I call this walk the ‘Three Cups o’ Tea Way’. It links three fine refreshments stops in Pendle Hill country, ideal for a family walk over the festive period.
The walk also passes three sites used by the Nelson Independent Labour Party as their Clarion House, which has offered a place to stop for local ramblers and cyclists since late Victorian times. The first property (1899-1902) was a rented cottage in Thorneyholme Square. The second was Nabs Farm (1902-1912), just off Jinny Lane, and the third Clarion House is the present purpose built structure - now the last Clarion House in Britain.
You can pop in to this unique monument to working class history on Sundays where you can get a pint of tea for only 60p! You can also stop for a brew or refreshments at the similarly unique Noggarth Top Shop which has outside seating offering grand views of the Pennines.
Finish the ‘Three Cups o’Tea Way’ with refreshments in the Cabin on your return to Barley. Field sections of this route can be boggy so a fine crisp winter’s day when the fields are frozen solid is best. Have a great Christmas and enjoy your walking!
START: Barley village car park (£1 fee). Barley is linked by a bus service between Clitheroe and Nelson.
DISTANCE: 5 miles (allow three hours)
MAP: OS Explorer OL41 Forest of Bowland & Ribblesdale
1. From the car park entrance turn right across the stream then left up Cross Lane only as far as Bridge End, signed as a public byway. Turn left here passing a row of cottages and a stony track climbs uphill with a good view back to Pendle Hill. Simply follow this walled stony track through woodland for ¾ mile. It eventually swings right downhill to meet the lane in the hamlet of Thorneyholme. Turn right along the lane and the cottages of Thorneyholme Square are passed on the left. Turn left at the lane crossroads following Blacko Bar Lane, crossing a stream and passing a waterfall and the Alice Nutter sculpture to reach the Bay Horse in Roughlee.
2. Follow the lane across the bridge opposite the Bay Horse Inn. The lane goes steeply uphill and when it swings sharp left, leave it via the footpath on the right which starts with paved slabs. This continues straight ahead uphill and crosses a driveway, bearing left to go through a waymarked gate on the far side of the drive. Go straight ahead uphill keeping the wall on the left. This pasture can be boggy. A gate at the top left corner leads on to a farm road. Turn right and follow this enjoying the views. When it forks take the right fork and continue straight ahead. When the farm road reaches the top of the ridge and turns right, leave it via a waymarked wooden gate following the path leading straight ahead with a wall on the left. The ridge top path leads to Noggarth Top Shop. First brew!
3. From Noggarth Top join the lane at the bend and turn left only as far as the first footpath sign and gate on the right. Cross the stile here and bear left to join a farm road by a wall. Turn right along the farm road. This swings right then left downhill to reach a cattle grid by a traditional stone boundary. The official line of the path actually takes a more direct line by leaving the farm road on the left by a solitary hawthorn tree. Do not go over the cattle grid but turn left by the stones to reach a fence on the right and a waymarker post by a wooded enclosure. Go through a gate and skirt around the back of the woodland to drop steeply down steps and reach the access road by the entrance to Lower Graystones. Cross the squeeze stile next to the gate directly opposite, Cross the field straight ahead to reach a gate on the far side. Turn left and cross the wooden footbridge, climb a bank and cross two stiles to follow a field edge on the right to reach a stile onto Jinny Lane.
4. You can cross the stile opposite to enter the gardens of the Clarion House. If you are there on a Sunday this is your second brew stop and it’s definitely worth a look inside. To continue the walk continue straight ahead along the lane slightly uphill from the Clarion to soon meet a signed footpath on the left starting at a cattle grid on a private road. Follow the access road downhill to cottages. Turn right at the bottom and Nabs House/Farm, the earlier Clarion House, is seen on the right. Continue along the road past more cottages and immediately after passing a sewage works on the right, turn right up a path between gardens and the sewage works fence. Follow the path uphill past a playground and go through the churchyard gate on the left. The path leads past the church to the village.
5. Turn right uphill along the lane passing the Witches Galore shop on the left. Keep to the lane uphill and just on the brow of the hill the access to Barley Fold is reached on the right. Turn right down here along the access track. Keep going past the houses on the left to reach the last cottage straight ahead at a cobbled drive. Turn sharp left here through a waymarked gate. The field edge path downhill leads to a stile and back to the stone track. Turn left and right to return to the Cabin car park.
Don’t forget to check the cafe opening times for Christmas. The Clarion Choir will be at the Clarion House on Sunday, December 22 and it is also open on Boxing Day and Sundays. Why not become an annual member of the Friends of the Clarion - £2 for an individual. £3 for a family. A great idea for a Xmas gift. www.clarionhouse.org.uk