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White disc/yellow Rotary symbol/green arrrowBolton Rotary Way Footpath

80 km / 50 miles

Gtr Man
Circular route in eight stages roughly following the borough boundary of Bolton MBC and in most places through countryside. There is also industrial heritage, reservoirs, historic estates, memorials and country parks to be seen and some inevitable motorway crossings. Every section affords views of the highest point - Winter Hill.

The route starts at Affetside on the old Roman Road of Watling Street with an ancient stone cross and following it clockwise you head southward, passing Little Lever, skirting Moses Gate Country Park, and following the Manchester Bolton and Bury Canal to the imaginatively named Nob End. Meandering through Giant's Seat Wood to picturesque Ringley Bridge, it crosses the River Irwell. After going under the Manchester - Bolton railway line at Kearsley and passing the power station, it crosses the A666 and skirts a golf course. It then passes over one of the widest and busiest motorway junctions in the country, with no less than 13 traffic lanes. The Way follows a walk using a disused railway line to Blackleach Country Park, centred on a reservoir. The route continues past former mine workings, crosses the M61 again and back, to the Hulton Estate, owned in the 20th Century by Sir Geoffrey Hulton, who provided a scout camp on the site. Also nearby was the 1910 Pretoria Pit disaster, the worst in our nation's history, when 344 men perished. The route then skirts Daisy Hill to Hart Common and Borsdane Wood, to pass Blackrod, whose church, high on a hill, is a prominent feature. The Bolton boundary now turns sharply westward to include Adlington, along the towpath of the Leeds and Liverpool Canal. After going back over the M61 at Bolton West Services, it proceeds towards Horwich. Passing Rivington & Blackrod High School, it gently ascends Winter Hill, affording a view of Rivington Pike on the way up. This was the estate formerly owned by Lord Leverhulme of the Lever Bros detergent company, and now a public park for the people of Bolton. At the top of Winter Hill is a television transmitter and two memorials, one to an air crash, commemorated each year by Rotarians from Horwich and the Isle of Man, and 'Scotsman's Stump' - a memorial to a passing tradesman murdered on the moor in 1838. Descending down to Scout Road, and crossing another golf course it passes below Delph Reservoir then reaching Jumbles Reservoir, where there are scenic views and an information centre. It crosses more farmland to come back to Affetside.

Links can be made to Blackburn/Darwen via Witton Weavers Way at Jumbles reservoir and to Manchester Bury and Rawtenstall using the Irwell Valley Sculpture Trail.


Path Type: Other Paths
Waymark: White disc/yellow Rotary symbol/green arrrow Waymark: White disc/yellow Rotary symbol/green arrrow
Attributes: Moorland; Heritage
Start and Finish:
SD754136 - Affetside Millenium Green, Bolton, Gtr Man
View on StreetMap
Open Date: 2005
Web Sites: GPS Routes - Bolton Rotary Way Footpath

Publications, Badges and Certificates:

Guidebook: Rotary Way Footpath - Over 50 miles Around Bolton (Rotary Club of Westhoughton - 2005)


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Show Connected Paths
National Trails (England & Wales)
Paths Marked on OS mapping
Other Paths
Anytime Challenges

  Contains Ordnance Survey data © Crown copyright and database right 2011.
  At high zoom levels the route is indicative only.
Purchase Ordnance Survey Maps:
OS Landranger: 108109
OS Landranger Active: 108109
OS Explorer: 276277285287
OS Explorer Active: 276277285287

Connected Paths:

National Trails (England & Wales): Pennine Bridleway - West Pennine Link (under development)
Paths Marked on OS mapping: Irwell Sculpture Trail; Witton Weavers Way
Other Paths: Anglezarke Loop; Leeds and Liverpool Canal Walk; Salford Trail; Thirlmere Way; Village Link; West Pennine Moors Bridleway Loop (under construction)
Click to show 3 more Other Paths
Anytime Challenges: Anglezarke Anguish; Crowthorn Star; Spanners Round; Three Towers Challenge Walk; Three Towers Circuit; Two Crosses Circuit
Click to show 3 more Anytime Challenges


GPS Exchange Format Route File: Bolton Rotary Way Footpath GPX Exchange Format Route File Login to Download
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MemoryMap Route file: Bolton Rotary Way Footpath Memory Map Route File Login to Download
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Tracklogs Route file: Bolton Rotary Way Footpath Tracklogs Route File Login to Download
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Route Profile:

79.4 Km (49.3 miles)
1,216 m (3,990 ft) ascent
442 m (1,450 ft)  maximum height