Pendle - 4 routes
At this time of year approaching Halloween I usually exhort readers to climb Pendle Hill out of a sense of patriotic duty. Here are the four main routes that will enable you to fulfil this duty.

Map: For all routes described OS OL41 Forest of Bowland


 Map by kind permission of Johnston Press

Route 1 Direct

Fact file:

Start: Barley Village Car Park and Information Centre BB12 9JX

Distance: 3 ½ miles

Time: 2 hours

Grade: Strenuous but short.

Directions: This might be referred to as the tourist route in that it is a direct there-and-back ascent on the most obvious path clearly visible from some distance away that traverses Big End. From the car park go through the wedge of parkland behind the toilets to reach the main street close to the Barley Mow. Keep ahead until just before the Methodist Chapel then turn left onto a riverside footpath which is part of the Pendle Way. This takes you across to a lane below a cluster of dwellings at Ings End. Turn left. Staying on the main drive keep to the left of the first farmhouse and then turn right onto an enclosed path beyond it. After 600yds this reaches Brown House. Cross the forecourt picking up a path on the far side which dips to cross a stream and then follows a wall on the right across fields to Pendle House. Behind Pendle House start the final steep ascent on a well-built path that takes you to the summit plateau. At you reach the edge of it turn left for the trig point.


A slight variation of descent is achieved by continuing to a large cairn and then turning left down the rockier path to a junction above Pendle House.


Route 2 Via Ogden Clough.

Fact file:
Start: Barley Village Car Park and Information Centre BB12 9JX

Distance: 5 miles

Time: 2 - 3 hours

Grade: Strenuous but less steep than the tourist route.

Directions: Turn right out of the car park entrance. At the corner cross to lane opposite with village hall on left,


leading quickly to Barley Green. This lane soon climbs to the first of two reservoirs.


At the end of the reservoir join the Pendle Way as it comes in from the left. For the rest of the walk you are on this trail. Beyond a stand of pines to the right of the track, the way dips down to a gate and stone stile below Upper Ogden Reservoir. Cross stile and follow track as it climbs steeply to reach the higher level.


The track gives way to a narrower path between a wall and fence, then through a gate crosses pastures to a ladder stile. Over the ladder stile follow a rough, peaty track upwards and then along to a stream flowing from the defile that is Boar Clough.


Cross the stream and follow the path for 60 yards then turn right and to climb the steep flank of the hill. As you climb the path becomes more obvious as it broadens out. When the route crosses the top of Boar Clough a line of cairns come into sight.


Continue upwards towards the trig point. From the trig point continue along a broad track northwards for 400yds to a wall. Do not cross the wall but bear right to quickly reach a steep, stepped path. This is the way down. At Pendle House go right to a gate. Through this continue Brown House and then Ings on a well signed path. After Ings turn right over a footbridge taking you to the village centre.

Route 3 From Downham
Fact file:
Start: Downham Village Car Park BB7 4BN
Distance: 6 miles
Time: 3 - 4 hours
Grade: Strenuous
Directions: While not decrying the attractive qualities of Barley it has to be stated that Downham is one of the most attractive villages in England. Climbing Pendle from it is a little more involved than routes from Barley. From the car park walk back to the main street and turn left. After crossing the bridge turn sharp right into Brookside. Keep ahead to join a footpath leading into meadows. Keep on this staying right when it divides as it begins to rise on a course taking you past Clay House a farm complex to the left and continues to intercept Pendle Road close to Lane Head. Turn right but almost immediate left on a concessionary path leading up the steep flank of Pendle. Once on the ridge go left and then over a wall for the trig point. On the way back return towards the point you reached the ridge but continue along the ridge for just over a mile to Scout Cairn which was built by…scouts. This signals the way down to Burst Clough. At the bottom staying on the lane and keeping right will lead back to the start. Alternatively pick up the footpath leading across to Worsaw End House and then going right for the village.

Route 4 From Nick of Pendle

Fact file:

Start: Nick O' Pendle car park

Distance: 7 miles

Time: 3 - 4 hours

Grade: Moderate

Directions: At first glance this may seem to be "Pendle for Wimps" in that by stating at the top of the pass between Clitheroe and Sabden it cuts out a lot of the grief of a steep ascent. But be not deluded this approach is a serious moorland yomp and as such needs to treated with respect. A wrong turn especially on the return leg might easily put you in Ogden Clough miles away from where you parked the car. In essence the route is a lollipop shape. On the outward leg take a broad track heading north-east over Apronfull Hill.


After a 1 ½ miles the way dips down to the upper part of Ogden Clough. Here turn left on a less distinct path leading alongside a wall.


When you come to the edge of the north facing escarpment go right to follow a broad path pass Scout Cairn (built by …)


and continue over two walls to the trig point. Return on a paved path leading back to the junction of your outward route. Here keep ahead for the Nick.