A walk around Rivington

The August Bank Holiday weekend was forecast to be a scorcher so I was determined to get out to make the most of what was likely to be the best weather for some time. But it was a Bank Holiday and I certainly didn’t fancy sitting in a lengthy traffic jam on the motorway. I also didn’t want to miss seeing the Rugby League Challenge Cup Final which was taking place at Wembley on the Saturday (I wasn’t going down to London but wanted to watch the match on TV, even though our biggest rivals were playing). Any road, with a little thought and planning I managed to devise a couple of routes that would allow me to get out on the hills which avoiding these problems.

On the Saturday morning I was up reasonably early and was soon heading out to drive the short distance to Rivington where I parked up on the car park up near the school. I’d decided to head up to the top of the Pike and then work my way back down and follow a route along the Yarrow and Rivington reservoirs back to the car.

Despite having been up the Pike many, many times I managed to find a path up through the terraced gardens I hadn’t followed before.

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I reached the top of the Pike. There were a few other people up there, but it would get busy later on a sunny Bank Holiday weekend.

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Long range visibility wasn’t so great, but I had a view down to the reservoirs

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and, in the opposite direction, over to Winter Hill (the path over the peaty moor looked rather glutinous after all the recent rain – glad I hadn’t decided to walk over there today)

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and looking over Anglezarke Moor to Great Hill. On a good day I’d have been able to see as far as Pendle Hill and the Yorkshire Dales, but not today.

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After a short rest I set off back down the hill, walking past the Pigeon Tower, recently restored – and a good job the volunteers have done too.

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Looking down towards Yarrow Reservoir.

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I followed the old road down the hill. It was very rough to say the least.

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I walked past the Hall Barn and then cut across the fields to Rivington Village where I stopped for a brew and a bacon butty at the village cafe. Refuelled, I took the path from the village over towards Yarrow Reservoir which I circumnavigated.

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Looking across the reservoir towards Winter Hill and Rivington Pike

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Looking down to Anglezarke Reservoir

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I took the path down beside the “waterfall” (the over flow from Yarrow Reservoir)

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and then crossed the dam between the Anglezarke and Upper Rivington Reservoirs.

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I followed the path southwards along the west shore. Looking across I could see Rivington Pike

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Reaching the dam, I crossed over and then took the path along the east shore of Lower Rivington Reservoir, diverting half way along to take a couple of photos of the “Saxon Barn” (officially Great Hall Barn). As I’d expected, although I hadn’t seen too many people up to now on my walk, the car park and cafe at the barn were heaving. A lot of people drive over here, park up stop for a brew and then maybe take a short stroll. But most don’t stray too far from their cars.

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Back on the path, I eventually reached “Liverpool Castle” – a folly based on the original Liverpool Castle (which no longer exists) by Lord Leverhulme, the local lad “made good” (he founded Lever Brothers, now part of Unilever) who used to own the land round here and created the Terraced Gardens.

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It was a short walk back to the car park where I changed out of my boots and, after stopping to fill up the car on the way home, arrived back in good time to watch Saints get stuffed in the Challenge Cup Final – so a great day all round!

A walk on the moors

On Saturday I decided to get out for a walk up on the moors. I’d plotted a circular route from near Horwich, along the Rivington and Yarrow reservoirs, along Lead Mine Clough, then skirting Anglezarke moor before cutting across to Rivington Pike and then back down to the reservoir.

It was a grey, misty morning but the weather forecast predicted that it would clear up around midday for a couple of hours before the rain came in.

I parked up and set off along the muddy path from the car park

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passing the replica of Liverpool castle Lord Leverhulme had built

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and then reaching the path along Rivington lower reservoir

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I carried on to the end of the artificial lake, crossing the dam and then following the road along the western shore of the Upper reservoir. Rivington Pike and Winter Hill were hidden in the low cloud.

