START: Barley village picnic site car park (£1 fee)

DISTANCE: 2¾ miles (allow 2 hours)

MAP: OS Explorer OL41 Forest of Bowland

Here is a Halloween walk in the heart of Pendle Witch country. The ups and downs of this little expedition, linking the villages of Barley and Newchurch, show why this was such a secluded area in the 17th century when roads were of a poor quality and villages, hidden in folds in the hills and woods, would have thrived on superstitious hearsay.

The walk follows a section of the Pendle Way footpath and passes the famous ‘Witches Galore’ shop at Newchurch, a roadside settlement built on the side of a hill.

The church of St Mary’s at Newchurch includes the ‘eye of God’ feature on the west side of its clock tower - thought to ward off evil - and the churchyard includes a grave of the local Nutter family, a name forever associated with the 1612 witch trials.

Of course, no Halloween walk would be complete without a walk through a dark spooky forest - the Pendle Way goes through Fell Wood overlooking Ogden Reservoir, built to supply the town of Nelson with water.

The field and woodland sections of this route may be boggy so walking boots are essential!

1. From the car park entrance turn right back to the nearby lane junction then turn left following the road uphill only as far as the row of cottages on the left signed as Bridge End.

Turn left along this access track to the cottages and the track becomes stonier and climbs uphill.

When the walled track levels out look out for a stone stile in the wall on the right. There is a good view back to Pendle Hill from here.

2. Cross the wall stile and follow the public footpath uphill along a field edge with a wall on the immediate right.

Head for the collection of farm buildings at the top of the field. Go through the gateway in the top right field corner between the cottages.

Turn right along the access road past the cottages and follow it back to the lane, Cross Lane.

Turn left along the lane (no pavement) and it drops steeply down into the village of Newchurch with its famous witches shop. The village church of St Mary’s is a bit further down the hill on the left.

3. The walk continues by turning right off the village street at the bus stop and toilets almost opposite the junction with Jinny Lane. The footpath runs along the left hand side of the toilet block.

After a very short distance cross the stile on the left and join a field path that runs diagonally right uphill towards a gate in a wall at the top of the field.

Do not go through this but turn left and follow the field edge keeping the wall on the immediate right. Cross more wall stiles to reach a junction of paths at the corner of a conifer plantation, Fell Wood.

4. Turn right here at the wall corner of the wood and keep it on the left, following the field edge downhill to reach a gate into the wood on the left hand side a bit lower down.

A stone path now leads through the trees and drops downhill to emerge at the far end of the wood overlooking a footbridge over the stream running into the Lower Ogden Reservoir. Go down the steps and cross the footbridge, bearing right then left by a bench to join the reservoir access road.

5. Turn right along this road and it is followed for the next three quarters of a mile back towards Barley village.

It runs alongside the Lower Ogden Reservoir and the old Nelson Waterworks reaching the road junction at the start of the walk with Barley village hall on the left. Go straight across the road junction to return to the car park.