As well as its obvious natural heritage the Estate is full of historical interest as well. The bleach works near Barrow Bridge set up in the 19th century was the biggest in the world employing over 600 people. Now all that remains is it's chimney (one that Fred Dibnah from nearby Bolton unaccountably missed!) The route described below takes you past the memorial stone commemorating the mass trespass of 1896 when 10,000 townspeople took part in a demonstration to assert their rights to roam the moors. Through its appeal the Woodland Trust will ensure that this area remains a vital public asset to pass on to future generations.
Map by kind permission of Johnston Press
and at the bend enter woodland and soon after climb 63 steps
up an incline. (This is an old miners' route). The path leads to more open ground.
A sign post indicates the direction of Walker Fold - follow it taking an enclosed path
across fields. At Walker Fold
turn right onto Colliers Row Road and then after 80yds turn left
on a footpath leading into Walker Fold Woods. After crossing a footbridge
keep on the main path
which leads out into open land.
As you arrive at a fence to the left of a farm turn left
and then cross a stile near the corner and follow a path leading into woodland.
After a footbridge keep ahead to a farm road. Turn right. When you reach a junction
turn right and keep on the lane for 500yds. After passing Gilligant's Farm on the right turn sharp left onto a public footpath.
The path leads up to the summit of Winter Hill with its array of masts.
After 400yds the path dips to cross a stream and then continues gently upward. As you near the masts
follow a flagged path that place you on the service road. Turn right for the trig point which is reached by following the service road past the main complex and then bending left. Just as you approach a trio of masts on the northern edge of the hill the trig point is to the right.
for 750yds. Where the road sweeps left keep ahead on a footpath indicated by a signpost crossing moorland to two prominent cairns on the skyline.
This feature is called Two Lads and it will come as no surprise there is a tale linked with it.
back to the service road and then cross the road leading into a valley.
After a kissing gate the path leads onto Holden's Plantation.
As you join a broad track keep left. Stay on the track as it passes through a wooden gate
and then turn left onto a grassy track as it leads down to the edge of Walker Fold Wood
with steep ground to the right. As you reached the woods stay on the path that skirts them
which will bring you out opposite Walker Fold.
From here retrace your earlier steps.