This popular walk climbs to the Rivington Pike viewpoint in the lovely Rivington Country Park, near Bolton. It's a circular hike of just under 2 miles, with a moderate climb to the 1,191 feet (363 metres) summit of the prominent local landmark. There'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.