Walks Near Manchester: Rivington

A short trip north of Manchester this time to a rather unexpected find in Bolton!

By Lee Isherwood | Last updated 27 July 2022

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Rivington is a large rural area comprising of a sizeable reservoir and a series of walks around land which in a previous life formed the extravagant gardens of Mr Lever whom gifted it to the people of Bolton.

I’ve been to Rivington once before, and as it turns out I totally missed all the good stuff. Let’s begin with brunch / lunch, in short seek out the Cafe at Spring Cottage. A fantastic space offering top quality food & coffee with an ever changing seasonal daily lunch menu.

My advice here would be to ring up and book a table, the lunch menu begins at 12pm and on the weekends it will be full by 12.05pm I guarantee it. You can get there early around 10.30am for pastry and coffee if that’s all you fancy, but maybe book that too.

Post feed there are a few routes around the Rivington area but for me the longer circular covers all the things you need to see.

A walk up through the woodland will see you stumble across some impressive stone built stairs and outbuildings along with a lovely little bridge but the best is yet to come. The overgrown and unkempt waterfall cascading slowly down a moss covered rock face is not what I was expecting to see in my home town of Bolton at all. Instagram gold.

Ascend the hill and you’ll be presented with another first for me in Bolton, the Japanese inspired pond & gardens. Surrounded by ruined stone, former outbuildings and stables when the sun pierces through it’s a lovely spot to crack open the thermos.

Keep on winding upwards and your goal will come clearly into view, the landmark Grade II listed Pike Tower sitting proudly at the summit. Now if you’ve been lucky enough to head up on a crystal clear day as we did, and I kid you not, you can see the coast and most notably Blackpool Tower, well worth the walk for that view alone.

Rivington Pike & Reservoir is a great day out covering woodland, hill top views, various water features and a cracking cafe, what more is there to know? Parking is free and plentiful so stick the boots in the car and enjoy.


MAD Walkers are a hiking group for 20s and 30s for people who live in and around the Greater Manchester area. With over 400 members, they offer a variety of group walks to suit you and many other like-minded people.

Head to their website to find an upcoming walk…

MAD Walkers