Colne to Clitheroe


Last week’s walk made use of a railway dismantled in the early 1960s. This week’s walk makes use of two very active lines. From the railhead at Colne there is a great walk to be had over Pendle Hill and descending to the station at Clitheroe. 


Start: Colne Railway Station BB8 9NX


Finish: Clitheroe Railway Station BB7 2ED 

Fact file:  

Distance: 14 miles 22k

Time: 4 ½  - 6 ½ hours

Summary: Moderate mainly but with a strenuous climb to the summit of Pendle Hill. As this walk is a linear route careful attention must be paid to its logistics. Both Colne and Clitheroe are well served by bus and rail transport.

Map: OS OL41 The Forest of Bowland & Ribblesdale


Map by kind permission of Johnston Press 

1. From the station concourse turn left onto Primrose Hill and then left at the next corner close by the leisure centre. You have just join Cycle route 68 which provides a useful guide for the first part of the walk. Follow it in the direction of Foulridge and Nelson. It will take you behind Boundary Mill Store and close to a climbing playground.


After crossing the busy Vivary Way keep ahead on Barrowford Road. After bending sharply left turn right into Alkincoats Road which leads to Alkincoats Park.


Keep on the cycle route as it leads uphill bears left through a wooded section


and exits the park at Colne Edge. Continue to the junction with Red Lane.  Cross to a stone stile


opposite leading into pastures.  Cross over a ridge


and then descend across wide pastures at first with a wall on the right to reach a lane after 500yds.


Turn left and soon after join a track on the left which leads to the south entrance of the Foulridge Tunnel on the Leeds Liverpool Canal.


Follow the tow path with the water on your right.  After reaching a series of locks exit the canal Barrowford Road


(very close to the busy M65 motorway just beyond it) and turn right to Barrowford. 

2. Just before you reach the bridge turn left into Barrowford Memorial Park with Pendle Heritage Centre to the left.  


For the next part of the walk to Barley you are on the Pendle Way.


It is well signed with its Witch on a broomstick logo. Keep to the right of the park. When you reach a footbridge cross it. On Gisburn Road turn into Pasture Lane by the White Bear Inn.  


Keep ahead on Pasture Lane and then when the road bends sharply left keep ahead on the farm drive


leading up to Pasture House. Continue for another 250yds and then turn left on a footpath at a waymarked stile. When you reach a footbridge on the right cross it and follow the path diagonally left to arrive at a small agricultural building. Beyond this the path keeps to the side of the hedge at first and then cross the ridge to a wall.


Keep ahead descending to the village of Roughlee.  Cross Pendle Water  by stepping stones. Keep ahead to reach a metal gate leading into pasture.


The way now crosses wide pastures to arrive close to Croft House. Keep to its right


to access a service road behind it. Turn left.


At the junction bear left and then turn right after 60yds onto the drive of Intake Farm. A short way along take the path on the right which leads round the property and then into White Hough Plantation.


After passing the outdoor education centre on the right turn left on its drive


leading down hill to cottages.


Just before reaching the road turn right onto a broad track which leads into the village of Barley. 


3. At the corner cross to lane opposite with village hall on left, leading quickly to Barley Green.


Follow the track past Lower Ogden Reservoir.  


Beyond a stand of pines to the right of the track, the way dips down to a gate and stone stile below Upper Ogden Reservoir. Cross stile and follow track as it climbs steeply to reach the higher level.


The track gives way to a narrower path between a wall and fence, then through a gate crosses pastures to a ladder stile. Over the ladder stile follow a rough, peaty track upwards and then along to a stream flowing from the defile that is Boar Clough.  Cross the stream then turn right and to climb the steep flank of the hill.


As you climb the path becomes more obvious as it broadens out. When the route crosses the top of Boar Clough a line of cairns come into sight. Continue upwards towards the trig point.


The views are extensive. From the trig point continue along a broad track northwards for 400yds to a wall. There now follows a two mile exhilarating moorland yomp along a broad ridge. After Scout Cairn


continue on an obvious path that contours the high ground to the left.


On reaching a wall


follow it gently downhill and then at its end marked by a cairn


continue on a rough track as it drops more sharply and sweeps to the right. Cross a wooden gate


and continue to the next wall. Here turn left and aim for a ruined barn below.


When you reach it


follow a path that takes you to the cluster of buildings close to Mearly Hall.


4.  On the main track turn right


and as the track bends left follow it into a farmyard with the hall to the left.


Keep ahead to a wooden gate. Through this continue across large fields with the hedgerow to the left until you arrive on the A59.


CROSS WITH CARE. On the far side locate a path dropping to a lane parallel to the A59. Turn right and then left onto a footpath leading round the edge of fields to reach a farm.


Follow its drive to a lane and cross to a path to the right of a housing estate. Keep ahead to reach Pendle Road then turn right for the town centre.


Printer friendly version