Pendle Sculpture Trail in Aitken Wood near Barley is a great little walk that is brimming with eye catching sculptures. I’ve blogged about this trail before here , and it’s now somewhere we love to bring Hugo. Over time some of the sculptures have naturally eroded but a few more have recently been added too. We visited on a foggy Monday morning, driving through the village of Downham and over a misty Pendle Hill.
There is ample parking in the car park in Barley ( £1 charge) which has a cafe & information centre. No maps featuring the new art installations were available on our visit ,but hopefully this will be remedied soon. To access the Sculpture Trail we made our way through the village , passing the Pendle Inn on our left and then Barley Garage, before following the signs up past two reservoirs and on to Aitken Wood.
The original Sculptures are very much inspired by the tale of the Pendle Witches. In the 1600s nine local women and one man were accused of witchcraft and tried and hung in Lancaster, as part of the Lancashire Witch trials. Of course they were no doubt innocent victims of the superstitious times they lived in. Other sculptures are inspired by the natural world and there are yet more, with a hint of the supernatural about them.
The fog really adds to the atmosphere of the walk don’t you think? At one point I heard some bizarre sounds, that Wil and Hugo seemed completely oblivious to. Some very strange clickings & chattering’s from deep in the woods. Maybe I was letting the surroundings get to me, but I didn’t investigate further. Wil said I had probably heard a toad. Hmmmmm!
I was definitely starting to believe I was in a Grimm’s Fairy tale by this point. More and more supernatural beings were emerging from the fog.
Also dotted around the woods are several ceramic plaques, one for each of the accused witches.
As we were leaving Aitken Wood I heard a lot of activity in some conifer trees. Looking up, I saw a flock of crossbills , my first ever. A magic moment indeed.
Are there any interesting sculpture trails near you?
50 thoughts on “New sculptures on the Pendle Sculpture Trail.”
That is so cool—especially in the fog. What a lovely walk—would be so nice with kids to spot all the sculptures!!
Yes definitely. We have walked it before with friends with kids and they loved it. And that was before there were bogerts and unicorns..x
I’m not really into witches or supernatural stuff but I do like the tree nymph. My favourite has to be the unicorn though, it’s lovely. And how lucky you were to see the birds, that one looks really cute 🙂
The Crossbills were an added bonus. I loved the unicorn too. 😄
I want to go there right now! The new sculptures are fantastic. I did think about walking through the woods when on a visit to the area but (as usual 🙁) I didn’t have time as I had to fall in the then infrequent local bus services. It looked a very steep walk up from near the garage past the reservoirs. I don’t know if my knees would manage it 🙁. Do you know of a more accessible route into the wood?
It’s well worth going and I hope you can do it sometime. Unfortunately I don’t think there’s any other way of getting there, except walking, and it’s especially steep from the reservoirs up to Aitken Wood. 😦 X
That’s why it’s great to be able to enjoy experiences like this on other people’s blogs when you can’t go in person, especially on such an excellent blog as yours 🙂
Thanks Amanda, you make me blush. 😚xx
All those great sculptures and Crossbills – never seen one.
It’s really interesting and just fun too. The Crossbills were wonderful. Rosy coloured males and greenish females.
What an amazing walk, though I think for young ones it could be a tad scary. The chair sort of looked just a little creepy, but the witch sculptures were lovely. Thanks for sharing & take care.
That chair was very different. Eye boggling I would say. 🙂 X
Oh my gosh, what an absolutely wonderful walk, I love how the fog acted on your imagination, some of those sculptures really did look other wordly.
You will have to go Cathy. The countryside is beautiful round there. X
You are absolutely right.
Love this! 😊 What a brilliant way to honour the local history. It looks very eerie and atmospheric with the mists. X
The mist definitely added to the spooky atmosphere, that’s for sure. 🙂
Wow they are amazing, the fog just adds to the atmosphere. What a great day out. We have a sculpture trail in The Forest of Dean which is worth a visit.
I would love to go to the Forest of Dean 🙂
I do love a good sculpture trail. Like you mentioned, some of them rot over time so it’s nice to see a nicely maintained one. When we eventually swap our big caravan for a small campervan we will definitely be coming up your way! So much to see
There are so many counties I have yet to explore….and so many sculpture trails I suspect. 🙂
What fabulous photos!! The unicorn especially caught my eye. I also love the photo you got of the collie!
He is rather handsome isn’t he. The fog is definitely a theme here at the moment! X
This looks amazing! The fog was just perfect too. I remember you mentioning the sculpture trail a while ago, I’ve had on my list ever since but haven’t been yet. We are planning to visit the family nearby in the next couple of months so I’m going to try to see some the sculptures then…. but now I only want to go when it’s foggy!
It’s quite often foggy going over Pendle Hill so you never know. Hope you get to see them…and also look out for the Alice Nutter sculpture, if you pass through the nearby village of Roughlee plus there is a witchy shop in neighbouring Newchurch. x
Fab fotos! Crossbill pic amazing. Saw crossbills only once (in Fineshade Woods Northants), but never seen any in these parts. Will add Aitken Wood to my list of to-dos!
You should definitely go there next time your in the area. 🙂
Fab photo of the cross bill. I’ve never seen one either! The new sculptures look fun. Last time we visited I was eaten by horse flies lol. Looks atmospheric in the mist 🙂 x
Woh horseflies. Not good! They always go for Wil too! It was amazing seeing the Crossbills. X
Love the one with the see through witches. And crossbills, wow! haven’t seen one of them for a long time. I live near Grizedale Forest, another good spot for sculptures.
Wow Grizedale, it’s a long time since I’ve been there. I remember going when there was some art hanging in the forest.
I’ve not been for ages either. I used to work there.
What a great place to work. 🙂
wowsers, loads more new and excellent sculptures since we last went. Must organised the troops and go for a visit – thanks Sharon!
Yay! A nice walk for your #walk1000miles. X
Your photos are amazing – I love the unicorn in the mist, it almost looks real! This looks like somewhere I need to add to my ‘to visit’ list as it isn’t too far at all from my in-laws’!
You must visit next time your in the area. I would still like to see the statue of the witch Alice Nutter which is on the side of the road in Roughlee village nearby. X
Really, I could hardly imagine this trail without the mist! It just seems right somehow. My favourites are also the witches and the unicorn. I think the collie thinks it’s a cat perching on the wall like that. And I was amused to learn that non Land Rovers are “lesser cars”!
Haha yeh , land rovers are definitely cool. My other half really wants one!
The mist definitely added to the trails atmosphere. Perfect for the witchy connection. X
What an interesting place and the mist added to the atmosphere if it. I like the metal statues of the witches and how wonderful to see a crossbill:)
Thanks Rosie, I really enjoyed it. The Crossbills were an added bonus definitely. 🙂
Interesting place. Apparently there are some in the grizedale forest but didn’t have time to go yet.
Yes there are. It’s been a long time since I’ve been. Think the trail is still going strong. X
Must get over there and see them for myself – but I’ll probably wait until it’s not so cold! 🤧
Yeh it’s freezing at the moment. Still better than mild, rainy and muddy!
On a visit to Tuscany in 2012 we found this beautiful sculpture park dedicated to the art of Quinto Martini https://barbaramelnikcarson.com/2012/09/19/finding-sculpture-beneath-the-tuscan-hills/
Where is this amazing park! I just blogged about one yesterday with my dogs but this looks so magical I’m the woods with all that fog!
Hi it’s near Pendle Hill in Lancashire in a village called Barley.
I had no idea this existed!!! Definitely setting aside a day for wandering this trail 😀