Rivington Pike Sunset

8th October 2020

Plans to take our granddaughter to Blackpool illuminations had fallen through which left me with a free evening. It was late afternoon but the day had been bright throughout and while I was out with my dogs Brad and Holly I had the idea to drive to Rivington to walk Rivington Pike and hopefully catch a nice sunset, trouble was the skies were filling with cloud and after checking the forecast there was even a little light rain on its way.

That maybe so I thought but I'll take my chances so armed with my mobile phone and looking all touristy dressed in jeans, hoodie and a pair of Timberland boots I set off for Rivington about 16:45 and by 17:15 I was parked up and good to go at Wilderswood.


Ascent: 436 Feet - 133 Metres
Summit: Rivington Pike
Weather: Highs of °C Lows of °C
Parking: Wilderswood Car Park, Georges Lane, Horwich SD 651 124
Area: West Pennine Moors
Miles: 3.2
Walking With: On My Own
Ordnance Survey: Explorer 287
Time Taken: 1 Hours 30 Minutes
Route: Wilderswood Car Park - Pike Cottage - Pidgeon Tower - Rivington Pike - Pike Cottage - Wilderswood Car Park

Map and Photo Gallery


Low Rivington Reservoir from Wilderswood.
I threw on my Montane down jacket, locked my car and set off in the direction of Pike Cottage as my view soon opened up over Rivington Low Reservoir, which features prominently in this evenings photos.

Low Rivington Reservoir from Wilderswood.
Within minutes of leaving my car I could feel spots of rain in the air which thankfully didn't develop into anything more.

Rivington Pike appears as I pass Pike Cottage.
The light as the evening was drawing to a close was just fantastic, so much so the owner of Pike Cottage as I passed popped out with a DSLR in his hand, took a few snaps then went back inside.

Following the track towards Rivington Pike.
It's only a short walk from Wilderswood to Rivington Pike summit so I decided to visit the Pigeon Tower found further along this track before doubling back onto Rivington Pike in time for the sunset.

Rivington Pike.
And to think I almost didn't come because of the forecasted showers.

Low Rivington Reservoir.
With the small town of Horwich seen left.

Horwich and Bolton Wanderers University of Bolton Stadium seen over on the left.
Most people still call it its original name of The Reebok, being a Wigan Athletic fan I can think of a few choice words I'd rather not repeat on this here website! Still a fine looking Stadium.

Continuing along the track towards the Pigeon Tower.
It's stopped raining and it's actually quite mild now I'm less exposed to the wind so off came my jacket which I knot around my waist.

Dovecote Tower commonly known as the 'The Pigeon Tower' Rivington.
Built in 1910 by Lord Leverhulme as part of his extensive Rivington Estate.

Time to head back, Rivington Pike is up ahead.

It's about 18:10pm and the sun is sitting low in the sky.
On route to the Pigeon Tower earlier I checked for cloud cover which appeared clear but a huge bank of cloud has appeared which just adds to the view...I feel it's going to be a cracking sunset.

Sunset from Rivington Pike.
With Addlington below.

Low Rivington Reservoir and Addlington from Rivington Pike summit.
A steep set of steps gives access to the summit from where I took this photo.

Rivington Pike Tower.

The summit was part of Britains early warning system where beacons were lit to warn of approaching enemies. The first beacon was built here in 1139 following a Scottish raid in 1138 and such warnings across the English countryside have been in use right up to 1588 to detect the approaching Spanish Armada.

The Pike Tower as we see it today is a Grade II Listed building and was built on the foundations of previous beacons back in 1733

I have the summit to myself for a few moments so I wander down the summit shoulder and use my jacket to sit on.

The light changes minute by minute.



Blinding light.

To the north, Yarrow and Anglezarke Reservoirs.
Where it appears to be bucketing down.

Two Lads from Rivington Pike.
Two Lads and Rivington Pike are easily linked by a moorland path which passes between the summits, hazard a guess said path would be very boggy today.

Looking East over Rivington Moor towards Winter Hill.
The cloud has rolled in and the wind is starting to whip up too, I add my jacket.

Rivington Pike Tower sunset.
From out of nowhere a few people arrive, mostly fell runners but some children and their mums too.

I'll keep smiling if that rain in the distance stays where it is.
A lovely metaphor though especially up here.

Only a few minutes before the sunsets altogether.
The sky is on fire and the light is magical.

Dying embers.

The end of another day.

I couldn't pull myself away until I watched the sunset below the horizon where in its wake, I could see showers falling across the Lancashire plain. With the light fading I descended the Pike and picked up the track bound for Pike Cottage and Wilderswood thereafter. Despite the loss of light the track was still busy with walkers and mountain bikers. It started to rain again and the puddles reflected the last embers of light while rain drops broke the waters surface.


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