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Step out for one of UK’s biggest free walking festivals

Published: Thursday, 8th August 2019

Photo of Wycoller

Wycoller - come and explore during our Pendle Walking Festival.

One of the UK’s largest free walking festivals starts this Saturday 10 August in the Pennine hills of Pendle, Lancashire and runs until Sunday 18th August.

Festival organiser, Tom Partridge, Pendle Council’s Countryside Access Officer said:

“Pendle has some of the most stunning countryside views in the north of England including Pendle Hill, an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.
Walkers of all ages and abilities are spoilt for choice with 57 varieties of guided walks from the easy to the challenging.

Friendly and experienced walk leaders will lead the way on each walk, sharing their local knowledge about Pendle and the area’s fascinating history along the way.

Pendle’s history includes the dramatic true story of the Pendle Witches of 1612 and walks include visiting Wycoller’s atmospheric ruined hall, the inspiration for Ferndean Manor in Charlotte Brontë’s Jane Eyre.

And this year more women have volunteered as walk leaders than ever before.

Pendle’s Tourism Officer Mike Williams said:
“Our annual Festival, now in its 16th year, attracts people from across Britain and overseas as well as local people keen to discover corners of Pendle they have yet to explore.

“We are lucky to have hundreds of miles of footpaths across our varied landscape, from windswept moorland to lush valleys and alongside the historic waterway of the Leeds and Liverpool Canal,” he said.
Mike added:

“All walks in our nine day festival are led by experienced leaders who will take the strain out of map reading and route-finding.

“Simply follow in their footsteps and soak up the views!”

The full programme of walks is available via or pick up a copy from the Pendle Heritage Centre in Barrowford.

Council Leader, Councillor Mohammed Iqbal said:
“Our wild and wonderful landscape has inspired generations of free thinkers over hundreds of years.

“And this year we have a number of walks which introduce our area’s radical thinkers,” he explained.

They include 17th century mathematician Sir Jonas Moore, known as the Father of Tme - who played a pivotal role in establishing the Royal Observatory at Greenwich and Greenwich Mean Time.

The classic climb up Pendle Hill with Countryside Access Officer Tom Partridge will follow in the footsteps of George Fox whose famous vision on Pendle Hill in 1652 led him to found the Quaker movement.

Councillor Mohammed Iqbal, leader of Pendle Council added:
“We’re so proud of Pendle and this year’s Walking Festival focuses on the people and places which make our area unique.

 “As well as being good for the health and wellbeing of our local residents and visitors, walking is also serious business in Pendle,” he explained

 “Over 2.7 million day and overnight visitors bring over £119 million into Pendle’s economy each year and our network of 100s of miles of footpaths are a big attraction.

“Latest figures from Visit Lancashire show that overnight visitors brought nearly £32 million into Pendle in 2017. This shows that our visitor economy is healthy and growing,” he said.