A Snowy Walk in Barley, Lancashire
It’s mildly amusing to me that for someone who adores snowy weather, we happen to live in an area of the UK which is the least likely to have snow. Luckily, we only live a short drive from a handful of places which do get to enjoy the odd snowy day and so when the country was recently blessed with the falling of flakes we hopped in the car and headed over to Barley, a small village in the borough of Pendle.
Our plan had been to attempt to climb Pendle Hill with Barley as the starting point but although we were kitted out and well equipped, it soon became clear that visibility was going to become an issue and that we were unlikely to be able to find the summit, and even if we did make it to the top, due to the weather conditions there wouldn’t be all that much to see. So we contented ourselves with simply enjoying our snowy surroundings.
As a Cypriot rescue dog, this was Loki’s first introduction to snow and he loved it. Truly loved it. A white dog in white snow might seem problematic but we have coats for both dogs in case of really adverse weather so he was fairly easy to spot as he nose-dived into drifts and raced about, embracing the weather with his usual level of enthusiasm.
There is a specific circular route you can take from the car park at Barley, past the Ogden reservoirs, up to the summit of Pendle Hill and then back down the other side. The walk is approximately 5 miles and there are signposts (witches on broomsticks due to the connection to the Pendle Witches) which would make it a fairly easy trail to follow on a clear day. This was the walk we were planning to attempt; we made past the lower and upper reservoirs and had crossed into the open moorland before we realised the folly of ploughing ahead. I’d love to go back and try again as I think it would be an ideal walk for both the dogs and the kids.
The car park at Barley was pretty busy when we arrived and we did have to wait a short amount of time to find a space. I would imagine that it gets pretty busy on a regular basis. There were public toilets which were okay and a refreshment kiosk. It would have been lovely to be able to have a hot drink when we came back to the car, which was around 3pm, but unfortunately the kiosk had closed up. Something to check and bear in mind as there didn’t seem to be many alternative options within the village itself.
As soon as we got out of the car it began to snow and it literally didn’t let up the entire time we were out walking. As I said earlier, it made visibility difficult but once we’d made the decision not to try and walk to the top of Pendle Hill, it was really quite a beautiful experience.