Tonge Trail


8 miles long

Bradshaw Brook #Bolton

Bradshaw Brook cc-by-sa/2.0 - © David Dixon - – cropped from original

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Since the Industrial Revolution, Tonge and the surrounding area have played an important part in the textile industry’s advancement. Inventions like Crompton’s Spinning Mule – brought to life nearby – made mass production possible, while mills in the area produced large amounts of cotton, wool and silk fabric.

This walk will lead you through places that are highly significant in Bolton’s local history, as well as the history of the national cotton trade. The heritage you’ll explore along the way is complemented by the beautiful scenery of Tonge, or ‘Tum Fowt’, and an abundance of plants and wildlife.

Note that, as the map currently provided is not at all detailed, you will need to follow the written directions carefully. We hope to add a more detailed map in future.

Alternatively, there is a slightly amended version of the route available on the website. Unlike the directions provided, this route follows an anti-clockwise course and includes a loop to Bromley Cross rail station, while missing out some of the southern section. It can be found here: Users can print out this route and also follow the map on a mobile device.

You can also read detailed information about the locations passed on the Tonge Trail by visiting

Accessibility and facilities

Because of the varied terrain involved, we have not rated this walk as suitable for wheelchair-users or families with pushchairs. While there are no public toilets en route, there are several pubs on or close to the walk.

How to get there

In the walk directions, the suggested start point is the Cotton Keir pub, given as the main start point below. However, rail users in particular may find it easier to start at Bromley Cross station. From here, it is only a 0.6 mile / 1 km walk south, heading south along Chapeltown Road and at the T-junction taking the footpath straight ahead along the railway line, to reach Oaks Lane (the sixth bullet point in the directions). Bromley Cross station is therefore given as the alternative start point below.

To work out how to get to and from one of the walk start points, simply click the Google Maps links shown 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 postcodes shown into the TFGM journey planner at

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