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Your Ultimate Adventure Guide to Rivington Pike

Your Ultimate Adventure Guide to Rivington Pike

Ah, Rivington Pike—the crowning jewel atop the West Pennine Moors. Between the sweeping vistas and its rich tapestry of history, this isn’t just any hike—it’s a venture into Lancashire’s wild and wonderful soul.

Gearing up for an escapade to this renowned peak? Here’s our sprightly guide to Rivington Pike, dotting the essentials and sprinkling in some of our cherished insights.

Things to Know

Traffic and Travel Time: Even though Rivington Pike isn’t in the thick of urban hustle, perfect weekends can see a surge of fellow adventurers. Especially during summer months, if you’re driving from central Manchester, for instance, it usually takes around 40 minutes without traffic.

However, on busy days, factor in an extra 15-20 minutes. Trust me, it’s worth that early start to nab that prime parking space near the trails.

Climate: Typical English flair means our weather can be, let’s say, whimsical. Despite its modest height, the Pike can throw a few weather curveballs. It’s often breezy at the summit, so even in summer, a cheeky jumper could be a lifesaver. 

Winter jaunts are chillier and can be a touch slippery—scarves, gloves, and a flask of hot tea are my personal essentials.

How to Get There

By Car: If you’re coming from Manchester, head northwest on the M61, then take the exit for the A673 toward Horwich. Follow the signs for Rivington. There’s parking near the base of the Pike, but it fills up quickly on sunny weekends!

Public Transport: There are buses from Bolton and Chorley that stop near Rivington. From there, it’s a scenic walk to the start of the Pike trails.

On Foot or Bike: For the truly adventurous, you can take the various bridleways and paths leading to the Pike from surrounding towns. Just be prepared for a bit more of a workout!

Best Time to Go

All year round, Rivington Pike offers its own unique charm. But come spring, it’s a spectacle. Picture fields blanketed with bluebells and horizons so clear, you’d swear you could see all of Lancashire.

Sunny weekends are peak times, drawing families, romantics, and solo trekkers alike. For those craving quietude, how about a weekday dawn hike? If you’re lucky, you’ll witness the moors veiled in mist—a surreal, almost otherworldly sight.

But honestly, rain or shine, every Rivington trek has its moments. Once, caught in a sudden drizzle, I found myself having the most delightful, albeit drenched, lunch. Embrace it all!

Where to Stay in Rivington Pike

Address: Preston Rd, Chorley PR6 7JB, UK

Phone: +44 1257 791234

Pricing: ££

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The Ramada by Wyndham in Chorley South is the epitome of convenience meeting class. Perfectly placed for those Rivington Pike adventures, it’s where modern amenities mesh with good old Lancashire warmth.

The rooms? A dream for weary legs after a long hike—spacious, stylish, and sporting beds that might just make you consider a lazy day in. For a bit of a splurge, their on-site restaurant is fab. Ever had Lancashire hotpot with a twist? Here’s your chance!

And here’s a wee secret: the rooftop has some pretty stunning views during sunrise. So maybe, just maybe, consider setting that alarm a tad bit earlier.

Address: Bolton Rd, Darwen BB3 2QB, UK

Phone: +44 1254 777700

Pricing: £££

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Oh, the Astley Bank Hotel! Think of it as the elder statesman of hotels—a dash of grandeur, a sprinkle of history, and loads of character. A mere skip away from the Pike, it’s a nod to the region’s illustrious past.

Elegant rooms, plush drapes, and that unmistakable feeling of stepping into a bygone era. Their garden? A must-visit, even if it’s just for that cuppa in the morning amidst chirping birds.

Tip from a frequent guest (yours truly): their in-house restaurant serves a chocolate dessert that’s nothing short of divine. Don’t miss it!

Address: River St, Bolton BL2 1BX, UK

Phone: +44 871 984 6491

Pricing: £

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For those who want no-nonsense comfort without busting the wallet, Travelodge on River Street is your jam. Close enough to the action and yet tucked away for some peace, it’s a traveller’s dependable friend.

The rooms are clean, comfortable, and have everything you need for a good night’s sleep. And here’s a nugget of gold: right around the corner, there’s a lovely little cafe that does the crispiest bacon sandwiches.

If you’re looking for a basecamp to explore without the frills, you’ve found your spot.

Address: Manchester Rd, Bury BL9 5NA, UK

Phone: +44 1706 822476

Pricing: ££

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Ah, the Red Hall Hotel—where modernity gives a gentle nod to tradition. Set in a picturesque locale, it offers a delightful blend of chic interiors and rolling green exteriors.

Rooms here are thoughtfully designed—bright, airy, and with tiny details that surprise and delight. Hungry? Their in-house restaurant is a gastronomic journey you won’t want to miss.

