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Pendle Hill from Downham


Videowalk available!

This walk, or a similar walk, is available to download from our Videowalks web site for just £1.49. The video walks take the form of detailed slideshows (typically around 20 minutes each) taking you all around the route, along with photographs and video clips of what you can see along the way. The walks also come with printable directions in pdf format, including a 1:25,000 Ordnance Survey map excerpt showing the route and photographs showing key directions.

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A circular walk, which initially sets off past Longlands Wood and the historic Worsaw End before passing up Burst Clough onto Worston Moor. The walk then heads over the top of Pendle Hill and on to the trig point at its summit, before descending down Downham Moor and back in to Downham. As soon as height is gained there are wonderful panoramic views of the surrounding Ribble Valley and beyond. From the top of Pendle, on a clear day the Lakeland fells and the Yorkshire Three peaks are all visible. Whilst Pendle Hill is synonymous with the Pendle Witches (the 400th anniversary of their hanging was in 2012), it is enjoyed by many thousands of people each year.


Parking: Large public car park in Downham, near to Downham information centre (grid reference SD 784 441).
Directions: Nearest post code for Sat Nav: BB7 4BN - get directions here
Walk distance: 6.5 miles (10.3 Km)
Estimated walk time: 2 hours 50 minutes
Height climbed: 490 metres
Grade: 2-C: A medium length walk that has rugged terrain and some steep climbs
Peaks / summits: Pendle Hill (577m)
Wainwrights: None
Map: Ordnance Survey - Explorer OL41 (Forrest of Bowland & Ribblesdale)
Buy this map from Ordnance Survey
Walk features: Birds, Café, Flowers, Hills or Fells, Historic site, Pub, Stream or River, Views, Wildlife
Facilities / refreshments: Toilets in car park at Downham. Pub (Assheton Arms) and tearoom in Downham.
Nearest town: Downham
Walk Tags: walk, walks, Downham, Longlands Wood, Worsaw End, Burst Clough, Worston Moor, Pendle Moor, Pendle Hill, Pendle Witches, Downham Moor, Hookcliffe plantation, Downham Beck, Ribble Valley, Longridge Fell


Looking towards Pendle Hill from Longlands Wood

Walk out of the car park in the direction you drove in towards Pendle Hill following the route cars use to drive into it. Upon meeting the road turn right, and keep ahead down the gravelled track enclosed on both sides by walls. Pass through the stone stile to the right of the wooden gate and keep straight on walking across the field. A very wide grassy path leaves the corner of the field enclosed on both sides by fences and trees. The trees to the right of the path are soon replaced by a wall, and the path becomes partially gravelled underfoot. Continue by the side of the wall heading towards the gate in the corner of the field. Once through the gate, walk up through the next field by the side of Longlands Wood. Carry on to the corner of the field and pass through the stone stile or the wooden kissing gate and keep ahead by the side of the wall.

Shortly afterwards where the wall bends off uphill to the right, leave the wall and head diagonally left across the field towards the trees. Pass around the right hand side of a fence and then on to the left of a line of trees and another fence towards the gate in the corner of the field. Pass through the kissing gate and continue ahead - off to the right is Worsaw Hill. Keep on towards the trees ahead, and then (ignoring the gate giving access to Warsaw Hill) follow the path around to the left and down towards the farm building forty yards below at Worsaw End. Pass to the right of the building (Pendle Hill is now directly ahead) and on a little further, enclosed by fences, to reach a lane. Go over the wooden stile and turn right to walk along the lane (West Lane).

Worsaw Hill

The lane initially gently rises, and then flattens - keep straight on where a further lane branches off to the left. The lane again starts to climb at one point giving a clear view of Worsaw Hill to the right, and then bends sharply around to the left before straightening and keeping on climbing.

Looking back at Worsaw Hill

As the lane bends around to the right it forks - here take the left branch heading up hill, following the sign for 'cul-de-sac'. The lane keeps on climbing towards Pendle Hill, and as the lane ends keep straight on up the grassy path, ignoring the entrance for Moorside Farm on the left. The enclosed grassy path passes by a few trees before reaching a stile. Pass over the wooden stile and head diagonally right towards a wooden waymarker, and then upon reaching that, turn left to walk steeply uphill, up the right hand side of the 'mini-valley'.

