Winter Hill Sunset

24th March 2024

Despite knowing I had a busy weekend ahead of me I wouldn't be me if I didn't check the forecast all be it, the local one. I worked Saturday which was one of those wet and squally days but Sunday looked much brighter, trouble was I had plans for that day too which didn't involve fell walking and once the jobs around the house were done I had a couple of hours spare.

It had been a bright day at home too with the best of the sunshine towards dusk so I packed a bit of gear and drove to Wilderswood for another Winter Hill sunset walk.


Ascent: 700 Feet - 213 Metres
Summits: Winter Hill - Two Lads
Weather: Mild In The Spring Sunshine, Freezing Over The Summits. Highs of 9°C Lows of 7°C
Parking: Parking Spaces, Wilderswood
Area: West Pennine Moors
Miles: 5
Walking With: On My Own
Ordnance Survey: Explorer 287
Time Taken: 1 Hours 30 Minutes
Route: Wilderswood - Rotary Way - Transmitter Station - Winter Hill - Transmitter Station - Rotary Way - Two Lads - Wilderswood

Map and Photo Gallery


Two Lads and the Winter Hill Transmitter from Wilderswood 16:55pm 9°C
Only a couple of hours previous I'd taken Brad and Holly out on what was turning out to be a lovely Spring afternoon but as the day edged towards dusk I knew the temperature would drop and the winds would pick up. I managed to grab the last parking spot at Wilderswood, the spring afternoon had brought the crowds out which reflected in the two busy car parks. Walkers and mountain bikers were arriving back as I locked my car, passed through the gate and joined the path through Wilder's Moor where I was passed by more mountain bikers and the odd dog walker.

Flanking Two Lads.
The sun broke through the clouds eliminating the moorlands rich colour as I joined Rotary Way while flanking Two Lads to my left which I'll collect on my way back later.

Winter Hill and Transmitter Mast.
Seen beyond Smithills Moor.

New path under construction.
For anyone who regularly keeps up to date with the website you may remember the last time I was here I mentioned piles of reclaimed slabs had been left on the edge of the moor in an area known as Hole Bottom, as it turns out the Woodlands and Trust estate are laying the slabs over Smithills Moor in what appears to be an effort to entice folk off Rotary Way and onto the moorland which I think is a great idea.

Lovely evening light.
As I approach the Transmitter Station.

Winter Hill summit comes into view.
Despite the sunshine the temperature has plummeted so much so I can see my breath, so I put my beanie on and slipped my cold hands into a pair of finger-less mitts.

Passing one Transmitter...
...looking like something from a Thunderbirds show.

Views over Counting Hill.
I'd hooked a right at the last transmitter via a narrow path which is always bog deep but despite recent rain the hill side is beginning to dry out a little.

Views over Belmont village...
...towards Belmont Reservoir, Darwin Tower, Longworth and Turton Moors and Pendle Hill in the distance while over to the right is Scout Moor and Scout Moor wind farm.

Winter Hill summit Trig Point.
I reached Winter Hill summit around 17:30pm from where I took in the views over Belmont before deciding to walk to the north of the summit not far from the where the last transmitter is found.

Spitlers Edge, Redmond's Edge and Great Hill.
Taken from the northern spur of the summit, loving this golden hour of light now.

One last look at the Transmitter Station.

Sun slowly edging down.
The further I retraced my steps the darker it got as high level cloud passed over the summit obscuring the top of the mast before clearing south. In that time it was like someone had flicked the light switch to off but once the cloud cleared the hill side was left in more evening light.

Sunset over Rivington Pike.
You can't see them but there's about half a dozen people stood on Rivington Pike also watching the sun set.

Lower Rivington Reservoir and Rivington Pike from Two Lads summit.
Other than two mountain bikers heading up towards Winter Hill I had the place to myself and spent ten minutes or so taking in the surrounding views and admiring the new toposcope.


Moon rise.
Over Two Lads.

Thats your lot.

I hung around Two Lads summit until the light faded in the hope of a last chance display of colour, but the sun had set into a horizon of haze stretching across the Fylde coast as far south as Liverpool bay signaling the end of another day and possibly one of the last chances I'll get to do a sunset walk once the clocks go forward next weekend. Blowing warm air into cupped fists I made my way down and joined the track through Wilders Moor as I edged closer to the car park which by now was filled with red tail lights and folks arriving back from their walks.


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