Over Easter BBC1’s “Countryfile” featured Lancashire in one of its programmes – about time too! One of the presenters Anita Rani followed the Pendle Witches Walk which starts in Barrowford and ends in Lancaster recreating the trail the so called witches would have taken on their way to trial and subsequent execution a little over 400 years ago. Throughout her presentation Anita expressed wonder that Lancashire had so much beautiful countryside – it came as a revelation to her. This is a common reaction in people from outside the county under the impression “It’s grim up North!” This walk takes you to the area Anita covered for “Countryfile” – you’d better go soon before the hordes arrive inspired by the programme.

 Start/Finish: Slaidburn Village Centre BB7 3EP

Fact file:

Distance 5 ½ miles 9k

Time: 2 ½ - 3 ½ hours

Grade: Mainly easy with one gradual ascent.

Map OS OL41 The Forest of Bowland


1. From the village centre past the war memorial


at the junction of the road to High Bentham to your right. At the next junction keep ahead passing the Hark to Bounty inn. As you leave the village take a footpath on your right taking you into attractive woodland


with Croasdale Brook to your right. After leaving the woodland the path begins to climb Tenter Hill passing through a wooden kissing gate and then following a hedge on the right to another. Once in a more open field cross a plank bridge bear right and climb to a wall corner. Through a wooden gate follow the green lane to the farmstead of Myttons.


2. As you reach its yard turn left and after leaving the complex on the farm drive in less than 100yds turn left again over a stile next to a wooden gate. Cross to a wall and after a stone stile follow the wall on your right.


The path now crosses three fields to reach Wood House Lane. After crossing a wooden stile in a fence


cross to the farm drive of Parrock Head using the side gate. (The main gate is electronically controlled). When you reach the main complex bear right to follow a track to the main yard. On the far side cross a stile next to another electronically controlled gate


and descend a pasture to cross a stile in a fence, a stile in a wall and a plank bridge over Eller Beck in quick succession. Head up the hill aiming for Pain Hill Farm the large farm buildings at the top.


Locate a stile in a wall close to the right of the buildings cross the track following a helpful direction sign on the end of a barn.


Out into pastureland once more follow the wall on the left and keep ahead on a track through the next gate


into a broad field. Keep on the tractor track until it peters out and bearing left follow a wall up rise to arrive at the farm complex at Crawshaw.


Cross a wooden ladder stile on the left into a paddock aiming for the far corner to exit to fields behind the farm. Now on the descent into Newton cross a fenced track by a pair of stiles and continue to a wall. Over this bear left for a field corner


and a wooden stile. Keep ahead to the next gate and then keep heading downhill towards a barn. After crossing a stile next to the barn


continue downhill until you arrive in the lovely village of Newton.


3. In the village pass the Parkers Arms on your right and follow the lane as it descends to the river Hodder.


Just before the bridge cross over a wall to the left to access the river side path.


This will take you back to Slaidburn.

POI Hark to Bounty. This ancient inn dating back to the 13th century was once called the Dog. The name change came about when the squire along with the local hunt called in leaving the hounds (and horses too presumably) outside. They caused a bit of a ruckus howling and barking but above the noise the squire's dog, Bounty, could be heard most clearly causing the Squire to observe, "Hark to Bounty". Upstairs the inn houses the old courtroom in use until the 1930s.
The Pendle Witches Way a 51 mile long distance path was created in 2012 as part of the 400 year anniversary of the Pendle Witch Trial.


Special markers along the route have fragments of a poem commissioned from Carol Ann Duffy the Poet Laureate.