Got time in the evening? Pull up a chair at their bar. The bartender whips up a mean cocktail and has stories that’ll make you laugh till you cry.

Address: 380 Liverpool Rd, Rufford, Ormskirk L40 1SQ, UK

Phone: +44 1704 822040

Pricing: ££

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The Rufford Arms is what happens when a traditional inn gets a snazzy makeover. Located in the picturesque Rufford village, it’s a delightful melange of the quaint and the contemporary.

Expect rooms that ooze charm, with wooden beams and modern amenities co-existing harmoniously. But the real star here? The food. Their in-house restaurant boasts a menu that’ll make your mouth water just reading it.

Local gossip: They apparently have a secret dessert menu item. Ask nicely, and you might just get to try it.

What to Do in Rivington Pike

Address: Rivington Pike, Rivington, Lancashire, BL6 7SB

Phone: +44 (0)1204 696998

Slap on those hiking boots and head to the iconic Pike Tower—a historic landmark that’s been keeping a watchful eye over Rivington since 1733. But it’s not just about the destination. 

The trek up offers sweeping vistas of the Lancashire countryside, with little pockets of woodland, reservoirs, and meadows on your way. Once you’re at the summit, the views are…well, let’s just say they’re ‘Instagram gold’. 

And hey, that uphill workout means you’ve earned the right to devour anything and everything at the local pubs later on. A win-win, right?

Address: Terraced Gardens, Rivington Lane, Bolton BL6 7SE

Phone: +44 (0)1204 691549

If you think gardens are just about flowers, Rivington Terraced Gardens will make you think again. Think of it as Mother Nature’s own adventure playground. From secret staircases and hidden archways to intriguing man-made caves, it’s like stepping into a fantasy novel.

Get lost (not literally, we hope!) among the Japanese and Italian-inspired designs, thanks to a certain Lord Leverhulme who fancied a bit of worldly flair in his backyard. And if you’re into a bit of ghostly lore, keep an ear out for the whispers of the old ‘Orchard House’ ruins. 

Spooky? Perhaps. Worth it? Absolutely.

Address: Lower Rivington Reservoir, Horwich, Bolton, BL6 7RU

Phone: +44 (0)1204 691117

Water and relaxation go hand in hand, and the Lower Rivington Reservoir is all about those serene vibes. Whether you’re a keen angler hoping to snag a catch, or just someone looking to soak in the tranquillity, this reservoir has got the goods.

Plop down with a book, watch the local birdlife do their thing, or if you’re feeling adventurous, why not hire a kayak? And if all that relaxation gives you an appetite, there’s always a cheeky ice cream van nearby. Because, let’s face it, is there a better way to end a day by the water than with a 99 Flake in hand?

Address: Lever Park, Rivington Lane, Bolton, BL6 7SE

Phone: +44 (0)1204 691549

Ever wondered what happens when a soap magnate gets to create a park? You get Lever Park! This place isn’t just grass and trees – it’s a testament to Lord Leverhulme’s vision of creating a leisure space for everyone.

Amble along the paths where Edwardian folk once strolled in their Sunday best. Stumble upon remnants of old structures, and play a game of ‘guess what that was.’ Maybe a pavilion? A bandstand? The imagination runs wild here. 

Plus, if you’re up for a little scavenger hunt, there’s a certain ‘Seven Arch Bridge’ waiting to be found. No spoilers, but it’s as picturesque as it sounds.

Address: Dovecote Tower, Rivington Lane, Bolton, BL6 7SD

Phone: +44 (0)1204 696920

Nestled in the terraced gardens, the Dovecote Tower, fondly known as the Pigeon Tower, is three storeys of sheer intrigue. Originally built as part of Lord Leverhulme’s grand design, its top floor once served as a writing room for Lady Leverhulme.

Climb the spiral staircase, and you’re in for a treat. No, not actual pigeons (well, maybe a few), but rather views that might just make you tweet with joy. And on the ground floor, peep into the recesses where pigeons once cooed and nestled. 

A bit of history, a bit of nature, and a whole lot of charm. Makes you wonder if pigeons felt like royalty back in the day, doesn’t it?

Address: Japanese Gardens, Rivington Lane, Bolton, BL6 7SE

Phone: +44 (0)1204 691549

Trade Lancashire for the Land of the Rising Sun? Well, almost. Tucked away in Rivington, the Japanese Gardens transport visitors to a whole different world. 

Crafted with precision and care by Lord Leverhulme with the help of renowned designer Thomas Mawson, the gardens are a tranquil slice of Japan in the English countryside. 

