Winter Hill

Winter Hill is the highest point in the West Pennine area and towers over Rivington and its surroundings, although it is not tall enough to be classed as a mountain. Winter Hill is really a large, raised plateau of moorland with several summits named as hills in their own right, one being Rivington Pike. There are several other notable hills including Counting Hill, Noon Hill, Crooked Edge Hill, Adam Hill, Brown Hill and more. The summit of Winter Hill itself is rather understated and tucked away at the very end of the mast road behind the smaller radio masts and is marked by an OS trig point.

The name Winter Hill is probably derived from Old Norse, the first recorded name for the hill being Wintyrheld which would mean literally Winter Hill. However, “winter” and its variations certainly had the meaning “wet” in the old times and therefore means “the wet hill”, rather than our modern associations of cold or snow. Colloquialisms like “winter pasture” meaning poor agricultural land, probably at one time meant wet land that could not be farmed but could be used for pasture if necessary.

Between those times and now, it seems Winter Hill was shown as Egberden Hill on antique maps,, which would be derived from the Egbert’s Dean, which is the area now known as the Smithills Estate. The valley (dean from OE denu) reaches quite far up the hill and was once a prosperous area so passing cartographers seem to heard the place referred to as Egbert’s Dean Hill. Egbert’s Dean has a defined boundary in the SE quarter of the hill and should really refer to that area only.

Can you drive up Winter Hill?

The transmitter access road on Winter Hill is a private road once past the gate at the first cattle grid on the way up and motorised vehicles are not permitted except those attending the transmitter station. I believe also Bolton Soaring Club arranged access some time ago. However, there are quite a few vehicles seen on the road and in the various off road flat areas or bits of tarmac. This situation has been exacerbated by the decline to an almost unusable state of the small parking area before the first gate. If you’re going to drive up the hill then take care because the transmitter road is a popular footpath for walkers including those with young children as the road is tarmac and although steep, an easy walk without entering the boggy moorland beside. There is crowded but legal parking nearby at Wilderswood and rough parking just further on around the corner.

Winter Hill image by munki-boy

Winter Hill Summit image by munki-boy

Mast on Winter Hill image by @Clive_SJohnson

Winter Hill Summit map

Lat: 53.629844 Lon: -2.515882

Marker type: Place

Explore Winter Hill

Burnt Edge

Burnt Edge

Burnt Edge is a continuation of the valley of the Dean Brook as it rises to the higher slopes of Winter Hill. Featuring great moorland views out over Bolton and hills of Yorkshire and Derbyshire, together with tons of industrial archaeology.

Explore: Burnt Edge

Hole Bottom

Hole Bottom

The site of a small hamlet and fireclay works high on Winter Hill, once housing families employed in the local quarrying, mining and fireclay industries. Often passed by walkers on their way up the hill, there are a number of interesting industrial remains hidden in the moorland grass.

Explore: Hole Bottom

Montcliffe Colliery

Montcliffe Colliery

The site of an old coal mine or colliery on the slopes of Winter Hill above Horwich.

Explore: Montcliffe Colliery

Noon Hill

Noon Hill

High on the summit of the often foreboding Noon Hill is a Bronze Age round cairn topped by a more recent cairn of uncertain age. The round cairn was excavated in the 1950’s/60’s and yielded several cremations and funery ornaments now in the possesion of Bolton Museum. This site is rumoured to have been put to use in more recent times as a secret meeting place for persecuted Christians.

Explore: Noon Hill

Priests Crown

Priests Crown

A mystery mound on the East of Winter Hill, possibly man-made prehistoric, possibly a glacial mound.

Explore: Priests Crown

Reservoir of Dean Mills

Reservoir of Dean Mills

A secret reservoir high up on Winter Hill the former Reservoir of Dean Mills is a quiet spot that’s good for a visit on sunny days.

Explore: Reservoir of Dean Mills

Shaly Dingle

Shaly Dingle

A bit awkward to reach but great place for industrial archeaology, geology and fossil finding or just a splash about in the stream.

Explore: Shaly Dingle

The Blue Lagoon

The Blue Lagoon

Ward’s Reservoir or The Blue Lagoon above the village of Belmont has an uncertain future but was one of the best.

Explore: The Blue Lagoon

Walker Fold

Walker Fold

An excellent area for walking and wildlife situated around a glacial valley with great scenery and plenty to explore from open moorland to mixed woodland trails.

Explore: Walker Fold

Wildersmoor Pit Kilns

Wildersmoor Pit Kilns

A series of old Pit Kilns alongside a path across Wildersmoor on the slopes of Winter Hill above Horwich.

Explore: Wildersmoor Pit Kilns



Wilders Wood or Wilderswood as it is known today was once the name for a small strip of native woodland following a small brook that flows down from the moorland above Horwich in Lancashire.

