Lancashire walk - Whalley and the Nick of Pendle

The view of Pendle Hill from Wiswell

The view of Pendle Hill from Wiswell - Credit: John Lenehan

A glorious springtime walk which takes in some of our prettiest villages one of the county’s most iconic landmarks.

This month’s walk starts at the busy Spring Wood car park and climbs to the Nick of Pendle and then takes in the picturesque villages of Pendleton and Wiswell. A bit of everything in this one and some wonderful views. 

1. Just before exiting the car park there is a stile on the left. Cross this onto Whalley golf course and turn left then, keeping the woods close to the left, walk up hill. There are white boundary posts to follow which will keep you away from the fairway. Reach and cross a footbridge on the left then turn right and follow the path up through a copse of trees to a stile and cross this into an open field. Then bear diagonally right to reach a fence, then with this on the right follow the fence uphill. Do not go through the metal gate stile on the right but carry on up to another metal gate stile further uphill directly ahead. 

2. Go through the stile and then take the metal gate stile directly on the right then follow the path as it goes behind the walls of the house Clerk Hill. Clerk Hill House was built around 1717 and part of the estate grounds became Whalley Golf Club. As a member of the golf club having occasionally a particularly bad game I sometimes wish it had been left as an estate! 

When the path reaches a metal gate and stile, cross the stile and join a track and turn left. Then, as the track reaches a tarmac road, turn left and follow this as it heads up towards Pendle Hill. Eventually as the road becomes a track just past the last buildings on the left. Keep following the track going through a metal gate. The track becomes a bit rougher and reaches a gate, after this it becomes a path that is very rough and muddy in places.

Spring lambs

Spring lambs - Credit: John Lenehan

3. Keep on until the path reaches a metal gate leading out to the main Clitheroe to Sabden road then turn left a follow the road uphill to the Nick of Pendle. 

Note: The road height at the Nick of Pendle is 993 feet/302.6 metres above sea level. 

Most Read

4. Just over the Nick there is a gate and a stone step stile on the left, cross the stile and follow the path down to another stone stile. Cross this stile and bear right and follow a wider path downhill and eventually reach and follow a wall on the right to reach a gate stile on the right in the wall. Cross the stile and turn left then bear diagonally right towards a tree with a white footpath marker painted on it and then another tree marked the same way. 

The path goes to the right of the gable end of Wymondhouses to reach a gate stile, cross this and the stone step stile in the wall ahead then carry straight on to a gate stile by a wooden fence, cross this and go downhill keeping the hedgerow on the right to reach a gate and stile on the right, cross the stile and keep the hedgerow on the right and keep on to another stile. 

Cross this and turn left and then head diagonally right downhill to reach a footbridge. Cross the bridge then turn left and keeping the stream on the left go downhill to reach a wooden gate. Go through this and join the main road and turn left into Pendleton.  

Note: Pendleton is particularly quaint with stone cottages and The Swan with Two Necks pub. The name actually comes from Swan with two nicks as that is the way the birds were marked to show their ownership, by cutting nicks in their beaks.


The Swan With Two Necks in pretty Pendleton - Credit: Kirsty Thompson/Archant

5. Cross the bridge over the stream on the left and follow the road signposted to Wiswell and keep on this all the way to Wiswell. Most locals refer to the village as ‘Wizel’. It is a lovely village, with the multi-award winning pub and restaurant The Freemasons at its heart. 

6. Go through the village and then, at the red telephone box, turn left up Moor Lane a very steep tarmac road to reach a metal gate and go through this and join a rough stony track. 

7. Reach and cross a stile on the right, then bear diagonally left up to a stile leading into the woods. Cross this and join a track that leads through the woods and through a metal gate and keep on to reach a metal gate stile. Cross this and join track with a wire fence on the right then keep on to another metal gate stile on the right and cross this. 

Head straight on towards a marker post with footpath arrow and pass this down to the two metal gate stiles (These are the ones at point two on the start of the walk.) Take the one on the right and retrace the route back down to the start of the walk at Spring Wood. 

The walk passes through Pendleton and Wiswell and takes in great views from Pendle Hill

The walk passes through Pendleton and Wiswell and takes in great views from Pendle Hill - Credit: OS


Start and finish: Spring Wood car park Whalley 

Distance: 6.8 miles/ 10.94km 

Time: 3.5-4 hours 

Terrain: Footpaths, tracks, and a quiet country lane but with a sting in the tail. Boots would be best as the section to the Nick of Pendle can be very muddy 

Map: OS Explorer OL41 Forest of Bowland and Ribblesdale 

Facilities: There are public toilets at Spring Wood and also in Whalley 

READ MORE: Great walks near Pendle Hill