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How To Do Pendle Hill Walk in Ribble Valley! Easy & Hard Routes!

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Pendle Hill is one of the most iconic places in Ribble Valley and Bowland Hills, and the Pendle Hill Walk is one of the best things to do in the Ribble Valley for everybody.

At 557 metres high and just 51 meters short of being a mountain, Pendle Hill can be seen from all around!

For some, the walk up Pendle Hill will be fairly easy and quick taking 1.5 hours, especially if you take the easy Pendle Hill circular route as I did.

For others, the Pendle walk can take longer if you decide to take a hard route up Pendle Hill from one of the nearby villages and see places near Pendle Hill such as the Pendle Sculpture Trail.

I really enjoyed my Pendle Hill hike, even on a winters day. The views over the Lancashire countryside as I walked up were totally amazing! I felt so accomplished when I reached the summit stone at the top and couldn’t wait to see more of the Ribble Valley when I finished.

Here’s my full guide on how to do the Pendle Hill walk including Pendle Hill walking routes, a Pendle Hill walk map, the easiest route up Pendle Hill and Pendle Hill parking.

Pendle Hill Walk

Pendle Hill Walk
Keep reading for how to do Pendle Hill Walk!

Next up read my post – 20 BEST Things To Do In The Ribble Valley!

Quick Info for Pendle Hill Walk

Difficulty Level: Low Level Intermediate

Height: 557m

Average Time Needed: At least 1.5 hours – 2 hours

Suitable for Children: Yes as long as they are ok walking up steep parts of a hill

Suitable for Wheelchairs / Pushchairs: Not ideal for either but may be possible with a pushchair

Parking Location: Pendle Hill Lay-by Parking

Accessible by Public Transport: Yes, from bus stops in the village of Barley

Pendle Hill Walk Map

How to get to Pendle Hill

Pendle Hill is a very distinctive hill which can be seen from miles away. It is located in the Ribble Valley and to the south of the Forest of Bowland.

Pendle Hill is really easy to access by car from towns and cities nearby such as Manchester, Burnley, Blackburn, Preston, Halifax and Bradford so if you are looking for easy hikes in Northern England, Pendle Hill is where you need to head.

‘Where does Pendle Hill walk start?’ is a common question and there are a few answers which I’ll go into in this post and where to park for Pendle Hill below.

Pendle Hill Walk, Pendle Hill arch
Look out for this view of Pendle Hill as you approach the area.

Pendle Hill Parking

Pendle Hill Lay-By Parking

Along Barley Lane there is a lay-by noted on Google Maps as Pendle Hill Lay-By Parking which is where I parked.

This is the closest place to park to start the Pendle Hill walk making it the best way to do the easiest and shortest Pendle Hill route, and is free to park since it is a lay-by.

The down side is that it gets very busy and there are limited spaces along the road. Even on a winters Wednesday morning when I went it was very busy with cars.

Pendle Hill Walk, Pendle Hill Lay By Car Park
Pendle Hill Lay-By Parking.

Barley Car Park

Doing the Pendle Hill walk from Barley which is the village down the road from the Pendle Hill lay-by parking is the next closest place to park for Pendle Hill and is a recommended route.

Barley parking isn’t noted on Google Maps but if you head to The Cabin in Barley you’ll be at the car park.

From Barley you can walk up Barley Lane and start the route I’ve described below from the lay-by car park. Or, you can take a footpath through the fields following this guide.

Pendle Hill Walking Routes

There are a few different routes up Pendle Hill and the route you take will depend on where you park

Easiest route up Pendle Hill

For the easiest route up Pendle Hill you’ll want to park as close to the hill as you can which is at the Pendle Hill Lay-By Parking, nearby you will see signs pointing you down a country lane and across a cattle grid.

The Cauldron Snack Bar you’ll also see signs for is the Pendle Hill snack bar at the bottom of the hill, perfect to get a drink or something to eat from to help you up or celebrate with once you’re down!

Pendle Hill Walk, Country Lane to Pendle Hill
Look out for these signs and cross the Cattle Gird to start the easiest route up Pendle Hill.

Follow the flat country lane looking out for when the path splits and when it does follow the sign to the right.

After going under the trees, you’ll then see the Pendle Hill Snack Bar on your left and a gate to your right slightly up a hill. This is the real start of the Pendle Hill walk!

Pendle Hill Walk, Pendle Hill walk sign
Look out for this sign and take the right.
Pendle Hill Walk, Start of Pendle Hill Walk
Head through this gate which will be on your right which is the start of Pendle Hill Walk.

