Nick 'O Pendle (SW #74) Bike Climb - PJAMM Cycling

0.8 mi
472 ft
11.2 %



Nick O' Pendle (Clitheroe Road) has three times hosted the British National Hill Climb Championships including British legends Malcolm Elliott (1980) and Chris Boardman (1988). "This famous hill climb venue in the north-west, over Pndleton Moor, has been used to test riders for generations,"  (Simon Warren, 100 Greatest Cycling Climbs, Britain). 
Average grade is 11.2% with 77% of the climb in the 10-15% range.  The steepest 500 meters is 11.8%.

See more details and tools regarding this climb's grade via the “Profile Tool” button.
Roadway:  Two lane with center stripe and no shoulder.

Traffic:  Mild.

Parking:  At Sabden Car Park 200 meters from the climb start (Map; Street View), or at the car park at the finish of the climb (MapStreet View). 
Provisions:  None on the climb but there are options in Sadben at the climb start. 
Before heading out on any cycling adventure check out our Things to Bring on a Cycling Trip and use our interactive check list to ensure you don't forget anything.
Nick O' Pendle is where the climb finishes and where you can hike the moorlands for miles on end if you so desire (Google Map + Reviews). 

There are many 100 Greatest Cycling Climbs, Britain and Another 100 Greatest Cycling Climbs in the area.  Use the “Routes in Area” button on the menu bar to see other bike climbs in this area. 



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 Much of the climb is through pasture and farm land

Nick O’ Pendle is well known to British cycling climbers having hosted the British National Hill Climb Championships in 1962 (Peter Graham), 1980 (Malcolm Elliott) and 1988 (Chris Boardman).  


                              2013 National Hill Climb Champion Tejvan Pettinger on Nick ‘O Pendle

                              If you love British cycling you’ll love Tejvan’s blog - 

This 1.3 kilometer climb begins in the medium sized village of Sabden (pop. 1,422; 2011) but soon enters serious sheep grazing pasture land.   The climb is all straight for the last 1100 meters and at a very steady and challenging 11.2%.

There are ample views of rolling green hills with sheep quietly grazing as we ride the last kilometer to the top.        


Ever wonder how a lamb handles a southerly itch . . . ???

By the way, there is no Nick ‘O Pendle Road.  This climb is entirely on Clitheroe Road. Nick O’ Pendle on Google Maps is the area at the top of the climb.  

Steepest ½ kilometer begins at 300 m (11.8%)

“The Nick O Pendle hill climb is a testing climb from the village of Sabden Village up to the moors of Nick O Pendle.  (#72 on 100 hill climbs). The climb averages approx 10%, but at the start there are a few sections of 16%. It has been used several times for the National Hill Climb Championship, including 1988 when a young Chris Boardman won his first hill climb championship, setting a course record of 3.29 (he used a 60 inch fixed). A 19 year old Malcolm Elliot was also national champion on this hill in 1980.  

Start at the lamp-post outside the apartment block on the site of the old garage in Sabden Village. Proceed up the hill to FINISH at the large stone at the start of parking area and approximately 50 yards before the crest of the hill.The course is approximately 1350 yards long and has a maximum gradient of 1 in 6.”  More

The climb begins in Saben (pop. 1,422, 2011) in Lancashire County:

“Sabden is a medium-to-large village and civil parish in the Ribble Valley, Lancashire, England. Sabden is located south of Pendle Hill, in a valley about three miles north west of Padiham. The parish covers 2,450.9 acres (991.85 ha), of which 103.2 acres (41.75 ha) is occupied by the village. It lies in the Forest of Pendle section of the Forest of Bowland Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.  

Sabden is believed to have been derived from Old English sceppe denu, meaning "spruce valley." The name occurs as early as 1296 as "Sapedene;" however, this likely refers to Sabden Hall, located in the hamlet now known as Sabden Fold in Goldshaw Booth.


In 1387 Sapenden Haye (Sabden Hey) was demised by John of Gaunt to Thomas de Radcliffe. A bridge is mentioned near here in 1425.

Both Yates' 1786 and Greenwood's 1818 maps of Lancashire mark two settlements at this site: Hey-houfes and Sabden Bridge.[6][7] It was known as Sabden Hey and Heyhouses when it developed into a hamlet.

The Starkie family of Huntroyde Hall near Padiham were landowners in Heyhouses from at least 1787. In 1801, Le Gendre Piers Starkie purchased the remaining portion to add to the Huntroyde estate. The family were the patrons of St. Nicholas' church (built in 1841).

The early 19th-century Beauties of England and Wales series describes the "extensive factory and print grounds of Messrs Miller, Burys & Co" here. Leaving the place unnamed, it mentions the remoteness of the site, and that the owners had built a company shop and chapel for the 2,000 employees.

