We live in a beautiful country there is so much to see and do whether we live in Lancashire, Cheshire or the Peak District. However if you live in or are visiting Pendle and wondering what to do locally or are visiting the Ribble Valley? 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. The trail was created in tribute to the people hung in the Pendle Witch Trial over 400 years ago. Infamously one of the biggest witch trials ever held in the UK. But worry not, the train 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. This includes 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.
This is an appropriate nod to Alice Nutter and her fellow “witches.” Although they lost their lives in a most horrific way, the mystical feeling this trail creates is a wonderful memorial. Click here for a downloadable trail map.
We spent a wonderful morning exploring Pendle Sculpture trail.
Although the boys may have got a little cross with me stopping so many times for photos! It was beautiful, thus 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. 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 Sculpture Trail 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. Alternatively eat at 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 in full sun and exposed, however is a glorious walk.
Restaurants Near The Pendle Sculpture Trail
- Pendle Inn in Barley is a fantastic local pub
- The Barley Mow is fab for food.
- Alternatively are real favourite of ours is the Bay Horse in Roughlee, this is only a 5 minute drive away with lots of parking or 15-20 minute from Barley and serves the most delicious food.
Dogs are welcome in all of these Pendle Pubs as long as you sit in the bar area.
Is The Pendle Sculpture Trail Pram Friendly?
Or if you wander into Barley Park, the Cabin Cafe also serves great food and is the perfect place to stop for ice cream.
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. Its interesting for teens as there is lots to see. Once you 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.
And for more Lancashire countryside check out Barley Reservoir.