a holiday and caravan site that rests on the very edge of the Bowland Fell Area of Natural Beauty. It’s picture perfect location offers some of the best views of green spaces that I can remember seeing. As far as facilities go, you couldn’t really ask much more of this place. There’s a farm shop on-location, as well as a pub which was perfect for a few evening pints after a long days’s fishing. A peaceful, relaxed atmosphere reigns here at the Park, which makes it little surprise that this is one of the top sites to find static caravans for sale in Yorkshire.
We spent a long weekend in the Forest of Bowland with the express purpose of finding as many great places to fish as possible, luckily for us we’d spent the months leading up to this holiday researching spots all along the various rivers that run through this Forest. The Ribble, Lune and Hodder all flow through the Forest with day-ticket fishing available for as little as £5 at some sites. If you want to fish on the Ribble, then you’ll need to purchase a specific passport first for the area, as well as enough tokens to cover your stay.
Tokens cost £2.50 each and can be bought in sets of 5 or 10. These can be purchased in advance online, so it’s a good idea for you to think about booking these before you make your trip to Bowland. There’s a good variety of beats to fish at once you do make it up to Bowland – what you choose to actually fish is very much up to you. Fisheries all around the area specialise in keeping large stocks of carp, trout and pike amongst loads of others – and as there are so many spots to go to, you’re almost guaranteed to find a peaceful spot to settle down for the day.
Don’t expect to be overwhelmed with activities to do in the evening here – this is the middle of the countryside after all, hardly what you’d call Piccadilly Circus – however, after a long day of fishing, we often found that we didn’t have much energy left, so we spent most of our nights in the caravan cooking up a storm or simply drinking a bottle of wine or two.
The fishing itself will vary greatly depending on where you go and at what time. When we visited Bowland, we were all up for a bit of a challenge, so we spent the majority of the week up to our knees in the river attempting to hook one of the elusive trouts that make their way downstream throughout the Winter months.
None of us were that lucky – but we had a great time nonetheless!…
As much as it can be really fun to head out onto a big stretch of river for a weekend with your mates, I always think that the best fishing moments occur when you’re by yourself, often when there’s no one else around as far the eye can see.
When you get the opportunity to spend a day out on a beat by yourself it’s important to take it. As long as you’ve got enough food and water to last you for the day, it can be quite the meditative experience simply waiting for a fish for around 9 hours – you’ll never know when a bite might come and with nothing left to distract you, the tension can really mount from the moment that you cast your first line out to the minute that you finally call it a day.
This summer, I had the chance to take a trip down to Devon for the first time and experience what fishing in the deep south was really like. I spent a week drifting from beat to beat, checking into a number of hotels and B&Bs so I could best get an idea of what this place was like for travelling fishermen.
Close to the quiet village of Yealmpton are a number of truly unique accommodation options, all of which operate under the Sunridge Lodge brand. These options are a great option for fishermen looking for seclusion as well as luxury. Whilst their lodge is perhaps a little too expensive for one person to book themselves, their glamping pod is a perfect option for fishermen looking to relax in style. Not 50-yards from the pod itself is a decent sized fishing lake. Self-populated for decades now, this nice little spot has some big breeds of carp with the record being a whopping 28lbs.
With a name like ‘Anglers Paradise’ you’d expect the fishing to be pretty good here in Beaworthy and you wouldn’t be wrong. This is a fantastic place to come for a solo fisher looking to truly test his skills whilst not having to travel far each day. There are 38 villas on the purpose built site and with 12 holiday lakes to enjoy, you’ll never be stuck for fishing. Angler’s Paradise is a big site that isn’t open to day fishers, so if you want to fish here you need to stay here. If you do, you’ll be in with a chance of catching fish that are nearly 60lbs in weight!
Eight luxury lakeside lodges are on offer in the nearby Blagdon Lake, a decidedly smaller yet pleasant holiday cottage experience which offers as much in the way of seclusion as it does in coarse fishing. Each lodge has a South-facing balcony, looking out over the peaceful lake and are fitted with all the modern amenities that you’d expect. Coarse fish are par for the course here with a good variety of carp, rudd and roach being on offer. Whilst the weights of these fish aren’t often that big, it still makes for a peaceful place to while away a few days.