Explore: Wilderswood

Two Lads

Two Lads

A large stone cairn on Crooked Edge Hill, an outlying summit of Winter hill, said to be the site of an ancient burial.

Explore: Two Lads

Wildlife at Winter Hill



Kestrel have been seen at Winter Hill.

About: Kestrel

Carrion Beetle

Carrion Beetle

Carrion Beetle have been seen at Winter Hill.

About: Carrion Beetle

Tweets about Winter Hill by friends and followers...

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RT @munki8oy: Even more bloody heather round the old quarry hut on Winter Hill #Bolton

Mon Aug 21 12:55:50

RT @munki8oy: Before we're all totally bored with #heather this years spread on the Smithills Moor #Bolton

Sat Aug 19 19:32:25

RT @munki8oy: Path down to Egg Hillock, Winter Hill #Bolton

Thu Aug 17 12:55:04

RT @munki8oy: Heather by the old boundary wall on Winter Hill #bolton

Sun Aug 06 18:47:27

RT @munki8oy: Cottongrass up on the moor #Bolton #Lancashire

Mon May 08 19:16:34

RT @andys_kate: Beautiful sunny May Bank Holiday walk. West Pennine Moors. A good start to #NationalWalkingMonth #Lancashire #MayBankHolida…

Mon May 01 20:19:30

RT @munki8oy: Curlew over Winter Hill #Bolton

Mon May 01 18:24:30

RT @LancashirePike: @munki8oy @WoodlandTrust Hope so..Always enjoy stopping there for a brew.

Sun Apr 02 15:46:29

RT @munki8oy: Still a bit of #snow up on Winter Hill #Bolton

Sat Jan 14 17:31:35

RT @munki8oy: Misty Sunset on Winter Hill. Happy New Year and thx for all the RTs and Likes through the year check the vid ->…

Sat Dec 31 20:09:05

RT @munki8oy: Sunset yesterday overlooking Crooked Edge, Dog Hotel, Pike, Lower Res. and Snowdonia peeping through the clouds at the back #…

Thu Dec 29 19:33:49

RT @munki8oy: Still quite a bit of snow around #Bolton #Horwich #snow

Sun Nov 20 18:39:13

RT @AngelaBloor: Pot of gold...☀️➕☔️...

Fri Nov 04 16:13:01

RT @munki8oy: #Kestrel hovering over Winter Hill #Bolton yesterday #birdwatching

Wed Oct 26 16:20:11

RT @munki8oy: #autumn colour on Winter Hill #Bolton

Sun Oct 23 16:07:39

RT @munki8oy: Nice sky over Winter Hill from the Belmont side.

Thu Sep 01 18:35:44

RT @DogDayCareBLTN: This is my view, @munki8oy. Should have given me a wave!

Wed Aug 24 12:57:46

RT @munki8oy: If you look up at the telly mast while you walk past it looks like it's falling #Bolton #usedtomakeourownamusement https://t.…

Tue Aug 23 16:32:47

RT @munki8oy: Heather looks like it's pouring off Winter Hill today #Bolton #heather

Thu Aug 18 18:08:36

RT @munki8oy: Last bit of sun over the Ribble estuary yesterday evening #lancashire #sunset from #Bolton

Tue Aug 16 16:00:44

RT @MichaelAshwort6: @munki8oy did winter hill for the 2nd time from smithills dean and back down dean ditch, easier than Horden Stoops htt…

Sun Aug 14 17:53:10

RT @munki8oy: Nice sunny day again, Walker Fold valley above #Bolton

Sat Jun 04 18:41:28

RT @MichaelAshwort6: @munki8oy great walk enjoyed it, to hazy for good views tho

Sat May 28 16:36:04

RT @MichaelAshwort6: @munki8oy guess where I managed to get to today

Sat May 28 16:33:06

RT @munki8oy: Anyone know how many points for #swifts #blackpool tower and #isleofman in one photo from Winter Hill #bolton ? https://t.c…

Tue May 24 17:01:00

RT @munki8oy: Langdales, Coniston, and maybe a bit of scafell peeping out from the back. Shot over Anglezarke from Winter Hill…

Sun Apr 24 20:19:30

RT @watsonsmaintain: Absolutely glorious looking across at the hills today! @AboutRivington @munki8oy

Mon Feb 15 18:33:10

RT @munki8oy: Over Winter Hill Flats - wet but fun

Fri Jan 29 20:11:56

RT @AngelaBloor: Snow on them there hills!!..❄️❄️#Rivington @AboutHorwich @AboutRivington @BL6Bits ❄️❄️

Thu Jan 14 21:07:22

Hey you blinged out martians don't forget Winter Hill Mass Trespass 6th Sep 1896 anniversary tomorrow.

Sat Sep 05 21:21:47

RT @munki8oy: Xmas eve on the West Pennine Moors

Thu Dec 24 19:38:03

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