Walks Near Manchester: Winter Hill

Take a stroll through the West Pennine Moors and to the 8th tallest structure in the UK.

By Manchester's Finest | Last updated 27 July 2022

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On a freezing and foggy winter’s day, or even just a blustery and rainy autumn afternoon, you would be forgiven for perhaps mistaking Winter Hill as having penned its name from its frosty surroundings.

Well, that’s not why it’s called Winter Hill, but more on that later. First up – the walk…

Don’t be put off  if you do decide to take it on a cold day, as Winter Hill has so many different walks you could try with some truly breath-taking scenes to match.

You begin your descent up Winter Hill in Rivington Country Park which takes you up 1,496 feet to the high summit over a variety of different footpaths. You ascend by crossing Rivington Moor with amazing views of Rivington reservoir and Anglezarke reservoir.

The 4 mile and 8 mile walks are arguably the best to take in the views and scenery of Bolton, Wigan and the West Pennines Moors.

Highest Hill Walk takes you around the medieval manor house Smithills Hall, Winter Hill and through Barrow Bridge – an old, quaint mill village. At Winter Hill, you will reach heights of 1500 feet, the highest hill in the West Pennines Moors.

Why is it called Winter Hill?

Simply put, the Winter Hill mast greets you at the very top. Winter Hill transmitting station is a working broadcasting and telecommunications site at the southern boundary of the Borough of Chorley, Lancashire and above Bolton, responsible for bringing you all of your favourite local TV channels.

Cover image credit: Jonathan Ellison


MAD Walkers are a hiking group for 20s and 30s for people who live in and around the Greater Manchester area. With over 400 members, they offer a variety of group walks to suit you and many other like-minded people.

Head to their website to find an upcoming walk…

MAD Walkers