• Start: SD 740 360
  • End: SD 740 360
  • Country: England
  • County: Lancashire
  • Type: Country
  • Nearest pub: The Dog Inn, Whalley
  • Ordnance Survey: OS EXPLORER 287 OL41
  • Difficulty: Medium
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The Hyndburn Ramblers go plodding around Pendle Report by Phil Bedson Photography by Howard Ashworth

After recent rainy days it was a great surprise to see the sun for the early start of The Pendle Plod.

A total of 14 people gathered at Spring Wood nr Whalley for the 20 mile walk that would take them around and over the well known Lancashire landmark of Pendle Hill. With everyone in good spirits the start was a brief climb up to Clerk Hill and then around onto the lane towards Bramley Farm where the lead walkers were mobbed by the incumbent ‘guard sheep’.

Further up the lane the route diverged across a field which, due to knee high grass, proved to be a little hard going for the leader but much easier for everyone else as they followed in single file. Another couple of fields took us to Higher Whins and then yet a couple more fields later we were on Clitheroe Road above the village of Sabden. It was a short walk through the houses towards Heyhouses where a drink stop was called.

From Heyhouses we dropped down the small lane towards the church of St Nicholas where a left turn along a track led us into the most foulest stretch of all time. It was literally wall to wall liquid manure and everyone had no option but to go through it.

The grassy field afterwards helped clean the boots of the worst and the puddles in the next track helped to wash the soles thoroughly. Suitably cleaned up the group headed along the track to Dean Farm at a good pace and, after a brief pause to close everyone up a little, continued on towards Back o’ th’ Hill.

It was here the leader once again found himself at the front to blaze a path through the nettle overgrown narrow path – in shorts – for everyone to subsequently follow. It was a straightforward route through to Higher Town and in the next field we had a short sit down break.


From this point forward we would be following a local trail called the Pendle Way for some distance. Passing near to Bull Hole the leader regaled the story of Demdike, one of the famous Pendle Witches, allegedly bewitching one the cows of John Nutter who lived here. The route continued on through Moss End and on into the village of Newchurch-in-Pendle famous for its connections with the aforementioned Pendle Witches.

This was the start of the serious climbing for the day and it was getting hotter every minute. The group ascended up towards Fell Wood and were grateful of the cool shelter provided by the trees before once again entering the sunshine at Lower Ogden Reservoir.

It was at this point we had to say goodbye to one of our number who had unfortunately triggered a recurring calf muscle problem but we’d meet up again later. Just after passing Upper Ogden we re-grouped before the main climb up to the summit of Pendle using a path indicated by a newly installed waymarker for the Pendle Way.

It seemed a long drag up to the trig point for some and the heat didn’t do any favours but everyone made it in their own time and posed quite cheerfully for the group photo. At the wall further on we stopped for lunch.

Having now left the Pendle Way we dropped off the edge of the hill and made our way towards Downham, a small village nestled in the shadow of Pendle and well known for its roles in the movie Whistle Down The Wind and the TV series Born and Bred. We skirted the southern edge and headed south west out of the village towards Worsaw End, the farm used in the film above.

From here we dropped down onto a small lane and made our way around to the entrance to Angram where a skilfully camouflaged stile led into a field. The next mile or so was a pleasant stroll along field paths and tracks until we reached the not so pleasant Lane Side. It has always been a little muddy around here but today we had another river of slurry to cross reminiscent of earlier in the day.

We made it across without too much mess really mainly due to an ideally located wooden pallet. At Mearley Hall we turned off the track and set off uphill. This was to be the start of the last major climb of the day although once we reached the barn on the edge of the access area another break was declared.

It isn’t all that steep of a climb up over the moor up towards the Nick o’ Pendle but it can seem to go on a bit, especially after passing Howcroft Barn. We passed The Wellsprings which used to be a public house, more than welcome on a warm day like today, but nowadays it is a Mexican Restaurant. The good track down towards Wymondhouses is easy to follow but you still need a watchful eye as, upon nearing the farm, there is a concessionary diversion which bypasses the buildings altogether.

The subsequent fields towards Cold Coats are simple to navigate and as such we were soon on the Pendleton Road. The road was followed all the way into Wiswell and at a small community area we had a water stop before the final mile or so – including a final climb. The last climb was felt by a few but by the time we had reached Clerk Hill again it was forgotten about as people recognised we were near to the end. Indeed one person was intent on doing a little dance of celebration as we dropped down the hill!

We arrived back in the car park exactly nine hours after leaving which, when you include the break and lunch stops, probably means we averaged a little over 2.5mph. On such a warm day this was good going and everyone thoroughly deserved their certificates at the end of the day which were presented over a cold drink at The Dog Inn, Whalley.

Report by Phil Bedson  Photography by  Howard Ashworth


  SD 740 360

WALK LENGTH 20 mls / 33 km
TIME 8 hrs

MAX HEIGHT  554 mtrs
MIN HEIGHT  83 mtrs


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