Winter Hill, Two Lads & Rivington Pike Sunset

21st March 2021

It's been a busy weekend working, waiting on deliveries and mowing the lawns but I managed to spy a couple of hours of sunshine towards the end of the day I thought I'd treat Brad and Holly to a walk over Winter Hill and hopefully time the walk to watch the sun go down from Rivington Pike summit.

The forecast wasn't as planned but that's not to say we didn't have a great time even if it was for just a couple of hours but one thing did put a spoiler on the walk for which I only had myself to blame.


Ascent: 1,041 Feet - 318 Metres
Summits: Winter Hill - Two Lads - Rivington Pike
Weather: Overcast With Some Sunshine, Brisk Winds Where Exposed. Highs of 10°C Lows of 6°C Freezing Over The Summits
Parking: Georges Lane, Horwich
Area: West Pennine Moors
Miles: 6.6
Walking With: Brad & Holly Dogs
Ordnance Survey: Explorer 287
Time Taken: 2 Hours 30 Minutes
Route: Georges Lane - Rotary Way - Winter Hill - Rotary Way - Two Lads - Crooked Edge Hill - Pike Cottage - Rivington Pike - Pike Cottage - Wilderswood - Georges Lane

Parking Details and Map
Nearest Post Code: BL6 6RS
Grid Reference: SD 658 117


Map and Photo Gallery


Rivington Pike from Rotary Way 16:00pm 10°C

Arriving on Georges Lane I parked easily before proceeding to kit up at the rear of the car. It had so for been a pleasant, if not slightly chilled day and I managed to cut my lawns earlier wearing shorts and a hoodie. I thought today would be a good day to try out my new Mountain Equipment shorts coupled with a thin baselayer topped up with a Berghaus fleece but it soon became apparent I was going to need more than just a fleece given how cold the wind felt once I left my car so off came the fleece and on went the Montane soft shell.

By now Brad and Holly were excited to escape the passenger seat confirmed by Brads barks which I swear start life in the pit of his stomach (I have never heard such a deep bark come from such a small dog!) Folk were returning to their cars as we set off against the traffic while making for Rotary Way.

Spring has sprung.
It's funny how excited you get when you see the first signs of Spring and I'm no different. During the week I drove to work in daylight, spotted new born lambs in the fields next to the motorway and to top it off I had the clearest of views over Morecambe Bay towards Black Combe, you can definitely say Spring is finally here.

Holly and Brad, Rotary Way.
It wasn't too busy so both Holly and Brad are let off their leads (for now anyway) Holly follows at my heel while Brad, well Brad's looks like he's having a rest.

Winter Hill summit and masts from Rotary Way.
This image looks pretty normal but it explains a lot, while most folk are tucking into their teas or dinners (depending how far south you are reading this from) Us three are heading towards Winter Hill in what can only be described in as a very chilled wind...queue schoolboy error Paul has forgot to bring his gloves and Paul's hands right about now are feeling the pinch...oh well just a couple more hours!

Looking towards Winter Hill summit.
Rotary Way remained quiet as we passed the Transmitter Station when the last of the brightness that we had been enjoying faded away as high level cloud filled the sky but if the forecast is to be correct the brightness should return within the next hour or so.

Views looking back over Counting Hill.
A place that I've grown very fond of as of late.

North East of Winter Hill.
Is Belmont village, Reservoir, Turton and Longworth Moors beyond.

Brad about to water the Trig Point.
It was especially chilled here on the summit of Winter Hill which we had to ourselves for a few moments before a fell runner appeared, skipped across the summit and disappeared off in the direction of the transmitter mast.

Maintenance Cradle, Winter Hill Transmitter Mast.
Two thoughts were occupying my mind right now, one was you would have to pay me a lot of money to step into that cradle and two...my exposed hands were starting to feel painful now.

Brad keeps warm by running amock.
If I walked just over 6.5 miles today Brad must have ran 10, not bad for a grumpy 8 year old Westie!

No Brad the sheep don't want to play.
Spotting sheep crossing Rotary Way I stopped Brad and Holly to put their leads on, Holly looked on with pinned ears but judging by how hard Brad was pulling I'm sure he just want to play with the big woolly dogs but with no history between the two I wasn't about to take any chances.

A glowing Fylde coastline from Two Lads summit.
Despite the cloud the clarity was really quite clear, if you look towards the left the hills and mountains of North Wales can be seen.

Adam Hill from Two Lads.
Feeling less exposed than we had been on Winter Hill my hands weren't feeling the chill as much but with that said, they were still a lovely colour of red while my knuckles stood proud in brilliant white. I left Two Lads and started our descent while blowing warm air into cupped fist.

Rivington Pike from the descent of Two Lads.
I'm not too sure if we're going to get that full on sunset judging by the cloud cover I guess we'll just have to wait and see.

Sparkling Irish sea.

I swear Brad is smiling in this photo.
Brad ran on while Holly and I took the descent of Two Lads in our stride while Brad looked on in his element no doubt thinking "I wish those two would hurry up"

Rivington Pike from Pike Cottage.
We had soon descended onto Belmont Road (track) by Pike Cottage where my hands started to feel normal again from where it's just half a mile or so to reach Rivington Pike summit, trouble was the sunset is still well over an hour away so pace was slackened to an almost crawl.

Winter Hill from Rivington Pike.
With Rivington Moor seen in the foreground, it's looking mighty boggy down there.


Lower Rivington Reservoir from Rivington Pike.
I arrived at an almost deserted Rivington Pike summit and soon my hands were feeling the chill again but the views more than made up for it.

Rivington Pike sunset.
Ok, lets be honest there's way too much cloud cover for that perfect sunset and technically there's still an hour to go until sundown but just look at the light, bloody fantastic.

The view over Adlington towards Chorley.

Rivington Pike sunset.
Incredible light show.

Looking back on Rivington Pike from Pike Cottage.

I got talking to a couple who had asked me would they mind I take a photo with the sun setting in the distance and I of course obliged but the truth was my hands were starting to feel the chill and once again they had turned red raw. A young lad arrived on a mountain bike and he too commented on how cold it was while I knelt down in the lee of the tower stroking Brad and Holly rigorously just so my hands could absorb their body heat before emerging from the tower to take one last photo before heading down.

Brad and Holly sprang to life and we started our descent while I again clinched my fist in my pockets until the feeling returned, flippin eck I wasn't half beating myself up by now.

The Pike Snack Shack.
Getting ready to close up for the day.

Georges Lane sunset.

With the feeling returning to my hands once again we returned by Wilderwood while at the same time I glanced over towards the transmitter which by now was only half visible as low cloud had began its descent. Once past Wilderswood I pass a field of new born lambs whose bleating broke the early evening silence. By the time I arrived back at Georges Lane there was only my car and one other whose occupants were taking pictures of the brilliant sunset unfolding before us.

Before I let Brad and Holly back into the car I rubbed them down with an old towel, started the engine and put the heater on full, I'm sure Brad and Holly would appreciate the warm air just as I would but before heading home I took this one last photo of the sun going down, minutes later it was gone and I drove home feeling content that I got my sunset after all.


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