England,  Routes

Rivington Pike Walk: An Informative Guide


Rivington Pike Walk

Rivington Pike is located near Bolton, Northwest, England and is close to the M61. Making it an easy hike to travel to. This Rivington Pike route is approximately 5.5km and is rated as a moderate trail, it’s free and open all year! Although this is a relatively short route, it is a lovely one and it’s definitely worth doing in our opinion.

Car Park Post Code: Bl6 7SB

Rivington Gardens History

Rivington is famous for the Terraced gardens that were built by Lord Leverhulme (William Hesketh Lever) with the help of Thomas Mawson. After Lever’s death in 1925, the houses were left to be demolished in world war II. Therefore Rivington Hall Gardens were left to get lost within nature… 60years later united utilities took over the land, meaning that Rivington Heritage Trust can attempt to restore the history of the gardens. (more about further down).

Starting The Rivington Pike Walk

This walk starts from Rivington Hall Barn, where there is a car park free of charge. The Barn is usually open to grab some food, or a drink and they often have events and entertainment on here too. When we last went, they had a BBQ on and the tables outdoors were full of people, a great atmosphere.

However, on passing the barn, we headed straight to the start of the walk… The walk starts by going towards the building and following the path round to the left, where you will come to a bridleway to start the route.

The path continues through the trees until you reach a steep incline, where you then veer off to the right… The area opens up and you join onto a wider path, you then follow the path until you reach Lever Bridge. This is then obviously a photo opportunity 😊.

Lever Bridge

Lever Bridge was inspired by a trip to Africa taken by William Hesketh Lever and was originally built to provide routes up into the Terraced Gardens and to provide access to the summer houses.

Continuing the walk…

After you’ve taken your photos under the bridge, continue along the path until you come to a T junction, where you will see the information boards for Stone House Lodge.

Stone House Lodge, constructed in 1915, is one of the four gatehouses to the gardens. The remains of the lodge can still be seen, the two gate posts that remain are grade II listed.  Head past the remains of Stone House Lodge, past some interesting looking steps on your left… The steps lead to The Great Lawn, you can run up and have a little look if you want to (Like Lu) or just continue past them towards the gardens.

Kitchen Garden Ruins

You will soon pass the Kitchen Garden ruins on your right-hand side. The ruins are of what used to be the shelter for the gardeners and workers, also known as a ‘Stone Bothy’. The Japanese gardens are further down the path past the kitchen gardens, if you want to explore there. However, this takes you off track for this route. Therefore you would need to head back up the path once you’ve had a look to continue this route.

If continuing without heading to the Japanese gardens… on passing the ruins of the kitchen gardens, the path then opens up and you will spot a cobbled path on your right… take this path and continue towards the Pike Tower (First one to spot the Pike Tower wins 😉).

Heading to Rivington Pike Tower

You’ll feel great, you can finally see the destination point… but you will also beable to see how steep it is to the top! If you fancy a little rest before the steep incline, there are benches at the bottom (Bonus!). However, if you dive straight in, you will not be disappointed by the views when you finally hit the top.

Rivington Pike History

Rivington Pike, a hill summit, on Winter Hill overlooks the village of Rivington. The views from around the summit go on for miles. The grade II listed building ‘Pike Tower’ sits at the summit 361m above sea level. Although first built in 1733, Pike Tower has since been renovated, after decades of vandalism and disorder. The tower still houses a fireplace and a small stone cellar, however, the windows and doors have now been bricked up, meaning you can no longer see the interior.

Tip 1: Eeven on a nice day, the top of the hill can be extremely windy… you might want a light fleece with you at the very least for when you reach the summit. Read Hiking bag essentials for more tips!

Tip 2: Look out for the positive quotes dotted around near the summit! 😊 We love them!

Heading back down from Rivington Pike Tower

Once you’ve finished enjoying the spectacular views (if you’re ever ready to leave!), you could head straight back down the same way to keep it simple… I mean it’s simple if you have a good sense of direction and remember where you came from anyway!

Alternatively, for more adventure, you can head down the steps and to the path on your right instead, taking you to Belmont Road. Follow Belmont Road until you reach Pigeon Tower. And then take the steps down to The Italian Lake and Terraced Gardens.

Pigeon Tower

Pigeon Tower was built between 1905 and 1909 but was originally called the Lookout Tower. Thomas Lawson (remember the guy who I said helped Lever with the gardens) designed the tower as a tall focal point to his design of the Italian Gardens. The 4 story Tower was then authorized and specially built by Lever as a birthday gift to Elizabeth Ellen, his wife.

Rivington Terraced Gardens

Little bit more of the history of the gardens before we continue the route… it would be rude not to, seen as this is one of the main attractions of Rivington. Firstly, Country File named the gardens one of Britain’s ‘Best lost gardens’ in 2014 (claim to fame!). Rivington Terraced gardens, created and built by Lord Leverhulme (William Hesketh Lever), cover 45 acres of the hillside between the barn and the pike. (wow!). The work on the gardens started in 1905 until 1925. However, in recent years, Rivington Heritage Trust have discussed a multimillion-pound plan. They plan to repair and preserve many of the buildings and their features.

Continuing the walk down…

Head down the steps towards Italian Lake and take in the spectacular views from the many viewing points. On a clear day this is the place to take in views from Lancashire, The Lake District and even Snowdonia!

As you pass through the gardens, past the lake, you will see another flight of stairs on your left, head up for a look at one of the many summer houses of the gardens. After a having a nosy up the stairs, head back along the footpath to wards the steps on your right.

Head down the steps on your right which will take you back over Lever bridge. (you went under lever bridge earlier, remember?). After you cross the bridge keep following the path downwards, it gets quite steep at this point. Lastly, on your route down, you will pass South Lodge Ruins, where you will see the remains of the foundations as well as the exterior stone.

Continue the path down until you reach an open grassed area, called Breres Meadow. The path then leads you straight back to the carpark and Rivington Hall Barn.

Interesting fact: Its tradition to walk to the summit of Rivington Pike on Good Friday! (Expect it to be busy, if this is the day you choose to go).

For hiking tips before you go check out our top 5 hiking tips .

Lu and Ad in front of the pike at the top of the hill.

There’s lots of different ways you can explore this walk, let us know if you do another route and find any other interesting spots along the way? or if you try this one, also let us know in the comments below :)

Lu & Ad



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