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A spring day up Winter Hill

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winter hill, rivington pike, pigeon tower
A spring day up Winter Hill

Saturday really felt like spring was in the air. Feeling spring immediately makes me want to go camping… but with that option shouted down by the husband and kids – I changed camping to hill walking in an attempt to ease them back into outdoor ways.

This weekend we climbed Rivington Pike in Lancashire. It’s by Winter Hill the one you can see for miles all around Manchester, the one with the big radio mast sticking out of the top. A great place to visit in the North West of England. Keen to discover just how far the small boy would walk before whining set in I left the carrier in the car and off he set marching in front “his big boy self”. Everything he does at the moment is done with the same “big boy self” enthusiasm. It’s really quite sweet. 

Rivington Pike is an intriguing place to visit – home of the now very much dilapidated Lever Park. It gives a glimpse into the fascinating Edwardian age, the ruins of the Terraced Gardens and the Pigeon Tower poignant and forgotten. 

Pigeon Tower I believe was an elaborate summerhouse owned by Lady Lever – she used the top floor as her sewing room. As I walk by obviously I pretend I’m Lady Lever, swishing importantly in my vastly impractical dress. 

pigeon tower, winter hill, rivington pike, Bolton
View from Pigeon Tower on Winter Hill

A peep through one of the Italian style arches on the terraced gardens.

View of Rivington Pike and surrounding Lancashire countryside through a stone arch window up Winter Hill in the terrace gardens
View through the arch of the old terraced gardens belonging to Lord Lever

I used to come here for ‘Sunday Walks’ when I was a little child and it still holds the same appeal to the children that it did to me then.

children hill walking, winter hill, rivington pike
Walking hand in hand up the hill.

The excitement of being out and about discovering things and learning about nature – if sometime a little ‘gruesome’ is something they absorb like sponges and stare in wide eyed in wonderment. Today they were ‘lucky’ they saw a Kestrel swoop in for the kill and catch a field mouse and proceed to de-fur it with hungry speed, only to lose out on his prize to circling crows. That’s life I suppose… They watched it with fascination!

We stopped to throw ‘pooh sticks’ into babbling streams and continued our walk up to the top tower at the very top of the hill – the smallest boy managing every step! 

top of winter hill, rivington pike, hill walking
We made it to the top!

I loved the tower at the top of the hill – it was filled with ‘graffiti’ carved into the stone… little pieces of love stories set in stone. I love history, I love the feeling of walking the path of people before me, wondering what they were doing and thinking… it fascinates me.

graffiti carved in stone, winter hill, rivington pike
a little bit of historic graffiti

The best part about all that fresh air? Well the knock out sleep. Obviously!

Rivington Pike & Winter Hill are great places to visit – especially with children. 

Things to do:

  • Walking
  • Mountain biking
  • Go Ape
  • Wildlife spotting.
  • Enjoy the breathtaking scenery.
  • Climbing Trees – Getting back to nature
  • Picnics

The best bits as picked by kids! 

  • Getting to the top!
  • Watching the Kestrel
  • Exploring the ruins

What to pack for the day:

  • A picnic and drinks.
  • Picnic blanket/groundsheet.
  • Wellies/walking shoes
  • Bikes
  • Kite

There’s some great things to do in the North West of England.