Skip to page content | Using this site

Member Login: Join

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

80 km / 50 miles

Gtr Manchester
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
White disc/yellow Rotary symbol/green arrrow
Average Gradients; Moorland; Heritage
Start and Finish
SD754136 - Affetside Millenium Green, Bolton, Gtr Manchester
View on StreetMap
Open Date

Publications, Badges and Certificates:

Rotary Way Footpath : over 50 miles around Bolton (Rotary Club of Westhoughton - 2005)


You can use the interactive controls to zoom in and out and to move around the map, or click on a path or a marker for more info.(interactive map help)

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

Contains Ordnance Survey data © Crown copyright and database right 2016.
© OpenStreetMap contributors under Open Database Licence.
Rights of way data from selected Local Authorities.
Large scale digital mapping is provided by John Thorn.
At high zoom levels the route is indicative only.
Purchase Ordnance Survey Maps:
OS Landranger
OS Landranger Active
OS Explorer
OS Explorer Active

Connected Paths:


Route Profile:

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