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This walk explores the picturesque villages surrounding Lancashire’s iconic Pendle Hill, with its dark history of witchcraft and intrigue.
Many books have been written and tales told about the Pendle Witches, who date back to the early 1600s and lived in the area before they were tried for witchcraft at Lancaster Castle.
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This walk explores the countryside they called home, and where they offered cures to local villagers that eventually led to them being accused and later convicted of practising the dark arts.
Starting at Barley Green car park, this route explores the beautiful and rural foothills of Pendle Hill. You’ll pass through the village of Newchurch where you’ll find a ‘witches grave’ to the right of the porch inscribed with the name Nutter, plus the Witches Galore shop that’s a great place to pick up local souvenirs.
Faughs Quarry is where one of the accused witches claims to have met the Devil, and the whole area is dotted with farmhouses and family homes that were once lived in by those related to the witches and others who eventually testified against them.
The hulking, broad-backed outline of Pendle Hill looms large over this walk from start to finish and will forever be associated with the Pendle Witches. This route doesn’t visit its 557-metre summit – known locally as The Big End – but if you’re feeling particularly energetic you can climb the Pendle Way to the top from Upper Ogden Reservoir.
This route was voted 86th in a 2017 ITV poll to find Britain’s Favourite Walk.
TOG VERDICT: With a history as dark and foreboding as the local weather, you won’t find a more dramatic and sinister walk in Britain. We love it!