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Pendle Hill Walk

Pendle Hill Walk

Pendle Hill Walk

Pendle Hill is famous for a number of reasons. Not only is it an isolated extension of the Forest of Bowland Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, but it gained notoriety in the 17th century because of a group of witches that became infamous across the country. The Pendle witches, who were tried in nearby Lancaster, were part of the wider English witch trials which saw 500 people executed between the 15th and 18th centuries. The Pendle witches were so infamous in part because they made up a full ten of these executions. It’s believed that many were the cause of two feuding families, combined with a number involved actually believing their guilt.

Their legacy has remained throughout the area. The Pendle Hill is now known both for its beauty and its links to witchcraft. The area has two walks of note that take in both aspects of this, the Pendle Hill walk from Barley and the Pendle Witch Trail. We’ll be going over both in this guide to Pendle Hill walks. The Holgates Ribble Valley park situates you perfectly for exploring this beautiful countryside, and the mysterious occult stories that surround it, as well as other sites of interest in the valley. Whether you choose to buy a holiday home or make use of one of our seasonal touring pitches, these walking routes are waiting to be explored.

Pendle Hill Walk from Barley

Length: 5 miles
Estimated walk time: 2 hours 30 mins
Difficulty: Intermediate
Walk type: Circular

This circular walk is the best way to see everything the Pendle area has to offer. If you’re interested in more than the witches and want to take in the beauty of Pendle, then this one is easy to recommend. It’s a short walk past the Ogden Reservoirs before heading up the Pendle Hill itself. Here you’ll have excellent views across Lancashire, as far as Blackpool on a clear day. The return journey brings you down the much-trodden steps towards the village of Barley. While this walk isn’t particularly long, there are parts that require a little scrambling, or that some may find steep.

The hill is the tallest in the immediate area and, as such, it has amazing views over the surrounding countryside. You’ll be able to see the southern tip of the Forest of Bowland AONB as well as parts of the Pennines and other bits of Lancashire. On a particularly clear day, you can even see Yorkshire’s ‘Three Peaks’ which are Ingleborough, Pen-y-ghent and Whernside.

For a full itinerary check the Pendle Hill walk on the Walks in Lancashire site.

Pendle Hill Witches Trail Walk

Length: 7.5 miles (broken into two loops of 4 miles & 3.5 miles)
Estimated walk time: 2 hours 30 mins
Difficulty: Intermediate
Walk type: Circular

If you want to immerse yourself in the tale of the Pendle witches, then this is the walk for you. It follows, in part, the trail that the accused took when they were marched from Pendle to Lancaster for trial.

The route is made up of two loops that meet in the middle, so if you aren’t feeling up to the full 7.5 miles you could do one loop or break it into two separate walks, each starting at the car park in Barley.

The western loop takes in Newchurch, the site of a witches grave, and Faugh’s Quarry, where one of the witches claims to have met the devil. It also contains Moss End, Bull Hole and Saddler’s farms which are all sites of interest to the story of the Pendle witches. Alongside this, you’ll get wonderful views of Pendle Hill and a chance to take in the beautiful countryside and historical architecture.

The eastern loop contains Roughlee Hall where Alice Nutter, one of the accused, was said to have lived. It also includes a walk through Crowstrees, where she actually lived. There’s a statue to Alice in Roughlee to mark the 400th anniversary of the trials.

For more information on this trail check the Long Distance Walkers Association.

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