Sabden 27-09-2017 – Leader Mike

Sabden 27-09-2017 – Leader Mike

On a day with a windy but good forecast, Mike led 19 ramblers up onto Pendleton Moor, quickly climbing 500 feet to warm us all up!  This took us to Badger Wells Hill, where we turned east past Deerstones onto Spence Moor.  The views were hazy, but we could see Upper Ogden Reservoir.  Mike had warned us about very soggy conditions on the moor, but in all honesty they were not bad at all as we continued to climb to the summit of the moor at 460 m (almost 1500 ft).  From here we continued eastward, now descending, to our first break in a secluded spot out of the wind.

Leaving the moor, we headed delightfully down to Sabden Fold, with some autumn colours beginning to show in the trees.  Continuing southward, we reached The Old House, with a nice selection of ducks, and a picturesque bridge for some photos.  Crossing the valley through Stone Fold, we had lovely views back to Barley Moor and Pendle Hill, as you can see on the featured photo.  At Copthurst, we had to shimmy around a gate to avoid deep mud, and then had to battle a lovely holly bush to get over a stile a moment later!  Then we turned west through Old Jeremy’s Farm to our lunch spot against a wall, with Gentleman John making sure we didn’t fall off a rather wobbly stile beforehand.

After lunch it was across the fields to the 1677 Foulds House, before climbing up to Black Hill, where we turned west to wander through the lovely Wells Wood, with a carpet of autumn leaves, so much so that I expected to see some Midsummer Night’s Dream characters; instead, alI I saw were bottoms!  We dropped steadily down to Wiswell Moor Bottom(!), before contouring along to our right to reach Higher Whins, with views of Sabden below.  At this point Mike gave us some encouragement, saying “only half a mile to go”, but it was a hard half mile, climbing a couple of hundred feet up a soggy track, which sapped what strength we had left!  This took us back to the cars, to end a varied, scenic, and quite tough walk.  Refreshments were taken by some at Read Garden Centre, to end a memorable day, thanks to Mike.  Thanks also to Barry for having a go with our new camera, and to Rosemary for back marking for a good deal of the way.

PS Before we set off, Roy showed me something in one of his many walking books about treacle mining in the area, the entrance to the mine being protected by tall black pudding trees!  According to this site, the mines were just above us, near the Nick o’ Pendle.  There was even an ITV children’s series about them in 1996.

Write up Arnold, pics Barry & Arnold.  Appended here are the route stats and profile.)

Slideshow below, but if you wish to see a static view of the pics all in one go, then click here.


  1. Thanks Mike.
    Enjoyed the walk but even my legs were a little tired at the end. It did seem to take ages but we Made it to the tea room in time and got the last cheese and onion pie :). Result.

  2. Graeme Adlum

    Hi Mike. I greatly enjoyed the walk on Wednesday. The terrain and underfoot conditions made it a fairly tough 11 miler – particularly the final stretch – my thighs knew about it Wednesday evening. However, I feel that from time to time we need to be challenged so I have no complaints. Thanks again.
    Well done to Arnold on the write up and photos (ably assisted on 2nd camera by Barry).

  3. Reflections on Sabden.
    I’d really like some feedback negative or positive about your thoughts regarding the walk. I am concerned that I may have pitched the difficulty level too high and that you may have regarded it as a step too far !
    I was impressed that 19 turned out despite the negative description and would like to thank my fellow 18 leaders who jointly kept us on the straight and narrow. For your amusement, my electronic phone map threw up a blank area while doing the recce. Hence the hesitation as we approached Hill Top and Higham, I felt like a WW1 general leading from the rear. Thanks Mike

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