The Monday after my break in Coniston was a beautiful sunny day. I was back in work but after I’d caught up with emails and finished all the more urgent tasks, I decided it was too nice to stay indoors so finished a couple of hours early to get out on the moors. A 20 minute drive and I was in Rivington and putting on my boots.
I’d parked up between the two barns (Great House Barn and Rivington Hall barn) and had planned a route that would take me over Rivington Pike and then on to the top of Winter Hill. My starting point was in Lever Park, an area of countryside and moorland that used to be owned by Lord Lever (of Sunlight soap, Port Sunlight and Unilever fame) and which he had converted into a private park with terraced gardens on the side of Rivington Pike, with water features, a Japanese garden with pool.
Setting off, I passed Rivington Hall and Rivington Hall Barn
Rivington Hall is a Grade II* listed building which was originally the manor house for the Lords of the Manor of Rivington. Behind the hall is Rivington Hall Barn, the larger of the two oak cruck barns on the estate.
I took one of the paths that would take me through the terraced Gardens and then on tot he top of the Pike.
After climbing up through the gardens, the summit of the Pike came into view
A short steep climb and I was on the top
The summit is 1,191 feet high and was the site of one of a series of early warning beacons spanning England created in the 12th Century. The tower is a Grade II listed building, which was completed in 1733.
I took in the views over the Rivington and Anglezarke reservoirs
towards Winter Hill with its television and communication masts
and across the open moorland towards Great Hill
After a brief rest I set off towards my next objective, the top of Winter Hill via Pike Cottage and Two Lads, a small summit on the flanks of the main bulk of Winter Hill.
There’s the large cairn on the top, dead ahead
and a view back towards Rivington Pike
Just a brief stop to take in the views then it was on towards the TV mast, which meant walking along a short stretch of tarmac
Getting closer to the summit
I wouldn’t fancy taking a ride in this cage that workers use to carry out maintenance on the mast
Winter Hill at 1,496 feet is the highest point on the moors. The TV Mast, which came into service in 1956, can be seen for miles around.
Carrying on past the mast, I passed Scotsman’s stump which commemorates a murder that took place on the moor
and then the memorial to a plane crash in 1958. A dangerous place Winter Hill!
I carried on past the other masts
and the trig point
Looking over to Belmont, Darwen Tower and beyond with Pendle Hill in the distance.
I descended the hill, looking out over towards Anglezarke Moor and Great Hill and set off back along the track to Rivington Pike, but diverting a short distance to climb to the summit of Noon Hill which is the site of a prehistoric burial mound which is a Scheduled Monument.
Back on the track towards the Pike, I reached the Pigeon Tower which is currently being renovated.
I decided to explore the gardens as I’d not been for a while, so took a winding route down hill. Like most locals, I’ve always known the gardens as the “Chinese Gardens”. They’ve fallen into disrepair over the years but are not subject to a major restoration project.
Reaching the bottom of the hill, I decided to extend my walk and take in “Liverpool Castle”.
The replica castle stands on the shore of Lower Rivington Reservoir and is a folly created for Lever. It is meant to look like a “ruin” rather than a complete structure.
I followed the banks of the reservoir back towards the Great House Barn. I could almost have imagined I was back along the shores of Coniston Water!
I soon reached the barn and then it was a short stroll back to the car.
It had been a good, varied walk, across parkland, through hillside gardens, across bleak moorland and along the shore of a lake! And only 20 minutes drive from home.