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North West - The Forest of Bowland

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Top 100 places to visit in north west england

9. Pendle Hill Walk

Top 10 ten places to visit in North West England - The Forest of Bowland

Pendle Hill Walk

Pendle Hill is famous for its connection with the "Witches of Pendle" who were found guilty and hanged for witchcraft at Lancaster gaol in August 1612.  
 
This walk makes a circuit of the plateau that forms the summit. The route uses one section of path which is hard to follow, so it is an idea to ensure you have map and compass if visibility is poor.

The start is the car park at Barley Green (Grid ref. SD823403) where there is an information centre, cafe and toilets. Exit the car park onto the road and turn right to reach a cross-roads in a few metres. Go straight across following a lane between houses and past a weterworks on your right to reach Lower Ogden Reservoir. Stay on the lane and continue west. You will soon reach the dam for Upper Ogden Reservoir. When the lane bears right and climbs fork left and head to the base of the dam wall.

The path climbs to the right and then follows the northern shore of the reservoir. Ignore the path signed Pendle Hill going right and continue into the valley of clough ahead. The path crosses the stream (Grid ref. SD 792402) and climbs onto the moor above the stream but still following it as it swings northeast. Ignore any paths not following the stream including a signed path that goes right towards the summit of Pendle Hill. Instead stay on a narrow trod keeping the stream on your right to reach a wall (Grid ref. SD 797413) that goes left (northwest). Follow this wall to reach a ladder stile after 500 metres.

At the stile you should, weather permitting get a grand view across the Ribble Valley to the Yorkshire Dales. Cross the stile and, keeping the edge of the escarpment, follow a narrow path that heads east. After one kilometre this joins a path coming up from Downham. Turn right following a clear path to the summit of Pendle Hill.

Leave the summit on a clear path south. Stay near the edge of the escarpment which should be on your left. After 600 metres (Grid ref. SD 804408) look out for a descending path that heads northeast down the escarpment. Take this to Pendle House. Turn left along the access road to reach Barley Lane (Grid ref. SD 814416). Turn right down the lane and after a few metres take the signed footpath on your left. This leads across a field to a track. Turn left along this and just opposite the first house turn right through a gate into the field. The path follows the hedge which should be on your left. Despite little use this path takes you to Lower Black Moss Reservoir. Turn right here where a signed path leads you back to Barley

Suggested Maps
It is recommended you take a map with you when following a walk route. The preferred scale is 1:25000 used by the Explorer series.
 
OS Explorer, 1:25,000, Sheet OL41     
 
OS Landranger, 1:50,000, Sheet 103     

Note : If two maps are listed at the same scale then either (a) both are required for full coverage of the route or (b) the route is covered on both maps.

Statistics: 8.5 miles, 1690ft ascent.

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Pendle Hill Walk start point

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