Two Lads, Winter Hill and Rivington Pike
Date 29/12/2005
Starting Point Hall Barn, Rivington (SD635145)
Distance 6 miles

I started at Higher Barn and took the path behind the barn. Then took the second left path which leads to the Chinese Gardens. It was 10am when I left and there wasn't a soul to be seen. As I entered the gardens it was immediately noticeable that much pruning and cutting back has taken place. This is due to an infection called Ramorum Blight which has infected rhododendrons in the gardens. Ramorum Blight was first detected in parts of coastal California where it affected tanoak trees and was known as Sudden Oak Death.

After entering the gardens I took the steep steps to the left which lead up to the Pigeon Tower. It's a shame but all old summer houses and the Tower are now fenced off due to their state. Oddly enough it is still possible to access the roof platforms though. After leaving the Tower I headed off to the site of the Bungalow. Here large open spaces were evident - these were the sites of old tennis courts and bowling greens in Lever's day and hadn't seen the light of day for decades. Now they do - any it shows how impressive the place must have been in its heyday. Leaving the Bungalow site I headed off towards the Pike, but stayed on the lane till I reached Pike Cottage (originally a pub by the name of The Sportsman's Arms). Here I took the path to Two Lads Hill.

As I approached the summit the sunshine was replaced by cloud and looking over to Winter Hill - well it was enveloped in cloud - no sign of the mast.

After having a lovely hot coffee and admiring the view westwards I decided to continue to Winter Hill. By the time I reached the mast it was bitterly cold (-10C) The temperature has dropped significantly from that on Two Lads. I made my way past George's Stump and carried on to the Trig Point before turning around and heading back to the mast. From there I managed to find the path to Rivington Pike in the thick mist.

This path is usually very damp and marshy - but due to the many nights of hard frosts it was easy to walk. After half a mile of descent the thick mist started to break up and The Pike was in sight and the temperature had risen to about freezing point. I didn't stop at the Pikes summit - but just decided to head back to the car through the Gardens.

By the time I emerged from the Gardens there were people everywhere!! Thank goodness I had set off early(ish).



The steps lead to the rampart of the 7 arched bridge designed by Lever


The pigeon Tower comes in to view after the steep climb


The view through one of the arches in the summer house below the Pigeon Tower


Wintry sunshine on the driveway from the site of The Bungalow


The Pike from the driveway in the previous photo


Two Lads comes in to view from the lane to Pike Cottage


The Pike from the lane


Rounding the corner and the TV mast on Winter Hill comes in to view


Another view of it which clearly shows the cloud forming on Winter Hill


After turning of the lane at Pike Cottage - this is the path to Two Lads


The large cairn on Two Lads


The clouds rolled in, the temperature dropped and wintry conditions remained for the rest of the day


The trig point on Winter Hill summit


After half a mile of descent from Winter Hill the Pike appeared through the mist


This is one of Lever's ornamental ponds - which is now visible due to the cutting down of Rhododendrons