The Pendle Guide
Things to do and places to go!


Things to see and do in Pendle

Cycle trails: Lancashire and Pendle Hill

Let Lancashire's Pendle Hill Country enchant you and your bicycle with some wonderful cycle routes. You can get full information on all these routes here: Lancashire County Council Website - cycle routes

Pendle Hill, with its associations of witchcraft, provides superb cycling. You'll travel over the foothills and moorland of the Pennines in hard and very rewarding cycling country - be ready for exciting plunges and steep climbs! You'll enjoy the peace of the moorland roads, the bustle of the valley towns; you'll pass through a landscape of ancient weavers' cottages in tranquil villages, along roads bordered by stone walls; you'll see upland sheep farms and scenic mill towns in the valleys below.

And for the mountain bikers, there are great trails such as the famous Mary Towneley Loop on the Pennine Bridleway.

What's more, in the green valleys old railway lines are being converted into cycle routes and of course the Leeds - Liverpool canal provides great cycling. And, as if all this was not enough, the highlight of the annual Pendle Cyclefest is a cycle show in Victoria Park in Nelson, where you can see cycle stunts, try out bikes and enjoy the cycle race in Colne Town Centre (which always attracts top riders). There's also an exciting road race from Barnoldswick along the Ribble Valley.

Here's some more information on the various routes:

Hyndburn Greenway

This mostly traffic free route links Blackburn, Great Harwood and Accrington. From Blackburn the route follows the canal to Rishton, thence on an old railway to Great Harwood, though south of Rishton, a straight path to Church across fields saves a 2 mile detour along the canal.  From Church the routes follows a traffic free path next to the railway to Accrington - and the highlight of the route may well be a stunning causeway over a lake on the edge of Accrington Town Centre. Across the causeway you can cycle up the charming Woodnook Valley to Baxenden. (Blackburn - Accrington - Baxenden is a distance of 8 miles.)

Hyndburn Greenway Leaflet 1      Hyndburn Greenway Leaflet 2

Padiham - Ightenhill - Burnley Cycle Route

A delightful route which is all off-road from Padiham to Ightenhill. You travel along the peaceful valley of the River Calder alongside ancient woodland, past meadows full of flowers, and thence from the new bridge over the Calder to Ightenhill, where you can continue to cycle along very safe roads and finally the canal into Burnley. (Padiham to  Ightenhill is a distance of 2 miles.)

Leeds and Liverpool Canal

An easy cycle ride along the canal lets you explore the area's industrial heritage and enjoy superb views of Pendle Hill and the South Pennines. The canal's traverse of Burnley was a miracle of engineering in its day: it's on an embankment with views of the surrounding hills. From Burnley to Barnoldswick the canal is part of the Pennine Cycleway and offers a way into the surrounding countryside. (Burnley - Barnoldswick is a distance of 11 miles.)

Between Rishton and Blackburn the canal forms part of the national cycle network (route 6), and there is also a cycle path to Great Harwood which links in to this route. You can go along the canal to Feniscowles, a village to the east of Blackburn.  (Rishton to Blackburn town centre is a distance of 4 miles.)

The canal is very accessible: you can also go along from Burnley to Hapton, and plans are afoot to turn the rest of the towpath into a cycle route through East Lancashire, eventually linking Barnoldswick and Blackburn.

Strongsty - Lumb

This is a very attractive cycle path on an old railway north of the village of Stubbins in the Rossendale Valley. (Strongsty to Lumb - a short track of 1 mile.)

Witton Country Park

This delightful park on the west side of Blackburn hosts part of National Cycle Route 6 on its way to Pleasington village (about 1 miles).

Cycling with Children

Download Family Cycling in East Lancashire, a free booklet of family cycle rides: Family Cycling in East Lancashire

Pennine Cycleway

The Pennine Cycleway is a long distance route which traverses England from Derby to Berwick-upon-Tweed. Part of it runs through Lancashire along two alternatives routes over the Pennines: one of them goes via Burnley and Towneley Hall; the other one - which is hillier - goes directly to Colne. From Burnley the route goes along the canal to Barnoldswick - this is a flat, traffic free route with attractive views to Pendle Hill. Pennine Cycleway

Cycle Touring Areas in Pendle and East Lancashire

Pendle Hill

You'll be enchanted by the area round Pendle Hill. While the roads are steep, but the rewards are well worthwhile: villages such as Roughlee, Barley and Newchurch-in-Pendle, all with links to witchcraft, are delightful and charming to explore, while you can test your stamina on hills like the Nick of Pendle - this is a route featured in the Tour de Britain. Even if getting up is hard, you can still enjoy the breathtaking descent down. Alternatively, plan your own tour of Pendle Hill on minor roads.

South Pennines

The moorland roads of the South Pennines are an excellent way to enjoy cycling: ascend to the moors, a landscape of old weavers' villages, remote farms and moors graced with heather, all the while enjoying views over to Pendle Hill, Ingleborough and the Yorkshire Pennines. The descent down is a breeze!

Another idea is to make a circular tour along the Lancashire Cycleway and the excellent Pennine Cycleway. You could cross the Pennines and travel into Yorkshire on the single track road above Thursden, and then enjoy the ride back across the moors by Long Causeway, cycling past the wind farm and enjoying views down into the Cliviger Gorge.

From Colne you can ride out to Wycoller Country Park, where the famous bridges enchant you along with preserved weavers, all of which produce a timeless feeling of tranquillity. Cars are not allowed into the village.

West Craven

The canal offers a route out of West Craven into the countryside and the market town of Barnoldswick. You can enjoy Foulridge with its wharf and canal tunnel, Salterforth with its pubs and Greenberfield with its famous locks and tearooms; all are great stopping points. All along the way you get great views of the hills from the canal towpath. If you like higher ground, go up the hills surrounding Barnoldswick or beyond Earby and enjoy a clear vies  - though beware of the road with the brook going down the middle of it - you have to walk through it, which could be chilly!

Tour of Pendle

A full cycle tour of Pendle taking in Pendle Hill, West Craven and even the South Pennines.

Mountain Biking

The area is superb for mountain biking. There are routes in Pendle, Rossendale and the South Pennines.

Mary Towneley Loop

The area is host to the Mary Towneley Loop of the Pennine Bridleway, which makes for a challenging circular cycle way crossing the Lancashire - Yorkshire county boundary. To enjoy this route to the full you really need two days - it's about 50 miles long.

Let Lancashire's Pendle Hill Country enchant you and your bicycle with some wonderful cycle routes. You can get full information on all these routes here: Lancashire County Council Website - cycle routes