Moderate, Challenging

Historic Houses, Highest Hill


4 - 8 miles long

Miners' Steps near Barrow Bridge #Bolton

The 63 Steps, Barrow Bridge cc-by-sa/2.0 - © Philip Platt - - cropped from original

Barrow Bridge, Path to Smithills #Bolton

Barrow Bridge, Path to Smithills cc-by-sa/2.0 - © David Dixon - - cropped from original

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The longer version of this walk takes you from the medieval manor house of Smithills Hall up to the television mast on Winter Hill, which reaches a height of over 1000 feet / 300 metres and is the highest hill in the West Pennine Moors. From these heights, there may be views over to the Peak District and Pennines, to North Wales and even to the Isle of Man. The route returns to the start of the walk by way of the classic mill village of Barrow Bridge.

In contrast, the shorter route explores some of the varied landscapes within the Smithills Estate. Smithills Hall is one of the oldest and best-preserved manor houses in the North West of England. For further information, visit

While the shorter, 4-mile circuit is a leisurely walk, the full 8-mile walk takes you over high, rough moorland and requires good navigation and map-reading skills. For this longer route, we recommend that you use Ordnance Survey Explorer Map 287, West Pennine Moors or the OS Maps app.


Because of the gradients and steps involved even on the shorter walk, these routes are not rated as wheelchair or pushchair-friendly.

How to get there

The start of the walk is served by fairly frequent bus services from Bolton Interchange, next to the train station.

To work out how to get to and from the walk start point, simply click the Google Maps link on this page. Then click ‘Directions’ and enter your postcode or location in the relevant field. For public transport options, click on the train icon.

Alternatively, input the postcode(s) shown on this page into the TfGM journey planner at

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