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A Classic Walk from the Waddy

This challenging 9-mile circular route heads up onto the fells above the picture postcard village of Waddington for breathtaking views of Pendle Hill and the Ribble Valley. The route follows the ancient tracks of the Lancashire Witches’ Walk almost to the summit of Bradford Fell before dropping back to the village and returning via gently rolling pastureland.

From the Waddington Arms’ front door, turn R up street to junction by bridge then R along road past Almshouses. Continue on road past school and after 300 yards take footpath off to L up farm track and R over stile at Meadow Head, following the waymarkers for the Lancashire Witches Walk.

Follow treeline on R edge of field to stile at top then go half L towards farmhouse. Cross two stiles and continue to top left corner of paddock and over another stile and half right through gate then over footbridge and across next field to stile besides large sycamore tree and over paddock to complicated stile onto lane.

Turn L and continue up lane for half a mile and through gate onto fell track. Continue climbing past barn and onto open fell, admiring superb views of the Ribble Valley unfolding behind. After second gate, gradient eases as bridleway, cuts R then L. Continue through metal gate, climbing gently on track through heather.

At next gate, follow bridleway round to right and continue to edge of plantation – this section can be a bit boggy after rain. At plantation, turn R as our walk leaves the Witches Walk and heads back downhill. Go through gate and continue on track for 500 yards.

After sharp L bend take footpath R along green lane, skirting Simpshey Hill. At gate cut R beside the wall southwest on very faint path through rushes heading to a pillar stone with a white arrow at the end of a dry stone wall, then over a whitewashed stone stile to pick up more distinct path S. Keep to L of field, then, at compound, cut diagonally R to ladder stile and L onto grassy track.

Follow track to tarmac track and continue straight on downhill across cattle grid to lane. Go R along lane then continue down lane for 400 yards past farm, ignoring paths L and R to take bridleway over stile on R.

Using Clitheroe castle as your bearing, follow elevated path southwest across field, through two gates and over the field towards the barn beside the white farmhouse to join track into village. At road, turn R and take footpath L after bridge then R over stone stile after 50 yds. Go over paddock and through gate continuing west over six more stiles before rejoining the road via a narrow ginnel on the edge of Waddington.

At the stone village sign, take footpath diagonally across field to stile in southwest corner. Go along ginnel into centre of village and R up road to return to the Waddington Arms.

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