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Barrowford, Pendle, Lancashire, 22nd July, 2018

'A' Walk - 12 miles.  Leader - Alan Taylor.  Grade - Moderate.  Ascent  2200 feet.

Pendle Hill rises majestically above an ancient hunting ground, once the home of wolves and wild boar - a wild and mysterious place!!! The area is famous for its connection with the Pendle Witch case of 1612 and also for when, in 1652, George Fox Pendle HillPendle Hillclimbed Pendle Hill and had a vision which inspired him to found the Quaker movement. The summit, known as "The Big End," is the site of a Bronze Age burial mound and, apparently, Pendle Hill is just 51 metres short of being classed as a mountain!

 Another interesting fact about the area is its connection with the Titanic disaster when the world famous band leader, Wallace Hartley from Colne - just 5 miles away - kept the band playing as the ship sank in 1912.... 106 years ago!

 With regards to the walk, we will start from Barrowford near the bridge car park. The grade of walk is described as 'Moderate +' not because of the difficulty but because of the distance to walk and the time available in which to complete it . . . we will be taking no prisoners!!!

The route will take us to Newchurch (c/w toilets and Witches souvenir shop) and will then pass through Fell Wood before joining the path up Ogden Clough from between the Upper and LowerLower Ogden ReservoirLower Ogden Reservoir Ogden reservoirs. We'll make a circuit of the plateau to the summit of Pendle Hill at Big End (557mtrs) via Ogden Clough. The single-width path, in some places, has a steep ascent and is quite often rough but on the final section of the ascent to the summit it is of a good paved surface which allows for a gentle recovery of composure before seeing the magnificent views of the whole area and beyond - an excellent lunch spot if we can wait that long for it!

 Following the fairly steep descent from the summit of the hill we head down into Barley where there is a visitor centre, café and more toilet facilities. Afterwards, we’ll meander along various paths back to our start point in Barrowford via White Hough and Roughlee with its stepping stones over Pendle Water.

Over the day you will have walked nearly 12 miles and ascended around 2200ft - not a bad days’ walking!

'B' Walk - 8.5 miles.  Leader - Tony Marsh.  Grade - moderate+.   Ascent 1500 feet.

When we last visited this area in June 2012 we were not quite sure what to expect. Why had our walks co-ordinator, Rosemarie, selected this little known location? Well, we soon realised why and we were very impressed with what we found. Little has changed since our visit and Barrowford remains a walkers' paradise.

Our walk begins near to the well known Heritage Centre where we pick-up the 'Pendle Way' northwards along the pretty riverside path on the way to the small hamlet of Blacko. We soon leave the river, turning westwards through various fields and along quiet lanes before heading upwards through a dense conifer plantation to Bank Ends. Once clear of the trees we continue to climb steadily to Hollin Top with the large mass of Brown Hill dominating the landscape to our right. There are splendid views in all directions along this part of the walk. 

We  now begin to descend, passing  just below Offa Hill Cottage, before entering a lovely wooded area to White Clough. Look out for the Outdoor Centre which we pass en route to the pretty village of Barley Green. There are toilets and a good café here  with plenty of picnic tables - so we will take lunch at this point.

After the break we have a stiff, but relatively short climb, to the head of Lower Ogden Reservoir, followed by another ascent to the edge of Fell Wood to reach the highest point of the day overlooking  Near BarleyNear Barleythree reservoirs in the valley below.

We descend from here to the village of Newchurch in Pendle which is best known for its links with the 'Witches of Pendle (see note at the end) and from here it's up again to Black Bank and Thorny Bank on our way to Roughlee.

One final unavoidable steep ascent at Old Hall is followed by a gradual descent back into Barrowford.

This is a delightful walk with a mixture of things to see and chat about and it is probably as good a walk as we are likely to encounter. Yes, there are numerous ups and downs adding up to some 1500 feet of ascent, so it's not an easy walk, but it is packed with different features which we can enjoy  at a steady pace.

A choice of excellent pubs and cafés await on our return to Barrowford.

An absolute gem of a walk - so thank you Rosemarie for finding this wonderful walking area. 

'C' Walk - 6 miles.  Leader - Rosemarie Leetham. Grade - Moderate.  Ascent - 565 feet.

We start our walk from the Heritage Centre at the far end of the village after taking refreshments. After passing through the car park we follow a stream for a short while toward Higherford Bridge.  We walk through Higherford and pick up a path along fields. The grass may have grown a bit since I recceed it. After crossing a minor road and more fields we pick up a path to Barnoldswick Road. This involves some uphill climbing but not too hard. The path is not too even either, but again, not too hard.

Slipper Hill ReservoirSlipper Hill ReservoirA shortcut before the climb for those who wish to do a shorter walk is possible after 1.25 mile. A map will be provided.

As for the rest of walkers, we follow the course of Barnoldswick Road on a grassy path. On the final stretch towards Hollin Hall we have to walk along the road. Please be very careful at the sharp narrow bend until we turn down a quiet lane.

Soon we leave the lane and enter more fields. So far we will have encountered a few stiles, some rather a bit awkward, but this is where the stiles end (I think). We walk along the north side of Slipper Hill Reservoir with occasional views of it. We then follow a path along the shore of the reservoir on the other side, then down some steps to the Canal. This is our 3 mile mark and a good time and place for lunch.

We follow the towpath for about 2 miles (very easy walking), past Barrowford Reservoir, across Swinden Aqueduct to Swinden Bridge where we cross the canal and where we will enjoy a change of scenery. We then head back to the parkland of the Heritage Centre. There are plenty of pubs in the village.   

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The Witches of Pendle  .... The trials of the Pendle witches in 1612 are among the most famous 'witch trials' in English history. The 12 accused lived in the area around Pendle Hill and were charged with the murders of 10 people. Trials took place in the Summer of 1612 and ten of them were found guilty and executed by hanging, one was found not guilty and another was never tried.

Forthcoming Walks

                     2018 ...    August 5th - Lofthouse, North Yorkshire.

                                    August 19th - Osmotherly, North Yorkshire.

                                    September 2nd - Howarth, West Yorkshire

                                    September 16th - Whaley Bridge, Derbyshire