It has been a long standing local tradition in Bolton. The Easter fair starts on Good Friday each year at Rivington Pike. In past years the fair was held on the higher slopes of The Pike, erosion damage over time and modern health and safety rules and regulations mean the fair has to move to the rough road just below The Pike. This tradition has been around for 7/8 decades now and there is no sign of it going anywhere.
In recent years, hot food stalls, confectionery and ice cream sellers, traditional fairground games such as the ever popular ‘Hook a Duck’ and several attractions for small children in the form of ‘bouncy castles’ and ‘roundabouts’ have been offered.
Rivington Pike on Good Friday
On Good Friday, thousands of people will ascend the pike from dawn to dusk. Many families choose to spend the rest of the day strolling around the Terraced Gardens; and at this time you may see Lord Leverhulme’s gift to Bolton as he intended, with local people and visitors enjoying the gardens, away from the industry and work of town and city.
Our very own Carol from our Bolton Spinal Health team does the walk on Good Friday with her family and have done for since Carol was a child. Now Carol takes her granddaughters up the pike on Good Friday. The walk can take a while but the views and the scenes you find when you reach the summit are second to none.
Some years at Easter, The Pike is shrouded in rain and mist and terrible, biting winds but; you will still find many people at the top of the hill, sheltering around the Pike Tower. Rivington hall barn is a welcome stop on the way back down and is often full to the rafters with damp but merry people taking food and refreshment within its ancient wooden cruck frame, reminiscent of a medieval feast or as one might imagine Viking hoardes having returned from a great adventure. However, the weather for this Friday looks to be shaping up for a sunny spring day.
Information about the walk up Rivington Pike
This popular walk climbs to the Rivington Pike viewpoint in the lovely Rivington Country Park, near Bolton.
The walk is roughly 2 miles with a moderate climb to the 1,191 feet summit of the prominent local landmark, situated at most westerly point on Winter Hill.
here’s much to enjoy with a section through the remains of Lever Park and wonderful views over the West Pennine Moors.
You start the walk at the Pigeon Tower car park, located about a mile north of the hill top, on Belmont Road. From here you can pick up the footpaths heading south, through the woodland and up to the lovely Rivington Terraced Gardens. In the gardens there are a number of interesting features to see.
You’ll pass the dovecote of Pigeon Tower which stands at the northwestern edge of the gardens. Italian in style, the tower was built in 1910 by Lord Leverhulme as part of his extensive Rivington estate.
Paths will also take you past the pretty Japanese Gardens with its tranquil lake and then up to the Great Ravine. Here you’ll find a series of delightful waterfalls flowing over man-made cascades, down to an area known as The Dell. It’s an atmospheric and peaceful place with the shady woodland and remains of the old estate making for a varied and memorable climb.
After leaving the gardens you follow a series of steps up to the Rivington Pike summit where you’ll find the Pike Tower, which is a Grade II listed building. There’s also great views to the coast, Blackpool Tower, the Lake District mountains, the Welsh mountains and as far as the Isle of Man on the clearest days.
After taking in the views the walk descends on different paths through Lever Park.
There’s miles more footpaths to try in the surrounding area if you would like to extend the walk. You could head west and enjoy waterside trails along Anglezarke Reservoir and Rivington Reservoir. There’s also the splendid climb to Winter Hill where there are more great views and the famous TV Mast.
BL6 7SA – Please note: Postcode may be approximate for some rural locations