Pendle Hill from Barley to Newchurch in Pendle round

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Barley is a small village in the borough of Pendle, in Lancashire situated just below Pendle Hill. Barley is a popular starting point for the steep climb up Pendle Hill and the Pendle Way, a long distance trail, passes through the village. Barley became an agricultural village after a cow farm was established 1266 and flourished until the 18th century when textiles began to be manufactured. The brooks around Barley offered a good source of waterpower which led to several cotton factories being built. The Barley Green Mill had 200 looms until floods destroyed the building in 1880 and the cotton twist mill at nearby Narrowgates was built to spin cotton warp thread and the adjacent cottages are now private houses. Barley also lies between Black Moss Reservoirs and Ogden Reservoirs and recently a 17th century cottage, complete with a cat skeleton, were found during a construction project in the village near Lower Black Moss Reservoir. The well preserved cottage is believed to have belonged to one of the Pendle Witches. Newchurch in Pendle, a village adjacent to Barley, is famous for the Demdike family of Pendle Witches who lived there in the 17th century. St. Mary’s Church was built in the 17th century, replacing a chapel. The restored tower is an original part of the chapel and the “eye of God” is built into its west side and to the left of the entrance porch is the grave, carved with skull and crossbones, of Alice Nutter one of the famous Pendle witches. The Witches Galore is a fascinating shop with hundreds of different types of model witches to purchase as a momentum of your visit.

Pendle is one of Lancashire’s most popular hills and is 557 metres high at its summit “Beacon or Big End” where a Bronze Age burial site has been discovered. The Pendle Way slants up the eastern side of the hill and is long and steep but well worth the climb as the views of the Pennines to the east and to the north the Yorkshire Dales and the Forest of Bowland are superb. Pendle Hill is famous for its links to three events that took place in the 17th century, the Pendle witch trials, Richard Towneley’s barometer experiment and the claimed visitation to George Fox which led to the foundation of the Quaker movement. The name Pendle still holds a strong link with the Quakers. Pendle Hill continues to be associated with witchcraft and every Halloween visitors come in their hundreds to climb the hill and it is also popular with ghost hunters. All around the villages in the Pendle area there are many plaques displaying a witch on a broomstick and leaflets of the story of the Pendle witches can be picked up from most shops and pubs and the visitors centre in Barley.

The Walk

We park in the car park and picnic area at Barley where there is a tourist information centre and cafe which also sells ice creams. We walk through the picnic area with the stream on our left and turn left over the bridge and then turn right on the pavement in front of the Pendle Inn we walk forward to the right of Barley Mow and after passing the village tearoom we take the footpath on the left alongside the stream on our right. We go through a gate then cross over a little bridge and keep heading forwards and then cross over another bridge and turn left onto the tarmac track following the sign for Pendle just before a house drive way. After passing another house on our right we turn right at another sign for Pendle and keep heading forwards with a stream on our left. We pass Brown House go through a gate and keep heading forwards to Pendle house just below the track that slants up Pendle Hill’s steep eastern slope. We go through a gate and climb up the steep steps and then continue on the steep track of Pendle until we come to a wall with a stile. We do not go over the stile but turn left along the wall then bear to the left to the summit we can see in front of us. From the summit we keep heading forwards on the plateau and at the second large cairn bear right on a grassy path and keep bearing right following the cairns down the side of Boar Clough until we reach a stream at the bottom. We turn left and follow the stream between the hills on either side going through a gate to Upper Ogden Reservoir. We follow the track to the left of the reservoir and then just before Lower Ogden Reservoir we go through a gate on the right with a sign private fishing. We walk straight forward and turn right at the stream and pass a seat next to a kiln. We walk over the bridge up some steps and turn left uphill to the woods. We now climb steeply uphill through the woods following the path to a gate. We go through the gate and turn right uphill to the ridge to a stile. We go over the stile and turn left and follow the ridge through the fields and after going through a gated stile we then bear right downhill to the right of a building and the trees in front of us taking us to the village of Newchurch in Pendle. We go through a gate at the edge of the trees and turn right at the road passing the old slaughter house on the right to St. Marys Church where Alice Nutter one of the Pendle witches is supposedly buried. We then take a quick look inside the church, visitors are welcome. We then turn right out of the church back up the road past the public toilets and take a look at Witches Galore. We then walk down Jinny Lane opposite the toilets and after a hundred yards we turn left over a stile at a footpath sign and cross the field to the woods. On entering the woods we keep to the left hand path. When we come into an open field we head downhill with trees to our left and go over a stile we head forwards to a gate and turn left down Hays Lane, a track between two walls. We follow the lane to the end then turn right on the road back to the car park. Our Walking with the Witches walk will be live in a few weeks


This is a moderate to hard walk on good paths with some steep inclines and declines. The ascent to Pendle Hill summit is very steep.


Approx 6.5 miles using OS map OL21 Forest of Bowland and Ribblesdale.


Barley is in the Pendle area near Clitheroe in Lancashire.


From Skipton take the A59 and at Gisburn take a left turn onto the A682 towards Nelson. Just before the village of Blacko take a right turn to go through Roughlee and follow the road bearing right to Barley and the car park is on the right just before the t-junction.

Toilets and Refreshments

There are public toilets in Barley car park and at Newchurch in Pendle. For refreshments in Barley there is the visitors centre and cafe, a village tearoom, a pub The Pendle Inn and a restaurant The Barley Mow. In Newchurch in Pendle there is the Witches Galore shop open from 11am till 5pm.

2 responses to “Pendle Hill from Barley to Newchurch in Pendle round”

  1. paul beahan says:

    My partner and I walked this route today,22-7-12,glorious sunshine all day,great walk.Never seen so many cairns so close together as those on Boar Clough!Unbeleivably dry on whole route considering the rain we’ve had this summer.

  2. Karen Maguire says:

    We walked this route today 24th April 2014. What a lovely walk. Lots of amazing views and interesting things to see along the way. Thanks for your instructions!

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