After passing through the gate you’ll see that the path splits in two.

The path on the right is the start of the steps up Pendle Hill which is the shorter but steeper route. If you’re following Google Maps you’ll see this footpath noted as Pendle Hill Steep Walking Route.

The path on the left is more windy with a longer length but is not as steep.

I decided to take the Pendle Hill steps as I was looking to do the quickest route up Pendle Hill as I wanted to get on with the many other Ribble Valley walks I had to do and places to visit in the Ribble Valley I had on my list.

Pendle Hill Walk, Pendle Hill Path splits 2 ways
Next, the path splits 2 ways so you’ll need to decide which path yo take.

I won’t lie, even as a pretty fit person, these Pendle Hill steps did get me sweating and breathing hard, especially as I was trying to walk up them as quick as possible.

So definitely ensure you leave time to take the steps slowly and to stop and take in the amazing views and catch your breath if you are not so used to hiking.

Pendle Hill Walk, Pendle Hill steps
The view from the Pendle Hill steps.
Pendle Hill Walk, Pendle Hill view
At least the views are good whilst you stop and catch your breath!

At the top of the steps you’ll reach the top of Pendle Hill however you aren’t at the summit yet, you need to turn left and walk along the top of the summit hill until you see the white Pendle Hill summit stone!

Luckily, this is a flat walk, but it can get very windy!

Pendle Hill Walk, Pendle Hill Summit Stone
Pendle Hill Walk, Top of Pendle Hill
Top of Pendle Hill

Pendle Hill Circular Walk

I always love hiking a circular route rather than walking up and down the same route so I took the path back down the bottom of Pendle Hill instead of the steps.

To do this too, from the Summit stone continue walking straight along the top of the hill, you’ll then see a footpath on the left heading down which winds down the hill back to gate and The Cauldron Snack Bar.

More Pendle Hill walking routes include:

Pendle Hill walk from Barley

Use this guide of how to walk up Pendle Hill from Barley. The plus to this walk is that it’s a bit further than the above walk I did so it’s more of a challenge and it takes you past some of the reservoirs you can see as you climb Pendle Hill.

Pendle Hill walk from Downham

If you want to double your walking time, park up in Downham which is to the North of Pendle Hill and walk up Pendle Hill from Downham.

Use this guide for how to do this 10-13km walk which will take 4-4.5 hours.

Pendle Hill walk from Sabden

Another long route up Pendle Hill is to start in the village of Sabden / Nick of Pendle. Use this guide to do this walk.

It seems like a similar length and time as starting from Downham.

Pendle Sculpture Trail

You may know of Pendle Hill for the Pendle Witches and if this is something that interests you I recommend making enough time to visit the Pendle Sculpture Trail which is located close to the village of Barley and Pendle Hill parking.

Read more about the Pendle Sculpture Trail here.

Even if you don’t know about the witches and this doesn’t interest you, the sculpture trail is still a good place to visit for families and children and is an easy Pendle walk.

Pendle Hill Walk, Views from Pendle Hill
There are many Pendle Hill walking routes.

FAQ About Pendle Hill Walk

What to wear for Pendle Hill walk?

Because Pendle Hill is not a huge mountain walk, it can be done in trainers, although I wore my hiking boots which I was happy in so if you have them, it’s best to wear them.

I wouldn’t recommend walking up Pendle Hill in sandals. Appropriate footwear is needed.

I suggest taking layers, even if its warm and sunny when you are at the bottom, you are walking quite high so it may get windy and colder as you get higher.

If the weather states rain, take a rain jacket just in case as the weather can change quickly up here!

How long is the walk up Pendle Hill?

I suggest giving yourself 2 hours to comfortably complete Pendle Hill. The walk up Pendle Hill took me about 40 minutes up and 30 minutes down, so just over 1 hour in total. I was walking quite fast though and didn’t stop for long at the top.

Where does Pendle Hill walk start?

Start at Pendle Hill Lay-By Parking or at Barley Village car park.

Is Pendle Hill difficult?

The Pendle Hill walk is not really difficult. It takes some fitness, stamina and effort and it’s not a flat walk in the park but it is not incredibly strenuous either.

Is Pendle Hill classed as a mountain?

Pendle Hill is a Hill at 557m high, however it is just 51m short from being a mountain.

I hope this helps you plan your walk up Pendle Hill in Ribble Valley and Bowland!