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Pendle Hill, Pendle Moor & Spence Moor from Barley

Pendle Hill, Pendle Moor & Spence Moor from Barley

Start/Finish

Barley village car park which was only £1 per day on 10/3/16. The car park is at SD 823 406 and its approximate post code is BB12 9JX. There are many routes to Barley but expect some narrow roads close to the village! Barley is west of Colne, north of Padiham, east of Clitheroe and south of Gisburn.

Distance/Time

12 km.    About 4 hours.

Peak

Pendle Hill, 557 m, SD 804 404.

OS 103: Blackburn, etc.     OL 21: South Pennines.

Introduction

Some may consider Pendle Hill to be of modest height but it dominates the surrounding countryside and is well seen from far away. Navigation is relatively straight forward but the section of the ascent up Big End is quite steep and goes on for some distance. Despite it being stepped, some will struggle with the effort needed here. There are toilets and a pleasant cafe in the car park; the parking charges are only £1 per day. The moors have their boggy patches and the going can be rough off the paths. Fairsnape Fell in the Troughs of Bowland can be seen to the west, beyond Clitheroe.

Route

(1) Walk out of the car park on the path behind the toilets and follow it to the road opposite the Pendle Inn. Take the first left, after the inn, which is the road into the village. After about 300 m, a signed path – Pendle Way – goes off left, initially following a stream. This path is well signed. It crosses a minor road, passes Ings End, Brough House then Pendle House. Soon after, it cuts back left and crosses an open field (slippery when wet). Soon after, the foot of Big End is reached and the path steepens considerably but it is stepped which does help. It is not difficult but many will want a few “breathers” on the way up as it does go on a bit! Eventually the angle eases and one reaches a wall with a stone steps stile. Do not cross but follow the path going gently uphill and gradually drifting away from the wall. The direction is about 200 m SSW then about 200 m S with the edge just on the left. The trig point is soon reached and this is the summit of Pendle Hill, 557 m.

(2) It is best to return to the stile then cross it and follow the wide path W along the crest to reach a stile at the next wall. Cross this and continue to a very large shelter cairn with seating inside then a very large cairn with a Scout plaque on it. Continue on Pendle Moor and cross the head of a gully then continue to reach a wall going SE. Follow this, keeping it on your left, until a faint path forks right. This gradually becomes a little more distinct and soon starts to descend on one side of a shallow grassy clough. Soon reach a more obvious path going off left and follow this to cross an obvious track soon after. The target now is the wall to the S and it is best to reach this as soon as possible as the ground is rougher after the track. Follow the wall, which has a reasonable path next to it. Just after a small gate (don't go through it!), the wall turns right but the path continues ahead onto Spence Moor. Further on, the path crosses the wall at a stile and one can follow the path ESE to another wall then ENE to Driver Height then continue to Fell Wood and pass it on its top side. Alternatively, one can shun the stile and continue along the wall but this means going through a boggy corner at Cock Dole before picking up the ENE path. After Fell Wood, continue ahead, crossing a few stiles. After a very boggy gate to the left, there is another stile. Cross this to be above the house at Far Banks. The path is not obvious so pass to the left of the house then cross a wall to the N, and below, of the house then head NE to eventually reach a grassy path in a shallow groove which leads down to a gate and bridge and the minor road to Barley Green then Barley.

Notes

(a) This walk took place on 8th November, 2016.

(b) There are many other routes on Pendle Hill which are well worth exploring.

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