More than 300 cyclists from across the UK descended on the Forest of Bowland to tackle the 'Hardest Hundred' – one of the toughest bike races in Britain.

To kick off the weekend, 94 riders completed the Hardest Hundred road ride starting from Slaidburn. This testing 100-mile route took in some challenging hills, including the steep climb through the Trough of Bowland (one of the UK’s Top 100 Climbs) with riders rewarded for their efforts with some stunning scenery as they rode through the AONB.

Sunday took 215 riders onto a mixture of road and off road trails for the Glorious Gravel event, which featured a 60-mile loop taking in sections of the Pennine Bridleway and over Salter Fell. Whilst the weather held out for the start of the day the wind and rain in the afternoon certainly added to the challenge with lots of happy but wet and tired riders at the finish.

Each competitor donated £1 to support environmental and community projects in the Forest of Bowland AONB through their entry fees, with the organiser donating the £309 to local charity Champion Bowland.

Champion Bowland chair Mike Pugh said: “Bowland is a fantastic landscape to explore by bike and we’d like to thank Sportive Breaks and all the cyclists for their generosity. After such a challenging year, it’s wonderful to see sustainable outdoor events return to the AONB and make a positive contribution to the community. We look forward to the race returning next year.”


The Forest of Bowland is a long way off the beaten track, but Ordnance Survey cartographers have identified it as the centre point of Great Britain.


Discover specialist independent food retailers, thriving markets and artisan producers on a foodie foray through this mouth-watering corner of England


There’s lots you can cram into a day trip to the Forest of Bowland, but making a weekend of it opens up all sorts of exciting options.

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On foot, by bike, by day or by night, the Forest of Bowland is a paradise for outdoor enthusiasts just waiting to be explored.


We’ve created a collection of bespoke itineraries to help you make the most of your time in Bowland – choose from outdoor adventures, hidden gems and food & drink.


From country fairs to food festivals, the Forest of Bowland enjoy an extremely busy social calendar – and visitors are more than welcome to join in!

Champion Bowland

Champion Bowland helped fund the launch of this website, which in turn benefits sustainable tourism businesses across the Bowland AONB.  Champion Bowland provides easily accessible small grants for local projects which benefit the environment, local communities and visitors within the Forest of Bowland AONB. Champion Bowland raises...

 Downham launch 02 M Sutclif

Website Copy Mark Sutcliffe 
Website Design Barrie Tyrer

Champion Bowland logo 135  Forest of Bowland