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Legendary Pendle Hill inspires best free walking festival in England!

Published: Monday, 6th August 2018

Buttercup meadow walk.

Explore Pendle during our Pendle Walking Festival.

“This year we’re launching our festival in the beautiful village of Barley as a special homage to our most iconic landmark, Pendle Hill,” announced Councillor Paul White, Leader of Pendle Council.

And countryside lovers and walkers of all ages are invited to enjoy one of the UK’s largest free walking festivals which runs from Saturday 11th August to Sunday 19th August.

His Worship the Mayor of Pendle, Councillor James Keith Starkie, who lives in the foothills of Pendle Hill, will officially launch the Pendle Walking Festival at 10.00am on Saturday 11 August at Barley Cabin in the Barley village car park BB12 9JX.

“Everyone is welcome to the launch event where there’s a choice of four walks ranging from easy to hard.

“Last year we attracted hundreds of walkers from as far as Sydney, London and France and we got rave reviews.
“It’s a great opportunity to explore the hills and valleys on and around Pendle Hill, including the classic climb up Pendle.

“Legendary Pendle Hill has inspired many, including George Fox whose climb up Pendle in 1652 gave him a vision which led him to found the Quaker Movement,” explained Tourism Officer, Mike Williams.

Pendle Hill is part of the Forest of Bowland Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and its importance has been recognised by a £1.8 million Heritage Lottery grant to enhance the landscape and explore the special character of the area’s history and culture.  
“We want people from near and far to enjoy stunning far-reaching views and our fascinating history from the Pendle Witches of 1612 to visionary George Fox and the Brontës,” said Mike.

Walks also explore the landscape of 17th century mathematician, Sir Jonas Moore, who was born in Pendle in 1617. 

Known as ‘the father of time’, Sir Jonas Moore was a radical thinker who played a huge part in establishing the Greenwich Observatory and Greenwich Mean Time.  

His older brother was, allegedly, one of the first victims of the Pendle Witches.

Pendle’s Countryside Access Officer, Tom Partridge has co-ordinated the programme of walks for the Festival’s 15th year, working with volunteer guides who know this remarkable landscape and its many historic associations.

“People who’d like to explore this unspoilt corner of Lancashire can choose from 57 varied guided walks from the easy to the challenging, including the 45 mile Pendle Way over four days,” said Tom.

The full programme can be downloaded from where there’s also a range of self-guided routes to choose from and great places to stay in this unspoilt area. 
 “For the past four years the Pendle Walking Festival has been in the school holidays and so our programme includes family friendly walks with engaging stories, treasure hunts and games, added Tom.

Pendle’s Mayoress, Janet Starkie, is leading a woodland storytelling adventure around the Pendle Sculpture Trail near Barley which is suitable for families on Saturday 18th August with crafts and willow weaving available at Barley Methodist Church Hall.  This Pendle Walking Festival event can be booked via  .

Pendle’s Mayor, Councillor Starkie added:

“Our festival reaches all parts of Pendle from Blacko to Barnoldswick and Wycoller to Weets and appeals to all ages.”

Comments from last year’s ramblers include one walker saying:  “it’s the greatest free walking festival in England!” 

Pendle’s countryside with miles of footpaths is a major asset to our growing tourism economy which is now worth over £116 million – almost 8% more than the previous year.

For more information on the Heritage Lottery projects for the Pendle Hill Partnership please visit