Lancashire walk - Weets Hill and Barnoldswick
PUBLISHED: 00:00 10 April 2019
John Lenehan makes a long overdue return to a part of Lancashire with some beautiful views and a few odd chickens.
Barnoldswick is a small town with busy and varied shops, canal marina, and the lovely Letcliffe Country Park.
It has been many years since I have been to Weets Hill, in fact I did a fell race up it around 1980 from the town centre. I can assure readers that I have changed a lot more than Weets Hill has since then. Hills don’t get grey hair. I was really surprised how beautiful this walk turned out to be and how stunning the views are over Lancashire and Yorkshire.
1. Leave the car park and turn immediately right at a yellow sign saying ‘No Alcohol’ and follow the tarmac track as it passes to the left of the play area then follow it through some metal gates and downhill with a railing on the left. Then, the track turns sharp left and goes down to the main road. Go through the ornamental iron gates and cross the road and turn right heading towards the town.
Note: Barnoldswick was once in Yorkshire and is the highest town on the Leeds Liverpool canal. Its local name is Barlick. Although small, the town has some very large and world famous employers such as Rolls Royce, Silentnight, Hope Technology and Esse Stoves.
2. Just past the Greyhound Pub on the left turn left into Longfield Lane and follow this, passing a place with a sign saying ‘All Our Eggs are Laid by Erotic Hens!’ Enter a narrower path that passes over a bridge with a weir on the left then climb the 40 steps in front and follow the path to join Colne Road. Turn right and follow the road past some houses.
Note: The weir was built to provide a head of water for mills down the valley. As you reach Colne Road from 40 steps look left to see the huge engine house of Bancroft Mill. It contains a steam engine and on certain days the building is open to the public and the engine is run.
3. Turn left into Moorgate Road and Public Bridleway. Follow the road and it eventually turns into a concrete track, keep following the track as it climbs steeply uphill until it bends left into Lower Standridge Farm. At this point carry straight on going uphill.
4. The track Folly Lane passes a house called Standridge on the left with some wooden stables. The last stable has two steel gates leading into the track on the left and directly opposite these on the right of the lane is a not very prominent stile by a metal gate. The Pendle Way sign is there but not obvious. Cross the stile and turn left and then with the wall on the left follow the rather indistinct path uphill. The terrain makes the path deviate right from the wall for a while but return to the wall as it passes the gable of a house on the left then follow it uphill to a stile by a gate post. Cross the stile and keep the wall on the left and keep on uphill to a stile in a wall straight ahead. Cross this and the path heads towards Weets Hill. Follow the path towards a pile of stones on the hill marking the way. Cross a stile in a wire fence then pass the stone and carry on to the triangulation pillar on Weets Hill summit.
Note: Weets Hill is certainly no pimple. It stands at 1302 ft /397m above sea level and the views are amazing. There is a bench near the trig point and on a nice clear day a lovely place to eat lunch.
5. Leave the trig point away from the path you came up on and bear diagonally left towards a wall and, with this on the left, follow the path down to the buildings of Weets House Farm and reach a gate on the left with a signpost saying ‘Pennine Bridleway: Barnoldswick 3 miles’. Go through the gate and follow the path past the farm and join the narrow Gisburn Old Road and follow this.
Note: There is a good view of Blacko Tower over to the right as you walk along the road. I did think of putting a loop in the walk to visit it, but as far as I know it is on private land.
6. Eventually the road approaches a white building, Peels House, on the right. Just before this on the left is a wooden gate and stile and a footpath sign saying ‘Pennine Bridleway: Barnoldswick 2½ miles.’ Cross the stile and follow the track to a gate and stile, cross the stile and keep straight on the track. It’s Lister Well Road on the map. This gives way to a concrete track with another Pendle Bridleway sign saying ‘Barnoldswick 1½ miles’ on the right. Follow the concrete track all the way down hill to the main road, cross and then turn left. Do not be tempted to follow the signs that says Public Bridleway and Footpath after 250 yds, carry on down the main road for a short distance.
7. There is track on the left, Hodge Lane, and a sign saying ‘Public Bridleway Only’. Follow the track to a metal gate to the left of a wooden gate leading into a farm, go through the metal gate and carry on to a second metal gate and go through that and with a wall on the left carry on down the track.
The wall turns left, follow the wall to a stile and go straight on across the field going uphill and reach a stile on the left leading into the carp park at the start of the walk.
Start/finish: Letcliffe Country Park Car Park Barnoldswick
Distance: 5.4miles (8.7kms)
Terrain: Good walking on roads, tracks and footpaths. A relatively steep climb up to Weets Hill. The section Folly Lane to the summit can be a bit muddy after wet weather
Time: 3.5 hours
Parking: Letcliffe Country Park
Facilities: Toilets in the park
Map: OS Explorer OL21 South Pennines