As you saunter through, you’ll be tempted to take a moment by the serene koi ponds or to snap a pic of the beautiful stone lanterns and ornate bridges. And those red torii gates? Absolutely Instagrammable! 

You’ll find it hard to believe you’re not in Kyoto. Bring along a green tea flask and truly embrace the zen vibe.

Starting Point: Horwich BL6 7AA, UK

Phone: +44 (0)1204 696889

Love a good run with a side of beautiful scenery? The Rivington Pike Fell Race is an annual event that’ll get your heart racing in more ways than one. 

This historic race, dating back to 1892, is no walk in the park – runners tackle a challenging ascent to the summit of Rivington Pike and back. Even if you’re not quite up to the challenge, it’s a spectacle to watch. 

There’s something electric about seeing runners push their limits against a backdrop of such stunning beauty. Grab a pasty, cheer from the sidelines, and maybe, just maybe, get inspired to lace up your trainers for next year.

Address: Go Ape Rivington, Rivington Lane, Bolton, BL6 7SB

Phone: +44 (0)161 604 2020

Are you ready to unleash your inner Tarzan or Jane? Go Ape Rivington is all about that treetop thrill. Get ready to traverse rope bridges, zoom down zip wires, and navigate a host of aerial obstacles, all with the magnificent Rivington as your backdrop.

The course isn’t just about adrenaline; it’s about embracing nature from a whole new vantage point. If you’ve ever wondered what a squirrel’s-eye view of the forest looks like, here’s your chance! 

Sure, you might get a few jitters at the start, but by the end, you’ll be plotting your next treetop adventure.

Address: Rivington Village Market, Rivington Lane, Bolton, BL6 7SB

Phone: +44 (0)1204 696129

Every journey needs a taste adventure, and Rivington Village Market is the perfect place to whet your appetite. Held regularly, this market offers the best of Lancashire’s local produce. 

From the crumbliest cheeses and the juiciest jams to freshly baked pies and aromatic brews, there’s something to tantalise every taste bud.

While you’re there, don’t forget to interact with the locals – they often have the best recommendations and stories that you won’t find in any travel guide. And who knows? You might just stumble upon a new favourite delicacy to bring back home.

Address: Rivington Greenway, Rivington Lane, Bolton, BL6 7SB

Phone: +44 (0)1204 696998

If you’re looking to cover more ground, hopping on a bicycle and taking a ride down the Rivington Greenway is an ideal way to experience the landscape. The route is a picturesque blend of lush meadows, dense woodlands, and reflective waters – a cyclist’s dream.

For the enthusiasts, there are several challenging trails branching off the main path, each offering a unique view of Rivington’s beauty. If you’re not carrying a bike, fret not! Several rental shops in the area have you covered. 

So, strap on that helmet and pedal away; the wonders of Rivington await on two wheels.

Where to Eat in Rivington Pike

Address: Horwich, Bolton BL6 7AA, UK

Phone: +44 1204 695800

Pricing: ££


Now, what if I told you Rivington Pike housed a slice of Italy? Tipico is precisely that—a haven of authentic Italian flavours in the heart of Lancashire. The moment you step in, the aroma of fresh basil, oregano, and simmering tomato sauce feels like a hearty Italian embrace.

The pizza crust? The kind you dream about. Thin, crispy, with just the right amount of char. As for the pasta, mamma mia! Don’t even get me started on the tiramisu. Yes, this place might just inspire you to book a ticket to Rome. But for now, Tipico is our little Italian secret.

Address: Winter Hey Ln, Horwich, Bolton BL6 7AA, UK

Phone: +44 1204 692100

Pricing: ££


Close your eyes, take a bite, and let Sokrates Taverna transport you straight to a sun-drenched terrace in Greece. With a menu brimming with Mediterranean delights, it’s a genuine celebration of Greek cuisine.

From moussaka to kleftiko, every dish is a love letter to traditional recipes. And oh, the olives! Marinated to perfection, it’s like they’ve bottled up the Greek sunshine. Pair it with a glass of ouzo and trust me, you’ll be doing the sirtaki in no time.

A quick tip: end your meal with their baklava. Thank me later!

Pricing: ££

Phone: +44 1204 772920


Nestled amidst the greenery of Rivington, the Cafe at Spring Cottage is where rustic charm meets delectable bites. If the thought of tucking into a traditional scone, slathered in clotted cream and jam while sipping on a perfectly brewed cup of tea warms your soul, then this is your spot.

With its quaint interiors and tranquil garden seating, the cafe feels like a step into a serene countryside romance novel. It’s the kind of place where you’d half expect to glance out of the window and see Mr Darcy striding towards you. 

