If you live in or are visiting Pendle and wondering what to do in Pendle? The Pendle Sculpture Trail is a must!
The Pendle Sculpture Trail is on the outskirts of the village of Barley which is nestled at the foot of Pendle Hill in Aitken wood. An area of outstanding natural beauty and steeped in history with tales of the Pendle Witches.
What Is The Pendle Sculpture Trail?
The Pendle Sculpture Trail is a wonderful way to get families out walking together, it was created in tribute to the people who were hung in the Pendle Witch Trial over 4oo years ago. Which is infamously one of the biggest witch trials ever held in the UK. But worry not, is not morbid at all, more of a beautiful tribute.
There are 10 plaques set amongst the trail that pay homage to each of the victims of the trial. And also a series of sculptures created by artists to enhance the mystery and magic of the trail including a unicorn, boggart, pixie, fairy and many stunning tree sculptures.
Set in the stunning Aitken Wood in Barley, the forest is home to magical beasts, waiting for families to discover them as they wander through the woodland. With the spongy woodland floor that is a true delight to walk on; it really does feel like a fairy wood full of wonder and magic.
In many ways this is an appropriate nod to Alice Nutter and her fellow “witches” they may have lost their lives in a most horrific way, but the mystical feeling this trail creates feels like a wonderful memorial to people who were accused of witchcraft, and seems a fitting part of their memorial. Click here for a downloadable trail map.
We spent a wonderful morning exploring the trail, although the boys may have got a little cross with me stopping so many times for photos! Quite honestly it was so beautiful I wanted to capture as much as possible. It was also a great place for Toby to wander off the lead as there are no farm animals about. There were other dogs but all well behaved and with their owners. And he was mesmerised by the unicorn, it took him some time to work out whether it was real or not.
Where Is The Pendle Sculpture Trail?
The Pendle Sculpture Trail is located in Aitken Wood which is a short walk from the village of Barley in Lancashire. Follow the map for instructions on how to get to the Pendle Sculpture Trail.
Where To Park For The Pendle Sculpture Trail? Park in the Barley Picnic site car park, the village has limited parking and is mainly resident parking only. The car park costs a pound, this pays towards the maintenance of the car park and park and picnic area. This is the nearest parking spot to the trail and is around a 30 minute walk to the beginning of the trail. Get to the car park early, it fills up quickly, we arrived at 10am and it was full!
Getting To The Pendle SculptureTrail From Barley Car Park
From the car park head through the picnic site and turn right at the end towards the Pendle Inn pub, keep going through the village until you come to a fork in the road. Turn right onto Barley Lane and follow until the end where you reach Black Moss Reservoir, follow the footpath to the right towards the sculpture trail.
It’s a steep hill but worth the walk and as soon as you reach the trail you are protected from the sun by the canopy of the tree’s. And the great news is that the return journey is all downhill, but wear comfortable shoes we walked 4 miles on the round trip. ( We could not get a space on the car park and had to park about 2/3 of a mile out of Barley)
Where To Eat Near The Pendle Sculpture Trail?
It is a good idea to take a picnic as there are grassy spots to stop and eat although I did not see a bin so be mindful you will have to carry your rubbish, or eat a Barley Picnic site before or after your walk. Take water as the hill is steep, on a hot day you will need it and if walking with pets ensure you take water for your pet too. The walk to the trail is exposed and in full sun but is a glorious walk.
However should you fancy lunch after your walk, the Pendle Inn in Barley is a fantastic local pub that serves hearty pub food and one we would thoroughly recommend. Dogs are welcome in the Pendle Inn as long as you sit in the bar area.
Alternatively if you wander into Barley Park, the Cabin Cafe also serves great food and is the perfect place to stop for ice cream.
Is The Pendle Sculpture Trial Pram Friendly?
The hill is steep and gravely, but there are steps so it would be possible to push a pram up with a bit of effort.
Would I Recommend The Trail?
Absolutely, it is a steep incline but there were lots of families with small children doing the trail, and its interesting for teens as there is lots to see. Once to get to the top which feels almost as high as Pendle Hill, it feels like such a magical place to explore. If you are looking for a free activity for kids this is a wonderful way to spend 3 hours. Check some more pics from the trail below.