Pendle Hill from Barley

   

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The classic circular of Pendle Hill. If you are only in the Pendle area for a short visit, then if you have the time and want to 'conquer' Pendle, then this circular is the walk to do. A gentle start to the walk past the Ogden reservoirs then leads into a grassy stroll before crossing bracken covered moorland. The climbing then starts in earnest, with ever expanding views afforded as more height gained. From the summit even Blackpool tower and the Lakeland fells can all be seen on a clear day. The walk then proceeds down the much walked steps back towards Barley. Whilst Pendle Hill is synonymous with the Pendle Witches (the 400th anniversary of their hanging is in 2012), it is enjoyed by many thousands of people each year.
 
Parking: Pay and display car park in the centre of Barley (grid reference SD 823 403).
Directions: Nearest post code for Sat Nav: BB12 9JX - get directions here
Walk distance: 5 miles (8 Km)
Estimated walk time: 2 hours 20 minutes
Height climbed: 380 metres
Grade: 2-C: A medium length walk that has rugged terrain and some steep climbs
Peaks / summits: Pendle Hill (577m)
Wainwrights: None
Map: Ordnance Survey – Explorer EX041 (Forrest of Bowland & Ribblesdale)
Walk features: Hills, moors, reservoirs, rivers, views, wildlife
Facilities / refreshments: Toilets and the cabin café in car park at Barley, Pub (Pendle Inn) in Barley and tearoom in Barley.
Nearest town: Walk starts in Barley
Walk Tags: Barley, Lancashire, Pendle Hill, Barley Green, Upper Ogden Reservoir, Lower Ogden Reservoir, Fell Wood, Pendle Way, Ogden Clough, Boar Clough, Pendle Hill, Brierfield, Nelson, Pendle Inn, Cabin Barley, Forest of Bowland, Lower Black Moss Reservoir, Upper Black Moss Reservoir, Pendle Witches, Walks around Britain, Walks around the UK, Ramblers, Hike, Hiking


Lower Ogden Reservoir

Leave the car park and turn right along the pavement towards the centre of Barley. Over the bridge at the ‘T’ junction, cross the road and pass along the right hand side of the village hall down the lane signed "Barley Green". Follow the lane as it bends around top the left in front of some terraced cottages and on along it through the gate posts. Keep on past the water works before the lane then rises more steeply to reach the side of Lower Ogden Reservoir.

Keep on the track down the right hand side of the reservoir, and on over a cattle grid as it heads towards Ogden Clough, with views over the water to Fell Wood. Just past Lower Ogden Reservoir, the path is joined by the Pendle Way, the course of which is followed for the rest of this walk over the summit of Pendle and back down in to Barley. The track starts to climb, before levelling again to enter partial tree cover, before descending towards the base of Upper Ogden Reservoir. Pass over a stone stile by a metal gate, and head the few yards up to the start of the reservoir.

Here, follow the yellow way marked arrow pointing down the right hand side of the reservoir, along a path (sometimes a little boggy in places) that keeps close by the side of the reservoir next to a fence. Pass through a wooden kissing gate and continue along the side of the wall, before leaving it and gently climbing as Ogden Clough is entered. The path is wide and grassy underfoot as it continues along towards a wooden gate in a wall, which marks the boundary between the grassy field from the bracken covered open moorland.

Looking back towards Upper Ogden Reservoir

Approaching the change towards open moorland


Pass through the wooden kissing gate in the wall, and head diagonally right, climbing initially up a stony path. The path continues its slow climb before descending briefly to a small stream. As the stream is approached, ahead can be seen some wooden fencing, with a very eroded path heading up from it. Ignore and keep on past this, and then turn right up the hill about thirty yards past the fencing, up an initially sketchy path, towards a wooden waymarker, which is just visible on the horizon above. There is a small cairn which has recently been started marking this turning point.

The path passes the waymarker and keeps on in the same direction as it slowly pulls across to Boar Clough to its right. The path continues to gently climb and its course is sporadically marked along the way by small cairns. It then follows an old watercourse for a while and is badly eroded in places as it continues to follow the line of cairns as it slowly bends around to the right.

The Triangulation Point on Pendle Hill

Continue the ascent across Barley Moor, following the line of cairns as they swing sharply to the right. After the path turned around to the right, this line of cairns is followed for about 600 yards at which point the path swings around to the left and the summit is visible a couple of hundred yards straight ahead. The triangulation point at the top of Pendle Hill stands at 558 metres (1,831 feet).

Turn right before the wall, with the 3 Peaks on the horizon

After admiring the views, continue on in the same direction past the triangulation point and down the wide path towards the wall ahead. On a clear day, as the wall is approached, Yorkshire’s Three Peaks are all visible directly ahead. Upon reaching the wall, do not climb the stile, but turn right to walk along the near side the wall. A few yards further on, at the Pendle Way stone guide post, turn right heading directly away from the wall, along an initially gravelled path.

Lower Ogden Reservoir visible just before Fell Wood

The path then becomes rougher underfoot as it begins to descend much more steeply – ahead are wonderful panoramas of Barley, Lower Ogden Reservoir, Brierfield, Nelson and beyond. The path continues its steep descent down a series of man-made steps. As the path becomes less severe, it bends around to the left and pulls in alongside a wall. Follow by the side of the wall down to, and through a kissing gate.

From here, head diagonally right following the yellow arrow on the gate, to head across the field on a line just to the right of a large tree, which is to the right of the farm buildings. Pass along the side of the fence surrounding the tree, and a few yards further on pass through the wooden kissing gate, by the side of a larger wooden gate.

The path gently descends through the field keeping by the side of the left hand wall, to reach another kissing gate. Pass through this, and head diagonally right across the field towards and past the telegraph pole to descend to another kissing gate. Pass through this kissing gate, and keep ahead on the (in places) narrow path as it reaches yet another kissing gate built in to a wall. Pass through this and turn left along the gravelled path by the side the wall and on down and through the next kissing gate.

Here turn immediately right along a track towards a couple of cottages. Just before reaching then, turn left through the wooden kissing gate, and continue straight ahead down the lane. After a few yards take the path which leads straight on past the large tree, ignoring the lane which goes off to the left over the cattle grid, and the stile which goes off to the right at the start of the path.

Keep on this gravelled path alongside the wall on the left, and pass through yet another kissing gate. The path continues its gentle descent and at one point winds its way through a field before passing through another kissing gate, and shortly afterwards over a wooden footbridge.

The path is then enclosed by fences and passes under overhanging trees before heading down the side of a line of conifers and becoming cobbled underfoot. At the end of the short cobbled section, pass through the metal kissing gate and turn left down the metalled lane.

Looking back towards Pendle

Walk down the lane past the houses taking time to admire the beautifully kept gardens where the lane is bordered by a succession of white stones, and then on out through the stone gateposts. Follow the lane for a few more yards and then where the lane bends around to the left, turn right over the wooden footbridge, following the yellow Pendle Way arrows.

The path then bends around uphill to the left behind a large tree and on past the side of a wall. Keep on past the wooden waymarker towards the buildings ahead. Pass over the wooden footbridge and down to and through the wooden kissing gate, before following the gravelled path along the side of the stream to reach the road.

Upon reaching the road, turn right and follow it for a hundred yards or so through Barley centre. Just before reaching the Pendle Inn, pass through the gap in the wall on the left hand side of the road, by the children’s play area. Walk along this path between the road and the children’s play area, on over the footbridge and back around to the car park.
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