The jewel in the local landscape is Pendle Hill. It means different things to different people. To the Quaker movement it is a place of inspiration because their founder, George Fox (1652), allegedly had a visionary experience on top of the hill. It is also associated with the the Pendle Witches of 1612.
To the geologist it is a striking view-point capped by Carboniferous (Namurian) Millstone Grit of the Pennines. Pendle Grit is the earliest Pennine grit at 240 metres thick and is exposed at the 'Nick O' Pendle' in disused quarries. These rocks were laid down in a turbidite-fronted braided delta of a big river. Recent study of the Pendle Grit has helped geologists' to understand the importance of "sand-rich fan" deposits as possible reservoirs for hydrocarbons.
An excellent way to explore the landscape and history, as well as some of the geology, is to walk the PENDLE WAY. This is a 73 km (45 mile) walk which is conveniently split into eight sections.
Beginning at the Pendle Heritage Centre (Opening times: 10am - 5pm every day except Christmas Day) and ends at Bancroft Mill in Barnoldswick. Key sights include: Higherford Mill, Blacko Tower, Admergill Hall, Gisburn Old Road and Weets Hill.
From Bancroft Mill to the Museum of Yorkshire Dales Leadmining in Earby. Main sights include: Leeds Liverpool Canal, Drumlins, Greenberfield Locks, St Mary-le-Gills, Thornton Church and finally Earby Lead Mining Museum.
From the Museum of Yorkshire Dales Leadmining to Laneshaw Bridge. Main sights include: Kelbrook, Ridge & Furrow, Black Lane Ends, Knarrs Hill.
Start at the Emmott Arms in Laneshaw Bridge and finish at Coldwell Activity Centre (formerly Coldwell Inn). Main sights include: Carriers Row, Wycoller, Foster's Leap, Brink Ends, Boulsworth Hill, Coldwell Reservoirs and Walton Spire.
From Coldwell Activity Centre to Reedley Road. Main sights include: Catlow, Southfield Methodist Chapel, Walverden Reservoir.
Start at the junction of Reedley Road with Robinson Lane and end at Newchurch in Pendle. Main sights include: Greenhead, River Calder, Pendle Hall, Higham, Bull Hole, Moss End, Newchurch.
Begin Newchurch in Pendle and end at Barley. Main sights include: Boar Clough, Pendle Hill (top), Barley.
Begin at Barley Information Centre and finish at Pendle Heritage Centre. Main sights include: Narrowgates, Whitehough Farm, Whitehough Camp School, Sabden Valley, Roughlee Hall, Roughlee, Pasture House, Barrowford.
Congratulations: the walk is done!