Winter Hill & Rivington Pike

16th January 2022

No sooner had I returned home from Loweswater did I find myself checking out tomorrows local forecast for a four legged excursion over Winter Hill and beyond. It wasn't the brightest of mornings so I left it until after lunch and timed my arrival for around 2pm, that way I had two and a half hours to play with before sunset.

The plan was to take Brad and Holly out for their daily walk before I left but I just didn't see the point, besides, it's been ages since we all did a proper walk together so I tagged them along and a little over 20 minutes later I was parking up while Brad and Holly barked and jumped all over the seats eager to get out the car.


Ascent: 924 Feet - 282 Metres
Summits: 2, Winter Hill - Rivington Pike
Weather: A Bright Start Turning Overcast. Highs of 9°C Lows of 6°C
Parking: Roadside Parking, Geroges Lane, Horwich
Area: West Pennine Moors
Miles: 6.5
Walking With: Brad & Holly
Ordnance Survey: Explorer 287
Time Taken: 2 Hours 30 Minutes
Route: Georges Lane - Rotary Way - Winter Hill - Belmont Road (Track) - Pigeon Tower - 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


Glorious skies looking out over Horwich 14:30pm 9°C

I purposely parked as far back down Georges Lane as I could just so I could enjoy the extra mile or so. Even though this is a local walk and it's nice and sunny I still brought my pack along just in case I needed to throw on a few extra layers on more so my hat and gloves as I'm planning to be out after sunset. Georges Lane was a hive of activity with dog walkers heading towards Wilderswood together with around eight horses from the local riding school which left Brad and Holly looking all sheepish. "They're just big dogs" I told Holly.

I cleared the horses, and a few dog walkers where I could relax before turning right onto Rotary Way when I heard "ok let them trot" and before I knew it the horse riders were nudging their knees as the horses developed into a trot, the sound over tarmac was deafening as the horses past me for the second time while Brad and Holly's ears were pinned back. "Don't worry mate, they're just big dogs Brad"

A distant Rivington Pike from Rotary Way.
The pressure of being surrounded by horses and dog walkers was off as soon as I turned onto Rotary Way where I let Brad off his lead but kept Holly on due to her dislike of anything on two wheels which was just as well as we're soon joined by a mountain bike as he slowly peddled his way up the steep slope.

Brad, Bwad and Bad.
Are the many names our grand daughter Penny calls Bwad, I mean Brad.

Flipping eck.
It looks like I left the sunshine back on Georges Lane as the cloud descended within the last twenty minutes leaving me reaching for my hat and gloves.

Mast to nowhere.
Given how popular Georges Lane was I'm starting to wonder where everyone is as I seem to have the place to myself.

Winter Hill summit.
Found in between the gap between the mast.

Holly and Brad.
With the crowds left behind we continued towards Winter Hill summit only to be joined by another mountain biker who from nowhere suddenly appeared. It was too late to dash for Hollies lead but she responded perfectly letting the bike pass without so much of a blink of her eyes.. I guess the training is beginning to work.

Brad survey's Winter Hill summit.
"Dad do we have to go through all that mud" I think this'll be close enough for today Brad.

...Holly is playing 'don't leave Dad's heel' which she often does in unfamiliar surroundings.

The view over Belmont Village and Reservoir.
Towards Turton Moor and Longworth Moor.

Noon Hill is ahead.
We're not heading that way because after this section the ground turns really boggy so we'll by-pass Noon Hill by heading right towards Belmont Road (track)

This way Dad.
I soon made the turn and began the descent towards the track which I last used on my mountain bike last Summer. There's a fence hidden in the tall grass just up ahead where I thought I'd have to lift Brad and Holly over but it seems someone has cut a small hole just big enough for dogs to pass through as I carefully negotiated the barbed wire.

Belmont Road (track)
It's about 3:30pm now and with just one hour before sunset the sun appeared right on queue,

I pass the Pigeon Tower.
Then descend towards the Chinese Gardens which I'll have to return to another day as there's plenty of exploring to be had.

Come on Dad!
Only half an hour to sunset!

Rivington Pike is up ahead.
From the Chinese Gardens Rivington Pike is just ten minutes away...or if you have two Westies with you add half an hour as they have to sniff every blade of grass they pass.

Sunset from Rivington Pike.
It's nowhere near as clear as forecasted but what the hey, it's still a great way to end the day.

Sunset and reflections.

Magical light.
Its starting to get quite nippy now.

Almost the end of another day.
Sadly minutes after taking this photo the sun sank into a layer of cloud and all of a sudden all what was left was a thin layer of light which spread along the Fylde coastline from north to south.

Back where we started.
Blowing warm air into cupped fist I left Rivington Pike as the light began to fade. It would be another half hour before darkness really fell so we made the mile walk back to the car last as long as possible whilst watching the lights of Horwich and beyond flicker on. By now Georges Lane was pitch black so I took out my head torch and used it for the last half mile as Holly and Brad sniffed out every fence post and blade of grass we passed. I towelled them both down before opening the passenger door and ordered them in - Brad needn't be asked twice as he leapt in and curled up on the floor while Holly rode shotgun on the fleece blanket I'd laid out over the passenger seat.


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