The Pendle Witches Loop / 4.4 miles / 146m elevation change / moderate hike / dog friendly / not pushchair accessible / time to complete 1.5 – 2.5 hours.
Start Location Postcode: BB12 9JX
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Welcome to this hike around one of the most beautiful parts of Pennine Lancashire. This moderate walk may not take you up Pendle Hill, but you will experience some fantastic views of the hill in all its glory.
It is recommended that comfortable, waterproof walking shoes are worn on this walk.
The walk begins at the car park in barley. You don’t need to pay for parking on arrival, but just before you leave at the terminal. Next to the car park you will also find public toilets and a small cafe to pick up a snack for the hike or a refreshing drink once you have finished.
Start the hike by leaving the car park along the path between the toilets and the cafe through the picnic area. Once you have passed through the picnic area, cross the bridge over the stream and follow the path as it bears right next to the children’s play area, with your first pub The Pendle Inn to your left.
Follow the path until it reaches the road and then follow the road past the front of the Barley Mow Pub (your second pub). Continue along the road until you reach a fork in the road. Here, take the right hand road towards Black Moss Reservoirs.
Follow the road as it bears right over a bridge and starts to climb up towards the reservoir’s.
Continue to follow the road as it passes the first reservoir on your left. Once you are at the end of the first reservoir, the road forks. Take the right to the right up towards the second reservoir.
Pass through the gate and you will find yourself at a point where there is a path to your right. If you wish you can extend your hike here by taking in the sculpture trail to the right. The trail is a small loop through the woodland where there are some interesting sculptures by some local artists.
If you wish to miss out the sculpture trail, continue straight along the side of the reservoir.
Please take time to look back over your shoulder to your left to take in the fantastic views of Pendle Hill standing mighty over the valley below.
At the end of the reservoir, cross the bridge and follow the path as it curves to the right through a small woodland.
At the end of the woodland there is a gate, pass through the gate and you will find yourself on a small road. Turn right on the road and keep into the side so you are out of the way from any traffic.
Follow the road as it snakes up the hill passing the large houses until you reach a junction that has a sign post with the following signs on it ‘Downham, Blacko, and Roughlee’.
Take the road right towards Roughlee. Here you are almost at the highest point of the walk so do take time to take in the fantastic views of the surrounding countryside.
Follow the road as it descends and then ascends past the farmhouse on your right.
Once you are at the top of the road, the good news is that it is all downhill from here.
Continue to follow the road as it snakes downhill for half a mile until you reach a small junction, follow the road as it bends sharply to the right and enters an area covered in tree canopy.
Continue to follow the road for another half mile until you reach a small village of Roughlee.
Once in the village, you will find yourself at a junction. Turn right along Blacko Bar Road and you will find yourself at the perfect pit stop, The Bay Horse Inn Pub (your third pub). The pub serves a wide range of refreshments from ales, ciders and gins to soft drinks too. If you also need refuelling they do serve light bites at lunch and a 3 course menu in the evening too.
After your pit stop continue along Blacko Bar Road sticking to the pavement to the right of the road.
Along this road you will pass a statue of Alice, one of the Pendle Witches who was killed for witchcraft.
Continue along the road as it passes through a small village and a waterfall on your left. At numerous points along this road there is no footpath so do make sure you keep in to the side out of the way of traffic.
Once you have passed through the village the road crosses a small bridge and after the bridge on the right you will see a small footpath that follows the river. Turn right along this path.
Follow the path as it follows the river towards a gate to a farm yard. Pass through the gate and the second gate that is directly in front of you too.
Walk a few yards and pass through the third gate into the farm field.
Follow the path as it cuts across the field and passes the small wetland to your left.
Follow the path as it bends around the wetland to the left and towards a gap in the wall.
Pass through the gap and continue to follow the path as it follows the fence to your left.
Continue to follow the path as it heads towards the bridge but do be careful here as the path does get narrow due to a small land slip that has taken place.
Pass through the gap in the wall and turn right onto the bridge.
Cross the bridge and follow the road to the left as it heads past the houses and follows the river to the left.
Continue to follow the road as it continues past the houses and heads towards a gate.
Head through the gate and continue along the dirt track.
Follow this track as it follows the river and pass through the gates along the way until you reach a small group of houses on a cobbled street.
Walk along the cobbled street past the houses and the old mill until the road starts to bend to the left towards the main road. Here you will see a footpath to your right. Follow this footpath.
At the end of this short path you will find yourself where you began at the car park in Barley.
Congratulations, you have completed The Pendle Witches Loop.
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