Before the development of accurate scientific instruments Pendle Hill was widely thought to be the highest in the country. Looking at it today one can easily imagine how that error came to be made such is its prominence especially over the Ribble Valley. Though a modest 557metres (1827ft) it possess an austere and forbidding profile. Yet approached from the south Pendle provides a perfect backdrop to what must be one of the loveliest views in England. This seems all the more surprising given that the walk starts on the edge of the east Lancashire conurbation formed by Burnley, Brierfield, Nelson and Colne.


Start: Pendle Heritage Centre BB9 6JQ


Fact file:  

Distance: 5 ½ miles 9k

Time: 2 ½ - 3 ½ hours

Summary: Moderate. 

Map: OS OL21 The South Pennines.


Map by kind permission of Johnston Press 

1. From the visitors' centre turn left to follow a path leading into Barrowford Memorial Park. Pass by the bowling green and soon after bear right to join the riverside path by Pendle Water. When you reach a footbridge cross it.


On Gisburn Road use the pedestrian crossing then turn left and then right onto Pasture Lane in front on the White Bear Inn.  Keep ahead on Pasture Lane and then when the road bends sharply left keep


ahead on the farm drive leading up to Pasture House. All this has taken a few minutes of your life but now you have escaped to the country. Now on the Pendle Way continue for another 250yds and then turn left on a footpath at a waymarked stile.


When you reach a footbridge on the right cross it and follow the path diagonally left to arrive at a small agricultural building.


Beyond this the path keeps to the side of the hedge at first and then follows a line of telephone pole to reach the ridge and the view. I mean THE VIEW!


At the next wall the Pendle Way descends to Roughlee but after going through the gate turn left and follow the wall which will bring you back to Pasture Lane. 


2. Cross Pasture Lane to the farm drive opposite leading towards an area of rural enterprise and Ridgaling Farm. Keep ahead at the first junction (where the left fork leads rather improbably given the altitude to Pendle Narrowboats) and then after walking alongside a reservoir turn right as you reach a utility building to the left.


Go through a metal gate


on an unmarked footpath. This becomes obvious as it descends towards a plantation and then bears left.


As it reaches open pasture  follow it through two fields and then continue into woodland where a series of steps


leads down to Pendle Water. Turn left and continue to the distinctive road bridge adorned with white metal fencing.


Cross the bridge and keep ahead with the river on your right to arrive at the rear of buildings Turn left onto the drive passing Thorneyholme Cottage and farm


to reach Barley New Road. Cross to the entrance opposite through an ornate metal kissing gate


and then immediately turn left on a footpath through a garden arch. The path leads into open meadows.


Keep ahead with a fence to the right. Then after a stile at a corner bear left to cross a drive. In the next meadow aim to the far right corner to cross a second drive to a kissing gate.


With trees hiding the farm on the right cross to the kissing gate and then turn left. Following the hedge to the rear of houses


locate a stile obscured by the trees in the corner. Through this follow the path to arrive on Jinny Lane. Turn left. Passing Clarion House


keep ahead for a little under 200yds to reach a footpath on the right.  

3. Cross the stile


and follow the hedge down to the next one in the corner. Over this drop to a footbridge


and climb to a kissing gate. From here cross a wide field


to the drive of Lower Graystones. Cross this and then take a gate on the left through a wall on a path that edges round the property to reach another drive.


Turn right to follow this up to the top of the ridge. As the drive approaches Noggarth Road branch left to the field corner


to reach the lane opposite Noggarth Cottage which has a most welcoming tearoom.


4. At the corner the signpost offers three directions - yours is the middle course


a footpath leading across a vast pasture heading towards electricity pylons. Aim for one on an angle. This will bring you to a metal kissing gate


followed by a second gate at the base of a pylon.


From here keep ahead across fields aiming for the distinctive tower of St Thomas' Church. When you reach Wheatley Lane turn left for Barrowford. 


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