Winter Hill & Two Lads Sunset

30th October 2022

I worked yesterday which worked out well seeing how wet the forecast turned out. The plan for today was to have a nice relaxing day. It had rained heavily during the morning but the afternoon looked brighter and I was umming and arring about heading up to Rivington for a walk over Winter Hill.

The clocks had gone back and although we had gained an hour sunset would approach around 16:45pm so I gave myself a two hour window to complete this afternoons walk. It's Autumn and as we're well aware the forecast doesn't always do what it says on the tin, but then again when the weather misbehaves it tends to make the walk that bit more dramatic.


Ascent: 600 Feet - 183 Metres
Summits: 2, Winter Hill - Two Lads
Weather: Sunshine & Showers, Breezy Where Exposed Highs of 12°C Lows of 10°C
Parking: Parking Spaces, Wilderswood
Area: West Pennine Moors
Miles: 4
Walking With: On My Own
Ordnance Survey: Explorer 287
Time Taken: 1 Hours 30 Minutes
Route: Wilderswood - Rotary Way - Winter Hill - Rotary Way - Two Lads Wilderswood

Map and Photo Gallery


Two Lads from Wilder's Moor 15:15pm 12°C

Due to some chores I had to get finished my two hour window had been shortened to around one hour forty five minutes and with that in mind instead of parking on Georges Lane I parked closer to Wilder's Moor where within minutes of locking the car, I was heading towards Two Lads.

It was raining when I set off which kind'a caught me unaware as it wasn't forecast but my baseball cap together with my hood made light work of it, stupidly however I'm wearing shorts but it's mild and my legs won't melt.

Up ahead the track continues towards Rotary Way which is where I'm heading next.

The view South.
By the time I'd reached Rotary Way it had stopped raining where I was able to see clearer skies over Manchester and the distant hills of the Peak District.

Dramatic skies towards the West.
I really miss skies like this during the Summer months. I like to call these rays of light angels torches which are illuminating the towns of Adlington and Chorley below.

Winter Hill mast anchors.
The dramatic skies continue as I reach the mast.

Winter Hill summit comes into view.
It was around about this point did I get an out of the blue call from Tim my walking buddy. The signal was great and we chatted for the next half hour just catching up and hopefully planning a walk within the next couple of weeks.

Huge skies over Rivington Pike.

Winter Hill summit.

I've visited Winter Hill summit recorded and unrecorded more times than I care to mention, in fact I was here last Sunday afternoon which for me, it's not Winter Hill if it's not wet and boggy.

The light is fantastic though.

Views over Belmont Reservoir.
Towards Darwen Tower, Darwen Moor, Turton Moor and finally a distant Pendle Hill.

Looking North.
Towards Spitlers Edge, Redmond's Edge and Great Hill.

Winter Hill Transmitter Mast.
The dramatics continue as I take in the view over the Transmitter Station.

Rivington Pike from Winter Hill.

Winter Hill Plane Crash Memorial Plaque.

The weather was so bad that night that the workers working at the transmitter station was unaware that a plane had crashed less than 400 yards from their station.

Emergency vehicles were unable to reach the survivors for hours due to deep snow so locals brought rescue crews up using tractors and snow ploughs.

Just a few yards from the Memorial Plague.
I took this photo looking back on Counting Hill just as a the sun poked through the clouds while at the same time noticing the rain falling from distant clouds.

Superb light.
It doesn't last but it's great while it does.

Rain, sunshine, wind and more rain.
Give me that kind of view anyday.

Mast anchor.

Mast anchor.
The distant glow is that of Liverpool Bay around 28 miles away as the crow flies.

Dramatic sunset.
You may walk the same route week in week out but you never get the same view.

Big skies unleashing curtains of rain.

Fidlers Ferry Power Station.
It's not uncommon to see Fidlers Ferry Power Station which lies between Warrington and Widnes in Cheshire.

Two Lads summit cairn.

I left Rotary Way with about fifteen minutes of light until sunset. The light was so intense my mobile phone was struggling to cope.

It felt wonderful to witness such an intense and powerful sunset but sadly it wasn't to last as whilst I was stood at the summit it was already starting to rain.

With just minutes to go...
...the sun sank into a bank of cloud and for a few moments everything turned to murk.

Waxing Crescent Moon 18:00pm

I continued to wait to see if there would be one last explosion of light but the low cloud had won. Tinges of orange broke through gaps above only to be replaced by more cloud. By now the taps had turned and the rain was falling heavier. Experiencing a wonderful afterglow just a few minutes earlier left me guessing had I dreamt it all. My Rab down was repelling the rain for now and for the second time this afternoon I found myself with my hood up. I turned and began the short descent of Two Lads and soon I'd joined the track I started on just a couple of hours earlier. By now my shorts were sodden so I transferred my mobile into an inside pocket on my down jacket for what good it would do.

The track was flowing with water now and streams alongside were starting to form into waterfalls. I reached my car within fifteen minutes of leaving Two Lads summit looking like a drown't rat and I gave my jacket a good shake before lying it flat in the boot. Typically the rain started to ease and as the cloud pushed north it left starry skies in its wake. I've always wanted to take a decent photo of the moon and up until a few weeks ago I didn't know that my Samsung S22 Ultra was one of the best mobile phone cameras to do it with so before I walked up the garden path I rested my right hand on the roof of my car and pointed west on full zoom.


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