Pendle Hill Walk

The climb to the top of Pendle Hill is one of the most popular walks in Lancashire and North West England.

Our walk is a simple, straightforward walk to the top and back. It starts in Barley, the closest village to Pendle Hill.

The walk is 4 miles long. It will take most people around 2 hours.

With the exception of the climb up the ‘steps’ of Pendle Hill, the walk is fairly easy. However, there are lots of uneven surfaces and it is certainly not suitable for prams, the unfit, or young children.

It can be windy at the top, even in good weather. Suitable gear is recommended at all times.

Dogs must be kept on leads.

The route is fairly easy to follow. There are usually plenty of other walkers on the route to ask for directions. To be on the safe side and avoid getting lost we’d recommend downloading our GPX file of the route (link at the end of this page). This can be uploaded into a walking app such as ViewRanger.

We also strongly recommend watching our 4K video of the walk to Pendle Hill from Barley. The video includes all waypoints. Watching it will familiarise you with the route.

4K video of walk to Pendle Hill from Barley

The walk starts at Barley Picnic Site. There’s a large car park here and parking is cheap. There’s also a cafe and toilets here. Use the postcode BB12 9JX to find it using a satellite navigation system.

Cafe at Barley Picnic Site
Cafe at Barley Picnic Site
Car park at Barley Picnic Site
Car park at Barley Picnic Site

From the car park walk past the cafe and take the path across the lawn. Cross the stream, Barley Water, using the wooden bridge.

Barley Picnic Site, Pendle, Lancashire
Barley Picnic Site
Bridge at Barley Picnic Site, near Pendle Inn
Bridge
Barley Water
Barley Water

You are now on The Bullion, the main street in Barley. Turn right, passing the Pendle Inn.

You then reach the Barley Mow.

Barley Mow, Pendle, Lancashire
Barley Mow

Leaving the village, you will come to Barley Lane. Turn left up Barley Lane and walk up the hill (turning right would take you to Black Moss Reservoirs and Pendle Sculpture Trail).

Barley Lane
Barley Lane

Just after the bend in Barley Lane, take the track signposted for Ing Ends Farm.

Track to Ing Ends Farm
Track to Ing Ends Farm

Walk along the track. A stream is on the left.

Road and stream on route to Pendle Hill
Road and stream

You’ll soon come to Ings End Farm. Carry on along the track to the left of the farm.

Ing Ends Farm, Barley, Pendle
Ing Ends Farm

After passing the farm, leave the track and go through the gate to the right. It’s clearly signposted for Pendle Hill.

Turn right through gate
Turn right here

Carry on along the path.

You will then reach Brown House Farm. Pass it and go through the kissing gate.

Brown House Farm, Pendle, Lancashire
Brown House Farm
Kissing gate after Brown House Farm
Kissing gate after Brown House Farm

Walk up the hill.

Path to Pendle Hill
Path

Go through the gate and walk across the open field.

Open field, Pendle, Lancashire
Open field

At the end of the field, go through the gate.

Follow the path, with the stone wall to your right.

Path and stone wall near Pendle Hill
Path

You will then reach Pendle House Farm. Follow the track around the back of the farm.

Track at back of Pendle House Farm
Track at back of Pendle House Farm
Track from Pendle House Farm
Track from Pendle House Farm

You will soon come to the base of the hill. You now have a choice of routes to take to reach the summit.

The path to the right is the ‘steps’. This is the shortest way. It’s steeper and more challenging.

Tracks at base of Pendle Hill - Left for 'slope', right for 'steps'
Tracks at base of Pendle Hill – Left for ‘slope’, right for ‘steps’

The path to the left is the ‘slope’; the gentler but longer climb.

This walk takes the ‘steps’ and returns via the ‘slope’. If you prefer, the walk can be done in the opposite direction.

The ‘steps’ are steep. Ascending them is hard on the legs. As you climb the hill, look back and you’ll be rewarded with great views of sights such as the Black Moss Reservoirs.

Steps up Pendle Hill
Steps
Black Moss Reservoirs viewed from steps on Pendle Hill
Black Moss Reservoirs viewed from steps on Pendle Hill

After reaching the top of the ‘steps’, pause for a well-deserved break. You will see a stone wall. Follow the path that runs alongside it.

Top of Pendle Hill steps - follow the path that runs alongside the wall
Top of Pendle Hill steps – follow the path that runs alongside the wall

The path then splits. The path to the left leads to the top of Pendle Hill. Take the path on the left to continue. The path to the right leads to a shelter; built into wall separating Pendle from the Ribble Valley. It’s a good place to stop to get out of the wind for a while or take a break.

Path to left for top of Pendle Hill, path to right for shelter
Path to left for top of Pendle Hill, path to right for shelter
Path to triangulation pillar, Pendle Hill
Path to triangulation pillar
Walkers resting at the shelter at the top of Pendle Hill
Walkers resting at the shelter

After around a quarter of a mile you will reach the Pendle Hill triangulation pillar (trig point), also known as ‘Big End’. There are spectacular views of Barley, the Black Moss Reservoirs, Ogden Reservoirs, Fell Wood, Nelson, and Colne.

View from Pendle Hill triangulation pillar
View from Pendle Hill triangulation pillar

The trig point marks the summit of Pendle Hill. It is 557 metres high (1827 feet). In the UK, a mountain is defined as a summit of at least 610 metres (2000 feet). Pendle Hill fails to qualify.

Trig point, Pendle Hill, Lancashire
Trig point

From the trig point, take the path that heads south.

Path south from top of Pendle Hill
Path south from top of Pendle Hill

After a third of a mile you’ll come to a stone marker. The route to Barley is clearly indicated. Turn left. This is the ‘slope’. It takes you back down to the base of the hill.

Turn left at stone marker
Turn left at stone marker

The slope goes down the eastern side of Pendle Hill. After walking for ½ mile you’ll reach the base of the hill.

'Slope' path on eastern side of Pendle Hill
‘Slope’ path on eastern side
'Slope' on Pendle Hill
‘Slope’
Base of Pendle Hill
Back at the base of the hill

It’s now just a case of following the same route back to Barley.

You’ll see the same sights as before; but from a different perspective.

Pendle House Farm
Pendle House Farm

As you enter Barley, if you have time, you could turn left down Barley Lane and visit the Pendle Sculpture Trail.

Barley Lane leading to Pendle Sculpture Trail
Turn left down Barley Lane for Pendle Sculpture Trail

Alternatively go for a pint in the Pendle Inn or a bite to eat at the cafe at Barley Picnic Site.

Route Map

Map showing location of Pendle Hill Walk

Walk Information

Difficulty: Medium
Length: 4 miles

GPS Route Map - GPX File

The GPX file is copyrighted. You are welcome to use it on your personal GPS devices but are not permitted to upload it to other websites.

Download GPX File - For GPS devices and smartphone route planning/mapping apps


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