Winter Hill & Rivington Pike from Wilderwood

15th January 2023

The plan was to meet David and Rod for a walk on Saturday but with winds reaching gale force in Lakeland we decided to give it a miss. The forecast looked the same for Sunday but that changed on Saturday evening offering a bright morning after a night of snowfall.

By the time I'd read the forecast I was half the way through a movie with a beer in one hand and a slice of pizza in the other, the temptation was real but truth be told that forecast could change so I made myself comfortable and forgot about the forecast.

Come Sunday morning I checked the forecast again for Lakeland which had stuck. Bright sunshine was beaming down on the fells before cloudier skies would develop around lunch which caused me to sulk like a six year old. The only way to get over it was to head out and see if a walk over a favourite haunt of mine would cheer me up.


Ascent: 950 Feet - 289 Metres
Summits: 3, Winter Hill - Two Lads - Rivington Pike
Weather: Overcast With Sunny Spells, Light Winds Where Eposed. Highs of 2°C Lows of 4°C
Parking: Parking Spaces, Wilderswood
Area: West Pennine Moors
Miles: 6.5
Walking With: On My Own
Ordnance Survey: Explorer 287
Time Taken: 2 Hours 10 Minutes
Route: Wilderswood - Rotary Way - Winter Hill - Rotary Way - Two Lads - Pike Cottage - Belmont Road (track) - Pigeon Tower - Rivington Pike - Belmont Road (track) - Pike Cottage - Wilderswood

Parking Details and Map

Map and Photo Gallery


Two Lads from Wilderswood 13:50pm 5°C

I drove the length of Georges Lane before pulling up at the parking area at Wilderswood finding just two spaces left which was just enough for myself and the guy I'd followed in who left with two Spaniels the moment he'd put the handbrake on. Not quite sure of my route yet I thought I'd let my feet decide.

From the track...
...Rivington Pike appears beyond the break in the wall.

Cloud rolls in.
Two Lads was looking busy and so too was Rotary Way so I left the comforts of the tarmac and took the track through the moorland which as you can see was pretty damp underfoot.

Looking back on the Transmitter Mast.

Considering this is an overcast, wind blown Sunday afternoon I was surprised to see so many people out so much so I decided to stop taking photo's until I'd created a gap between me and the crowds.

This picture was typical of the weather I was experiencing, dark and dull one minute then a burst of sunlight the next.

There's a wee bit of sunshine over on Scout Moor.
But it doesn't last.

View over Belmont Reservoir and village.
Towards Turton Moor and Darwen Moor with Jubilee Tower seen over on the left.

Winter Hill summit.

I left Rotary Way and flanked the transmitter seen on the left which on a day like today, offered a less boggier approach. The trig point would have appeared soon enough had it not been for the half dozen walkers stood around who after spotting my approach gathered up and left.

Most of the folk I'd passed where by now also approaching but didn't bother to take the few steps from Rotary Way to visit the actual summit, it's a common site I often see and I couldn't blame them on a day like today given how wet and boggy it was.

The three tranmitters found to the North of the summit.
Coming up here if the sun's out is always a bonus but I love being here on really windy days when the wind passes through the framework making all kinds of eerie sounds. Even better when the cloud is down.

Angel torches over Chorley and Adlington.
Seen here as I make my way back towards Two Lads.

Two Lads summit.
Well, I've only been out an hour and I seem to be covering ground so with an hour to kill I might as well turn this into a sunset walk and include a visit to Rivington Pike.

Sunshine and showers towards the West.

Descending to Pike Cottage.
Where you get this great view of Rivington Pike, blimey it's looking busy up there.

The showers seem to be increasing.
But at least they're on the move and not heading this way.

The Pigeon Tower.
Still killing time I took a walk over to the gothic looking Pigeon Tower and returned via the Chinese Gardens which for the time of day were incredibly busy hence no photos.

Sun setting over Lower Rivington Reservoir from Rivington Pike.

I followed the path from the Chinese Gardens back towards Rivington Pike where I was surprised to find that a snack hut had opened up in what used to be a groundmans hut (I bet the Pike Snack Shack weren't overly pleased) but it at least explained why I saw so many folk walking around with latte's in their hands.

Not long now until the sunset.

Passing showers.
It was great to see the showers pass when your completely unaffected by them. Can't say the same about the folk in Bolton and Horwich though.


Rivington Pike summit.
Ten minutes ago it was heaving up here but one by one the masses began to leave while they still had the light.

That's your lot.

I hung around a while longer before realising that the sun was disappearing behind a blanket of cloud nestling across the width of the horizon and with that I began my descent of Rivington Pike.

Light squandered across the sky in tinges of yellow and orange before the cloud gave way through which I could see distant stars appearing. It's almost 16:20pm and although the sun had set there's still enough light to guide me back to the car before dusk settles in bringing the end to another Winters day.


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