Farming and quarrying were the mainstays from the 16th century with many small farms and several quarries. There is still a good example of a very old vaccary (medieval cattle farm) wall at the roadside near the ancient Stainscomb property east of the village. In the later 18th and the 19th century fabric printing and weaving industries took over.

Strings of Lime gals (Galloway ponies) were a common site from the mid 18th century into the late 19th century; they generally carried slate, lime and coal, making their way through Sabden going between the Burnley coal fields and the Clitheroe / Chatburn lime kilns.

The Weavers Arms was a public house, now long closed; it was on the Top Row.

The Old Black Bull, previously the Printers Arms, (the large house next to the bridge) was a pub until the 1960s.

The water quality in the valley suited the calico printing industry and more printworks developed along Sabden Brook. The industry kept going until 1931. At one stage there were seven mills in the village employing over 2,000 people; this meant many workers travelled to work daily from surrounding towns and villages on foot, many working a twelve hour shift or more.

The presence of the mills meant an increasing demand for transport for people, coal, raw materials and finished goods. This led to the formation of the Clitheroe, Burnley and Sabden Railway Company, who issued shares, but the railway never came. Many of the houses were built for the mill workers by the mill owners.

The location of the village led to difficulties in administration, as it was split between the townships of Pendleton and Read (in differing poor law unions and rural districts). Tax rates differed in the two sides of the village and there were difficulties with water provision, sewerage and road maintenance. When a school board was created in 1894 it required the taxation of six different townships. In 1904, after about six years of negotiations, the civil parish of Sabden was formed.

Wesley Street was known as Long Row (the longest row at the time). Badger Wells Water (a tributary brook) originally ran down Littlemoor and joined Sabden Brook near Bull Bridge, not as it now does, down the rear of Wesley Street.[disputed – discuss] This is confirmed on the 1818 map on the right, where the Pendle Forest border follows the water course directly south to join the main brook near the bridge.

In 1847, there were two bridges at the bottom of Wesley Street, one for Clitheroe Road and one for Whalley Road, both for the Badgers Wells Water. There were no houses on the west side of Padiham Road or south of Whalley road. The garages at the bottom of Wesley Street were once the first ten on the street, one up one down houses, back to back. This explains why the numbers now begin at 12; they were known as Centre Row.”  
Wikipedia - Sabden

Forest of Bowland Area of Natural Beauty 

“The Forest of Bowland, also known as the Bowland Fells, is an area of barren gritstone fells, deep valleys and peat moorland, mostly in north-east Lancashire, England with a small part in North Yorkshire (before 1974, some of the area was in the West Riding of Yorkshire). It is a western spur of the Pennines[1] and was once described as the "Switzerland of England".

The Forest of Bowland has been designated an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) since 1964. The Forest of Bowland AONB also includes a detached part known as the Forest of Pendle separated from the main part by the Ribble Valley, and anciently a forest with its own separate history. One of the best-known features of the area is Pendle Hill, which lies in Pendle Forest. There are more than 500 listed buildings and 18 scheduled monuments within the AONB.

Bowland survives as the north-western remainder of the ancient wilderness that once stretched over a huge part of England, encompassing the Forest of Bowland, Sherwood Forest (Nottinghamshire), the New Forest (Hampshire) and Savernake Forest (Wiltshire). While the Trough of Bowland (the valley and high pass connecting the Wyre (at Marshaw) and Langden Brook and dividing the upland core of Bowland into two main blocks) represents the area, to many, on account of its popularity, it is in fact only a small part of the wider Forest of Bowland area.

The hills on the western side of the Forest of Bowland attract walkers from Lancaster and the surrounding area. Overlooking Lancaster is Clougha Pike, the western-most hill. The hills form a large horseshoe shape with its open end facing west. Clockwise from Lancaster the hills are Clougha Pike (413 m or 1,355 ft), Grit Fell (468 m or 1,535 ft), Ward's Stone (561 m or 1,841 ft), Wolfhole Crag (527 m or 1,729 ft), White Hill (544 m or 1,785 ft), Whins Brow (476 m or 1,562 ft), Totridge (496 m or 1,627 ft), Parlick (432 m or 1,417 ft), Fair Snape Fell (510 m or 1,670 ft), Bleasdale Moor (429 m or 1,407 ft), and Hawthornthwaite Fell (478 m or 1,568 ft). Considerable areas of the Bowland fells were used for military training during the Second World War, and there are still unexploded bombs in some areas.

The area contains the geographic centre of Great Britain which is close to the Whitendale Hanging Stones, around four miles (6 km) north of Dunsop Bridge. The historical extent of Bowland Forest is divided into two large administrative townships, Great Bowland (Bowland Forest High and Bowland Forest Low) and Little Bowland (Bowland-with-Leagram), but the modern-day AONB covers a much larger area.”  
Wikipedia - Forest of Bowland