Bolton's countryside

Bolton's countryside

Bolton has some stunning countryside and is ideally located close to the scenic West Pennine Moors. Whether you are a dedicated rambler or an occasional lover of fresh air and fantastic views, Bolton’s countryside has a lot to offer you.

With superb moorland scenery set amidst miles of countryside and lakes, you can walk or cycle for hours but can always find a top spot for a picnic. Add to that the fantastic range of attractions suitable for all ages and the family where you can enjoy and keep in touch with nature not to mention a few great parks that are good for a stroll if you only have an hour and need some fresh air and exercise.

Find out more about our great attractions including Barrow Bridge, Smithills Hall, Moses Gate Country Park, Queens Park, Hall I’th Wood and Smithills Open Farm in our places section.

If you are interested in heading off to explore straight away then there are two popular walking trails below that you can print and pursue at your leisure. If you would like to carry out further research into the best walking routes or find some company to take up the trail with in the form of a rambling or walking group then you can read on below to delve a little deeper.

Towers and Turrets

Last Drop Village - Turton Tower - Chapeltown - Edgeworth - Jumbles Reservoir - Last Drop Village

Two faces of Rivington

Horwich - Lever Park - Rivington - Dean Wood - Lever Park - Horwich

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Walking Groups

There are a number of walking groups based in and around Bolton which offer a number of routes throughout the year. For further information and to find one that suits you take a look at the links below.

Bolton CHA

Founded in 1905 the Bolton based Club celebrated its Centenary in 2005 they are very active and extend a warm welcome to all walkers and lovers of the countryside for an annual fee.

Bolton HF Walking Club

The club, which was established in 1922, has around 400 members, the majority living in Bolton and surrounding areas. The club's main aim is to foster enjoyment and appreciation of the countryside principally through a regular and varied programme of walks.

Ramblers Association – Bolton Group

The group of around 340 members is part of the Manchester and High Peak Area of the Ramblers' Association.

Spice Manchester

A local Bolton Walking Group, who have a varied programme of walking options.

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Health Walks

Not sure if you’re ready to join a walking group? Why not see what Bolton Healthy Walks Group are doing?

Finding walking routes

If you don’t want to join a group but prefer to set out your own path and look for a scenic spot or a route that is well known there are lots of resources for walks you can find on the web.

Other useful links

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Horse Riding

From the beginner to the amateur rider there are a number of riding routes and centres in Bolton that always welcome fellow horse lovers into the fold. Bolton has around 50 kilometres of public and restricted byways that cyclists and horse riders can use for off road riding. Smithills and Moses Gate Country Parks are popular locations for this. For more information on routes – see the Horse Riding page on the Bolton Council website.

Where to ride…

If you are looking for a riding centre, there are a number of centres in Bolton at different locations, please take a look at the links below to see which one suits you.

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If you’re a fan of peddle power and enjoy nothing more than getting on your bike for an exhilarating ride, Bolton can definitely provide you with plenty of options.

A free map of Bolton’s cycle network is available from Transport for Greater Manchester.

The website also gives detailed information about cycling in the Greater Manchester area, with online maps of cycle routes, order forms for printed maps, downloadable magazines, leaflets and much more.

Guided Rides

British Cycling organises ‘Sky Ride Local’, where people of all abilities can take part in rides led by qualified ride leaders with rides grouped by ability from easy-going to challenging for the more confident.

‘Breeze’ rides are like local rides, but aimed at helping women feel confident and comfortable about going on a ride. Led by and for women, they are fun, sociable rides at a suitable speed for everybody.

As well as the organised rides, the Sky Ride web site also has a social cycling network for ‘Buddy’ bike rides – informal rides outside the main timetable of led rides.

Go to Go Sky Ride to find out more and to book onto a local ride.

Other useful links

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If you have a passion for all things fishing or angling and like nothing more than to spend a few hours out in the countryside with a fishing rod. There are lots of great spots in Bolton where you can settle down for a good days fishing and bag the biggest catch of the day!

Where to fish...

Curley’s Trout Fishery is one of the North’s premier fly waters, Nestled amongst the hills of the West Pennine Moors, on the edge of the beautiful Rivington Country Park.

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Other places of interest



Enjoy a family day out in Bolton...

If you enjoy nothing better than some quality time out with your favourite little people there is a great range of activities for all the family to enjoy a top day out in Bolton.

Bolton's heritage

Please see the heritage guides below which are available to download to help you start exploring!

Horwich, a gateway to the West Pennine Moors

If you're looking for somewhere out of town that's a little bit different then why not take a trip to Horwich.

Visit our award winning markets

Bolton has a long heritage as a bustling market town with four to choose from.