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At the end of the lake I crossed over to the eastern side and climbed up to Yarrow reservoir, following the path along the water and then along the minor road until I reached Allance Bridge

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then I took the path along the River Yarrow up Lead Mines Clough. The name gives away what used to go on around here. At one time there were mine workings along the river and the waters were used to process the ore.

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I took the path that headed east up on to the moor, following the track used by the local sheep farmers. There had been quite a few people enjoying the paths along the reservoirs – walking, on their bikes and on horseback – but it was very quiet on the moor – I only saw a couple of mountain bikers in the 4 or 5 miles before I reached the Belmont road.

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It was grey and misty, but as I walked over the moor, passing the ruined farms at Simms and Hempshaws, the mist began to clear

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The mist hadn’t cleared on Winter Hill – the main mast was still obscured in the low cloud

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I crossed over the Belmont road and took the old track that would take me up across the moor to the top of Rivington Pike

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It looked grey and desolate, but it was brighter looking back over to Anglezarke

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After a relatively easy, gradual climb I reached the pigeon tower that has been undergoing renovation along with the paths, gardens and other structures that make up the “Chinese Gardens” created for Lord Leverhulme on the slopes of the Pike.

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I continued along the track and, although I hadn’t originally planned to climb to the top I can never resist climbing a hill!

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I took in the views over to Winter Hill (now free of mist)

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and back down to the reservoirs

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After taking in the views, I made my way down the hill through the terraced gardens

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Reaching Rivington Hall Barn I headed along the path through the woods, making my way back towards the car park I’d left a few hours before. 5 minutes before I reached the car it started to rain – the Met Office had got it right.

A good 10 mile walk only a few miles from home.

A walk up Rivington and Winter Hill

The other Thursday was a beautiful sunny day. Late morning I received a message asking me to postpone a meting (a telecon, actually, as that’s the way things are done these days!)that was scheduled for the afternoon. No problem, I could reschedule. So that gave me an opportunity to take the afternoon and get out for a walk in the sunshine. It didn’t take long for me to decide that’s what I was going to do!

As dusk was around 6 o’clock, I couldn’t go too far afield so decide to drive over to Rivington and go for a walk up to the Pike and the nearby moors.

I parked up near the Saxon Barn and set out up towards the Pike

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through the woods, with the leaves starting to show their autumnal colours

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I walked up through the terraced gardens

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The summit of the Pike, with it’s tower, came into view

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A short steep climb later and I was on the summit with great views across the Lancashire Plain to the coast

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over the moors

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and Winter Hill with it’s cluster of TV and telecommunications masts.

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There’s been a major fire on Winter Hill earlier this year during the hot, dry summer. Although there was evidence that this had taken place but it was good to see that the grass was recovering.

After a short break I decided to carry on onto Winter Hill, taking the route via Two Lads rather than the more direct, but very boggy, route straight across the moor.

Looking back to the Pike

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Looking towards the summit of Two Lads

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It didn’t take too long to reach the top where I stopped for a break

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Where to next? I decided to carry on to the top of Winter Hill

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I carried on past the TV mast and looked over the moors towards Belmont

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and, in the distance, Pendle Hill

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On a good day it’s possible to see as far as the Lake Distict, Yorkshire Dales and Snowdonia from up on the moors. Alas, although a fine sunny day, long range visibility wasn’t so great. The best time for these views is on a clear sunny day in the winter.

I considered my options. I didn’t fancy squelching through a boggy quagmire, so decided to retrace my steps back towards the Pike.

Looking over the moor I could see evidence of the summer’s fire. Although the grass was recovering well there were scars across the land, which looked like wide paths, where firebreaks had been created

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I bypassed the summit of the Pike and made my way down through the Terraced Gardens

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Rather go straight back to the car I carried on through the woods to Rivington Reservoir and followed the shore to the end of the artificial lake

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I cut up through Rivington Village

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and through the woods up to Rivington Hall Barn

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A short walk, passing Rivington Hall

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and I was back at the car. I changed out of my boots and after a 20 minute drive was back home ready for a brew!