Winter Hill is a large area of high moorland lying to the north of Bolton. It is distinguished by its 300m TV aerial serving much of Lancashire but it is so much more than that. This walk offers the very best of Winter Hill.
My first visit to the summit of Winer Hill was a simple ticking exercise, the trig point a short distance from the access road. However this did Winter Hill no justice, it is better than that. This time we parked in Rivington and headed up through the Country Park and a cool winter’s day. Before striking out in to the moors and Winter Hill itself we visited Rivington Pike (the Tower) and an excellent small cafe at Pike Cottage. Both had excellent views.
Winter Hill itself is dominated by the infamous 300m aerial and a number of smaller ones, the trig point hidden away amongst them. It is a little surreal. The descent took us through some rough marshes to a lovely viewpoint and a small cairn. Looking west and south brought in to view a variety of sites including Liverpool and the docks, the M6, the Reebok stadium and further afield the Welsh fells. It may not be classic but it was interesting. To the north the Forest of Bowland offered more rural views.
Our descent was past the Pigeon Loft, another folly built in the early 20th century and the walled gardens of Rivington. All in all it made for an interesting day out.
Take your time to explore the history of the hill. Rivington Country Park is a typical snapshot of Victorian life and the views take in much of interest. Look also for the memorials for an airplane crash and murder victim!
Dont miss out on a coffee at Pike Cottage.
Sticking to the main paths in the country park will take a lot of time. However there are a number of paths that cut steeper uphill between the main paths. We used these on both the climb and descent.
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