Winter Hill

1st April 2021

Not many people know besides my passion for fell walking I'm really into my bikes inparticular Old School BMX. I've owned more bikes than I care to mention which probably stems back to my teens when me and a couple of friends raced BMX's at our local BMX tracks, a hobby that my mum and dad couldn't afford which subsequently stopped after one Summer season.

As teenagers we would jump off what ever we could including bus shelters and race down multi-story car parks on Sundays where we brushed with near death, handle bar to handle bar. My love for bikes has never really left me, in fact I turned up at my first day of work one weekend after leaving school on my Mongoose before regrettably swapping it for a racer, a decision that I instantly regretted.

When I'm not fell walking, working or dog walking I would try to get out on my Scott Hybrid bike which I couldn't really get used too due its lack of suspension so I sold it and set about looking for a Mountain bike which could cope with the demands that Winter Hill provided. Having explored Winter Hill from every corner one of the most common means after hiking is to ride to its summit and with that I thought I'd give the new bike the debut it deserved.


Ascent: 921 Feet - 280 Metres
Summits: Winter Hill
Weather: Highs of °C Lows of °C
Parking: Georges Lanes, Horwich
Area: West Pennine Moors
Miles: 6
Walking With: On My Own
Ordnance Survey: Explorer 287
Time Taken: 1 Hour 15 Minutes
Route: Georges Lane - Rotary Way - Winter Hill - Belmont Road (Track) - Pike Cottage - Wilderswood - Georges Lane

Parking Details and Map
Nearest Post Code:  
Grid Reference:  


Map and Photo Gallery


Rivington Pike from Rotary Way 12.45pm 9°C
I must have walked the intial steep section from Georges Lane up onto Rotary Way dozens of times and never gave the ascent any attention, today however, I'm panting like a Labrador on a hot day after tackling it on the new bike, the low gears are great for this type of ascent but they do have your legs spinning like a hamster on a wheel. With the steep ascent out of the way I stopped to take this photo looking out towards Rivington Pike and while I'm stopped I'm gonna add a pair of gloves.

1983 Mongoose Californian.
I'm the lucky owner of this (almost) original 1983 Mongoose Californian which set me back a four figure sum back in 2018 Since then I've spent another hefty amount getting it to how you see it today with original parts imported from the Europe, USA and Australia, funnily enough I managed to pick up the frame and forks from Alan's BMX right here in Wigan. Not bad for 38 years old.

1983 Mongoose Californian.
Only as recently as two weeks ago I was offered a much higher price than the bikes current value and without even thinking about it I turned it down, Although I haven't owned this particular bike from new given that I've hand built it from scratch it kinda feels that way if that makes sense.

Rivington Pike from Rotary Lane.
It's meant to brighten up soon but by the looks of it the pike is enjoying a spot of sunshine already.

Low cloud over Winter Hill Transmitter Mast.
It might be brightening up over Rivington Pike but it's mighty brisk as I peddle my way towards Winter Hill which was looking deserted today.

Crash site Memorial Plaque.
This is the second memorial plaque which relates to the air disaster which occurred close to this spot 63 years ago. I have plans to visit the actual crash site to pay my respects which I plan to do on two legs the next time I'm back here.

Winter Hill summit trig point.
Feeling very much like its namesake I might add!

Views over Spitlers Edge and Redmonds Edge.
With Great Hill seen in the distance.

Noon Hill is up ahead.
My initial plan was to descend to Noon Hill but between here and Noon Hill the ground underfoot is exceptionally boggy so instead I follow a set of bike tracks which descend towards Belmont Road (Track) seen over on the right.

Belmont Road (Track)
For the first time in over 20 years I put my trust in two wheels during what could only be described as a rather tricky descent. The bike is equipped with a 'dropper seat' which means I can drop the seat post by using a small lever on the handlebars, this means I have more control while trying to keep as far back as possible all the while gently squeezing the rear brake. Once I'd descended I had to jump off to cross a stream which was obscured by tall grass, after which it was just a case of picking the bike up over the fence before joining the track.

The Pigeon Tower comes into view.
If you want your fillings shaken out ride a bike (even with front suspension) over this lot, it's far cheaper than the dentist!

From Rivington Pike.
I take in the view over Rivington Moor towards Winter Hill. The four people you can see in the foreground I had passed back on Rotary Way, looks like the moorland is drying up nicely they've made great time.

Rivington Pike from Pike Cottage.
After leaving Rivington Pike I picked up Belmont Road (Track) and eased my way towards Pike cottage where walkers and mountain bikers supped on hot drinks. The track back to Wilderswood and Georges Lane thereafter is scarce only passing the odd dog walker but given that it's Good Friday tomorrow Rivington Pike will be expecting its annual pilgrimage which will see folk visit in their hundreds. It's only been a six mile bike ride which feels over too soon especially as the sun has come out but I can guarantee this won't be my last time here on two wheels.


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