Pendle Hill in Lancashire may well be associated by many with the Pendle witch trials. They occurred in 1612 with 16 men and women being committed to trial. More information can be found here http://www.pendlewitches.co.uk/.
For me, it was less about the witches and more about the hill. I have not walked anywhere in Lancashire for a long, long time. Pendle Hill looked like it might make for a nice walk, so I headed up there last weekend to find out for myself.
The start of my walk was in the little village of Barley, a few miles north from junction 13 of the M65, north east of Burnley. The car park depends on it's users to be honest and put a pound in the box outside the toilets. And it's worth the pound. The car park is situated close to the paths, has toilets and an information centre/cafe. The cafe opens mid morning, so early starters may be disappointed.
Across the road from the car park, heading west, is a narrow lane that heads along the south side of Pendle Hill.
On the way up the lane, which eventually turns into a track, you pass the Ogden Reservoirs. Fishermen might be interested here, as passes can be purchased to permit fishing on the Reservoirs.
The area around the reservoirs was peaceful and offered some nice scenery for pictures.
As you head from the lower to the upper reservoir the path becomes more worn, but still offers a pleasant walking surface.
The path I was following headed along the north side of the two reservoirs and at the dam for the upper reservoir I turned right up the hill and then left, continuing west towards the back of Pendle Hill.
The path lead into a small clough near 'Cat Holes' were I stopped for a quick break. I like to have a break just before heading up any kind of reasonably steep section.
The path here is part of the Pendle Way, a 43 mile circular walk, with Colne pretty much in the centre.
On my walk, the path heads up along Boar Clough in a northerly direction. The way is initially quite steep, but after a couple of hundred meters or so levels out.
On the top here the path works it's way to the right and then around to the left. The views at this point are already starting to reveal themselves and I haven't even reached the summit yet.
When the path takes it's left turn, it also heads upwards and onto the summit of Pendle Hill. I was lucky on this particular day to have a clear sky. A fell runner was kind enough to take a photograph of myself on the summit with the snow capped peaks of the Lake District in the back ground. Thank you very much to his generosity.
I took a lot of shots at this point, too many to post. I could see the Three Peaks, Emley Moor TV mast close to my home. As mentioned, the Lake District, Simon's Seat situated near Appletreewick and discussed in a previous post, the list goes on were all clearly in view. Just one word.....wow! It was a little surreal seeing the Three Peaks in a way which made them look compelling close to each other.
After a short break, I tore myself away from the summit. I headed along the ridge from the summit towards a stile that I didn't go over.
Rather than go over the stile I turned right and down the hill to continue following the Pendle Way.
This part of the path is all steps to the bottom of the hill and is quite steep, so care is needed more going down than going up.
As you proceed down the steps a few other routes up the hill come into view allowing for some variety in your access choice.
The path reaches the bottom of the hill and around the back of the farm at it's foot heading back towards Barley.
The path winds down between fields, following a stream, and through what sometimes feels like someone's drive way back to the village.
The path leads into the east end of the village, so heading west leads you back to the park, next to the car park.
The cafe is worth a call, I can highly recommend their B.L.T. as a post walk snack. I can't recommend the walk enough. It's worth it for the views on a clear day. Apparently, if it's clear to the south west, Snowdon is just in sight along with Blackpool Tower.