After walking in muddy fields all winter we can only hope that a dry Spring is just around the corner. As we wait expectantly for the dry weather, here is a walk through the heart of Pendle country that sticks to the quiet lanes and reservoir tracks. So hopefully you won’t get too muddy.

The walk links Barley and Roughlee villages and climbs Stang Top Moor before passing by the Black Moss Reservoirs, with views of the ‘Big End’ of Pendle Hill from start to finish.

This week I have heard the call of oystercatchers overhead in East Lancashire heading for the dales.

Perhaps Spring really is just around the corner.

1. Walk to the far side of the car park, the opposite end to the toilets and cafe. Here you can pick up the track signed with witch waymarkers indicating the Pendle Way footpath.

The track leads between pretty cottages and a gate with the stream, Pendle Water, on the immediate right. Keep to the access track for about half a mile until it bends right to cross a bridge over the stream.

2. You have a choice here. You can cross the bridge and immediately turn left following the waymarked field footpath that follows the right hand side of the stream. The stream is followed all the way to where the path joins the Roughlee road at white railings.

The drier alternative is to cross the bridge and go straight ahead to join the road running between Barley and Roughlee.

Turn left along this and follow the pavement downhill to the hamlet of Thorneyholme. At the little crossroads turn left and follow the narrow lane with the white railings in the direction of Roughlee.

3. Keep to the lane leading to Roughlee past the primary school, roadside sculpture of the ‘witch’ Alice Nutter, to reach the bridge adjacent to the Bay Horse pub. Walk past the front of the pub then turn first left up narrow Stang Top Road.

The lane climbs quite steeply at first past a caravan park. The quiet country lane is followed straight ahead for the next two miles and takes you uphill across Stang Top Moor.

Near the highest point (over 1070 feet) you will see the trig point in a field over to the left. From here it is downhill along the lane for another half a mile to the first lane junction with Black Moss Road on the left.

4. Turn left along this road which winds downhill to the cluster of cottages at Black Moss Farm.

After passing the buildings join the waymarked track on the left signed as a concessionary bridleway. Walk straight ahead along this access track which leads to the upper Black Moss Reservoir and keeps it on the right. Beyond the dam of the upper reservoir a track junction is reached.

5. Turn left here and follow the track that keeps the lower reservoir on the right. The track leads straight ahead for the next half mile and eventually joins the road leading into Barley village.

Walk straight ahead downhill into the village. After passing the playground opposite the Pendle Inn join a path that crosses a footbridge over the stream and leads back to the cafe and car park.