The path up from the corner of the wall

After passing a tree, the climb begins to flatten, and as Pendle Hill again becomes visible ahead, the climb up across the side of Worston Moor can be seen ahead. The path bends around to the right following a series of small stone waymarkers over towards Burst Clough. The path then eventually pulls in and starts to climb up by the side of a wall, then as the wall bends sharply around to the right and starts a gentle descent, the path leaves the wall to head diagonally up to the right as it starts its ascent from Worston Moor up on to Pendle Moor.

Pass the final waymarker and head up onto the well worn track, and keep on climbing along this 'nick' cut in to the side of the moor. As the path reaches almost the top of the climb, the path is interspersed with small cairns. As a much larger cairn is approached, take the path that branches off to the left about twenty yards before it to continue climbing. Keep ahead past several smaller cairns, until a couple of hundred yards further on the very large stone memorial is reached.

Weather Shelter

Walk straight past the monument and keep on in the same direction towards the weather shelter visible on the horizon ahead. Continue on past the weather shelter and on towards the stile in the wall ahead.

Pass over the stile and follow the broad grassy path as it swings away from the wall to the right. The path now for about half a mile is a broad, green 'grassy' path, which affords excellent views of the Ribble Valley off to the left and to the trip point on the summit of Pendle Hill to the right. Keep on this path until it reaches a gate and a stile in a wall.

Black Moss and Ogden reservoirs from the summit of Pendle Hill

Here, pass over the stile and head the final few hundred yards up to the trig point and summit. The triangulation point at the top of Pendle Hill stands at 558 metres (1,831 feet). The all around panorama is magnificent, but the extensive nature of the flat top requires an amount of wandering if all the views are to be seen at their best. Mountains as far away as the Lake District and landmarks such as Blackpool Tower can be seen from the top.

After admiring the views, retrace your steps the couple of hundred yards back to the wall you just passed over. Pass back over the stile, but this time take the path directly away from the wall, not the path that heads off diagonally left, which was the path used on the way up.

Hookcliffe Plantation and Downham heading off Pendle Hill

The path's descent is gentle at first, and as it descends it starts to contour around the hill to the left. As it contours around, Hookcliffe plantation and the return path back to Downham become visible down below to the right.

The path keeps on contouring around the hill, but its rate of descent continues to get steeper. At a waymarker the path swings back around sharply to the right.

It then swings back to the left before turning to head down in the direction of Hookcliffe plantation. Go over the wooden stile and continue a gentle descent down to a wall ahead. Go over the stile in the wall and head directly away from the wall.

The path meanders down through the reeds in the field down towards Pendle Road below. Pass through the kissing gate just before reaching the road, cross the road and on through the next kissing gate.

Head down the steps and over the stile and then follow the path to the left a few yards further on, just before the fence, as it rises to head the short distance to the building. Opposite the right hand side of the building there is a stile in the wall. Go over the stile and walk away from the wall down the right hand side of the field, keeping just to the left of the fence. At the bottom of the field, proceed over the next stone stile and keep on through the next field, again by the left hand side of the fence. At the bottom of that field, pass over the wooden stile and cross the lane to the stile diagonally left built into the wall opposite.

Climb over that stile and turn left along the gravelled path, enclosed by a wooden fence to the left and trees to the right. Soon afterwards the path crosses over a footbridge and enters into another field. Keep to the right of the field walking along the left hand side of the fence and continue on down to the next stile in the corner of the field. Pass over this stone stile and on towards the fence ahead.

Bridge over Downham Beck

Upon reaching the fence, pass through the wooden kissing gate and head across the field towards the trees and the wooden waymarker. Pass the waymarker and continue on for a few more yards to reach Downham Beck. Keep on in the same direction walking along the path down the nearside of the beck towards the buildings ahead. Pass through the kissing gate and out on to the road. Walk along the road and at the junction turn right towards the bridge. As the road approaches the bridge, turn left just before reaching it along another road. Head along this road for about fifty yards before turning right back in to the car park.


The above is an abridged version of a walk included on our 'Walks around Pendle' e-Book. The e-Book (a 2 disk CD and DVD set) includes: full walk text; numerous walk photos; a DVD slideshow of numerous photographs set to music taking you round this whole walk step by step (playable on a TV or a multimedia PC); interactive walk maps; hill profiles; information on towns and villages in the area; things to do and where to stay whilst you are in the area; wallpaper for your PC; and much, much more...

To see more about the book in detail and to order online, please click here.


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