‘Witches’ Walk’ traces history of Pendle Witches’ trek to Lancaster Castle

Coun. Thompson, centre, with walk leader Ian Thornton Bryars and the other pioneers of the new long-distance walk at the half-way point at Slaidburn.

Coun. Thompson, centre, with walk leader Ian Thornton Bryars and the other pioneers of the new long-distance walk at the half-way point at Slaidburn.

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THE focal point of the recent “Witches, Walks and More” walking event, hosted in the Ribble Valley, was the chance for visitors to enjoy the new Lancashire Witches Walk for the first time.

The 51-mile route launched as part of the commemoration of the infamous Lancashire Witch Trials of 400 years ago, begins at Pendle Heritage Centre at Barrowford and ends at Lancaster Castle, passing through some of the Ribble Valley’s most stunning scenery.

Taking four days to complete, the walk was led by local rambler and author Ian Thornton-Bryars, who explained the events of 400 years ago as he guided the group along the way.

Coun. Robert Thompson, chairman of Ribble Valley Borough Council’s Community Committee, joined the walkers on day two. He said: “The Lancashire Witches Way has to be one of the most picturesque long distance routes in Britain, and has the added value of its unique historic significance.”

It is anticipated the Lancashire Witches Way will become a popular long distance walk once promotional literature and a book describing the journey and the history have been published. It will be signposted using uniquely designed way markers, with walkers encouraged to stay overnight at local hotels, guesthouses and campsites.