Winter Hill via Counting Hill

11th March 2021

Today I'm back on Winter Hill on a route that right now, I can't get enough off. With a couple of days off work getting out for a walk was proving difficult given the unsettled weather where a forecast can change within the blink of an eye.

It's kind of frustrating weather watching but it comes to a point when you forget the forecast, load the car up and head out, sometimes they're the best walks and sometimes you get exactly what it says on the tin, wild and windy.


Ascent: 800 Feet - 244 Metres
Summits: 3, Counting Hill - Winter Hill - Two Lads
Weather: Cloudy With Sunny Intervals. Max Wind Gust 38mph Highs of 10°C Lows of 4°C
Parking: Layby, Colliers Row Road, Smithills Dean
Area: West Pennine Moors
Miles: 7.2
Walking With: On My Own
Ordnance Survey: Explorer 287
Time Taken: 2 Hours 30 Minutes
Route: Colliers Row Road - Coal Pit Lane - Dean Mills Reservoir - Counting Hill - Winter Hill - Rotary Way - Two Lads - Rotary Way - Holden's Plantation - Holdens Farm - Coal Pit Lane - Coliers Row Road

Parking Details and Map
Nearest Post Code: BL1 7PJ
Grid Reference: SD 682 124


Map and Photo Gallery


Winter Hill transmitter mast from Coal Pit Lane 12:45pm
It was blowing a gale so much so I struggled to open the car door to kit up, once out the wind it slammed shut. Ahhh it's gonna be one of those walks...I kitted up behind my car which acted as a wind break and before I could put both boots on I was zipping up my jacket and adding a buff around my neck. Sporadic sunshine did lift the temperature as I set off up Coal Pit Lane which didn't last but pleasant while it did. I'm overtaken by a fell runner who I watched until he disappeared over the brow then it seemed I had the place to myself.

Roscow's Tenement Clough.
This is the head of Roscow's Tenement Clough, I'll be passing the lower section towards the end of the walk.

Heading towards Dean Mills Reservoir.
The wind for now was behind me but once I round the reservoir up ahead I'll be walking head first into it so best enjoy the peace while I can.

Counting Hill and Winter Hill from Dean Mills Reservoir.
Looking a wee choppy today.

Counting Hill and Winter Hill from Dean Mills Reservoir.
I do hope one day I'll be able to recreate my first visit here a few weeks ago when I had blue skies and a mirror finish over the waters surface. Ok, time to hit the hill.

Leaving Dean Mills Reservoir for Counting Hill.
As you can see it's a tad damp underfoot which was to be expected given the amount of rain that has fallen this week.

The boundry wall, the ditch and the fence.
A quick hop over the water filled ditch before passing through the sty over to the right.

Winter Hill from Counting Hill.
Then it's bliss for as far as the eye can see, even the sun has decided to come out.

Clash of light, Counting Hill.

Ascending Counting Hill in the sunshine.
Note the Boundry Stone over on the left.

Winter Hill and the transmitter masts come into view.
Despite still being a good distance away from the transmitters I could still hear the wind as it howled through their framework, great stuff.

Looking back on Delph Reservoir with Turton Heights and Cheetham Close beyond.

And further north...
The village of Belmont, Belmont Reservoir, Longworth and Turton Moors.

Heading towards Winter Hill summit.
I exchanged bog for tarmac before making my way towards Winter Hill summit, it struck me here that I've walked this summit through Winter into Spring although today I think we're back in Winter Mode. The sound of the wind currently passing through the transmitters is awesome if not a little eerie!

The sun came out.
Just in time to take this photo of a very boggy Winter Hill's a good job I don't mind the odd hop, skip and jump.

Passing the main transmitter now.
Where it looked like blue skies where trying to break through but to be honest they were changing so rapidly due to the high winds what you saw one minute was gone the next.

Looking back on Winter Hill transmitter station from Rotary Way.
Still enjoying the tarmac I took in the slight descent on Rotary Way as I made my way towards Two Lads and no, the sun hasn't come out this was one of those split second quick take a picture while the sun is shining moments!

Two Lads summit.
I left Rotary Way and took in the gentle, if not very boggy ascent on Two Lads finding I had the summit to myself which is quite rare given its popularity.

Rivington Pike and Two Lads.
Seen as I link back up with Rotary Way.

Holdens Farm found at the end of Coal Pit Lane.

From Rotary Way I descended through Holden's Plantation at which point the sun came out more or less around the same time I was less exposed to the wind, it was starting to feel like a proper Spring day now.

Hang on that pick up belongs to a South Lakes tree delightful.

Coal Pit Road crossing Roscow's Tenement Clough.
To the left of the bridge a bridleway ascends Roscow's Tenement's Clough towards its head as seen earlier.

Looking back on the bridge.

The calm after the hailstorm.
I continued along Coal Pit Lane by which point I was exposed to the wind again but that didn't matter because my car came into view as seen over on the right but that wasn't the end of the unsettled weather as a burst of hail fell from the sky quickly followed by an equal burst of sunshine, what another cracking walk in what felt like the tail end of Winter on the hill.


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