West Pennine & Rossendale Walks
Winter Hill & Rivington Pike
Date: 31st May 2010
Distance: 5.1 miles
Ascent: 967 feet
Time: 2 hours 30 minutes
Start Grid Ref: SD638147
A fine walk up on to Winter Hill, one of the most famous Pennine hills, via Rivington Pike returning via Noon Hill.
Route Summary: Pigeon Tower Car Park - Rivington Pike - Two Lads - Winter Hill - Noon Hill - Pigeon Tower - Pigeon Tower Car Park
Photos: Click on the photos below to enlarge.
Walk Detail: Although this was a fairly short walk it was packed full of features. Early interest was provided by the upper garden terraces of Lever Park including the unusual but attractive Lever Bridge. From there it was a short walk, and the only steep section of the day, to the popular viewpoint of Rivington Pike. By this time skies had clouded over somewhat so we didn't get the full benefit of the views on offer though it was still a most pleasant place to be.
From Rivington Pike we cut across to Crooked Edge Hill to the cairns known as 'Two Lads' despite the fact that there are now three cairns. I'm not sure which of the three cairns were the Two Lads - there was however a good view back from here to Rivington Pike.
Somewhat unusually we were now able to follow a tarmaced road almost all the way to the summit of Winter Hill and its collection of masts, the highest of which stands about 1000ft high. On the main building next to the television mast there is a plaque commemorating the air disaster of 1958, one of a number of fatal plane crashes on this hill. A bit further along the road there is also an iron post erected in memory of a young man from Dumfries-shire who was murdered while crossing the moor in 1838.
The summit trig point was rather dwarfed by all the aerials and as it is sat between two fences it was not the most inspiring summit. A hundred yards further on though, when the path begins to contour above the steep north eastern flank of Winter Hill the views really began to open out. The overcast cloud meant that we couldn't see a particularly long way though I could make out the silhouettes of the Bowland moors and Pendle Hill to the north and as far east as the Scout Moor Windfarm.
The final features of interest were the bronze age burial site on Noon Hill (nothing much to see) and the attractive Pigeon Tower back in Lever Park. This was an easy and hugely enjoyable walk and I hope it won't be too long before I go back to Winter Hill and explore it from a different approach.