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Women lead the way for Pendle Walking Festival!

Published: Monday, 24th June 2019

Women walk leaders at Pendle Heritage Centre

Women walk leaders for 2019 Pendle Walking Festival at the Pendle Heritage Centre

“There are 57 varieties of guided walks for the 2019 Pendle Walking Festival, announced Tom Partridge, Pendle Council’s Countryside Access Officer.

“And this year we are delighted to see more women volunteering to lead walks than ever before.” 

Walks being led by women include an easy three miler exploring Nelson’s industrial heritage along the Leeds and Liverpool Canal with Andrea Smith from Barrowford.

And a tough 13 mile stage of The Pendle Way under Kelbrook Moor will be led by local rambler Kath Edmundson, from Earby.

An eight mile Colne Water walk led by Hungarian Marianna Borbely who lives in Wigan will climb Knarrs Hill and descend to Wycoller.
Walkers will get the chance to explore Wycoller’s atmospheric ruined hall, the inspiration for Ferndean Manor in Charlotte Brontë’s Jane Eyre.
A gentle-paced five mile walk with Helen Thompson will explore Water Meetings.

This Iron Age site is the place where Pendle Water gathered from Pendle Hill meets Blacko Water, with views of  intriguing Blacko Tower.

Jennifer Little from Colne, a walk leader for the last eight festivals, said: “It’s an opportunity to meet people from further affield including walkers from abroad.”

Helen Thompson, who lives in Clitheroe and works for The Ribble Rivers Trust, will be leading a walk for the first time.  She said:

"I've enjoyed getting to know Pendle better and I've been really inspired by the views on my walk."

Tom, who organises the annual walking event said:

“Our festival is one of the largest free walking festivals in the UK and takes the strain out of map reading and route- finding.

“Enjoy breath taking views around every corner as you follow our friendly and experienced guides.
“Many of our walk leaders have taken part in our Pendle Walking Festival for years and are keen to  share their knowledge of the area, including Pendle’s fascinating history,” he added. 

“And 53 out of the 57 walks are completely free of charge.

“Take a look at our programme at or pick up a copy from the Pendle Heritage Centre in Barrowford or from the Visit Pendle info point at Boundary Mill in Colne,” he said.
Councillor Mohammed Iqbal, leader of Pendle Council said:
“We’re so proud of Pendle and this year’s Walking Festival focuses on the people and places which make our area unique.

“We are grateful to our walks leaders for offering a warm welcome and a special insight into our history.
Mike Williams, Pendle’s Tourism Officer said:

“Pendle is a fantastic place to explore and enjoy some of the most stunning countryside views in the north of England including Pendle Hill, an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

“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 said.

They include 17th century mathematician Sir Jonas Moore – the father of time - who established Greenwich Mean Time.

 The classic climb up Pendle Hill with 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.

“Not forgetting the Sabden Chartists and walks which explore the dramatic landscape of the Pendle Witches of 1612,” added, Mike.
Council Leader, Councillor Iqbal added:

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

 “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.