Whether you’re in for a hearty breakfast after your morning trek or craving that afternoon treat, the Cafe at Spring Cottage is an essential pit-stop on your Rivington Pike journey. And just between us, their homemade pies? Utterly irresistible. Go on, treat yourself!

Pricing: ££

Phone: +44 1204 772920


Blink, and you might just miss this gem, but oh, what a travesty that would be! Village Green Tea Room is that quintessential British tea room that oozes warmth, charm, and mouthwatering delights. Picture this: Vintage china, freshly cut sandwiches, and a cake selection that could make Mary Berry nod in approval.

The tea room’s popularity isn’t just about the food – though, let’s be honest, that’s a big part – it’s the feeling of being welcomed into someone’s home. A haven where you can put your feet up after wandering around Rivington and indulge in a bit of people-watching.

And if you’re anything like me, you’ll be playing a fun game of ‘Which Cake to Choose?’. Spoiler: They’re all divine, and no one’s judging if you opt for seconds… or thirds. So, pop in, relax, and let the world drift away at Village Green. It’s the Rivington way.

Address: 124-126 Lee Ln, Horwich, Bolton BL6 7AF, UK

Phone: +44 1204 697222

Pricing: £


Now, what’s more British than a good old tea room? And Poppins? Well, it’s the Mary Poppins of tea rooms! Every visit here feels like a comforting, nostalgic hug from your nan.

With vintage decor and a warm, cosy atmosphere, it’s the ideal spot for those afternoon tea cravings. Cucumber sandwiches, fresh scones slathered in clotted cream and jam, and an assortment of teas that’d make the Queen nod in approval.

Got a sweet tooth? Dive into their dessert section. Word on the street is their Victoria sponge is quite the showstopper. So, if you fancy a taste of British tradition, Poppins is the spoonful of sugar you need!

Address: 125 Lee Ln, Horwich, Bolton BL6 7AR, UK

Phone: +44 1204 697222

Pricing: £££


Ah, Spice Valley. If you’ve ever wished for a magic carpet to whisk you away to the aromatic streets of India, this is your next best option. Bursting with spices, the menu takes you on a tantalising journey across the Indian subcontinent.

Their butter chicken? So creamy, you’d swear it’s been churned by the gods. And the naans, fluffy and buttery, perfect to scoop up every last bit of that curry. But the star? Their biryani. It’s a fragrant rice melody that sings of distant lands and old-world charm.

Fancy a tip? Ask for the chef’s special of the day. You’re in for a delightful surprise, every single time.

Address: Rivington Ln, Rivington, Bolton BL6 7SB, UK

Phone: +44 1257 452100

Pricing: £££


Deep in the heart of Rivington lies this absolute gem. A rustic charm, oodles of history, and a menu that could make a grown man weep tears of joy.

From the traditional roast that reminds you of Sundays at your gran’s to the hearty pies that warm your soul, Rivington Hall Barn offers a blend of British nostalgia with a gourmet twist. 

The atmosphere is made even more charming by the timber-framed barn, making every meal feel like an event. Pair your meal with a pint and a view of the lush Rivington gardens, and you’ve got yourself a day out to remember. Cheers to that!

Address: Middlebrook Retail Park, Horwich, Bolton BL6 6JA, UK

Phone: +44 1204 478737

Pricing: ££


Ciao, bella! Fancy a trip to the romantic streets of Florence but stuck in Rivington Pike? Bella Italia has got you covered. It’s a portal to Italy, minus the airfare. Think of fresh pasta dishes that transport you to Nonna’s kitchen. 

Or the crisp pizzas with toppings so fresh; you’d think they were plucked right from the Italian countryside. And just when you think it can’t get any better, you get to the desserts. The gelato, the tiramisu, the panna cotta – it’s like an Italian sonnet for your taste buds.

Best part? The staff, always ready with a friendly “Buongiorno” and some off-menu recommendations. Grab a seat by the window, order a glass of Chianti, and you’re in for a bella notte!

Address: 93 Lee Ln, Horwich, Bolton BL6 7BG, UK

Phone: +44 1204 468200

Pricing: ££


Hola, amigo! Ready for a Spanish fiesta? Casa Di Tapas is where Rivington Pike dons its flamenco shoes. With an atmosphere as lively as a Madrid night, it’s a slice of Spain in the heart of Lancashire.

From patatas bravas to gambas al ajillo, every dish is an explosion of flavours. And their sangria? Pure Spanish summer in a jug. But here’s the golden tip: Do. Not. Skip. The churros. Dipped in rich chocolate sauce, they’re the stuff dreams are made of.

Whether it’s date night, a family get-together, or just because you fancy some tapas, this place is sure to transport you straight to a bustling Spanish plaza.

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