Turn left out of the car park and follow the road downhill and over the bridge over Pendle Water to the road junction. Follow the public footpath by the left-hand side of the Bay Horse Inn and take the steps up the steep slope behind passing Laurel, Sycamore and Ash above your head with Herb-Robert, Hedge Garlic, Great Willowherb, Ivy, Wood Avens, hybrid Bluebells, Meadow Buttercup, Nettle, Nipplewort, Pignut and Broad Buckler-fern at your feet.
Join Stang Top Road with care, turn left and follow the road until you come to a footpath on the left just past the end of the caravan park. Follow the footpath straight on through six long thin fields, the seventh having a new Hawthorn and Hazel hedgerow planted on the left-hand side. Follow the path until you come to Hugh Wood, which has Common Lime, Beech and Horse-chestnut trees visible on the edge. Enter the wood and descend carefully looking out for Common Dog-violet, Ramsons, Enchanter’s-nightshade, Germander Speedwell, Herb-Robert, Water Avens, Bistort, Giant Horsetail, Barren Strawberry and ferns including Hart’s-tongue. At the bottom of the slope there are Wych Elm, Lime and Horse-chestnut trees.
Follow Blacko Water upstream, not down, until you reach White Hough Lane, which is lined with Pine, Birch, Horse-chestnut and Copper Beech trees with Slacks Wood on the far side of the river. Turn right following the signs for White Hough Outdoor Education Centre.
When you come to a small brick building on the right-hand side before you reach the Centre, follow the footpath on the far side of the building and enter White Hough Plantation, looking out for Alder, Beech, Hawthorn, Hazel, Holly, Sycamore and Willow. When you reach a wooden footbridge, the tree behind you is a Beech, but the tree on the far side of the bridge is a Hornbeam, which has a more twisted bark pattern and its leaf edges have teeth, unlike Beech. The plantation behind the Hornbeam has Beech, Larch and Spruce in the canopy and Wood-sorrel, Hard Fern, Opposite-leaved Golden-saxifrage and Bluebell on the woodland floor.
Continue through the woodland, ignoring a footpath into a field on the right, passing Holly, Larch, Birch and Pine on the way, with Rowan towards the end, looking out for Foxglove (in flower June – August). Leave the woodland though a gate and continue uphill (not right) up some steps and past a new plantation of Alder, Ash, Birch, Dogwood, Hawthorn and Hazel to your left. Follow the path with Spruce and Blackthorn on your right, but can you spot the Alder and Aspen in there too?
Continue downhill passing Horse-chestnut and Blackthorn until you come to a driveway – turn left and follow it to Stang Top Road. At the road turn left heading uphill under a canopy of Oak, Hawthorn, Hazel, Sycamore, Ash and Holly looking out for Bluebell, Red Campion, ferns, Greater Stitchwort, Nipplewort, Herb-Robert, Germander Speedwell, Marsh Hawk’s-beard and Bush Vetch.
At a left-hand bend in the road, take the driveway on the right to Hollin Top (Private), passing, appropriately, a row of Hollies on the left-hand side of the drive. Hollin Top Farmhouse is a Grade II Listed Building (since 1988) built in the 17th Century with a stone slate roof supported by king posts and queen struts, having two storeys, two cells and gable entrances with a porch on the left-hand gable. The ground floor has two, three and four-light stone mullion windows with chamfered mullions and surrounds. The gable walls have chimney stacks.
Follow the footpath to the left-hand side of Hollin Top and past the garden into a field, which has Pignut in flower in May-June. Cross a stile, or gate if it is open, and go past a barn before taking a path on the right (not straight on) and into a field with Stansfield Tower visible on the hill beyond.
Head for the tower but note Middle and Hollin Woods on the right (part of a Local Wildlife Site – called Biological Heritage Sites in Lancashire: ref: 84SW12), 6.7ha of semi-natural woodland that is ancient, semi-natural in character, having an open canopy dominated by Beech and Oak with frequent Birch and Holly, occasional Rowan, Sycamore and Larch with Lime being rare. Beech, Larch, Rowan and Oak are visible on the edge of the wood from the public footpath. Although not visible on this walk, the ground flora includes Bluebell, Wood-sorrel, Honeysuckle, Yellow Pimpernel, ferns, Opposite-leaved Golden-saxifrage, Yellow Pimpernel and Marsh Violet.
The path descends downhill to a gate in a wall with Spruce trees beyond. Don’t go through the gate, but turn left and follow the wall then fence downhill towards a bridge over Blacko Water where you can see Bird Cherry, Hazel, Blackthorn, Alder, hawthorn and Birch. However, don’t go over the bridge but take the path to the footbridge visible on the right-hand side.
Once over the bridge, follow the path through a field and then through some paddock, then the path heads downhill and the steeper lower slopes lead down towards Admergill Water. Follow the path upstream to a gate with steps up to Wheathead Lane – turn right passing over the bridge then take the steps down on the other side and follow the Pendle Way through the woodland looking out for Pine, Larch, Wych Elm, Sycamore, Hawthorn and Ash with Wood-sorrel, Wood Avens, Lesser Celandine, Herb-Robert, Dog-violet and Germander Speedwell. Cross a field to a stile in a wall, following the river downstream looking out for Pignut, Wood Speedwell and Greater Stitchwort. Ignore a path over the footbridge on the right and carry on underneath Hazel branches through a gate in a wall and continue into a field lined with trees on either side that leads to Blacko Bar Road.
Turn right on the road, were you re-enter Roughlee Booth and walk uphill towards Blacko Foot. The roadside verge has a woodland flora that includes Dog’s Mercury, Red Campion, Wood Dock, Greater Stitchwort, Bistort and Ramsons. Leave the road at Blacko Foot and follow the Pendle Way through a field with a single avenue or row of Beech trees on the left, with a very large specimen at the end. Despite being one of Britain’s largest trees, Beech don’t live that long, with 250-300 years being a typical lifespan and this specimen is nearing its end. It may surprise you to learn that Hawthorn and even Ivy can live longer than our Beech trees!
Follow the Pendle Way down to Pendle Water and over the bridge towards Water Meetings House, turning right at the gateway to the house, squeezing between iron girders, and follow the footpath through a field to the woodland beyond.
The wooded slope has Alder, Rowan, Hazel, Sycamore, Bird Cherry and Birch but look out for Bluebell, Greater Stitchwort, Wood Speedwell, Wood Dock, Herb-Robert, Foxglove, Wood-sorrel, Honeysuckle, Yellow Pimpernel, Scaly Male-fern, Bilberry, Greater Wood-rush, Hard Fern, Lesser celandine and Tormentil. Sandstone rocks are exposed at the surface as you ascend the path that leads out into a field with scattered Oak trees and shrubs, then into an open field (with Shepherd’s Hut).
Follow the path onto the other side of the dry stone wall and follow it for approx. 500m to re-join the Pendle Way and follow it downhill to the right past a solitary Ash tree, then descending a steeper and damp slope to Pendle Water and the line of sturdy circular stepping stones. Here the riverbanks are lined with Ash, Sycamore, Hawthorn, Dog-rose and Elder. Ascend the slope to the Blacko Bar Road and turn left, walking on the grass verge looking out for Hedge Garlic, Wood Avens, Herb-Robert, Nipplewort, Wych Elm and Red Campion on your left.
The road junction with the Bay Horse Inn lies ahead.