|Winter Hill from
|Estimated net time||1 hour|
|Drinking water||No reliable access to drinking water.|
|GSM coverage||Coverage at the summit, else unknown (December 2009).|
|Parking||Room for several cars at trail head.|
|Start height||335 metres|
|Vertical metres||130 metres for the roundtrip.|
|Trip distance||5.0 km|
These driving directions assume you drive road M61, either south or north. When you get west of Horwich you follow signs for "Reebok Stadium" (Bolton Wanderers Football Club's excellent stadium). When you get onto road A6027 you get to a round-about with a large glass monument, just before you pass Reebok Stadium on your left. Drive straight through this round-about and continue approximately 1.1 km to the next round-about. Turn left here, onto Chorley New Road, and then turn right 200 metres later, onto Claypool Road. Follow this road 800 metres and turn right onto New Chapel Road. Follow New Chapel Road 950 metres and turn right onto Chorley Old Road, and then left 50 metres later, onto Georges Lane. Stay on Georges Lane for approximately 1.1 km and turn right onto Winter Hill. Drive 600 metres uphill on this narrow road and park on the small car park on the right hand side of the road, just before a gate (there is a sign at the gate saying that driving past this point is prohibited). Park your car here.
Start walking by following the road uphill. When you get to the big mast you're met with signs saying that you're not allowed to enter the fenced area. This doesn't seem to be terribly strict, but if you are told off you need to walk around the fence, which doesn't add more than a couple of hundred metres, but this de-tour is likely to be a bit boggy. At the other end of the fenced area continue on the road until you get to a junction. Turn left here and walk another 300 metres. You will now see the summit cairn on the right hand side of the road, only some 15 metres away.
The descent can be done via many routes, but the easiest is to reverse your ascent route.
06. December 2009
I woke up this Sunday morning at my hotel outside Bolton, determined to visit Winter Hill, despite thick fog and rain. Without having other breakfast than a bottle of Lucozade (the stuff the old hero Daily Thomson used to advertise for). I had prepared myself well for the drive towards the trail head, and managed to find my way along the Horwich roads without any problems.
From the trail head I decided to see if I could run the whole route and this didn't pose any problems at all since the whole route was very flat (a total vertical gain of only 130 metres for 2.5 horizontal kilometres for the ascent). However, I did have one small stop as I decided to ask a guard inside the fenced area around the big mast if he could tell me where the highest point was located, since the visibility for most was down to a few tens of metres. He wasn't able to tell me, sp I decided to run around until I found it. Luckily I found the summit after only one de-tour (450 metres flat running), and crossed the 15 metres of semi-boggy terrain to the summit cairn. After taking a few photos I ran back to the car, and by now the rain had picked up quite considerably. Then back to the hotel for a quick shower and packing my stuff.
By the time I had showered the fog had cleared and the rain had stopped, but there was no time for a second visit to the summit to get some better photos. But a quick stop at the shoulder of road M61 at least allowed me to get an acceptable photo of the mountain.